This is a complex that Evans named the “Throne Room” due to the stone seat in the room behind the antechamber.
Stone benches are preserved in the antechamber. Between them were revealed traces of a lost wooden structure. A wooden seat has been placed here, a copy of the stone seat in the adjoining room.
The antechamber leads to the main chamber. There are stone benches here, too, on either side of the stone seat.
During the excavation of this room, one of the griffins painted on the wall was found, almost entire, providing many details for the reconstruction of the decorative composition. The reconstructed fresco is in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Evans placed a copy of it here.
Stone vessels for olive oil, usually associated with ritual ceremonies, were found on the floor. On the left, a low partition with a column forms a small space that resembles a cistern due to its sunken floor. Evans believed that such spaces were used for purification rituals and called them “lustral basins”.
The back of the central chamber communicates with a set of small, dark rooms. The finds show that these were lit by lamps.
The function of the complex is difficult to determine. Evans believed that the rooms were used for ceremonies led by the king of Knossos in his religious capacity. Other scholars argue that the protagonist was a female figure. In any case, this does not appear to be a “Throne Room” in the usual modern sense.
As with the “Grand Staircase”, stone was the material selected for Evans’s reconstruction of the columns of the “Throne Room”. The shape of the column was carved out of stone, the surface was plastered and finally the layer of paint was applied.
The rest of the architectural elements, originally made of wood – such as door jambs, polythyra and masonry support beams – were reconstructed in reinforced concrete. The surfaces were then painted yellow in a “trompe-l’oeil” technique.
The painted surfaces in the “Throne Room” had been badly damaged, mainly due to the fact that the public had been allowed free access to the rooms in the past, coming into direct contact with the copies and other painted surfaces.
In the context of the 3rd CSF project, conservation work was carried out on the fresco copies, which were aesthetically restored to their former glory as works of art (phot. 1,2). The painted surfaces of the columns and imitation wood of Evans’s reconstruction were also restored (phot. 3-5).
The Minoan plaster in the “Lustral Basin” of the complex was restored as part of the NSFR project.