ࡱ> SUNOPQR? jbjb #Y}}lVVVVVVV8<JZ^tttttt, VtttttVVttZtVtVtj66VVVVtjBSXVVwLR fwf  wMinoan Civilization Overview Amidst the wine-dark sea lies Crete, a fair rich island populous beyond compute, with ninety cities Thus did Ulysses speak of Crete in the Odyssey. Crete held a prominent place in Greek mythology: there, according to tradition, Zeus was born, and brought up in a cave on Mt. Id. In the palace of Minos at Knossos, Theseus came to kill the Minotaur, a monster half-man half bull; and Daedalus and his son Icarus escaped from the Labyrinth of King Minos by means of wings of wax made by the resourceful inventor. the first centre of high civilization in the Aegean area, with great cities and sumptuous palaces, highly developed art, extended trade, writing, and the use of seal stones, was in Crete. From the end of the third millennium B.C., a distinctive civilization came into being which gradually spread its influence over the whole complex of island and mainland states. During the late Bronze Age (c. 1600-c. 1100) this civilization contributed a kind of cultural uniformity to the Mediterranean scene, which was characterized by interlinking cities and the exchange of goods and artworks. The gradual sway exercised by the kingdom of Minos made his capital Knossos one of the great cities of the world, and Crete the most powerful island, enjoying a pre-eminent central position in the Aegean with links to the north and south. [Durrell, Greek Islands, p. 74.] Polybius, the Greek historian, who wrote in Rome about 150 BC, considered the Crete of his day a backwater and a major base for piracy in the eastern Mediterranean. He wrote: With few exceptions you could find no habits prevailing in private life more steeped in treachery than those in Crete and no public policy more inequitable. He noted greed and avarice were native to the soil in Crete, whose people were engaged in countless public and private seditions, murders, and civil wars. Overview Chronology Early Minoan 3500-2300 B.C. Population of island increased rapidly Island divided into three groups which appear to have been independent of each other No palaces Sculpture in its infancy Primitive metalwork Crude mural painting Summary --The growth of total population and the increase in the number of towns was greatest in eastern Crete where, as before, sea trade with Asia and Egypt were of primary importance. The chief port was Mochlos, whose peninsula connection with Crete lasted some time longer before an earthquake turned it into a separate island. From eastern Crete the sailors voyaged to Sicily and southern Italy, where they introduced their pottery, the use of copper and gold, and their agricultural skills to the Neolithic tribesmen. [Hayes] Middle 2300-1600 B.C. Appearance of palaces Unity of culture Knossos appears to have gained political preeminence Bronze Introduction of light wells and elaborate drainage systems Fresco painting showed youthful exuberance Potters wheel Fine vase painting Gem engraving Extensive overseas trade had resulted in great economic prosperity Established trading colonies Summary -- Some time after 2600 B.C. the Messara Plain in southern Crete, facing Egypt, became Cretes greatest farming region and produced a surplus of grain crops. The first towns in north-central Crete appeared, but they were not yet so important as the thriving ports of the east or the grainlands of the south. By 2000 B.C. disorders overseas caused the eastern ports of Crete to lose much of their trade, and with their economic decline they ceased to be the leading centers of Cretan civilization. Their political importance was taken over by new urban centers in central Crete; Knossos and Mallia rose on the north coast, Phaistos on the south. In the mountains of central Crete, Neolithic tribes continued their own way of life. Clan organization came to an end, however, as urban life became the accepted pattern, even in such primarily farming regions as the Messara plain. After 2000 B.C. events or conditions in Crete, as yet unknown led to the rise in power of local princes or petty kings, and the island was divided into small states. Royal palaces were erected at Knossos and Mallia in the north and at Phaistos in the south, indicating that the center of activity had shifted away from the earlier civilized eastern end of the island. Royal power grew, and there was an increase of population during that prosperous, peaceful period. The 135 hieroglyphic signs of the first Cretan writing system were reduced to ninety and were written in a script called Linear A, still untranslated. [Hayes] The Middle Minoan period (2000-1600 (1550) was the golden age of Crete and witnessed tremendous advances in technology, political power, wealth and artistry. Those were the centuries when the urban revolution was completed; when the palace-complexes were built and decorated with astonishing frescoes; when the minor arts (vases and jewelry and seal stones) reached their acme, with a style and spirit, a lightness and a delicate sense of movement, which are immediately recognized as Minoan and nothing else, when a society revealed itself in its visual arts as one that, at least at the top, had a psychology and style of life quite unlike any other of its day (or any other age in antiquity for that matter). [Finley, Early Greece, p. 34.] Late 1600-1100 B.C. Crete a world power, co-equal with Egypt and Hittite Empires Ambassadors of the Keftiu shown on Egyptian tomb walls bearing gifts from one monarch to another By 1550 excellent roads linked the Minoan cities King of Crete ruled over many dominions Knossos palace administrative center Stone houses in towns surrounded palaces About 1400 BC violent destruction accompanied by burning not just Knossos but other cities may have been earthquakes After 1400 Minoan civilization continued but the palaces not rebuilt Summary During the 1600s B.C. the commercial ties of Crete with Egypt and the Near East ceased because of the activities of the Hyksos and the Hittites. Cretan traders turned north and became influential at Mycenae, Tiryns, and Pylos on the Greek mainland. These cities had been founded by descendants of Into-European invaders called Achaeans at the end of the third millennium B.C. Several times the Cretan cities were destroyed by violent earthquakes. But the Cretans refused to be dismayed and always rebuilt with such determination that around 1600 B.C. the palace of Knossos became the most splendid that Crete ever knew. Fate of Minoan Civilization Conquered by Mycenaeans -- Evidence that Knossos under heavy Mycenaean dominance c. 1400-1100 B.C. circumstances are obscure Pylos Linear B clay tablets insights into Mycenaean civilization Mycenean Greece seems to have reached zenith in the early 13th century Earthquakes, tidal waves and fires Earthquakes generate impulses much like those generated by a pebble falling in a pond. In deep water the wavelengths are huge and the heights of the waves very small. This feature when combined with the waves long period - up to an hour -- enables normal wind waves and swells to completely obscure the waves in deep water. As waves approach the coast with the increasingly shallow bottom the wavelengths become shortened and the height of the wave will increase, coastal water rising as high as 30 meters in 15 minutes Tidal wave created by volcanic eruption on Thera c. 1650 B.C.?) Around 1650 the volcano erupted and left the mountain noting but a hollow shell in a final paroxysm the whole mountain exploded and the sea rushed in the eruption was four to ten times more powerful than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Crops in Crete suffered volcanic ash would have devastated the agriculture of Crete until rains washed it away Zakro and Mallia may have been destroyed by tidal waves Knossos survived Had the Minoan fleet been at sea it might have escaped as the shockwave does not go at great heights except where it encounters shallow water but if the Minoan fleet had been in harbor on the north coast of Crete, it must have been destroyed this would have meant that the Minoans would have lost control of the sea Starvation, disease and revolution may have reduced ability to control sea and trade Disruption of trade with Egypt may have reduced riches of Minoan kings Greeks from the mainland would have been able to invade Crete Time lag to theory that eruption of Thera resulted in the destruction of Minoan Crete eruption occurred between c 1650 and the destruction of Minoan palaces all over Crete did not occur until about 1450 thus the tidal wave did not affect buildings of most palaces and the earthquakes did not do fatal damage thus the Mycenaean Greek invaders must have caused most of the destruction. Revolt of cities in western or eastern part of the island against Knossos Named by Arthur Evans for dynasty of Minos Minos is the earliest ruler we know who possessed a fleet, and controlled most of what are now Greek waters. He ruled the Cyclades, and was the first to colonies of most of them, installing his own sons as governors. In all probability he cleared the sea of pirates to secure his own revenues. [Thucydides] Homer in the Iliad mentioned that 80 ships from Crete participated in the Trojan War Homer in the Odyssey wrote: There is a land called Crete, in the midst of the wine-dark sea, a fair rich land, begirth with water, and therein are many men past counting, and ninety cities. Mentioned seven Knossos Gortyn Lyktos Miletos Lykastos Phaistos Rhytion The Minoans were a dark, elegant people of mysterious origin. Even their ancient name is unknown; they were given the name Minoans by a modern-day British archaeologist, Arthur Evans, who derived it from Greek mythology Evans first encountered the Minoans in 1900, when he discovered the ruins of a sprawling mazelike palace. [Colon Thuborn, The Ancient Mariners (Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1981), p. 12.] Minos legend Minos married Queen Pasiphae (daughter of sun god) Minos was father of Deucalion, Adrogeus, Ariadne and Phaedra Androgeus had success at Athenian games caused King Aegeus to arrange for his death Minos avenged death of Androgeus by making war on Athens The son of Zeus and Europa was Minos who, after getting rid of his brother Sarpedon, obtained the throne of Crete with the help of Poseidon. From his capital in Knossos, he developed the islands sea power and overran the neighboring islands, in which he smoked out the nests of pirates and generally established order. He was venerated for his wise laws and the security his fleet bestowed on the surrounding countries. His wife Pasiphae was the daughter of the Sun, and the children she bore him were called Androgeous, Ariadne and Phaedra. But trouble loomed ahead, possibly due to hubris, or overweening; maybe power had made him too cock-sure about his importance. At any rate, he incurred the wrath of Poseidon for not sacrificing a marvelous white bull which had been sent to him for that purpose. The punishment was dire. Poseidon made Pasphae fall in love with the bull; with the help of Daedalus she then disguised herself as a cow and the fruit of this union was a grotesque monster with a mans body and a bulls head. It ran amuck and ravaged Crete, so that finally it was locked up in the labyrinth which had been constructed by Daedalus on the pattern of the Egyptian one, as described by Herodotus. [Durrell, Greek Islands, p. 63.] Theseus and the Minotaur Minos lost his son Androgeus Visited Athenian king Aegeus Had sent his guest on expedition to kill a dangerous bull Minos invaded country, captured Athens and threatened to raze it to the ground unless every nine years the people sent him a tribute of seven maidens and seven boys Upon reaching Crete Athenian hostages given to the Minotaur (half-bull-half human) to devour Minotaur offspring of intercourse between Pasiphae and a bull Minos had Daedalus build the Labyrinth in which to confine the Minotaur Athenians never knew when they would meet the Minotaur in the labyrinth Theseus, son of King Aegeus volunteered to sail with other hostages and promised to kill the Minotaur Promised Aegeus that he would change his black sail to a white sail if he succeeded Upon reaching Crete, the Athenian hostages paraded before court of Minos Ariade, among spectators, fell in love with Theseus Ariadne sent for Daedalus to tell her how to get out of labyrinth Theseus promised Ariadne that in return for her help that he would take her back to Athens and marry her Theseus used string device to navigate labyrinth came upon Minotaur while it was sleeping killed it with his bare hands (boxed, wrestled) On return to Athens, Theseus deserted Ariadne on an island perhaps accidentally ship caught in a squall Theseus forgot to put up white sail Aegeus in grief jumped off cliff into sea Aegean Sea Theseus became good king of Athens and set up governmental institutions Minos imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus in labyrinth Flew out Icarus flew too near the sun and fell into sea Icarian Sea Daedalus successfully reached Sicily Minos posed riddle in order to find Daedalus reward for anyone solving riddle Need to pass thread through an intricate spiraled shell Daedalus tied string on an ant which went through the shell Minos went to Sicily to seize Daedalus Sicilian king would not surrender In fight, Minos killed Every year the Athenians who were subjects of Minos, were required to supply seven youths and seven maiden to be fed to the Minotaur. One year Theseus, the young son of the Athenian king, [ Aegeus] persuaded his father to included him in the annual consignment of victims. When Theseus arrived in Crete, he won the love of Minos daughter Ariadne, and with her aid he slew the minotaur. The pair then fled to the island of Naxos; there Theseus deserted Ariadne, the god Dionysus found her and married her. