The Minoan civilization flourished in the middle Bronze Age on the Mediterranean island of Crete from ca. 2000 BCE until ca. 1500 BCE and, with their unique art and architecture, the Minoans made a significant contribution to the development of Western European civilization as it is known today. The archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans was first alerted... [continue reading]
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A fresco showing bull leaping, Minoan Knossos (Final Palatial period 1450-1400 BCE), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.
Gold votive double axes, New Palace period (1600-1450 BCE), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete. The double axe, also known as 'labrys', may be the origin of the labyrinth myth of Knossos.
A fresco detail from a banquet scene (known as 'La Parisienne') from Knossos, 1400-1350 BCE. The figure, in a robe and with a sacral knot at her neck, is perhaps a priestess. (Archaeological Museum, Heraklion)
Frescoes are the source of some of the most striking imagery handed down to us from the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE). Further, without written records, they are often the only source, along with decorated pottery, of just how the world appeared to the Minoans and give us tantalizing glimpses of their beliefs, cultural practices... [continue reading]
Bull horns were a common religious symbol in the Cretan Minoan culture (2000 BCE - 1450 BCE), represented in fresco, on pottery and as here from the palace of Knossos, in architectural stone decoration.
The jewellery of the Minoan civilization based on Bronze Age Crete demonstrates, as with other Minoan visual art forms, not only a sophisticated technological knowledge (in this case of metalwork) and an ingenuity of design but also a joy in vibrantly representing nature and a love of flowing, expressive, shapes and forms. Materials & Technology... [continue reading]
Late New-Palace period (1450 BCE) clay jug with distinctive leaf pattern, from Phaistos. (Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete)
The ever evolving pottery from the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE) demonstrates, perhaps better than any other medium, not only the Minoan joy in animal, sea and plant life but also their delight in flowing, naturalistic shapes and design. Kamares Style Following on from the pre-palatial styles of Vasiliki (with surfaces... [continue reading]
Stone rhyton (libation vase) in the form of a bull's head from the Minoan site of Knossos, New-Palace period (1600-1500 BCE), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.
published on 18 August 2013
A Minoan rock-crystal bowl in the form of a duck, 16th century BCE. The vessel was found at Mycenae but has been attributed to the earlier Minoan civilization based on Crete. The vessel was probably used to store cosmetic creams. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens).