Controversy About the Palace of Knossos

Topics: Knossos, Minoan civilization, Labyrinth Pages: 4 (1200 words) Published: April 26, 2012
Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and possibly the political and cultural centre of Minoan civilisation, possibly the oldest in Europe. The ruins of Knossos were first discovered by a Cretan merchant called Minos Kalokairinos in 1878. After Kalokairinos, Heinrich Schliemann had shown an interest but it wasn’t until March 16, 1900 that archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans purchased the site and started the excavations. Arthur Evans is famous for restoring the ruins and bringing it to light, though whilst doing so, creating controversy.

The archaeological site of Knossos has added to our knowledge about the Minoans, as Evans named them, after King Minos of Crete. By examining the palace, we can learn about the Minoan culture. Knossos was the largest city on Crete and also the largest palace, built after an earthquake destroyed the first palace around 1700 BC. The use of the palace has been widely debated; it had large storehouses for grain, olive oil, beans and other natural resources. These were thought to be used for trading with the Near-East, Greece and Egypt or emergency supplies to feed the community when the weather became poor resulting in little agricultural produce. Their religious beliefs can also be seen through the layout of the palace, as it also served as a temple of sort, one wing in particular for the Mother Goddess as female deities were more prominent in Minoan culture. This can be seen, as the throne in the ‘throne room’ was thought to be made for a female, as the use of curved edges and the crescent moon carved on its base are symbols of femininity. This could be reserved for the manifestation of a goddess or a priestess. [1]

The Minoan people are shown to be advanced as the Bronze Age palace had liquid management systems and ventilation. The palace had at least three separate liquid systems, for supply, drainage for run-off and waste water. Gravity feed using terracotta pipes...
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