The history of Minoan: On the ancient Mediterranean island of Crete, there lived a people, fantastic, fascinating, fabulous, frivolous, fearsome, decadent, and determined, they wear the Minoans. They were the first true masters of the sea in human history, and they exploited their superior abilities to control those around them.
They have often been called the first European civilization. They are unique and elaborate. Society ended in a cycle of catastrophe, foreign domination, and destruction.
The island of Crete is located in the eastern Mediterranean at the nexus of ancient maritime trade routes linking Europe, western Asia, and North Africa Together. The strategic position of the island and its ample natural resources set up crete for a remarkable history. Minoan history can be divided into four Periods:
- The pre-palatial period,
- The proto-palatial period,
- The neo-palatial period, and
- The post-palatial period.
The pre-palatial period
During the pre-palatial period, the Minoan civilization slowly emerged, mastering farming and maritime technologies. The proto-palatial period saw the Minoans develop international trade routes and a booming economy. Centered Around massive palace administrative complexes, the neo-palatial period was the height of Minoan power and prosperity.
This gave way to a more turbulent age, where invaders from the mainland dominated Crete, and the island’s influence power and prosperity collapsed. Long before Minoan society developed in humanity’s prehistoric past, many of the early inhabitants of Crete most likely arrived there by accident.
Primitive fishing boats, rafts, and wreckage carried out to sea by the tide or by storms stumbled into Crete. The watercraft carried fishers, fugitives, marooned adventurers, and migrants from around the mainland of the eastern Mediterranean.
They decided to stay. The island remained sparsely populated by hunter-gatherers and coastal fishers until around 7000 bc. The population steadily increased when farming was introduced, possibly by Migrant Anatolian farmers.
By the mid to later 4th-millennium bc, several other essential technologies were adopted, like the potter’s wheel and metalworking which drastically increased productivity and efficiency.
Minoan Civilization Inventions The history of Minoan
Domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs were also introduced. Cattle were especially valued as they were used to plow fields. They also provided nutritious protein sources like meat, milk, and cheese, other animal byproducts like textiles and leather, fueled, early Minoan industry and trade.
Initially, the proto-Minoans leveled up their seafaring experience by sailing along the coast of their island, as it was easier to trade goods with other coastal settlements by boat than to trek through the mountainous terrain of the 150-mile long island throughout Minoan history. The vast majority of the island’s population was concentrated on the Eastern half of the island as it had the best farmland. Creed was self-sufficient.
It had plenty of food sources, freshwater, and timber to build boats, all necessities needed for an excellent maritime civilization. But there was something missing on their island metal, specifically copper and tin, required to make bronze metals.
Were the crude oil of the ancient world needed to fuel a civilization’s construction, military, and agricultural productivity, after mastering the basics of seafaring and making improvements to their boats. Minoan merchants began trading with the Cycladic islands to their north and then began exploring and dealing with the other peoples of the Aegean.
The Minoans on Crete and the inhabitants of the Cyclades islands formed close cultural and economic ties that were to last for more than a thousand years around the beginning of the second-millennium bc. The economy in Crete was Booming.
Larger homes were being built for an emerging ruling class of merchants, priests, and nobles. Along with warehouses and workshops, these homes began to merge into larger palace complexes.
This was the first palace period on Crete, during which the Minoans began to flex their muscle occupying the Cyclades islands and establishing ever further trade routes. The Minoans began regular trade with Cyprus, acquiring large amounts of copper.
They also found a traditional business with the emirate kingdoms in the Canaanite city-states of the Levant.
The kingdom of Egypt became the minoan’s most lucrative trading partner there, and they acquired vast amounts of gold which could be traded at much higher prices elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
The Minoans also became skilled metal workers and could trade finished gold items at an even higher price for a more significant profit margin. The vast amount of resources the Minoans accumulated necessitated developing a written script to help keep track of all who owned what record contracts and possibly record important events.
First, the Minoans developed a unique hieroglyphic script, possibly inspired by their contact with the ancient Egyptians. This was gradually replaced by a more functional, looking hand creatively called by historians, linear a. Unfortunately, neither of these scripts have ever been deciphered well.
At least for now, maybe one day, one of you will translate it, and we can learn much more details about the Minoan economy—history, politics, and religion in the late 18th-century bc.
What Happened to The Minoan Civilization
A massive series of earthquakes appears to have rocked the island, destroying at least four of the island’s most important palace complexes and much of the surrounding cities and towns. This Destruction and death might have been enough to cause the downfall of a less robust civilization.
Still, it seems to have had the opposite effect and strengthened the Minoan’s resolve. All the palace complexes and destroyed buildings were quickly rebuilt on a colossal scale. The largest palace at kenosis covered six acres and had more than one thousand rooms.
Approximately thirteen hundred. Some areas of the luxurious palace were up to five stories Tall, and the complex boasted a theater, many large warehouses, and workshops. It also had an advanced system of indoor plumbing.
The town around Canosa grew into a massive city with a population that may have been as high as 100 000 people based on the archaeological record.
It is the generally accepted scholarly consensus that, throughout the neo-palatial period, cyanosis was the dominant, if not absolute, power center on Crete, with another palace, centers towns, and rural villas, all owing allegiance to canoes.
