A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age; Knossos and other sites were also destroyed at that time. The palace was later rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age. Most of the ruins visible today date from this second period of construction. The palace features a giant central courtyard, 48m x 23m in size.
On the south side are two sets of steps leading upwards and a maze of tiny rooms. Also here is a strange carved stone called a kernos stone, which looks like a millstone with a cup attached to the side of it. On the north side of the courtyard were storage rooms with giant earthenware pithos jars, up to two metres tall. These were presumably used for holding olive oil and other liquids; the floor of these rooms has a complicated drainage system for carrying away spilled liquids.
The palace of Malia was excavated in 1915 by Hadzidakis, a Greek archaeologist. However, the palace was surrounded by a village which has only recently been uncovered. Excavation is still being carried out here. Most of these new excavations are covered by a giant semi-transparent roof, which protects them from any torrential rain. In places tourists are allowed to wander among the ruins; in others, walkways allow them to walk above them.
There are rooms which have been identified as metal workshops, ceramic workshops and meeting rooms.