The Minoan Civilization

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The Minoan civilization is an Aegean Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately 2000BC. It is credited as the first European civilization to use a written language – known as Linear A. It is renowned for the series of great palaces, beautiful frescoes, and distinguished carved stone vases, which reveal it was highly artistic and sophisticated. For about six centuries they prospered, exercising a cultural hegemony over more or less the whole of the Aegean Sea, until the abrupt demise around 1380 BC. The factors to bring about the end of the Minoan period are still intensely debated, though many theories seem to go along with Jared Diamond’s theories regarding a collapse of a civilization—his 5-point …show more content…

This is confirmed by the fact that Minoan building material and pottery have been discovered, mixed up with beach pebbles and sea shells. In the Minoan society, palaces were the most important buildings, serving as centers of religion, government, administrative offices, and workshops. Economically, they acted as redistributive and storage centers. Hence, destruction of palaces meant people losing their means of redistributing agricultural commodities and controlling trade. Also, it is speculated that the civilization on Crete was composed of several independent political units, each centered around a palace. Thus, destruction of palaces due to the tsunami could have taken on even deeper meaning, namely, disrupting the power balance between neighboring political units within the island and triggering civil wars.
A next consideration is decreased support by friendly trade partners. As noted above, the Minoans enjoyed a striking level of prosperity, and at the core of their regime was the trade. Thanks partly to the geographical dimension of Crete, they were primarily a mercantile people engaged in overseas trade. They traded with mainland Greece, notably Mycenae, Cyprus, Syria, Anatolia, Egypt, and westward as far as …show more content…

Around 15th century BC, the Mycenaean civilization arose in mainland Greece through intimate trade with the Minoans. They were powerfully influenced by the Minoan culture, yet they were different from the Minoans in a respect that they had a military style. They built a massive fortification wall called Cyclopean around their palaces, and their standing army was equipped with substantial amount of metal

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