Minoan Civilization

When British archeologist Arthur Evans discovered in the early 20th century the remains of an ancient, mysterious civilization on the island of Crete, he realized he had found something even more unknown than Troy. Evans began to decipher writings that he had found, later called Linear A, and he realized he had stumbled upon the unknown Minoan civilization that had flourished from around 2700 to 1450 B.C.

The Minoans were traders, overseas merchants, who expanded their culture by gathering from those to which they traveled, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. The surviving ceramics and pottery, which were decorated with natural designs, show examples of faraway life that the Minoans adopted. A couple of products they took were pomegranates from the Far East, and papyrus from Egypt.

Knosses -- Bull Fighting
Bull Fighting

Their clothes, however, were fully Minoan. The men wore loincloths or kilts and the women, short sleeved robes and flowing skirts. The clothes were of intricate and geometric designs.

The Minoans were also very skilled at farming and agriculture. They raised and tamed bees, cattle and sheep, and grew wheat, barley, grapes and olives.

All this integrated culture points to a quite sophisticated civilization, but the most impressive is that the Minoans had stone roads connecting their cities and sewer pipes made of clay for the upper class.

However, the Minoans were not only focused on expanding their culture. Fierce long boats, fortification walls and watchtowers point to a wary and fierce people. But the question still arises: were they warlike or peaceful? Arthur Evans strongly insisted that they were peaceful, but further evidence suggests otherwise.

This civilization, that is still a mystery with its different cultures and festivities such as bull fighting or jumping, and its polytheistic religion in which they worshipped mainly female deities, makes you wonder how their government and political systems were and how that affected the lifestyle of the Minoans.

 

 

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