Minoans and Mycenaeans: Comparing Two Bronze Age Civilizations

These cultures are often examined separately, and thus the ample cross-cultural transmission between them is overlooked. By Kelly MacquireHistorian Introduction The Bronze Age Aegean in the eastern Mediterranean encompassed several powerful entities: the Minoans on Crete; the Mycenaeans on mainland Greece, and the Cypriots on Cyprus. These cultures are often examined separately, and thus the ample cross-cultural transmission between them is overlooked. Focussing on[…]

An Introduction to Ancient Minoan Art

The Bronze Age history of the island is one of development, increasing influence, and eventual destruction. Introduction The Bronze Age culture of Crete, called Minoan, after King Minos of Crete from Greek mythology, is one of the most vibrant and admired in all of European prehistory. According to the myth, the city of Athens was[…]

Exploring Ancient Minoan Knossos

Bronze Age Knossos is traditionally called a palace, a description used by its most famous excavator, Sir Arthur Evans. Introduction There aren’t many places in the world like Knossos. Situated 6km south of the sea, on the north central coast of Crete, several things make this archaeological site important: its great antiquity (it is 9,000[…]

Minoan Linear A: How Do You Crack the Code to a Lost Ancient Script?

Deciphering Linear B, the earliest form of Greek, was a history-changing achievement, but decoding the older Linear A would open a new window on the origins of European culture. How do you go about deciphering the script of a wholly different language that was lost more than 3,000 years ago? Linguist and archaeologist Dr Brent[…]

The Impact of the Eruption of Thera on Ancient Minoan Decline

The cataclysmic eruption of Thera split the island of Santorini into three smaller ones. By Jenna Frawley Introduction During the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1750-1450 BCE), the island of Crete emerged as a long-distance trading center. Modern scholarship characterizes this center as the Minoan civilization, which organized local production and trade in large regional structures[…]

Santorini Volcano: Scientists Learn More about the Bronze Age Monster

Geophysicists use sound waves to build a picture of the magma and rock beneath this active volcano, most of which is underwater. It’s like CT scanning the Earth. Introduction The island of Santorini in the Mediterranean has attracted people for millennia. Today, it feels magical to watch the sun set from cliffs over the deep[…]

Exploring Western Crete’s Ancient Minoan Archaeological Treasures

Remainders of Crete’s extraordinary past are scattered all over the island. Introduction As the cradle of European Civilization and a meeting place of diverse cultures, Crete is a magical island that stands apart in the heart of the Mediterranean sea. Its prominent place in world history dates back to the mysterious and fascinating Bronze Age civilization of the Minoans, who were building lavish labyrinth-like[…]