The Argument of Ancient greek Historians
The ancient historians all suggests that there was a monarchy on Crete. Specifically, they argue that there was a king, named Minos, who ruled Crete.
However, archaeologists have not yet uncovered any evidence which proves that Minos existed. Rather, modern historians tend to believe that the accounts of Ovid, Homer, Thucydides and Aristotle are wrong. The following table summaries the problems associated with the accounts of these four historians:
The Argument of Arthur Evans
Arthur Evans was a British subject and was familiar with the male dominated political structures in ancient Egypt. Additionally, he was inspired by the myth of Minos before excavating Crete. As such, Evans automatically assumed that there was a male king on Crete name Minos. Later in life, however, Evans expanded his argument and stated that Minos could be a title, like pharaoh, rather than a name.
To help prove his argument, Evans produced two pieces of archaeological evidence. However, there are problems associated with these sources.
Other Evidence to suggest a male ruled Greece
As shown, there are a number of issues associated with the arguments of Arthur Evans and the Greek historians. However, archaeologists have uncovered other sources which suggest that a King ruled Crete. For instance:
The Master’s Impression Seal depicts a man standing over a shrine or palace. He appears to be holding a staff. Some archaeologists believe that this may be the king.
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Firstly, we do not know much about the women who were not priestesses. This is due to the fact that they are not depicted in the pictorial records. However, we have found votive offerings in peak sanctuaries that depict vulva and children. This suggests that they were expected to bear children and become mothers. Additionally, some historians believe that the presence of milk jugs that have female forms supports this idea. This is due to the fact that they argue that they symbolise a mother breast feeding.
Finally, we know from Linear B tablets that some Minoans worked in the textile industry. For instance, we have found textile workshops at Knossos. This is made evident by the presence of loom weights and spindle-whorls. Some archaeologists assume that the textile industry was dominated by females. However, we don’t have any really evidence that proves this.
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