Crete is an island located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is considered to be the birthplace of one of the most fascinating ancient civilizations, the Minoans. The Minoan civilization existed from approximately 3000 BC to 1100 BC and was one of the earliest advanced civilizations in Europe.
Discovery and Excavation
The Minoan civilization was discovered by Sir Arthur Evans, a British archaeologist, in the early 20th century. Evans excavated the ancient city of Knossos on Crete and discovered a complex palace with elaborate frescoes, pottery, and artifacts that provided insight into this unique civilization.
The Minoan Culture
The Minoans were known for their advanced art, architecture, and engineering skills. They built impressive palaces with intricate designs and colorful frescoes that depicted their daily life, religion, and rituals. The Minoans were also skilled traders who established trade links with other ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece.
The Minoans had a polytheistic religion that worshipped female deities such as the snake goddess. The snake goddess was depicted holding snakes in each hand and was believed to represent fertility and rebirth.
Decline of the Minoan Civilization
The decline of the Minoan civilization is still debated among historians but it is believed that a volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Santorini caused massive destruction on Crete which ultimately led to their downfall. Other theories suggest invasions from other civilizations or internal conflicts led to their decline.
Despite its relatively short existence compared to other ancient civilizations, the Minoans left behind an impressive legacy that continues to fascinate historians today. Their advanced art techniques influenced later European art movements such as Art Nouveau and their culture and religion continue to inspire contemporary artists.
In conclusion, the Minoan civilization was from Crete and was one of the earliest advanced civilizations in Europe. They were known for their impressive art, architecture, and engineering skills as well as their trade links with other ancient civilizations. Despite their decline, they left behind an impressive legacy that continues to inspire people today.