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 40.] May have been a concealed account of the overthrow of a foreign overlord by the Athenians Minos may have been a title rather than an individual Not likely too elaborately disguised similar tales are more explicit In antiquity Labyrinth considered to be an imitation of the Egyptian Labyrinth sacred to sun Associated with Theatrical Area in northwest corner of the Palace of Knossos Myth celebrated in antiquity in Crance Dance portrayed windings of the Labyrinth Performed before the horned altar of Apollo In Delos festival commemorating the birth of Apollo and Artemis Legends about Daedalus artist, cunning craftsman testify to achievements of Minoan engineers, builders and artisans Daedalus became envious of his nephews skill and slew him led to banishment from Athens Found refuge in court of Minos Became chief artist and engineer Minos discovered liaison between Daedalus and Pasiphae Earliest Cultures Neolithic 6000-5000 B.C. Men of Neolithic culture first reached the island between 6000 and 5000 B.C. They settled in the mountains that dominate the Cretan landscape, and in mountain caves they made their first homes, worshiped tiny female idols, and buried their dead. [Hayes, p. 73.] Came originally from Levant Possibly from Egypt as refugees At the beginning of the historic period in Lower Egypt, cult objects of the delta included the Figure-8 shield, the double axe refugees from conquest by MenesAlso the Cretan men and the Libyan people of the western Delta wore the same sheath dress, wore their hair with a long side lock and had a small human figurine identical with that found in Crete Possibly from further east May have come from Southwest Anatolia or Syria via the islands The early inhabitants of Crete may have been from Anatolia. Crete was a crossroads, and its Neolithic settlements were probably influenced by contacts with Anatolia and Egypt. Pottery affinities Word endings: ssos Knossos, Thalasoos, labyrinthos suggest Anatolian roots (Luvian) excavations have revealed Minoan artifacts bearing Linear A script on Turkish mainland indicate a strong connection with Crete Pottery found at Miletus indicates that Linear A symbols were inscribed before the pot on which they were written was fired suggest that Minoan-speakers must have been there perhaps as members of a Minoan colony Crete, which in ancient times was occupied entirely by non-Greek peoples. [Herodotus] About 3200 BC a large number of newcomers reached southern Crete. Their religious symbols the trident, the double axe, the shield shaped like the numeral 8 were those of the Delta tribes of Lower Egypt. The Libyan goddess N T, with her spear, snake, spindle, and goatskin bib, came with them, and she remained one of their chief deities. Other evidence of the newcomers Egyptian or Libyan origin was the soldiers custom of training their hair in a long lock curled over one shoulder and their use of a peculiarly shaped loin cloth instead of a kilt. It seems likely that these people may have been fleeing from Meness conquest of Lower Egypt. They mixed with the Neolithic Cretans of the mountains to form the Cretans of civilization. Hayes, pp. 73-74.] Newcomers in 3200 B.C. mixed with Neolithic Cretans Religious symbols Trident double ax Double-axe (labyr) symbol at Mallia: found as a votive offering; cult object between the horns of consecration. On rings and seals it is seen handled by ministers of the cult or carried by women. It is never in the hands of a male god. Thus, it was probably not a thunder weapon or a male symbol. Pendlebury (Architecture of Crete, an Introduction, p. 274) speculates that it was probably a sacrificial axe which had in the course of time become both a cult symbol and a cult object. Of all the Minoan religious symbols, the double axe was the holiest. Stylized axes such as gold miniatures consecrated shrine in Cretan homes and palaces. Full-sized double axes were used by priests to kill sacrificial bulls in ceremonies to propitiate the mother goddess. (Time-Frame 3000-15000 BC: The Age of God-Kings, p. 116, with picture) Many examples of axes in bronze and other metals have come to light, some of them, no doubt strictly functional objects. But the form, sometimes set on the base or between the horns of consecration, also appears in materials and sizes unsuitable for a practical purpose. It was clearly a sacred symbol. Arthur Evans and other scholars have suggested that it might have been associated with some rite intended to propitiate the infernal powers, a theory supported by the fact that Crete is subject to earthquakes, some of which have been catastrophic. The double ax or labyrs may have been associated with the worship of the mother goddess, but the nature of the connection is unknown. Bulls sacrificed to the goddess were probably slain with a double axe; representations of the goddess often show her holding a double axe in her hand, or appearing before her worshipers perched upon one in the guise of a bird. Shield shaped like the number 8 Libyan goddess, NT Soldiers custom of wearing hair in long lock curled over one shoulder N. African origin Copper from Egypt Egyptian inscriptions with Pharaonic names help with chronology Genesis 10:13-14 indicates the Cretans came from Egypt probably the Nile Delta may have migrated when Thebes began process of expelling foreigners and reunifying Egypt after the First Intermediate Period task completed by the 12th Dynasty just before the first Minoan palaces appeared purge designed to eliminate a creative element that was considered as a threat to the purer Egyptians of Upper Egypt Contact with Hyksos dynasties inscriptions bearing name of Hykso Pharaoh Khyan found at Knossos Minoans probably supported Hyksos Minoan may have been Northwest Semitic language related to Phoenician, Hebrew and Aramaic a number of Minoan words and Minoan names also appear in Ugaritic and other Semitic languages Ugaritic connection Windows in upper stories of Minoan houses Ugaritic literature (north coast of Syria) of late Bronze Age (c. 1600-1200 BC) claimed window was innovation of Kothar-wa-Khasis, Minoan god of arts and crafts invited to build a palace for the god Baal a Ugaritic text claims that Kothar-wa-Khasis resided on Caphtor (Crete) but the land of his inheritance was Egypt implies that the origins of Minoan art lay in Egypt BUT Minoan art is distinctive apparent discrepancy may be result of there being two Egypts. [Cyrus H. Gordon, The Minoan Connection,pp. 76-77.] Inscriptions contain a number of Egyptian references to Re Many identifiable names familiar from northwest Semitic literature frequent contact with Ugarit The Minoan Ti-ni-ta is the popular Phoenician-Punic goddess Tinit or Tanit often depicted with bare breasts, flounced skirt, and half-raised arms Babylonian seal cylinders when rolled on soft clay tablets left convex impressions identifying the owner. Learned use of potters wheel Neolithic and Pre-palatial Collection in Irakleion Museum Ivory and stone seals in scarab and prism shapes Carvings on seals scorpions and designs Necklaces of polychrome beads of steatite, sard, amethyst rock crystal from vaulted tombs of Messara Diadems of gold strips from vaulted tombs of Mochlos and Aghia Triadha Necklaces of rock crystal, amethyst and carnelian from Mochlos Chains, pendants and hairpins from Mochlos Polychrone pottery from Palaikastro Clay models of chariots and ships Barbatine vase from Tomb of Messara Bronze weapons and tools from vaulted tombs of Messara Lamps and votive cups Idols, jewelry, daggers from Minoan cemetery at Fourni Arkhanes Rectangular stone tablets (Palettes), needle cases of obsidian from vaulted tombs of Messara Stone figurines from the Tholos tombs at Lebena (Lenaas) Stone vases and clay vases in the form of bulls from the tombs of Messara Language in Three Scripts Pictograph probably derived from Syria (Ras-Shamra [Ugarit]) consisted of 135 symbols hieroglyphic system Linear A manifestation of Cretan originality Not deciphered difficulty derives from relative scarcity of samples also language of Linear A is certainly not Greek and probably not any other known language A bureaucracy developed to keep track of who produced what, who bought what, who owed what. Thus Linear A developed On clay tablets Mostly administrative records Little support that language relates to Semitic May be related to Luwian (Anatolia) inferred from place names such as Cnossus and Tylissus has not led to an even partial decipherment Ignorance extends to place names of centers either destroyed or totally abandoned in Bronze Age Consisted of 75 characters that represented combinations of consonants and vowels forming syllables About a third of the known characters are derivatives from earlier Minoan hieroglyphs Linear A emerged in the early centuries of Middle Minoan a sophisticated script with most signs representing syllables. It was widely dispersed on the island with texts being found at Haghia Triada and Kato Zakro. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 35.] the language of Linear A script was that of the people who created the Minoan golden age; and that the script was originally invented for that language and later transferred to Greek for which it was not very well suited. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 37.] Linear B syllabic signs plus pictographs Used small, leaf-shaped clay tablets (total of those found equaled about 4000, many of them mere fragments) baked before use and discarded when no longer needed preserved when conflagrations struck palace centers Lack signs of development or change, of the element of time [Finley, Early Greece] May have also written on wax or papyrus but no trace remains deciphered by Michael Ventris in 1953 consisted of 88 symbols Occurred only in Knossos in Crete Texts short very restricted in range consisted of lists of various types or cryptic recordings of property relationships, ration allocations, etc [Finley, Early Greece, p. 37.] An archaic form of Achaean dialect on mainland Linear B evolved from A and is found only at Knossos and on the mainland. Substantial finds at Thebes include 25 stirrup-jars with Linear B signs the majority manufactured in eastern Crete. This may indicate that B was used elsewhere in Crete. It might also suggest the extent of Knossian suzerainty. It also raises questions about precise part played by writing in society. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 35.] Apart from signs engraved or scratched on pottery, seal stones, libation-tables and various miscellaneous objects, Cretan writing is known in bulk only from small, leaf-shaped clay tablets totaling less than 4000, many of them mere fragments. Perishable materials, such as wax or papyrus, were certainly also used, but no trace of them remains. And even the clay tablets have survived by accident. They were not baked before use and they were discarded when they no longer needed; only the conflagrations that accompanied the destruction of the palaces preserved whatever tablets happened to be on hand at the moment, all of them dating from that year. In consequence, [they] lack signs of development or change, of the elements of time. And the texts themselves are both short and very restricted in range, consisting of lists of one kind or another, or of cryptic recordings of property relationships, ration allocations and the like All known tablets cannot be read and translated with complete certainty. [Finley, Early Greece] Linear B Fragments at Lasunthos refers to two nurses, one girl, one boy Fragment at Amnisos refers to one jar of honey to Eileithyia. One jar of honey to all the gods. One jar of honey Thalassocracy sea kingdom with extensive trade and commerce Strabo wrote that they made longer and bolder voyages than the later Greeks and Romans Crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa Strategically located for trade or war midway between Phoenicia and Italy and between Egypt and Greece Contemporary with Stonehenge in England where ancient carvings of a Mycenaean dagger and double axes, as well as burial mounds that contained Egyptian blue faience beads links with mid 2nd-millennium BC Mediterranean Trade with Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Cyclades -- Exported honey, olive oil, wine, eggshell pottery, timber. Imported linens, gems, gold, grain, marble, lead, copper from Cyclades and ivory from Egypt. Also imported lapis lazuli Eleven colonies in eastern and central Mediterranean had epithet Minoa: -- Gaza is identified by a coin with the legend Gaza Minoa another Minos lay east of the Dead Sea along a route to a Red Sea port link to Indian Ocean Exported honey, olive oil, wine, eggshell pottery, silver utensils Honey was the chief means of sweetening food in antiquity Industrial development in Textiles spindles and looms Olive oil refining Metal working The basic techniques of metallurgy almost certainly were learned from the Cyclades, including the use of arsenic as a hardening alloy for copper in the absence of tin. But the copper daggers, the most prominent of the Early Minoan metal artifacts, were peculiarly Cretan.. Finley, Early Greece, p. 34.] Obsidian for tools, implements and weapons continued to be used Obsidian, or volcanic glass, can hold an edge as sharp as carbon steel, but it is very difficult to work into a smooth edge. Melos was the major source of obsidian for the eastern Mediterranean region. Obsidian: an acid-resistant, lustrous volcanic glass, usually black or banded and displaying curved, shiny surfaces when fractured; a lava resembling black glass. The fine texture results from very rapid cooling. Used for stone tools and weapons. Grain mills Pottery Vases very popular in Egypt pottery (2000-1500 BC) designs did not picture anything in nature but were purely imaginative after 1500 BC pottery had figures from natural world There can be no dispute either about the wealth and power of Cnossus or about Minoan seamanship. There seem to have been Minoan settlements on some nearby islands, notably on Cythera to the north where the peak was reached in Late Minoan I, not very long before the site was abandoned (with no trace of destruction). However, the further step to a wide-ranging maritime empire, in the usual sense of that word, is neither simple nor self-evident, and it can be argued that the whole notion is very weakly based. The first Greek mention of thalasocracy is by Herodotus and Thucydides in the second half of the fifth century B.C. and that is far too late to be taken seriously by itself, without supporting evidence. The many Greek legends about prehistoric Crete have different emphases, mostly purely religious in character. The notable exception is the story of Theseus and the minotaur. Finley, Early Greece, pp. 39-40.] Arms, armor, and chariots are recorded in Linear B tablets from Cnossus, but they are remarkably rare in the figured monuments of any nature or size. They are even rare in the grave not until occupation by Greek-speakers from the mainland that warrior graves appeared. Art of casting metal Irakleion Museum collection of Minoan Protopalatial period Votive figurines from Petsofas, Khamaiz, Kalo Khosio arms are pulled in touching shoulders a salute? Praying? Town Mosaic from Palace of Knossos Pottery and stone vases in form of Mother Goddess Molds for the double ax Little jugs and bell-shaped figurines from Gournes Gold magic pendant depicting scorpion, snakes, insects Clay sealing with bullhead stone seals from Minoan peak sanctuary at Mt. Juktas Kamares style polychrome vases and eggshell ware from Phaestos Clay disks with hieroglyphic characters from Phaistos Middle Minoan Political, Commercial and Cultural Position in Grand Age Works of Minoan craftsmen found as far east as Cyprus and west as far as Sicily and the coast of Spain Built first road in Europe from Knossos to southern ports Earliest Mediterranean naval power Sea kings may have acknowledged Egyptian pharaohs of 15th century BC as their overlords An Egyptian general of Thutmose III in the 15th century BC bore the title of governor of the islands in the midst of the sea as the Egyptians called the Aegean islands Few Minoan settlements were outside of Crete lacked manpower to garrison