QUESTION: What is the importance of Minoan Civilization for life in Europe?
Where did the Minoans on Crete come from?
In 2016, DNA analysis of early Minoan bones was done. It shows that these early Minoans did come from southern Turkey. At last, this question has been answered.
Over time, the Minoans created a civilization. It went through a series of ups and downs. Most of the downs were caused by disasters in the environment. It resulted in a series of palace sites. They thrived. Then they died. New palace sites arose.
Ruins of the Palace of Knossos
The ruins of the most famous of these palaces, the Palace of Knossos was unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans starting in 1900 and ending in 1936. It produced a treasure of items. It also revealed parts of the old palace. Sir Arthur, using some of his imagination, reconstructed the palace as he thought it must have looked. He also gave the civilization its name Minoan. He used the name of the mythical King Minos.
Minos is the king who has the great maze built beneath his palace. Within the maze was a monster, the Minotaur. It was half man and half bull. It fed on human flesh. Eventually, it is killed by the hero Theseus of Athens. While Theseus was a prince, Athens was a backwater city in those days.
The real Minoan Civilization was one founded on trade. The Minoans loved the sea and their ships. They fished. More importantly for us, they carried some of their goods to other places in the Mediterranean Sea. Look at the map above. Where might you find some ancient Minoan pots or vases that were part of Minoan trade in foreign kingdoms?
Trade means the Minoans made a variety of things. Vases and pots were the most famous of their products. They would export (ship to other countries) these pots, vases and other natural goods such as food and lumber. In foreign kingdoms, they exchanged what they brought for things Minoans wanted. Often this was ivory or gold. They would then import (bring into their country from a foreign country) these goods. This exchange of Minoan goods for foreign goods created the trade the Minoans became so famous for in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Make a jot list of the important things you think we have learned about the Minoans.
Jot down what you have learned.
Here are some of the items I listed.
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