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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

005 - Minoan Crete



In this episode, we discuss the myths and archaeological evidence for the Minoans on Crete, who were an early source of cultural inspiration for the Mycenaean Greeks; the palace complexes at Knossos (north), Phaistos (south), Mallia (northeast), and Zakros (east); the volcanic eruption that blew apart the island of Thera in the mid-17th century BC and was a catalyst for the decline of the Minoan civilization (the inspiration for Plato's infamous description of Atlantis?); the ultimate subordination of the Minoans by the Mycenaean Greeks in the 15th and 14th centuries BC; and the decipherment of Linear B (an early form of Greek) by Michael Ventris in the mid-20th century AD

ca. 3500 BC - earliest traces of "civilization" appear on Crete
ca. 2700-2600 - "the Minoans" of Crete enter the Bronze Age, as they begin to communicate and trade with the Near East
ca. 2000-1700 BC - Proto-Palatial or "Old Palace" Period
ca. 1900 BC - Cretan Hieroglyphics developed (undeciphered, ex. Phaistos Disc)
ca. 1800 BC - Linear A developed (undeciphered)
ca. 1700 BC - earthquake destroyed the palaces at Knossos, Phaistos, Mallia, and Zakros
ca. 1700-1600 BC - Neo-Palatial or "New Palace" Period 
ca. 1650 BC - volcanic eruption on Thera (modern Santorini)
ca. 1450 BC - the royal palaces of Phaistos, Mallia, and Zakros, as well as numerous country villas and small towns, were sacked and burned by the Mycenaean Greeks
ca. 1450 BC - Linear B developed (deciphered as early Greek)
ca. 1350 BC - Knossos was sacked and burned by the Mycenaean Greeks, marking the end of Minoan Crete and ascendancy of Mycenaean Crete

Greek termsthalassa (sea), kratos (rule or power), thalassokratia (thalassocracy or sea power), pithoi (tall storage jars), labrys (double-headed axe)

Mythical Characters: Zeus, Europa, Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon, Asterion, Pasiphae, Aegeus, Theseus, Ariadne, Minotaur, Daedalus, Icarus, Cocalus



Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)





Image result for minoan chronology


File:Map Minoan Crete-en.svg

File:Minoan copper ingot from Zakros, Crete.jpg








File:Knossos - North Portico 02.jpg


File:Knossos Großes Treppenhaus 04.jpg


File:Knossos - 03.jpg


File:Throne Hall Knossos.jpg


File:Knossos sewers PA067399.JPG


File:Armon Knossos P1060018.JPG






















File:Map Akrotiri 1600 BC-en.png





Recommended Podcast Episodes:

Suggested Readings:
Castleden. 1993. Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete.
Dickinson. 1994. The Aegean Bronze Age.
Preziosi. 2000. Aegean Art and Architecture.
Doumas. 2003. Santorini: A Guide to the Island and its Archaeological Treasures.
Sakellarakis. 2003. Herakleion Museum: Illustrated Guide.
* Michailidou. 2004. Knossos - A Complete Guide to the Palace of Minos.
Shelmerdine. 2008. The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age.
Cline. 2010. The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean.
D'Amato and Salimbeti. 2013. Early Aegean Warrior 5000–1450 BC


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