foreign settlements Cretes past abided in Greek imagination as a source of haunting legend, religious influence and bygone but memorable social institutions Plato may have based his report of the lost civilization of Atlantis upon legends of Minoan Crete Aristotle in Politics discuss of caste systems history in Minoan Crete Komose pot holder: Cretans developed the potters wheel during the Middle Minoan era (2000-1400 BC). The Minoans cultivated wheat, millet and barley, and they used honey to sweeten food. Komose hearth: The Minoans raised chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle. They hunted deer and wild boar (Today the only large wild animal on the island is a species of long-horned goat). They supplemented their diet with fish and octopus. Spread of Minoan Civilization To Greek mainland Mycenae, Tiryns, Sparta, Argos On the Greek peninsula [during the Late Minoan era] there was a general adoption of Cretan arts, costumes, religion, and crafts, especially at the urban centers of Mycenae, Tiryns, and Pylos. These towns had been founded by the Achaeans, Indo-European peoples who had settled on the Greek peninsula around 1900 B.C. following the waves of migration at the beginning of the second millennium B.C. Above the Peloponnesus, Cretan influence showed itself chiefly at Athens and Delphi, but these towns had very little importance at this time. Whether there was a political Minoan empire that included Greece at this time or whether Cretan influence was exercised through trade alone is a matter of controversy. There were dozens of ports around the Mediterranean named Minos, which shows at least that the prestige of the priest-king of Knossos was very great. Of the mainland towns the most important was Mycenae, which in the sixteenth century B.C. began the steady rise of wealth and power that made it, by 1350 B.C., the leader of the Aegean world. The princes at Mycenae and Tiryns built palaces with light wells and wall frescoes in the Cretan manner. Men adopted the kilts and women the flounced dresses and elaborate hair styles of the court at Knossos. Cretan signets were used to sign official tablets. Local kings played the Cretan game of draughts. The religious cult of the Cretan Mother Goddess, with her sacred symbols of the dove, the pillar, the horns of consecration on the altar, and the labyrs, was introduced at Mycenae. [Hayes, pp. 134-135.] Cretan traders may have visited Greece, but it is much more likely that first the islanders and then the mainlanders were drawn by the riches of the Minoan world, which they gained either by bartering whatever wares they might be able to sell or by swift piratical raids. [Starr, Origins, p. 38.] Influence most apparent in pottery and daggers Minoan theater at Phaestos is 1500 years older than Theater of Dionysus at Athens Secular outlook helped shape Greek attitude on life and religion Myth of Theseus and Minotaur may reflect Athenian subjection to, and then emancipation from, Cretan overlordship during the Bronze Age The spread of Minoan exploration and culture can be traced through the evidence of similar artifacts. As early as 2000 B.C. the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenemhet II included Minoan silver bowls among the treasures of his tomb. Between 1800 and 1500 B.C. Minoan vessels sailed to ports throughout the eastern Mediterranean and as far as Sicily in the west, opening up trade routes that would be used for centuries thereafter. And the Minoans created such a powerful navy that alone among ancient civilizations they built their cities without walls. [Thuborn, Mariners, p. 12.] Minos, the earliest to bear that traditional name, acquired a fleet and ruled over what is now the Greek Sea. He ruled over the Cyclades and was the first to colonize them after driving out the Carians and setting up his own sons as rulers. As would be expected he also cleared the sea of pirates as far as he could so as to receive more revenue. [Thucydides, I.4] Three days later came warlike Minos, bringing a Cretan force in fifty ships with gleaming sterns. And favored by Zeus Eukleios he married the deep-girdled maiden Dexithea and left with her half of his men, soldiers, to whom he gave the rocky land before he sailed away to the lovely city of Knossos. In the tenth month the maiden with the beautiful locks gave birth to Euxantius to rule over the glorious land. [Bacchylides I, 2-27 (the colonizing of Keos [Chios])] Zenith of Achievement, 1700-1400 B.C. Decline after 1400 B.C. due to Achaean invasion from Greece Dorian invasion c. 1100 B.C. extinguished Minoan civilization Mycenae increased steadily in trade and wealth until by 1500 B.C. it challenged Knossos as an equal. The good relations between the two cities then ended. Mycenaean colonies were planted at Rhodes and Cyprus in direct competition with the older Cretan settlements there. About 1470 B.C. earthquake damage led to the rebuilding of parts of Knossos once again. A throne room like those at Mycenae and Tiryns was built in the Labyrinth. About the same time Crete developed its first standing army, for which it hired African mercenary soldiers. The position of teacher and pupil between Knossos and Mycenae had been reversed. By 1450 B.C. Knossos was ruling a centralized kingdom that included all of Crete. By 1350 B.C. Knossos was no more. the rulers in Knossos in 1450 were not Cretans at all but Achaeans, already enthroned following their first overseas expansion. By 1400 B.C. the Mycenaean Achaeans had wiped out the Cretan colony in Cyprus and had, for the fist time, established direct trading connections between mainland Greece, Syria, and Egypt. [Hayes, pp. 135-136.] Inevitably, they [Mycenaeans] they coveted the Minoans island as well. The archaeological evidence indicates that they overran the island in about 1450 B.C. Crete now became part of a vast trading empire that was culturally Greek. [Thuborn, Mariners, p. 12.] Minoan Society Farmers, traders, shippers, fishermen Dominant characteristic secularism Fond of dancing, music, bull-leaping, hunting Women held a respected position in society portrayed as entering into sports and labor with men hunting toreadors, priestesses Bull Games known as bull-grappling taurokathapsia ---- object was to display acrobatic agility and daring of men who skillfully avoided charging bull Seize bull by horns and vault or handspring over its back Land behind the animal Might involve several athletes Girls apparently took part as well wore mens costumes Accidents might occur with resulting injuries Games occurred in front of grandstand or in central court Black guard of Ethiopians officered by Cretans also present Minoan Government Sea Kings of Crete By late Minoan period rulers of Knossos dominated city states of Crete Of all mortal kings, none was more royal than he [Minos]. He ruled over the multitudes inhabiting the land and held the sceptre of Zeus in his hands. His dominion extended also to the cities. [Hesiod] one of the ninety cities is the great town called Knossos, and there for nine years King Minos ruled and enjoyed the friendship of the mighty Zeus. [Homer, Odyssey] Monarch assisted by staff of ministers (council of landed nobility) and scribes Kings authority believed to be divine Rulers crowned every nine years King served as chief judge of island Priests instead of military chiefs may have dominated Minoan politics wealth and power most likely derived more from foreign commerce and religious prerogative than upon land rents and forced services. would have accumulated enough wealth to maintain various craftsmen and artists to build and decorate palaces without necessity of oppressing the peasantry with heavy taxes and labor demands [McNeill, The Rise of the West (Mentor Book), c. 1963, p. 111.] Discussion between an Athenian, a Cretan and a Lacedaemonian which took place in Crete: And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every ninth year Minos went to converse with his Olympian sire, and was inspired by him to make laws for your cities? Yes, that is our tradition; and there was Rhadamanthus, a brother of his, with whose name you are familiar; he is reputed to have been the justest of men, and we Cretans are of the opinion that he earned this reputation from his righteous administration of justice when he was alive. Small army of slingers, archers and charioteers Archaeological evidence permits a few conjectures: they were not warrior princes, since no fortifications have been found anywhere in Minoan Crete and military subjects are almost unknown in Minoan art; nor is there any hint that they were sacred kings although they may well have presided at religious festivals (the only parts of Minoan palaces that can be identified as places of worship are small chapels, suggesting that religious ceremonies took place out of doors). On the other hand, the many storerooms, workshops, and offices at Knossos indicate that the palace was not only a royal residence but a great center of administrative and commercial activity. Since shipping and trade formed an important part of Minoan economic life (to judge from elaborate harbor installations and from Cretan export articles found in Egypt and elsewhere), perhaps the king should be viewed as the head of a merchant aristocracy. Here and only here in Aegean history down to the first millennium, true cities appeared beside the palaces of the kings. While the rulers were important, they did not tower over the rest of society as their conferees did Egypt and Mesopotamia. The citizens of Crete dwelt within several-storied houses and enjoyed a rich urban culture of remarkable grace and polish. [Starr, Origins, p. 57.] Economy Between the Late Neolithic and the Middle Minoan period there was a rapid increase in human and natural resources and a concentration, both socially and geographically of the power to employ them. Otherwise the great palace complexes could neither have been built nor have functioned. There is not one tablet which indicates buying or selling of commodities; there is not even a word for either activity. On the other hand, there are many inventories, ration-lists and lists of personnel. The implication is that the whole society was run from the palace-centre, which organized the internal economy in every detail administratively, distributing people and goods, from the raw materials to the finished products, without the use of money or of a market-mechanism. Some confirmation comes from a demonstration that the numerous Cnossus tablets listing sheep and wool all of them dating in the year of the destruction of the site record an annual census of flocks and shearings and of the shepherds responsible. The total number of animals was about 100,000 and insofar as place names can be identified they seem to have been pastured all over central and eastern Crete. It therefore appears that the palace at Cnossos had some sort of sheep-and-wool monopoly running to half the island. [Finley, Early Greece, pp. 38-39.] Pre-eminence of sheep wool may have been the way the Minoans obtained the copper, gold, ivory and other things they had to import Agriculture underpinned everything Komose wine press: Both black and white grapes were grown and made into good wine. Cretan red wine was famous. Linear A symbol for wine [Linear A has never been fully deciphered] but symbol for wine probably documented a business transaction. [The Age of God-Kings, Time Frame 3000-15000 BC, p. 108). Minoans used the wine press from about 1600 BC. Fresh grapes were dumped into a large vat and then trodden down by bare feet. Juice from the crushed grapes ran out through the spout into a smaller vessel next to the vat. (Picture of wine press of Vathypetro in central Crete in Maitland A. Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 27.) Double Axes and bulls heads found in Balearic Islands near Spain Komose road to sea: Ancient Crete was a thalassocracy (sea empire). During the Late Minoan Period (1400-1100 BC, the king of Knossos controlled most of the eastern Mediterranean. On the south coast of Crete, near the base of a chalk white headland, lay the port of Kommos, one of the busiest of all the Minoan harbor installations. Here as at other Minoan ports, single-masted trading vessels loaded and unloaded cargoes directly onto the shore. Stevedores plied the sandy beach, shifting the goods to and from warehouses in which mountains of commodities were stored. From Kommos, imported commodities were hauled to the nearby towns of Hagia Triadha and Phaistos, where the inhabitants were the chief beneficiaries of the ports trade. [The Age of God-Kings: Time Frame 3000-15000 BC, pp. 102-103 with picture Egyptians called Cretans Keftiu Represented on Egyptian frescoes The great ones of the Kefti from the islands amid the green seas [Egyptian Theban tomb] Sometimes carry folded cloths Also carried gold, silver, ivory and other things which are not Cretan products weakens the case that wool was major trading commodity Tablets say nothing about outside world foreign trade or foreign relations By 12th Dynasty, Minoan pottery found in Egyptian tomb at Abydos Cartouche of Pharaoh of 13th Dynasty found in Crete Cartouches on art objects from Amenhotep III found in Crete Armarna frescos showed friendly relations between Crete and Egypt Economically, Cretan life continued to be based primarily upon agriculture and the local interchange of wares, which was fostered by the construction of good roads; but Cretan products moved farther afield. By the last stage of the Middle Minoan period Cretan merchants were active on the Syrian coast and were exporting their wares to Egypt. And before the end of Middle Helladic times the Indo-European lords of the Greek hamlets had become aware of the glamorous, exciting culture which lay to the south. [Starr, Origins, p. 38.] Millet cereal grass whose small grain is used for food and can be used for hay as well Carob evergreen tree with edible pods Shellfish and tuna were major elements of the early Minoan diet From Linear B tablets at Knossos Palace Specialized services and trades Shippers Goatherds Huntsmen Woodcutters Masons Shipbuilders Carpenters Goldsmiths Bath women Boilers of unguents Women ground and measured grain Men baked Slaves could follow masters trade Bread, oil, wine were common Shellfish and tuna were major elements of the early Minoan diet Washing tubs found at Myrtos may have been for textiles Few horses or cattle Pigs were herded Trade with Egypt, Levant, Aegean islands Minoan wealth and power and prosperity of surrounding islands that sprinkled the waters to the north derived from command of sea Competing powers Egypt and Mesopotamia troughlike vessels most suitable for river navigation Minoan and Cycladic vessels used the keel (probably an Aegean innovation) stable and sturdy Cyclades international wheat center also produced obsidian, copper, and tin pottery and marble idols Minoans established colonies at commercially strategic locations Vessels were small oars could propel them at up to six miles per hour range of 216 miles in 36 hours