It would be a subject of scholarly debate if Canaces dominated the other palace centers before the neo-palatial period. There is very little known about the Minoan form of government from any time period and the relations between the different palace complexes.
One evidence that indicates that the Minoans were internally united Is that there is currently no evidence for war between the different Minoan centers from much later classical greek legend, folklore, and histories. It is asserted that a king named Minos ruled from kenosis. He established an empire in the Aegean, founded colonies, and stamped out piracy.
Who were the Minoans?
Concerning the Minoans, the Greek historian Herodotus used the term thalassocracy to describe this type of Seafaring empire. It has been hypothesized that Minos was a Minoan word for king or perhaps a title like Caesar, where later kings took the name of an early great king. Other scholars have hypothesized that the Minoans did not even have a king but instead were ruled over by priestess queens at kenosis.
However, there is a throne room in the significant amount of Minoan art found throughout Crete. There is no clear example of a kingly figure Depicted. In contrast, there are numerous examples of prominent females depicted that have been interpreted as goddesses, priestesses, or perhaps even queens.
Whatever the case may be from surviving art, it appears women did play a dominant role in religion and palace life, in contrast to other near eastern cultures, where men are depicted far more often than women in Minoan arded is the opposite.
Women are more common and dress. Far more elaborately than the fella’s men Are usually shown performing outdoor manual labor or as soldier sailors.
This probably led to the artistic convention of portraying men as heavily tanned and most women as pale white, as it was perhaps a status symbol to have noblewomen spending away their hours indoors. The vitamin d deficient look became so desirable that applying toxic white lead makeup became a thing. This same artistic convention is also seen in early roman fresco, but palatial life was not all Toxic beauty and ostentatious dresses.
While the men were away, the women played politics and managed the economy. This evolves, naturally, in societies where males are indisposed for long periods of time, like in the much later spartan society where the warrior elite lived in all-male communes, training for war and brewing it out, while their wives engaged in business and managed the economy on Crete. Many merchant and warrior sailors Were gone from the island at any time, and many drowned at sea.
So the island would have had a disproportionate amount of women. The returning merchant sailors adorned their wives with every manner of luxury and every lavish fabric.
Some early scholars from far-off lands assumed the Minoans were a peaceful unwarlike people because their cities had no walls and the near absence of warfare in their art, the relatively small number of their Weapons that had been unearthed.
On the first point, their cities, towns, and palaces did not need walls; they had wooden walls. Their navy patrolled the Aegean. They were confident in their superior nautical abilities and intimate knowledge of the waters surrounding Crete.
Their merchants and spies likely knew of any significant potential threat before their enemies had even finished building their fleet. The Minoans rarely Portrayed the military in their art, probably because they rarely engaged in conflict.
The threat of bringing overwhelming force to any point in the Aegean was probably enough to cause a troublesome city to offer tribute, realizing that any resistance would be futile.
The Mycenaeans of mainland Greece emerged in the 18th-century bc as a vassal or tributary of the Minoans. For over a century, the Minoans were at the height of their power. No nearby kingdom or People posed any real threat. Then the essential Minoan trading center and colony of thera exploded.
It was one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in human history. The force of the eruption triggered massive tsunamis that devastated the northern coastline of Crete. The immense tidal wave probably sank much of the Minoan fleet.
The determined Minoans had experienced devastating natural disasters before, but none like this. Despite the massive Setbacks, they began to rebuild slowly.
During this time, the Mycenaean states of the mainland began to build up their fleets, which they used to take the Minoan islands, one by one. It might have been a fair fight, leading to a long, drawn-out war between the two civilizations. But then disaster struck again: earthquakes rocked Crete, many died, and the partially rebuilt ruins became ruins again.
The depopulated Minoans began to rebuild again but were Undoubtedly demoralized sometime around 1450 bc, the mainland Mycenaeans arrived and conquered the island. A new Mycenaean ruling class set up shop at Canosa, where they built a new palace throughout the remainder of the post-palatial period. Mycenaean gradually replaced the Minoan culture.
A level of prosperity did return to the island, but it was a pale shadow of its former monopolistic opulence. The Mycenaean states were on the periphery of the interconnected System of great empires of the later bronze age. In contrast to the relatively united empires of the east, the Mycenaeans were a very loose confederation of states centered around fortified palace complexes.
Their squabbling and rivalries likely made them vulnerable when, in the late 13th-century bc, pirates and internal rebellion overwhelmed. The Myceneans on Crete, the palaces and towns were destroyed again. Some survivors built Remote fortified hilltop settlements, which are evidence of the turbulent times.
It also appears that many throughout the Aegean and coastal Anatolia joined the marauders. They moved east along the coast, leaving a swath of destruction in their wake. Their rampage culminated with a failed invasion of Egypt.
Some of the captured people of the sea called the palest were resettled in southern Canaan. Their descendants became known as the philistines. Scholars generally agree that the post was of vegetan origin, and the most popular theory is that they were descended from the amalgamated Minoans and Mycenaeans of Crete.
Crete became a sparsely populated backwater, and memory of its once glorious past faded into myth and legend, and much of it was forgotten. Three Thousand years after the Minoan civilization collapsed. They were rediscovered. The first archaeologist to undertake excavations at kenosis was named Minos.