Minoan

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The first villages and settlements of Crete date probably from a pre-ceramic time around the year 6000 BC. Around the 4000 BC, the agriculture arrived to the island from the cultures in Anatoly and Syria. These cultures got mixed with groups of collectors and hunters that were running away from the ice that was getting over the Aegean. The so-called culture drift was originated in Anatolia and Killkia, that spread out ceramic, agriculture, native customs and even language and religion to the Aegean area.

The time before the construction of the huge palace of Crete is known as the Early Minoan Period, which compresses the Stone-Copper Age and the late Bronze Age (2800 - 2200 BC). Some forged daggers and elaborated vessels have been found from this period. At the same time, some eastern areas of the Mediterranean gave place to the origin of developed cultures that were somehow related to the Minoan culture. Some of these were the Hellenic culture, the Cycladic culture, and even the Trojan culture according to some sources.

In the early Bronze Age an important scientific rise must be highlighted. The Cretans traded with the Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Anatolia and the Ciclades. On the end, but, the culture that they developed it was not that different from that from the mainland.

Geographically, the Aegean Bronze Age can be divided into three different parts: the Hellenic one, in the Greek mainland, the Cycladic one, in the Greek islands, and the Minoan one, in Crete.

Around the 2000 BC, right in the middle of the Bronze Age, Minoan culture started to flourish in Crete. At that time, the population got together and built the first city. The fortresses of the early Minoan Age were demolished and the first constructions of the palace began. The way of constructing shows that people felt quite safe. The buildings were expensive and they developed a style that used metal in decoration. Something that could be considered as the first alphabet was also developed during this time. This linear-A alphabet was used to list the products of the harvest and trade, and it consisted of different signs that were written on a clay tablet.

An important factor in the great wealth that the Cretans achieved was trade and intermediate trade. In this sector they took the place of all the other Cyclad Islands. The most active partner was probably Egypt, whose princes got rid of the Greek supremacy around 2200 BC and arranged an own government. In Cyprus, Syria and the rest of the Cyclads there have also been found signs of trade of goods with Crete.

The flourishing of the old middle Minoan palace was the heyday of the island. At this time, the Cretan culture stands out against the other cultures in the Aegean and the Cyclads and develops into one of the high eastern Mediterranean cultures. Around 1700 BC, the Greeks who had been leaving peacefully for many years in the mainland of Minor Asia had to resist the attacks of tribes of riders from the northwest. They had invented the carriages and this set them in a better position in the fights with the Greek. These tribes reached also the Middle East and Egypt destroying a great part of it.

This terrible attacks broke the trade relations of Crete, that had to accept the loss of its main trade partners Syria, Mesopotamia and specially Egypt, and remained isolated. At the same time, this is in 1700 BC, the palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Mallia were destroyed in a row. The absence of  any kind of enemy weapon points to a devastating earthquake that also caused a great damage in other places of the Aegean. The following fires ended up destroying the palace completely.

Early History / Archaic Age / Classical Age / Hellenic Age / The Army / Timeline

 
 

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