landmasses throughout Mediterranean situated at intervals of 180 to 200 miles with good weather could reach any point in a few days No coinage Tribute and loot collected abroad may have helped finance the palace Trade probably stimulated social differentiation between commercial entrepreneurs and common people -- Need to organize timber-cutting and export of olive oil Gournia overview: located on the Gulf of Mirabello on the northeast coast about 100 meters from the sea. It was a Late Minoan town (1700-1400 BC). It covered about six acres and was perched on a ridge. It was located on an isthmus, which was only eight miles across. A river was nearby. It is the only fully-excavated visible example of a Minoan town and possesses several characteristic features. It had narrow paved (cobbled or sometimes flagged) streets, some of which took the form of flights of steps. It had a close network of small houses, shoulder to shoulder, with interconnected walls built of small stones or rubble masonry, no bricks. These dwellings usually had two floors, the bottom floor of beaten earth or slab stones, and flat roofs. A passage led through a light-well to a reception room. A flight of steps led up to the living quarters. Gournia overview: an industrial town bustled with carpenters, weavers, metal-smiths, oil processors, and stonecutters who labored in their small houses. The carpenters worked with an extensive tool kit that included .long and short saws, light and heavy chisels, awls, nails, files and axes. A block of schist found in the home of one of Gournias carpenters was used for casting metal tools. The mold was so precious to its owner that, when a jagged crack formed across the top, he repaired it with painstaking care. To close the crack, he bound the block with narrow strips of copper, tightening them by driving small stone wedges under the bands. In a room adjoining this carpentry shop, a number of stone and clay loom weights were found arranged in the order of their likely use. [Time Frame 3000-1500 BC: The Age of God-Kings, p. 110] Gournia, one of the most fascinating sites in the world, covers a small hill close to the sea. On the summit is the mansion of the Lord of the Manor facing on a big public court and aping its betters in having a miniature Theatrical Area. The rest of the houses are divided by paved streets. One of these runs nearby round the site rather more than half-way up and is connected with the lower Ring-strasse by stepped ascents. The plans of the houses are difficult to determine for the walls as they stand are usually those of the basements which were entered from above. Access to the main floor was obtained by short flights of steps which lead up from the street. A small shrine containing an altar and cult images was approached by a well-worn alley. The arrangement is uncertain, but probably it had a ledge at the back. (Pendlebury, Architecture of Crete, an Introduction, p. 191.] Building materials included water-worn stones, slate, sandstone, gypsum, shelly conglomerate, wooden posts, and mud brick. Pithos (Pithoi): Knossos palace. Terra cotta. These giant clay jars were sometimes two meters high and could hold up to 132 liters. They stored olive oil, grain (wheat, barley, millet), peas, beans, and lentils. At Knossos there was space for 420 jars, which could have held 54,000 liters or 240,000 gallons of oil. To move them when laden, ropes were attached to the handles. They were always handmade, for such large objects cannot be thrown on the wheel. They were decorated with patterns in added clay, frequently imitating the rope cradles, which would have been used to transport them. Minoan Religion centered on various sacred places, such as caves or groves with the chief deity appearing to be female, akin to the mother and fertility goddesses encountered in Near East. The Minoans had no temples and lacked large cult statues. There was a young princess from Crete Whose gown stretched right down to her feet. But her bosom was bare, Which the yokels thought fair. But the King thought a bit indis-Crete. [Bill Wilkes] Chief deity was fertility goddess, Great Mother, depicted as bare-breasted and with a snake in each hand influenced Greek ideas about Demeter and Persephone Snake goddess may have been the focus of a cult (Priestess?) terracotta statue, 1600 B.C., 13 inches height. Goddess is shown with three long snakes wound around her arms, body, and headdress. The meaning would seem to be clear: snakes are associated with earth deities and make fertility in many ancient religions, just as the bared breasts suggest female fertility. But she may not really be a cult image. Her rigid, frontal stance would be equally fitting for a votive figure, and the snakes may represent a ritual of snake-handling rather than a divine attribute. Perhaps, then [the] figure is a queen or priestess. She seems oddly lacking in awesomeness, and the emphasis on the costume endows her with a secular, fashionable air. Another paradox is the fact that Crete has few snakes, so that its snake cult was probably imported, not home-grown, yet no snake goddesses have so far been discovered outside of Crete. Only the style of the statuette hints at a possible foreign source: the emphatically conical quality of the figure, the large eyes and heavy, arched eyebrows suggest a kinship remote and indirect, perhaps through Asia Minor with Mesopotamian art. Snakes like those in Crete are not venomous and are easy to play with Dances in courtyards The dances followed intricate lines and were probably presided over by a priestess dressed as the Mother Goddess (and called on such occasions Ariadne The Most Holy) and by the priest-king, the Minos. [Hayes] Snake-Goddess or Mother-Goddess of Crete: Many of these statuettes have been found in Crete, particularly in pools in caves. Was this a fertility goddess; a prototype of the Earth gods of Classical Greece with its resurrection symbols (snakes shed their skin) and its earthy snakes? Often a bird perched on top of the head of these figures [Cottrell] Faience snake goddess from Knossos: buried c. 1570 BC (early phase of late Palace period); found in stone-lined pit. (Faience consists of a core of quartz grains cemented together, and covered with a true vitreous glaze. The precise method of manufacture is not known.) The figures combine dominant characteristics of grace and naturalism. The snakes, which she is holding, are manifestations of the Great Goddess, and the small lion on her head is an attendant. Term snake goddess is not really appropriate. This is a votive, not a cult figure and probably represents a priestess possibly the princess herself clad in the garb of the goddess, which corresponds to the costume worn at court. Only the kilt and headgear are of ritual significance. Plasticity and dynamism are still hampered by the decorative elements especially by the flatness of the lower part and the symmetrical structure. But by comparison with figures from the pre-Palatial era the form is balanced and sure. The concentration of power expressed in the laced waist may be regarded as typically Minoan. In other words: there is a concentration in a central point instead of an organic crystalline fashion. Snake goddess (gold and ivory), Middle Minoan (2000-1580 BC (Boston Museum) The Great Mother Goddess was most prominent in the Middle Minoan period. Her name or names are unknown. Her influence was pervasive with a great variety of cult associations and symbols. She was represented with birds and snakes, with baetylic pillar, with sacred trees, poppies and lilies, and with swords and double axes. She may have been a huntress or the goddess of sports. Sometimes she is armed. She presided over ritual dancing. She apparently had dominion over sky, earth, sea, life, death, and mountains. She may have been a household goddess, a palace goddess, vegetation and fertility goddess, a mother and a maid. The axe, perhaps sacred from its use in cutting timber, work done by women in early societies, was sacred to her in the form of the double axe. The snake sheds its skin and renews itself and thus is connected with immortality and also incarnations of the dead. It is also a fertility symbol which accompanied the goddess in her role as protectress of the household. Velchanos (Zeus) chief god as reproductive force and associated with sacred bull resembled Greek Dionysus bull god Sacrificial stone, Gournia: During times of crisis, the Minoans followed the practice of sacrificing bulls on altars and offering their blood to the earth goddess. The bull may have been sacrificed after the bull-leaping ceremony as a sacred ritual observed in honor of the mother goddess. On one side of the limestone sarcophagus from Ayia Triada, c. 1400 BC, a trussed bull with its legs tied together lies on an altar table being sacrificed. A wide red band runs across its body twice. Its blood drips into a vessel on the ground beneath, and two goats sit waiting (cowering?) for their turn to come (Picture in James Bolton, Ancient Crete and Mycenae, pp. 38-39); color picture in Oliver Reverdine, Crete and Its Treasures, pp. 85-86; 89; see also R.F. Willetts, The Civilization of Ancient Crete, p. 79.] Sacrificial stone, Gournia: The bull was worshiped throughout the eastern Mediterranean. El, the chief of the Canaanite pantheon, is also called The Bull in Ugaritic literature. In the unorthodox Hebrew cult of the Golden Calf there is a relationship between Crete and Canaan; both worshiped the Old Bull as well as the Young Calf. Oddly, no temple remains have been discovered from Minoan Crete. The Minoans obviously worshipped in caves and left votive offerings there. They may have also worshipped on high places. Pillar shrine with central column no human or animal figure to represent deity at Palace of Knossos Palaikastro gold and ivory figurine (beardless Zeus) ivory torso ands arms of a young man (partly burned in a fire that consumed Palaikastro c. 1450 BC) One-hundred plus fragments Figure of a young god Originally 16 inches high Portrayed a shaven-headed youth with topknot or headdress carved from gray serpentine two pieces of rock-crystal for the whites of the eye Arms clenched across bare chest Dowels on the feet probably fitted into wooden legs The different positions of sistrum player, of the man who has stooped or fallen and of one man who has turned around are vividly caught in suspended motion and vary from the basic uniformity of the other figures. [picture in Reverdin, Crete and Its Treasure, p. 110.] [Higgins, Minoan and Mycenaean Art, p. 154.] Speculate that the figure wore a gold kilt with a dagger stuck in the belt May have been an early representation of the beardless Zeus worshipped on Crete in post-Minoan era according to some accounts Zeus was born in Crete The figurine is extremely naturalistic. Theres evidence of very accurate observation in the musculature and especially in the rendering of veins and tendons. [Dr. Jonathan Musgrave, Bristol Un. England] Although monsters of the half-man, half-animal type are common, particularly in Minoan seal stones, only one or two harmless looking minotars have been found. The bull on the other hand, is amply documented as an important element in Minoan religion; as a sacrificial animal, or in familiar bull-leaping scenes, which are more likely to represent some form of ritual than a mere sport, or in small bronze statuettes found in some of the caves which were cult-centres. A possible explanation of the minotaur legend, therefore, is that it is a later tale devised to explain some ceremony, perhaps an initiation, linked with the worship of Dionysus, the marginal meaning of which had long been forgotten. [Finley, pp. 40-41.] Paul Faure [Fonctiones des cavernes cretoises, 1964, pp. 163-173.] identified the labyrinth with a cave of Skotino, a few miles East of Cnossus. Evidence of the cult goes back to the beginning the Middle Minoan period and persisted into the Archaic Greek period. Religious continuity of such long duration is attested in not more than three or four Cretan caves. Rites conducted by priestesses Libyan goddess NT spear, snake, spindle, and goatskin bib came with earliest settlers and remained one of their chief deities No temples Lacked large cult statues Altars on mountains, in caves, in palaces, sacred woodlands Religious life centered on certain sacred places, such as caves or groves; and its chief deity (or deities?) was female, akin to the mother and fertility goddesses . Dead buried in large jars or clay coffins Sarcophagus from Hagia Triada, c. 1500 BC [Archaeological Museum, Herakleion] Shows worshipers honoring the deceased by pouring libations and bringing offerings of calves and a funeral boat perhaps the boat intended for the souls journey into the next world Tombs beehive-shaped (none survived in tact in Crete) Thick walls Up to 13 feet across Food, weapons, statuettes accompanied the corpse Horns of consecration probably originated at Catal Huyuk in Anatolia Trident, double axe, the shield shaped like the numeral 8 similar to those of the Delta tribes of Lower Egypt Labrys most sacred symbol It was placed in the hands of the Mother Goddess, in the hands of her son, and between the horns of the sacred bull, probably as a sign of life and of authority. The Cretans made labryses in sizes ranging from the tiny ones worn at a persons throat to those twenty feet high that stood in the palace throne room. Hundreds have been found lying in sacred caves and mountain sanctuaries, left as gifts to the gods. One grave-pit at Knossos was dug in the labrys shape so that the dead were buried within the sacred sign. The sanctuary of the Mother Goddess was in the palace at Knossos. The chief priestess and the priest-king also lived there. As a result, the sacred sign appeared in so many places that the whole structure became known as the Labyrinthos . [Hayes] Double-axe (labyr) symbol at Mallia: found as a votive offering; cult object between the horns of consecration. On rings and seals it is seen handled by ministers of the cult or carried by women. It is never in the hands of a male god. Thus, it was probably not a thunder weapon or a male symbol. Pendlebury (Architecture of Crete, an Introduction, p. 274) speculates that it was probably a sacrificial axe which had in the course of time become both a cult symbol and a cult object. Of all the Minoan religious symbols, the double axe was the holiest. Stylized axes such as gold miniatures consecrated shrine in Cretan homes and palaces. Full-sized double axes were used by priests to kill sacrificial bulls in ceremonies to propitiate the mother goddess. (Time-Frame 3000-15000 BC: The Age of God-Kings, p. 116, with picture) Many examples of axes in bronze and other metals have come to light, some of them, no doubt strictly functional objects. But the form, sometimes set on the base or between the horns of consecration, also appears in materials and sizes unsuitable for a practical purpose. It was clearly a sacred symbol. Arthur Evans and other scholars have suggested that it might have been associated with some rite intended to propitiate the infernal powers, a theory supported by the fact that Crete is subject to earthquakes, some of which have been catastrophic. The double ax or labyrs may have been associated with the worship of the mother goddess, but the nature of the connection is unknown. Bulls sacrificed to the goddess were probably slain with a double axe; representations of the goddess often show her holding a double axe in her hand, or appearing before her worshipers perched upon one in the guise of a bird. Religious Influence on Later Greeks Velchanos Zeus Mother goddess Demeter and Persephone Leto mother of Apollo and Artemis Minoan influences Britomartis had a Minoan name Sweet Maid, Dictynna like Artemis, a goddess of the mountains and countryside, was associated with Britomartis Kernos (circular stone) at Mallia: On the edge of the central court, embedded in the floor of an arcade, alongside and at the top of the grand staircase. It is limestone, wheel-shaped or disc-shaped and is three feet across. It has a concave center of carefully worked and polished stone. Around the outer rim are thirty-three small hollows and one large hollow. It may have been used for a game, but probably it functioned in religious ritual, perhaps for offerings of fruits and seeds. (In classical times Demeter was a popular goddess in Crete). Other less grand Kernoi have been found. They are generally taken to be for token offerings of first fruits. Minoans considered fruits and seeds to be sources of life, and they placed them in kernoi as sacrifices (Picture in Oliver Reverdin, Crete and Its Treasures, p. 84) Art The character of Minoan art, which is gay, even playful, and full of rhythmic motion, conveys no hint of threats of sudden violent changes affecting the entire island. Bright, fresh and pristine are the little faces from the frescoes or from vase decorations. Candour and a smiling self-possession seem to be characteristic of these people, but of course they guard their secrets very well. [Durrell, Greek Islands, p. 74.] Egyptian influence Characteristic features Frescoes of bull-leapers Horns of consecration Lively, non-regimented style Spontaneous Creative Stress on nature and marine life octopus, at first portrayed realistically but subsequently stylized various fish, including flying fish, portrayed with verve Spirals Bull in flying gallop with all four feet off the ground Fine pottery Ranged from eggshell thickness in exquisite cups to storage jars, some as tall as a man for oil, wine and grains the egg-shell ware manifested rich formal variety and such delicacy in manufacture that it could often imitate metal shapes and ornamentation Colored in red, white, orange After 1500 decorated in human figures, fish, weeds, lilies, octopuses spiral designs and rosette patterns common During the Grand Age (1600 - 1400 B.C.) potters employed one dark tone on a light background, or they molded the design in relief. Thus, noble vases were painted in grand designs drawn from plant life or often from the life of the sea In the later palace era naturalistic motifs appeared in dark hues on a light background. Naturalism incorporated representations of octopuses, fish, shells, lilies, crocuses and palm trees. Two naturalistic styles dominated complete surface was covered with a continuous marine design of octopuses, argonauts, starfish, rocks and seaweed a combination of marine design and plant style or floral motifs More than any other pottery the thin, graceful vases of this era must be seen if one is to appreciate their delicate colors and sophisticated patterns, which took the whole vase as a unit. Besides this Kamares ware there are lithe, nervous figurines in ivory and stone; superb frescoes on the palace walls; and a host of other artistic and practical products. [Starr, Origins, p. 37.] Not similar to that of Greek world Kamares ware: name derived from cave on Mt. Ida. Its characteristics included a background formed by a shiny, dark and often black glaze. The designs were in white, combined or dotted with shades of red and occasionally with other colors (brown or yellow). intuitive, impressionistic in its rendition of nature rather than analytical and logical in the Greek sense. Technical perfection and dynamic, swirling ornament characterized Minoan pottery. In painted pottery, the abstract patterns of the old gave way to a new repertory of designs drawn from plant and animal life. Some vessels are covered entirely with fish, shells, and octopuses, as if the ocean itself had been caught within them Inlaid bronze with gold, ivory, and precious stones (lapis lazuli an azure-blue, opaque, semi-precious stone, a mixture of various minerals) excelled at gold and ivory carvings; also inlaid bronze with gold, ivory and precious stones Tiny seals used in place of signatures -- engraved in gold, bronze, and semi-precious stones such as amethyst, chalcedony, jasper, rock crystal, polished basalt, and obsidian Used carnelian brought from Britain Amber came from the distant Baltic Sea region Some seals had a small hole in a ridge on the back so that they could be worn as ornaments around the neck or wrist like Sumerian seals Luxurious swords and daggers jeweled inlaid handles; ceremonial swords over five feet long Colored glass fashioned into jewelry Filigree jewelry delicate and intricate ornamental work made from gold, silver or other fine twisted wire. Any intricate, delicate or fanciful ornamentation. Sculpted ivory Stone vessels most notable example the Harvester Vase In the relief on the so-called Harvester Vase there is a procession of slim, muscular men, nude to the waist, carrying long-handled implements that look like a combination of scythe and rake. A harvest festival? Quite probably, although here again the lively rhythm of the composition takes precedence over descriptive clarity. [One] view of the scene includes three singers led by a fourth who is winging a sistrum (a rattle of Egyptian origin); they are bellowing with all their might, especially the choirmaster, whose chest is so distended that the ribs press through the skin. What makes the entire relief so remarkable in fact, unique is its emphasis on physical strain, its energetic, raucous gaity, which combines sharp observation with a consciously humorous intent. Art lacks monumentality Displays lightness and mobility unique or rare in Bronze Age anywhere qualities which are created with magnificent technical skill on the vases, gems and small bronzes [notably in the latter case those from Tylissus). But they tend, with their highly stylized subject matter and treatment of such details as dress and posture, to a monotonous conventionality, a preciousness and prettiness inappropriate to their size. Life is all games and rituals, but little human passion, personal joy or suffering. Life has a tinkly quality, they seem to say, without depth. Hence the minor arts are the greatest Cretan triumph after the comforts of good drainage and sanitation, lighting and airiness in the palaces. [Finley, pp. 43-44.] Absence of external manifestations of war No depiction of judicial activity or political power in action Babylonian, Egyptian and Hittite rulers filled their lands with monumental evidence of their power, and of the power of their gods. Cretan rulers did nothing of the kind, neither in their palaces nor in their tombs. There is nothing majestic or central about the throne room at Cnossus, whether in its size or its wall decoration (with its mythical animals and floral designs but without a single portrait). Even the throne is not particularly regal. Not a single picture exists, which portrays an historical event or which reveals administrative or judicial activity or any other manifestation of political power in action. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 43.] L. Dexterious use of filigree M. Fresco murals painting on wet plaster Brilliant yellows, blues, blacks, red ochres (ochera pale yellow or reddish brown earthy clay containing iron ore used as a pigment in paints) found in all parts of Crete including Palace of Minos colors derived mainly from mineral substances haematite (hematite): a ferric oxide (iron ore) which is brownish-red when pulverized ochre (ocher): a pale yellow or reddish brown earthy clay containing iron ore used as a pigment in paints carbonaceous shale charred bones for black silicate of copper and soda to create blue blue paint of the Ayhia Triada sarcophagus apparently made by grinding expensive lapis lazuli from Afghanistan [lapis lazuli: an azure-blue, opaque, semi-precious stone] Saffron crocuses make yellow dye Characteristics brilliant, joyous, sensitive, not intellectual The murals emphasized the naturalistic with scenes from nature showing animals and birds among luxuriant vegetation or creatures of the sea. The flat forms, silhouetted against a background of solid color, recall Egyptian painting, and the acute observation of plants and animals also suggests Egyptian art. Murals showed a passion for rhythmic, undulating movement, and the forms themselves have an oddly weightless quality they seem to float, or sway, in a world without gravity, as if the scene took place under water. Many scenes convey the impression of movement momentarily stilled. Green seldom used for vegetation and rocks and animals often painted with improbable colors (blue apes) People and animals were normally sideways portrayed in a single plane and without perspective Men usually painted brown and women white Figures painted as freely moving silhouettes Crowd scenes were impressionistically rendered with heads and bodies suggested by a single stroke of the brush the red and white bodies shown in large spots of paint Landscape scenes rocks and plants projected from the sides and top of the picture as well as from the bottom as if the scene were viewed from the air Paid attention to detail in the reproduction of the veins in the colored rocks or decorative features in the clothing and wings of birds. Torreador Fresco: was the largest and most dynamic Minoan mural. What is seen is not a bullfight but a ritual game in which the performers vault over the back of the animal. Two of the slim-waisted athletes are girls, differentiated (as in Egyptian art) mainly by their lighter skin color. That the bull was a sacred animal, and that bull-vaulting played an important role in Minoan religious life, is beyond doubt; scenes such as this still echo in the Greek legend of the youths and maidens sacrificed to the Minotaur. As a description of what actually went on during these performances it [is] strangely ambiguous. Do the three figures show successive phases of the same action? How did the youth in the center get onto the back of the bull, and in what direction is he moving? The fluid effortless ease of movement was more important to the artist than factual precision or dramatic power. The artist idealized the ritual by stressing its harmonious, playful aspect to the point that the participants behave like dolphins gamboling in the sea. Copper, bronze and iron weapons Sculpture unlike later Greek sculpture 1. Less emphasis on the human figure The human being was rarely the center of attention. Even the figurines of acrobats and the like do not seem to have an inner substance but are rather a dazzling expression of fugitive movement. They lack the innate love of balanced order, the feeling of structural symmetry which are the most essential qualities of Greek art. [Starr, Origins, pp. 37-38.] the familiar small human statuettes of the Neolithic Age were no longer manufactured [in the Early Minoan II period], and with them disappeared for a considerable time until the Middle Minoan periodthe display of the human form in the arts generally. Used Steatite talc or soap-stone Serpentine an altered basic rock of several varieties 47% of all Minoan vases Stone Sarcophagus of Hagia Triadha found in a small tomb near Phaistos Partridge Fresco: from the Caravanserai c. 1500 BC. Museum of Herakleion. The round objects represent veined pebbles. Water jar with stylized floral motifs: c. 1500 BC. [American Library Color Slide Co., Inc., 1961] Lily vase. 1600 BC. Middle Minoan III. Candia Museum. [American Library Color Slide, Inc.] Harvester Vase: steatite from Hagia Triada. Candia Museum. Depicted on a slightly convex strip, shaped to the contour of the vase and only eight centimeters wide. The artist possessed great skill to fit 27 human figures into the small field at his disposal without any loss of clarity. There is a clever study of the faces of the singing harvester and a keen understanding of movement. The scene furnishes a vital breathtaking impression of a riotous crowd, which is perfectly in unison with a curving surface of stone. A crowd of harvesters, probably a band of reapers or even more likely, olive pickers, who are singing and shouting follow a figure carrying a rattle. Their forward movement and lusty exuberance are expressed with direct forcefulness. Pitchforks long, straight, and carved in low relief fill the upper part of the band. The figures in high relief fill the lower band. Thus is created a variation in texture and in design that is pleasing to the touch as well as to the eye, and the entire design hugs the surface so tightly that it seems to be an integral part of the wall of the vase. A procession of slim, muscular men, nude to the waist, carrying long-handled implements that look like a combination of scythe and rake takes part in what was probably a harvest or seed time festival. The rhythm of the composition takes precedence over descriptive clarity. Three singers appear to be led by a fourth who is swinging a sistrum (a rattle of Egyptian origin). They are bellowing with all their might, especially the choirmaster whose chest is so distended that the ribs press through the skin. What makes the entire relief so remarkable in fact, unique is its emphasis on physical strain, its energetic raucous gaiety, which combines sharp observation with a consciously humorous intent. Harvester Vase. Was a rhyton, which had an oval bottom. The lower part, which was made separately, has not survived, but the upper part, with the top two-thirds or so of the figured scene, is preserved in its entirety. It is a procession of twenty-seven people, twenty-one of whom carry on their shoulder hoes with willow-shoots attached to the ends, and bags of seed corn suspended from their belts. They are led by an older long-haired man wearing a voluminous cloak with pine-cone pattern and carrying a long stick. Midway in the procession comes a singer waving a sacred rattle, who is followed by a choir of three. Towards the end of the procession one man turns to shout at another, who is dancing his way through the procession, hurling abuse at his compadres. This is not, as was once though, a harvest festival, but a sowing festival Made of black steatite or serpentine. Slight depth of field of a few millimeters enables a kind of perspective to be suggested. The figures farthest away are not made smaller but sometimes are shown in relief