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Ancient Crete

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Ancient Crete

First Inhabitants

?Humans are believed to have arrived on the island now known as Crete sometime between 6500-6000 BCE, and the early Neolithic inhabitants may have arrived from Asia Minor.? While these early inhabitants were primitive, they had already adapted some stages of productivity such as possessing domestic animals (?Minoan,? Dilos).? Modern archeological findings date handmade ceramic pottery, which was frequently decorated with incised geometric motifs and made to imitate vessels made of straw, wood, or hide, to this early time period (Koutsoupakis).?

Minoan Civilization

?Around 3000 BCE, Crete became the home of the early Minoan civilization, a Bronze Age culture, named after the legendary ruler Minos.? It is uncertain whether the king was an actual person or not, but legends about him were grand and mythical.? Some tales included his pet Minotaur, a flesh-eating monster with the head of bull and the body of a man (?Minoan,? EB).? The arrival of the Minoans began a period of prosperity on the island, and during the subsequent centuries, Crete became the first center of high civilization in that area of the Mediterranean and fascinated the Greeks as a source of myths, legends, and laws.

Early Minoans built strong houses of stone and brick that often had a large number of rooms, red plaster walls, and paved courtyards, though evidence suggests the inhabitants may have continued to live in caves for some time as well (?Minoan,? Dilos).? People apparently lived in genos, or clans, and they developed consistent farming, stock raising, shipping, and commerce.? By this time, the Mother Goddess was worshiped as a form of a deity and a sort of cult symbol.? These early inhabitants are well known fo...

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...roughout these later historical periods, Crete never flourished and impacted the Mediterranean as it had during the infamous and prosperous Minoan period (Koutsopakis).

* For wonderful photos and links about ancient Crete, visit the Dilos Website at www.dilos.com/location/13406.

Works Cited

Broad, William J., ?Debate erupts anew: Did Thera's explosion doom Minoan Crete?? International Herald Tribune, October 23, 2003.

?Crete.? Encyclopedia Britannica. 2003. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Koutsoupakis, Spyros. ?A Brief History of Crete.? Linked to WorldHistoryCompass.Com.? http://hep.physics.uch.gr/HistCrete.htm. INTERNET.

?Minoan Civilization.? Encyclopedia Britannica. 2003. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

?Minoan Civilization? Dilos Website. 2003. www.dilos.com/location/13406. INTERNET.

?The Missing Minoans.? www.historyworld.net. INTERNET.
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