Excavations began at Phourni in 1964 by Efi and John Sakellarakis and have continued until at least 1995.
A tholos tomb first discovered in 1965 dates to 14th century BCE and shares a ground plan with tholos tombs at Mycenae and Orchomenus. Early Minoan tholos tombs and ossuaries have been excavated in the south part of the cemetery.
Finds include a dismembered corpse of a sacrificed horse, a bull's skull, a gold ring from a burial with a cultic scene engraved on it, knives, lead weights from a scale, 46 loom weights, a wine press, a libation table, bell-shaped figurines, approximately 250 cups, Early Minoan II seals, an Egyptian diorite vase, ivory seals and amulets and a pillar crypt. The bodies of two women found in a Late Minoan tholos tomb are of almost certain royal or religious importance due to the wealth of objects and the unusual sacrifices of a horse and a bull made to the chambers.
More than twenty buildings and tombs have been excavated at Phourni.
Finds excavated from Phourni are at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
- Swindale, Ian http://www.minoancrete.com/phourni.htm Retrieved 4 February 2006
- Sakellarakis, J. and E. Crete, Archanes ISBN 960-213-234-5 (Guidebook)
- Myers, J.W., Myers, E.E. and Cadogan, G. "Archanes-Phourni" The Aerial Atlas of Ancient Crete ISBN 978-0-520-07382-1
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