Located on the fertile Mesara plain in central Crete, Phaistos has been inhabited since the Final Neolithic period (ca. 3600-3000 BCE). The settlements greatest period of influence was from the 20th to 15th century BCE, during which time it was, along with Knossos, Malia and Zakros, one of the most important centres of the Minoan civilization. Settlement continued... [continue reading]
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Knossos (pronounced Kuh-nuh-SOS) is the ancient Minoan palace and surrounding city on the island of Crete, sung of by Homer in his Odyssey: “Among their cities is the great city of Cnosus, where Minos reigned when nine years old, he that held converse with great Zeus.” King Minos, famous for his wisdom and, later, one of the three judges of... [continue reading]
Located near a fertile plain in northern Crete and with its own harbour, Malia was one of the major settlements and palaces of the Minoan civilization. Inhabited since Neolithic times (6000 BCE) and with the first evidence of monumental architecture dating to 2200 BCE, the site reached its greatest influence during the palatial periods of c. 1900 BCE to... [continue reading]
published on 26 April 2012
A map of Minoan Crete.
A view from Phaistos over the Mesara plain in Crete.
The unique contribution of the Minoan civilization to European architecture is possibly most evident in the great palace structures of the major Minoan centres of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros. Perhaps influenced by Egypt and the Near East and evolving through the monumental tombs of the preceding period, these magnificent buildings, constructed... [continue reading]
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]
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]
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]