Remains of a settlement and graves proove that the site was inhabited as early as the 3rd millenium B.C. In 2600-1700 B.C., the time of the heyday of the first (old) palace at Phaistos, only small building were erected in the area of the Royal Villa. The villa was built in ca. 1600 B.C. and destroyed sometime in the 15th century. An imposing "megaron" of the "Mycenaean" type was erected on its ruins (14th-11th centuries B.C.) and an extensive settlement with a portico ("agora" or market-place) developed to the north of the villa. In the Geometric period (8th century B.C.) the site was a cult place, while in the Hellenistic period (4th-1st century B.C.) a small sanctuary was founded, dedicated to Zeus Velchanos. The single-aisled church of St. George was built in the period of the Venetian occupation (14th century A.D.).