The Minoans

Since we are, for the moment, confined to barracks, I thought a Throwback Thursday was perfect for a spot of armchair traveling. Going back to old posts written in the same month of the year, this one is about a trip to Crete and the amazing Minoan civilization. Posted in April 2016.

Letters from Athens

On the island of Crete, which lies nearer to the coast of Africa than to the Greek mainland, a brilliant civilization flourished from approximately 3650 to 1400 BCE. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans and refers to the mythic King Minos. Minos was associated in Greek myth with the labyrinth and the Minotaur, which Evans placed at the largest Minoan site, Knossos.

The Minoans were the first Europeans to have a literate civilization. They were traders who built a colossal fleet and exported their products all over the Mediterranean: timber, wine, currants, olive oil, saffron and honey, herbs, exquisite pottery, jewellery, wool and cloth. They imported alabaster, precious stones, copper, ivory, gold and silver, as well as artistic ideas and techniques.
They built astonishing palaces decorated with amazing murals; the palaces, unusually, were lacking in fortifications since…

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9 thoughts on “The Minoans”

  1. I just checked the original, and it seems I didn’t comment. I have been to Crete, and visited the site at Knossos during an extensive two-week driving holiday around the whole island. It was very impressive, but on the day I went it was also very crowded, and over 40 C. My memories of Crete are as much about the heat, (and mosqitoes) as the sights. 🙂
    Best ishes, Pete.


    1. You should never go sightseeing in Greece between the end of June and the end of August. We went in April, it was cool and not crowded at all, and we still managed to get in a quick swim! Of course it’s not always possible if you don’t live there…


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