The Legend of the Minotaur

Topics: Minoan civilization, Knossos, Crete Pages: 4 (1311 words) Published: June 30, 2011
One of the most popular Greek myths is the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, it centres around an early civilisation on the island of Crete, it is a myth told long before Athens became the ruling capital. It is the legend of the Minotaur. The legend of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth of Knossos in Crete has enthralled many historians, archaeologists over, anthropologists and so on over years, even centuries. However, one archaeologist was captivated by the entrancing and beauty of the myth of The Minotaur and the Palace in Knossos was Arthur Evans. Before work began in Crete by the British archaeologist Evans at Knossos, knowledge of the Bronze Age Minoan culture was only faintly reflected in a few Classical Greek myths. By the time this pioneering work was finished several decades later, the Minoan periods on Crete had been defined well enough to identify them as a major civilization from ca. 1900-1300 BC

Evans was born in 1851 in Nash Mills, Hertfordshire,
England, product of Victorian England. Studying history at
The University of Oxford and Göttingen, Evans later became Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. During this period (1884-1908), he became interested in seals (tiny carved stones) as sources of inscriptions from ancient, pre-Classical Mediterranean civilizations. Evans was particularly drawn to Crete as it encompassed sources of seals which contained undeciphered early inscriptions. The ancient town site of Kafala (Knossos) on the northern coast of Crete, next to the Capital city of Herakleion, was well-known to local

Inhabitants, who cultivated ancient objects, including pottery, coins and seals. During the Classical and Hellenistic eras (500-200 BC), coinage was discovered which interestingly showed pictures of labyrinths, Minotaurs and Ariadne. Evans first visit to Crete in 1894 was to study and decipher two types of unknown scripts appearing on Cretan Seals. Influenced by Schliemann and by Arthur Milchhofer’s...
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