The Ancient Minoans and Their Demise

Topics: Minoan civilization, Crete, Linear B Pages: 6 (1926 words) Published: August 28, 2012
The Minoans were an advanced civilisation, ready to take on the world. But their progressive empire was brought to a sudden end, their demise unknown to many archaeologists and scientists alike, UNTIL NOW.

“The Minoan demise is hotly debated amongst the most reputable archaeologists and scientists’ of today”

The Ancient Minoans were an advanced civilisation located on the island of Crete that was devastated firstly by natural disasters that sent their carefully structured island community spiralling into a whirlwind of chaos, vulnerability and deterioration, resulting in invasion. It has been hotly debated amongst the most reputable archaeologists and scientist’s for over a century as to how such an incredible civilisation, that defied all odds and excelled in such a way that lead their allies to watch on in complete awe, could have possibly came to such an abrupt end. According to Radiocarbon dating and the observation of strata upon Crete (earths layers), the Minoan civilisation came to an end at around 1450BC. This is clarified by numerous corroborating sources such as M. Barret (2009) who specialises in the historical past of Crete, and who’s evidence is also supported by C.Roebuck (1966). While it is known when the Minoan civilisation ended; it has taken much more observation and interpretation of available evidence to uncover as to how the Minoan civilisation ended. Surely the Minoans, with their vast and progressive empire, seemed unstoppable in the eyes of those subject to its success, so what happened? This is a question that has been analysed by many respectable archaeologists and scientists who itch to find the answer, but only a few have reached a plausible explanation. Today, Crete is an archaeological and historical wonderland for archaeologists and tourists alike. Copious amounts of archaeological evidence can be found at numerous sites across Crete, which begs to be interpreted and understood by archaeologists across the world. To determine whether or not the Ancient Minoans were indeed a civilisation, the definition of a civilisation must first be explored. The Oxford dictionary (2012) defines a civilisation as: “The stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced”. The Minoans were indeed advanced. This is supported by evidence uncovered during excavations in major cities such as Knossos on Crete where remains of advanced drainage systems, piped water supplies, elaborate palaces, flushing water closets and baths have been found: as explained by Martin Roberts (1979). Such well-planned designs indicate economical and intellectual development of intellect and also specialisation in architecture. The palace found in Knossos is not the only one, many other palaces have been uncovered across Crete: these are considered monumental structures and are also a major aspect of a civilisation. Not only are they spectacular, but also indicate a system of hierarchy as only royals would have lived in such dwellings. Also uncovered are archaeological remains such as the bones of pork; mutton; goat; deer; hare; duck; geese and partridge as well as food stores uncovered in allocated rooms in palaces which contained grain, wool and oil: which is depicted by Matthew Barret (2009). There are also remains of bones of many different types of fish, crustaceans, octopus, and shellfish which have been discovered near excavated coastal communities. These remains show that the Minoans made good use of their ocean lifestyle. The following image is a fresco found within one of the palaces excavated on Crete:

These food remains indicate that the Minoans had what is known as a food surplus. This food surplus meant that the Minoans had begun to domesticate animals as well as farming things such as peas, lentils and olives: remains of which have been found across Crete: Matthew Barret (2009). This domestication and...
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