and merging into the background. The different positions of sistrum player, of the man who has stooped or fallen and of one man who has turned around are vividly caught in suspended motion and vary from the basic uniformity of the other figures. [picture in Reverdin, Crete and Its Treasure, p. 110.] [Higgins, Minoan and Mycenaean Art, p. 154.] Spouted Jar of Kamares Ware: with stylized flora pattern. Middle Minoan II, c. 1800 BC. Candia Museum. [American Library Color Slide Co., Inc.] Robust shape with a lustrous black ground on which is a quasi-geometric pattern of creamy white, which is interspersed with yellow and red, forming a brilliant and harmonious piece of decoration. Found at Phaistos. The design is derived from four scrolls in an oblique position. The ends of two adjoining coils are connected to the whorl in two parts. The oblique combinations have been enriched by an oval-shaped motif which features a red design resembling a double tongue, and enhanced by the fact that they direct the view of the eye diagonally across the surface of the vessel. The spirals are thus made to serve the torsion in a unique and magnificent way. The surface of the vessel and the figures encompassed by it are thus expressed as a meaningful unit. Despite this, they are also related in an equally characteristic and skillful manner to the other extreme. [slide by American Library Color Slide Co., Inc. 1961] Ivory acrobat. Knossos. Herakleion Museum. Tense and slender figure probably originally part of a larger group of figures. He is suspended at an angle and the movement is vivid. The long hair was of gold wire with the curls inserted. The piece dates from the 16th century BC, c. 1600 BC. The motif of vaulting over the back of a bull, which is a favorite in Minoan art, is not suggested in this case. The movement made by this slender youth can only be understood if one imagines that he is jumping from some high point on the back of the bull in order to enrage the animal, which can be chased and caught in a snare. The piece was found with fragments of faience bulls. The ivory was probably imported from Syria or Egypt. Represents superb rendering of active concentration of a beautifully proportioned figure. Made in separate pieces which were fitted together by means of pins and dowels. Tiny holes in head of the leaper show where the hair was fitted. The hair was a bronze wire plated with gold. The ivory figure representing an acrobat from Knossos illustrates the naturalistic style at the height of its development. It dates fro the late 16th century. The individual parts display particularly elaborate workmanship, and are interlocked with one another. Curls of hair, made of gold wire, were inserted. [F. Matz, The Art of Crete and Early Greece, p. 127, picture on p. 128. ] Bulls Head Rhyton: Little Palace at Knossos, c. 1500 BC. Black steatite (talc or soapstone) or serpentine, 8 The neck has at the rear a closely fitting lid. Liquid is introduced through an aperture at the top and is poured out between the lips. The ears are steatite; the horns, gold plate or gilded wood; the nostrils, white shell inlay; the eyes, rock crystal with pupil painted red (black iris with red border). A rhyton was a ceremonial type of vessel, which originated in the orient. The piece has a spontaneous naturalism in which the sense of the animals vitality is blended with an element of myth and mystery. This is brought about by the absolutely confident three-dimensional plasticity, which has neither the rectangular system found in Egyptian art nor the Greek concept of organic wholeness. (Picture in Reverdin, Crete and Its Treasures, p. 101.) One of the most convincing pieces of Minoan naturalistic sculpture. Such a natural and sympathetic study of an animal was not to be seen again in Greek lands until the 5th century BC (picture in Higgins, Minoan and Mycenaean Art, p. 163.) Carved in black serpentine. Used for pouring libations. Found in Little Palace, city house, northwest of Palace of Knossos. Golden wooden horns. Right eye has a border of red jasper with crystal lens on back of which pupil and iris are painted in red and black inlay of white shell around nostrils. Libation liquid was inserted into rhyton through hole at the top and was poured through the mouth on to the altar. The paintings are gay and delicate and at the same time very solemn, for they describe the sacrificial ceremonies for the dead prince who once lay in the sarcophagus. Nothing has been lost, . The colors have faded a little, but only a little there are startlingly fresh madders, rose pinks and emeralds. There is a sense of movement and life. The sarcophagus dates from a period long before the building of the palace of Knossos, and is therefore the oldest European painting to have survived. What is astonishing is the sense of immediacy established by the unknown artist the ceremony takes place before our eyes. On one of the long sides of the sarcophagus a bull tied with brilliant scarlet ropes to an altar has just been stabbed. The blood is dropping into a bucket. A priestess blesses the dying bull and procession moves toward the altar surmounted by a double ax. That is all, but the brightness of the blood and the slow march to the altar are wonderfully depicted. The reverse side depicts the great two-handled urn which will receive the blood of sacrifice offered by the priestess. There follows a woman with a strange bird-shaped crown, who carries two baskets over her shoulders; these baskets contain the thighs of the bull, which will be burned perhaps on the steps of the columns crowned with the double axes. Behind this woman comes another, the most stately of all, who plucks at a seven-stringed lyre with a plectrum. From these women fall rippling banners in the shape of feathers, announcing they are the servants of the goddess represented by the dark bird. To the right of the lyre player the scene abruptly changes. Three priests wearing sheepskin skirts are bearing offerings to the dead two bundled calves and a long curved boat. They are set against a darker background, signifying perhaps a journey into the earth, into the darkness which opens out on a sacred grove where another altar stands. In front of this altar, calm, impassive, stands the lead man, wearing a striped shroud. His feet are hidden, so that he give the impression of slowly emerging from the darkness at the summons of the priests who come with their offerings. At one end of the perfectly balanced panel [is] the blood of sacrifice falling in the sacred urn, at the other end [is] the dead man rising in the sacred grove. As the blood is poured, so life flows in the dead. Unmistakenly the panel portrays a resurrection, the long-wished-for return of the young prince who died about 2040 B.C. On these painted panels there is no confusion, no attempt to over-dramatize the figures. The three women and the three men move with an enviable dignity and grace, with a naturalness which betrays the emotion of the artist. There is solemnity, but there is also a quiet joy in the expectation of deliverance from death. There is the faintest suggestion of Egyptian and Assyrian influence in the stern profiles of the priests, in the long eyes, in the sheepskins belted at the waist, but the women are wholly European, robust, high-breasted ,swinging their heavy skirts [Robert Payne, The Splendor of Greece (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1960), pp. 27-29.] Uncluttered Simple Dark woman with hair in a tangle of rich curls Nubian or Egyptian? The priests have an Egyptian elegance but there is no elegance in the whit-skinned priestess who bends forward as she poured the blood of sacrifice with European awkwardness. [Payne, p. 29.] Architecture Overview In the course of the Early Minoan period there emerged, in embryo, the unique Cretan style of architecture, with cell-like, agglutinative structure, which was to culminate in later centuries in the palace of Knossos, covering with its court yards about five acres of ground. [Finley, Early Greece, p. 34.] The palaces had no unified monumental effect. The individual units were generally rather small and the ceilings low. Even those parts of the structure that were several stories high could not have seemed very high. Numerous porticoes, staircases, and air shafts gave the palaces a pleasantly open, airy quality, and some of the interiors with their richly decorated walls provided an intimate elegance. The columns, topped by a wide, cushion-shaped capital, were always of wood and tapered downward. Materials Limestone soft limestone called poros Gypsum stone which the Minoans used extensively in the construction of their palaces has been found in no less than 165 gypsum quarries and 10 mines have been noted. The hill of Gypsades, to the south of Knossos, provided the source of supply for the palace. Local sources in the plain of Messara were used for quarrying the gypsum blocks for the palaces at Phaistos and Ayia Triada in the south Alabaster name of two minerals of different chemical makeup both used for ornamental purposes. The most common type of alabaster is a special kind of gypsum made out of hydrated sulfate of lime. This alabaster has a fine grain. It is usually pure white in color and very soft making it easy to carve. The other type called oriental alabaster and is harder than the gypsum. It is a carbonate of lime. If it has bands of different colors, it is called onyx marble. It was used for statues, ornaments and building purposes in antiquity. wood Cypress was very plentiful in Minoan times especially in the area west of Mt. Ida. Minoan emphasis on air-and-light wells and absence of built-in hearths could be cold in winter suggests that they originated in Egypt Crete is poor in metal and quite devoid of marble; therefore they build with limestone and gypsum, and use wood for entablatures, roofs and all columns above the basement floor. They cut the stone blocks so sharply that they can put them together without mortar. Palace of Knossos multi-functional: political, religious, economic, residential agglutinative rooms seem to be added randomly Asiatic sites at Alalakh in southern Turkey and Mari on the middle Euphrates have similar architecture Early in the 20th century the English Sir Arthur Evans lavished his personal fortune on the excavation of the royal palace of Knossos on Crete. The building was the famed Labyrinth of Greek legend, the maze of buildings in which the architect Daedalus imprisoned the bull-man, the Minotaur. This legend may have derived from the Cretan king wearing a bull mask for religious ceremonies. With the excavations of Sir Arthur began the restoration to history of the first sea civilization, whose existence had previously been considered childish imagination. Evans wrote of his early work at the Knossos site: The result has been to uncover a large part of a vast prehistoric building a palace with its numerous dependencies, but a palace on a far larger scale than those of Tiryns and Mycenae. About two acres of this land has been unearthed, for by an extraordinary piece of good fortune the remains of walls began to appear only a foot or so, often only a few inches below the surface. This dwelling of prehistoric kings had been overwhelmed by a great catastrophe. Everywhere on the hill-top were traces of a mighty conflagration, burnt beams and charred wooden columns lay within the rooms and corridors. There was here no gradual decay. The civilisation represented on this spot had been cut short in the fullness of its bloom. Nothing later than remains of the good Mycenaean period was found over the whole site. Nothing even so late as the last period illustrated by the remains of Mycenae itself. From the day of destruction to this the site has been left entirely desolate. For three thousand years or more not a tree seems to have been planted here, over a part of the area not even a ploughshare had passed. At the time of the great overthrow, no doubt, the place had been methodically plundered for metal objects, and the fallen debreis in the rooms and passages turned over and ransacked for precious booty. Here and there a local Bey or peasant had grubbed for some slabs to supply his yard or threshing floor. But the party walls of clay and plaster still stood intact, with the fresco painting on them, still in many cases perfectly preserved at a few inches depth from the surface, a clear proof of how severely the site had been left alone for these long centuries. The outer walls of the palace were supported on huge gypsum blocks, but there was no sign of an elaborate system of fortification such as at Tiryns and Mycenae. The reason of this is not far to seek. The city of Minos, it must be remembered, was the centre of a great sea-power, and it was in wooden walls that its rulers must have put their trust. The might blocks of the Palace show, indeed, that it was not for want of engineering power that the akropolis of Knossos remained unfortified. But in truth Mycenaean might was here at home. It was not till the mainland foes were masters of the sea that they could have forced an entry into the House of Minos. Then, indeed, it was an easy task. In the Cave of Zeus on Mount Ida was found a large broach (or fibula) belonging to the race of northern invaders, on one side of which a war galley is significantly engraved. In carefully uncovering the earth and debris in a passage . There came to light two large fragments of what proved to be the upper part of a youth bearing a gold-mouthed cup The colours were almost as brilliant as when laid down over three thousand years before. For the first time the true portraiture of a man in this mysterious Mycenaean race rises before us. The flesh tint, following perhaps the Egyptian precedent, is of deep reddish-brown The profile of the face is pure and almost classically Greek There was something very impressive in this vision of brilliant youth and of male beauty, recalled after so long an interval to our upper air from what had been till yesterday a forgotten world. Even our untutored Cretan workmen felt the spell and fascination. Built over period of time with frequent modifications several hundred rooms a 400 feet square 4 stories high Courtyard 190 feet by 90 feet Room for hearing legal cases Room for ministerial conferences Separate male and female living quarters Olive and wine presses Kitchens School room Place for worship Great staircase in eastern part of palace Plumbing system for water for drinking and possibly for bathing terra cotta pipes Sewage system for removal of wastes Colonnaded hall D. Overview of Palace Covered nearly five acres Knossos: Palace of Minos. Note the inverted pillars and the bull motif in the horns of consecration on roofline. Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, 1900-1908. [Life] Evans was Keeper of Oxfords Ashmolean Museum. Curious symbols on tiny seals on display in Athens shops caught his eye and he determined the source to be Crete. On his second day of digging he found a bronze-age palace. He purchased the Knossos site in 1899 and spent a fortune and half of his life resurrecting a civilization he called Minoan. From his Villa Ariadne he ruled like King Minos, jealous of sharing priceless written records, indefatigable in his reconstructions, fierce in the fights that swirled around him. Minos is the earliest ruler we know who possessed a fleet, and controlled most of what are now Greek waters. He ruled the Cyclades, and was the first colonizer of most of them, installing his own sons as governors. In all probability he cleared the sea of pirates to secure his own revenues. [Thucydides] Knossos floor plan: Note the central court, throne room, grand staircase, and the labyrinthine rooms. The word labyros meant double axe in Greek, therefore this would be the House of the Double Axe. The story that Theseus went into the labyrinth to fight the Minotaur may have origins here, though many double-axes were found in the ruins, either in art or in ceremonial axes. In the 16th century BC, Knossos may have had a population of 80,000. [McKendrick] Theater of Knossos: Theater of Knossos: approached by the Royal Road, which Evans called the oldest road in Europe. It is located to the north of the West Court. It is a small flagged area flanked by low steps (bleachers) on the east and south, which enclose a kind of elevated box at the junction. Perhaps it was designed for some kind of spectacle or performance, though hardly of a dramatic nature as the name suggests. Homer described the dancing-place that in wide Knossos Daedalus wrought for Ariadne of the lovely tresses. Theater of Knossos: According to Homers description, Achilles shield was decorated with a scene of youths and maidens dancing on a dancing floor, like the one that Daedalus designed in the spacious town of Knossos for Ariadne of the lovely locks. Here they ran lightly round and there they ran in lines to meet each other. A large crowd stood round with a minstrel among them singing divinely to the lyre, while a couple of acrobats (kept) time with his music in and out among the people. Similar theater areas such as a dancing floor have been excavated beside the palaces of Phaistos and Knossos oblong paved areas, bordered by shallow stone steps or bleachers, on which spectators could stand or sit. With the court in attendance, these theaters were probably used for religious performances of some kind, most likely a sacred dance to summon the mother goddess. The Cretans customarily danced for this purpose in front of a sacred grove, pillar, or tree, as well as in theater areas, and dances such as these may have been a source from which later Greek dramatic performances developed [The Horizon Book of Lost Worlds, pp. 270-271.] Horns of Consecration: Knossos. South Porch of Palace. Mark place of consecration where cult objects (such as a libation jug, double axe or sacred bough) are laid. Often used as an architectural decoration on buildings of a sacred character such as shrines or palaces. Horns of Consecration: Knossos. The Minoans may have imported the horns of consecration symbol from Anatolia, Catal Hujuk. Columns at Knossos: taper downwards, never made of stone, made of whole tree trunks turned upside down so that widest part supported the capital. Vast virgin forests existed in the Minoan era. Beams and pillars were of Cypress wood. The Minoans also used wood for flooring in the upper storeys, stairs (especially the upper flights), door and window frames and the doors themselves, and in the form of long timbers to strengthen adobe bricks and stone walls. Knossos Palace Columns: Also used gypsum: found in no less than 165 gypsum quarries and ten mines on Crete. The hill of Gypsades, to the south of Knossos, provided the source of supply for the palace. Local sources in the plain of Messara were used for quarrying the gypsum blocks for the palaces of Phaistos and Ayia Triada in the south. Knossos Palace Columns: Gypsum (hydrous sulphate of calcium (CaSO42H20) is so soft that especially when fresh from quarrying, it can be scratched with the fingernail. When pure, it is snow-white, but it is generally colored or veined by iron or other impurities, which may increase its beauty. Minoans used if for wall blocks, pillars, step treads, floor flagging, column and pier bases. It was usually used where it was protected from water. Labyrinth Magazines: Knossos Palace. The West Magazines at Knossos varied from 35 to 60 feet in length and from 5 to 8 feet in width. They could have held from 30 to 40 pithoi apiece, ranged in single or double rows along the walls. Estimating some 155 gallons (586 liters) as the capacity of the average jar and the maximum number of jars at about 420, the total maximum capacity might amount to over 66,000 American gallons (246,000 liters). The contents were probably entirely of olive oil, a commodity used as food, a soap substitute and as fuel for lamps by the Minoans. Also stored in the magazines were foodstuffs, textiles, furniture, pottery, metal vessels, military equipment, including chariots, arrows, spears, and swords (Linear B tablets). Light Shaft, Pottery, and Ceremonial Double Axe: The palace at Knossus was 5 stories high in places and thus lighting was brought into the palace by wide stairwells. Cretan pottery became sophisticated and was a trade item sometimes seen in Egyptian tombs. [NG] Queens Apartment at Knossos: the dolphin fresco did exist, as did the game board and other items in this room. Note the light well. The womens dress comes from art and statues of mother Goddess. [Life] Bull-leaping Fresco at Knossos: This may have connections with the Minotaur legend. What if Theseus and the Athenians were ordered to leap a bull (Minotaur) in order to save their lives? What if this sporting event took place in the courtyard of the palace? [NG] Torreador Fresco: Knossos, Late Minoan II, c. 1500 B.C. bull sports. White paint is used for girls or they may be women dressed as men (religiously significant?). The males are reddish brown. All three wear the same costume: short colored trunks cut away on each side; close fitting calf-length boots. The girls have gold bracelets and armlets. Plato mentioned bull-leaping as a sport on Atlantis. Torreador Fresco: Plato mentioned bull-leaping as a sport on Atlantis. The fresco represents dramatic movement filled with spirit and instantaneous poses. Long sweeping curves in the bulls body combine with S-curves in the horns and tail and the vaulting youth. The vivid patterning of the surface provides remarkable vivacity and decorative quality. [Museum of Herakleion] Bull-leaping scene: The scene is very ambiguous. Did the three figures show successive phases of the same action? Or three different athletes? How did the youth in the center get onto the back of the bull? In what direction is he moving? One interpretation is that the leaper approached the animal; and as it lowered its head to charge, he would lunge for its horns, the objective being either to grip them with his hands or legs, or else to swing himself on to the bulls back in a daredevil jump. (Reverdin, Crete and Its Treasures, p. 61, picture] This scene is so extraordinary that at first glance it does not seem possible to take it literally. The charging bull is enormous, the human figures small. One waiting acrobat is standing directly in front of the bull, grasping its horns. Is this for the purpose of engaging the bulls attention or is it the start of an upward vault between the bulls horns, to be followed by a somersault over its back and down to the ground again behind its tail? Apparently the latter, for a second figure is in the middle of such a maneuver. He is balanced on his hands on the bulls back, his legs whirling over, his face looking anxiously to the rear, toward a third figure who stands just behind the bull, arms outstretched, ready to catch him. Considering the murderous hook of a bulls horns and the enormous strength of its neck, can we believe that young Minoan acrobats managed this appallingly rash stunt? Particularly, can we believe it when we discover that two of the acrobats are girls? We know they are because, though they are clad only in the abbreviated loincloths worn by male acrobats, and though they have slender boyish figures, their skins are white. By Minoan artistic convention women were shown with white skins, men with red skins. Apparently we must believe it. Enough other depictions of the same acrobatic feat by teams of youths and girls have been found to make it clear that bull-leaping was widely practiced, probably by a class of professional athletes, and watched by large audiences. But how and where it was done remains a mystery. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, pp. 73-74 with picture on p. 74.] Drainage at Knossos: elaborate system of drainage and arrangements to supply water to the palace. The Minoans used clay pipes 3/4ths meter long which tapered sharply so that the resulting head of water drove out any obstruction. Narrow collars fitted neatly into the next pipe where they were connected. It is possible that Minoan engineers had already discovered the principle that water finds its own level, for under the South Porch the pipeline shows and upward slant of more than one in twenty. A water closet was flushed by water brought down beside the stairs in parabolid sections of piping, which broke its rush and prevented it from gaining too great a velocity. Bathtubs were made with handles so that they could be carried out and emptied down a drain. Some bathrooms had a drain in the floor. The engineering ingenuity of Knossos architects its apparent at the east entrance of the Palace. The drainage system was constructed with baffles to slow down the heavy flow of runoff and keep it from flooding over the palace floors. The gutter along the stairs had a series of zigzags and basis to retard the rush of water. At each landing the gutter turned at a right angle further controlling the speed of flow and conducting the water into a cistern. [picture in Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, pp. 76-77] To accommodate the torrential rains that fell on Crete during the autumn and spring, the palace at Knossos was constructed with separate drainage systems in each of its sections. A complex of ducts, gutters and catch basins fed into larger underground channels, with manholes at intervals for convenient access. The main channels, made of stone and lined with cement, were so large that, according to Arthur Evans, members of his archaeological crew spent whole days in them without inconvenience. Curiously, the palaces many bathing rooms were apparently not linked to the drainage system. Water used for washing was fetched in containers by servants; then when the bather was through, it was sponged up and carried out again. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 77] The great palace at Knossos not only had a drainage system to carry off wastes, but also pipes to bring in fresh water. The pipes were made of terra cotta, tapered so that each section fitted snugly into the next. The handles on some of the sections were puzzling until Arthur Evans concluded that ropes were laced through them, then drawn up tight to hold the sections firmly together. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 79, with diagram] There were even toilets, evidence of which is preserved in traces of seats over large drains that led outside the palace. Wastes were flushed away by pouring water down an elaborate system of drains that included clay pipes carefully fitted together in sections and stone troughs to carry off rain water. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 78.] Minoan hydraulics: At Knossos, waste water was collected in stone gutters set at a gradient and run off into a main drain which became deeper as it descended the slope. Some channels emptied into the main drain whose function was to collect rainwater from unroofed areas. Cisterns and spring chambers were lined with water-resistant plaster by the Late Minoan period. One at Kato Zakro was circular with steps leading into it. Lavatories, which were usually set against outside walls, were common features of palaces and houses. Knossos had elaborate stone drains, which were big enough for a man to crawl through. They ran below the ground floors of the residential quarter and were fed from the upper floors by means of vertical channels. The water supply at Knossos [different at other palaces] apparently did not depend on well-water alone, since terracotta pipes below the floors suggest a constant supply of running water. These pipes were sixty-to-seventy cm. Long, were cemented at the joints, and the water probably flowed through them under some kind of pressure system. Perhaps an aqueduct brought water from a spring teen km. distant from the slopes of Mt. Juktas in earthenware pipes that traversed the land and crossed gullies on narrow stone bridges. There are apparent remains of an aqueduct in the East Wing of the palace precincts and on the south slopes of Mt. Juktas. The pipe sections were designed so as to allow water to gain momentum at repeated intervals and so prevent the supply system from blocking. Each section tapered to a narrow neck at one end, which was cemented to the next section; curved clamps secured the joints in place. A spring high on Mt. Juktas made movement of water to Kephala hill, where the palace was located, relatively easy. Other palaces may have used large cisterns to collect water. [original slide] Priest-King Fresco from Knossos Palace: The stance of this figure indicates Egyptian influence. The dress has similarities to Libyans. [Cottrell, Bull of Minos] Priest-King or The Prince: Late Minoan I period (16th-century BC). Minoan ideal male figure: splendid swing of the chest, powerful muscles, lean thighs, individualistic. He wears a coronet of lilies with long peacock feathers falling back. His head, except for the ear, seems to have been painted flat as were the flowing locks which come down over the chest. The clothing is simple. The collar of lilies around his neck may have been the insignia of some Minoan order of chivalry. He walks in a paradise of fantastic lilies and butterflies, varying dark against light and light against dark. The figure is alertly alive and athletic. Clad in light summer garb, this striding youth wears a belt around his slim waist, a kilt and a codpiece and nothing else except an elaborate headdress. The figure has been tentatively identified as a priest-king, but no one knows for sure who he was. Life-sized, he is pulling something with his left hand; whatever it was might have supplied a clue to his identity, but unfortunately that vital part of the fresco has been lost. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 69, with picture.] One of the finest frescoes discovered by Evans centered on the full-length figure of a young man thought to represent a priest-king. He is a magnificent creature slender, well-muscled, clad in a codpiece [the abbreviated loincloth or athletic supporter affected by Minoan men] and a small kilt, with a heavy belt around his wasp waist. On his head is an extraordinary plumed headdress. He is shown striding through a field of lilies and butterflies, one arm extended behind him as though carrying or pulling something. His other arm, with fist clenched, is doubled across his chest. His entire being seems to vibrate with an unearthly blend of grace and force. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, pp. 70-71.] Except for footgear and loincloth, the dignified, youthful figure is nude, its head, thigh, and legs in profile, but the upper part of the body turned outwards. Locks of hair fall down in front of the left breast and beneath the clenched hand. There is some suggestion that he is leading a sacred animal by a rope. He wears a crown of lilies with long peacock plumes falling behind and a necklace of lilies hangs around his neck. Evans considered this picture to be the impersonation of a semi-divine youthful priest-king of Knossos, moving in Elysian fields of exotic flowers and butterflies. If the figure was painted white, it might have represented a princess in bull-leaping costume, perhaps leading a bull. [Slide from Museum of Herakleion] Lustral pool in throne room at Knossos: a theory held by Cottrell but originated with others held that the last scene in the palace was enacted here as the priest-king saw the sloshing of water in the tank shown here (a primitive seismograph) and tried to calm the waters with sympathetic magic, pouring oil on the water. Oil vessels in the throne room were toppled. Minos may have donned a bull mask for this ceremony hence the origin of the Minotaur theory. [Cottrell] Facing the throne was a sunken area, which Evans at first took to be a bath, with broad steps leading down into it. This was later identified as a lustral basin for ritual ceremonies of purification, for it had no plumbing arrangements. The room clearly had a religious purpose, as a private shrine for the Priest-King; and when Evans cleared the room he found evidence that some sort of ceremony was taking place at the moment when the final catastrophe struck. The floor was littered with alabaster oil-jars lying about in confusion, and a large overturned storage jar. The walls and the throne were scorched. [Higgins, The Archaeology of Minoan Crete, p. 48.] Throne Room at Knossos. As reconstructed by Sir Arthur Evans. The room, on the lower floor of the palace, had been somewhat protected in the collapse of the palace probably due to an earthquake, though the walls were blackened in the oil storage area, indicating fire as well. This is the oldest throne in European civilization. Note the spontaneity of the art compared to that of Egypt. [Cottrell] Hall of the Double Axes with replica of the throne: The throne room contained gypsum or alabaster throne carved to imitate wood, stone benches, recumbent wingless griffin frescoes. Griffin fresco in throne room of Knossos: Griffin has head of an eagle, symbol of religious power; body of a lion, symbol of worldly power; tail, symbol of the power of the dead over the world of the living. Wingless. Forepart is elaborately decorated with plumes and rosettes in green, red and blue on a yellowish body color. There was cross-hatching to represent shading which is visible along the lower lines. On the frescoes the ground is segmented by wavy lines painted alternately in ruby and yellowish-brown colors (15th century BC). The background is red with a wavy white band at the bottom and another half-way up to indicate the rocks of a landscape. Stylized reeds ending in a papyrus flower grow from the base. A stone bench ruins around the walls. The decoration belongs to the late period of the palace.[original slide] Fresco: art of painting by pressing earth colors dissolved in water into fresh plaster. Painting on wet plaster with water-soluble pigment or a picture so painted. Throne Room: Because public business apparently was conducted in the larger rooms in the upper levels of the palace at Knossos, there is a question of what to make of the so-called throne room, lying at a lower level. The throne room is a rather dark place with a low ceiling, its walls covered with frescoes. Evans gave the room its name because of the presence of a stone throne with a high curved back and a seat, gently hollowed for the comfort of the dignitary who sat on it. [Edey. Lost World of the Aegean, pp. 78-79.] The throne itself made of gypsum (a soft stone, rather like alabaster, which was quarried locally), had a high back which was partly embedded in the stucco of the wall, and it was flanked by low benches also of gypsum. On the wall painted heraldic griffins attended the throne on either side; but in these paintings the essentially Minoan love of life and nature and movement had been replaced by the grander treatment preferred by the Mycenaeans. [original slide] Alabaster: fine-grained, translucent variety of gypsum, white or streaked with reddish brown. Very soft. Used for statues and decorations] The Anteroom of the Throne Room at Knossos: [original slide] Hall of the Double Axes at Knossos palace: figure-8 shields: body armor unknown until Late Minoan II. Helmet covered head. Spear. The sword was, except for the broadsword of Mallia, a rapier adapted for thrusting only and incapable of guarding except by skill. This made figure-8 shield impossible to use. Minoans may have used both a sword and a dagger. The bow was rarely used. Sling stones have been found, but in Crete no representation of a sling is known. West faade of central court. To the right of the staircase is throne room complex. Central Court of palace of Knossos. Roughly oriented north to south (to catch the winter sun?) used in rituals. There is a small square stone in northwest corner of court at Zakro (base of an altar?). Dimensions: ratio of 2:1 length to width. One assumption is that the bull-leaping exercises were conducted in the central court. However, this theory raises problems. In at least two of the palaces [at Knossos and Mallia) the central court was entirely surrounded by a maze of royal apartments, shrines, bathrooms, reception halls, storage vaults, and narrow corridors. Neither palace seems designed to accommodate an event that would require the moving about of large, dangerous animals. Furthermore, none of the courts is large enough to permit very much in the way of maneuvering by the acrobats. One in particular, at Kato Zakro, is dangerously small and would have given little free play to bull-leapers; it is about 40 feet wide and 100 feet long. The court at Mallia, though nearly twice as large, has the remains of an altar of some sort in its center an awkward obstruction. Finally, all the courts are paved in stone, an unforgiving surface for life-risking acrobatics. One can discount the paving problem by suggesting that the stones were sprinkled with a layer of sand before the spectacle took place an explanation that would not seem to be entirely reasonable, since sand sprinkled over stone provides exceptionally treacherous footing. If the idea that the bull-leaping ceremony was a religious ritual is accepted, then the theory that it took place in the palace makes better sense. Inasmuch as the palace was the center of all things, it would have been involved in things holy. West faade of Central Court. Some archaeological evidence also supports the palace-as-arena theory. A case can be made that the audiences located in the porticoes were protected by barriers while bull-leaping was in progress by studying the doorways that open onto the courtyards, as well as what is left of the columned porticoes that ran down their sides. One way to confirm that the central courts of the palaces were not used for bull-leaping is to find other sites. And [an] excavation [at Knossos] has revealed what may be a bull ring outside the palace proper. At Mallia a large court to the north of the palace has been unearthed; scholars suspect that it, too, could have functioned as an arena. But the evidence, so far, is sketchy. Just where the bull-leapers practiced their art remains undecided. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, pp. 74-75.] La Petite Parisienne, Goddess with a sacred knot: c. 1550-1450 BC height of preserved part approximately 25 cm. Part of the Camp-Stool Fresco at Knossos, consisting of pairs of youths in long robes, seated facing each other and passing a goblet. The group has both male and female figures. The girl has a high bow like a sacred knot at the back of her slender neck. Her dark almond-shaped eyes are expressive. Her long, elegant hair curls over her shoulder. She had bright red lips and a perky nose. The bodice of her dress is made of thin transparent material. The scarf of gauzy fabric is gathered at the back of her neck into a large filmy knot with fringed ends. Evans speculated that the scarf indicated her office as a priestess and the knot was a sacred ceremonial badge of ritual significance. [Reverden, Crete and Its Treasures, p. 57 with picture] [slide by Museum of Herakleion] Ladies in Blue: fresco from Knossos, 16th century BC. A trio of Minoan girls chat animatedly at a public event. They are wearing the breast-bearing boleros that were fashionable among the high-born at court. The gaily woven and embroidered bodice leaves the breasts free. The flowing skirt below the wasp-waisted corsage may be trimmed with gaily-colored flounces. The hair, neck and wrists are lavishly embellished with jewellery. They seem to be toying with their necklaces. Part of a larger work, this fresco shows three young women of the court sitting together, apparently gossiping as they watch an event of some sort a processin, a court function or an entertainment wearing elaborate boleros, open in front to reveal their breasts, festooned with necklaces and bracelets, their hair curled and freighted with ropes of beads, they make a charming group. Their heads are turned this way and as they talk, their hands fluttering in the most elegant and refined gestures imaginable. Here is the essence of frivolity and feminine charm. No society that did not admire women and give them a great deal of freedom could possibly have created such a work. [Edey, Lost World of the Aegean, p. 71.] [slide by Museum of Herakleion] The Dolphins Fresco: from Knossos, c. 1600 BC. [Slide by Museum of Herakleion] Symbolic of the Minoan love of nature, attachment to the sea and appreciation of the sensuous pleasure in this world. It was painted over one of the doors in the Queens Megaron in the Domestic Quarter of the palace. The composition includes blue dolphins and fish of all colors. A border of coral or sponge was added on the light blue background. Bubbles flew off fins. The border below it, framing a door, had originally been painted with rosettes and, later, was painted over with spirals. Arthur Evans left parts of both designs showing. The Cup Bearer: from the Procession Fresco. Knossos. Late Minoan Ib: men and women; formal costume as opposed to archaic ritual dress of the Priest-King. Heads are bare. Long wavy hair falls behind the ear [in contrast to Priest-King who has one lock falling in front of the ear on to the chest]. Silver ear rings, necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. Broad silver and gold belt pinches the waist. The kilt descends at the back less than half way to the knee. Long network of beads and rich patterns on kilt show mastery of design and color. Figure is tall and slender. He holds a gold-mounted silver vase. He has long curly hair and wears an elaborately embroidered loincloth with a silver-mounted girdle. He has silver ornaments on his arms, neck and ankles, and on his waist is an agate seal. The pinched waist is characteristic of men and women. Blue bird fresco. From Knossos House of Frescoes, c. 1600 BC. Depicts flowers in rocky landscape. Between iris and reeds (there are also flowering wild roses) sits a bird with neck outstretched. It has just finished drinking from the clear water that runs between the rocks, and is poised ready to fly away. [Slide by Museum of Herakleion] Houses (1700-1450 BC) well-to-do of Knossos Latrines Water conduits for drainage indoor plumbing skylights for illumination Ventilation Adjustable partitions Indoor pools for cooling in summer Verandas with splendid views Houses of Commoners multi-story townhouses upper stories with windows Ugaritic literature (north Syria, 1600-1200 BC) window is regarded as a Minoan innovation introduced by Kothar-wa-Khasis, the Cretan god of arts and crafts, who was invited to build a palace for the god Baal. The Ugaritic text says of Kothar-wa-Khasis that he resides on Caphtor (Crete), but the land of his inheritance is Egypt suggests that Crete was cultural and artistic center of eastern Mediterranean origins of Minoan art lay in Egypt but Minoan art is distinctive Irakleion Museum Collection from Neopalatial Period Gaming board of ivory and faience, etc. from Palace of Knossos Sacred relics of faience: flowers, flying fishes, sea shells, snake goddesses, libation vessels, small tablets Ivory acrobat from Knossos Marble cross Goat with kids Cow with calf Bronze plates of balances and weights in form of stone disks Knossos Libation vase of alabaster in the form of a lioness head Knossos Cauldrons, ewers, basins, huge saws from Knossos Ritual stone vases from Knossos Stone lamps, libation vases, idol of woman, and jug with leaves of grass from Palace of Phaestos Pottery with flora and marine motifs (octopus) from Knossos Ivory figurines from Knossos Egyptian and Near Eastern objects Alabaster lid of Hyksos Pharaoh Khyan Knossos Lamps of purple gypsum Rhyton of Breccia standard weight or anchor Alabaster vases from Knossos Clay tablets inscribed with household, business or palace accounts Libation vase in form of a Trition shell from graves of Phaistos Clay, alabaster, and glass vases from Phaistos graves Jugs decorated in relief Katsaba cemetery Necklaces of Carnelian Steatite Glass paste from the Tombs of Kalywa near Phaistos Ivory comb from Katsaba cemetery Pieces of a gaming board from Katsaba cemetery Gold bands from Katsaba cemetery Bronze helmet from warrior tomb Knossos Boars tusk helmet, golden cup, golden beads in form of flowers and Argonauts, golden masks, jewel boxes, small ivory boat, mirror with an ivory handle decorated with a sphinx, pottery, stone vases, bronze utensils from Knossos tombs Gigantic legless cauldrons from houses of Tylissos Steatite cup from Hahia Triadha depicts a young prince receiving large animal skins acquired during a hunt Potters wheels from Vathypetro Gold earrings from Idaean cave Gold signet and bulls head from Mallia Lion, fish, duck, bird of gold from Knossos treasury Golden pendant in form of two bees Chrysolaklos Long swords and daggers from the sacred cave of Arkalochoi Votive double-axes of bronzesacred cave of Arkalochoi Bronze votive figurines men, women, bulls, wild goats Aghia Triada Stone vases Haghia Triada Copper ingots or talents from Haghia Triada a king of currency averaging about 30 kg. 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