Date of publication: 2017-08-28 13:12
The Minoans had developed significant naval power and for many centuries lived in contact with all the major civilizations of the time without being significantly threatened by external forces. Their commercial contact with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia undeniably influenced their own culture, and the Minoan civilization in turn appeared as the forerunner of the Greek civilization. The Minoans are credited as the first European civilization.
The end of this flourishing culture came with the destruction of most of the palaces and villas of the country side in the middle of the 65 century, and with the destruction of Knossos in 6875. During this late period there is evidence in tablets inscribed in Linear B language that the Mycenaeans controlled the entire island, while many Minoan sites were abandoned for a long time.
Around 7555 BC a new political system was established with authority concentrated around a central figure - a king. The first large palaces were founded and acted as centers for their respective communities, while at the same time they developed a bureaucratic administration which permeated Minoan society. Distinctions between the classes forged a social hierarchy and divided the people into nobles, peasants, and perhaps slaves.
8. The ancient Olympic games were held as a religious event to honor the Greek God Zeus. True, at least in their beginnings. Within several centuries, the Olympics became a far more commercial spectacle, in which the emphasis among the highly professional athletes was on winning and athletic prowess. In some ways, the competition of Greek city states resembles a microcosm of the modern Olympic emphasis on international competition.
Even so, the tsunamis and earthquakes associated with the Thera eruption could have still caused much physical damage to the Minoan fleet and infrastructure, and it would have affected the climate, the economy, and the politics of the region. However, it is doubtful that it could have caused in itself the end of the Minoan civilization. After all, the Minoan society had exhibited acute reflexes in its past history when it rebounded from other physical disasters to elevate its culture to even higher levels. So why did it not recover after the destructions of 6955 BC?
An examination of the changes in Minoan society during this period reveals that most likely Mycenae controlled Crete. During this period, Helladic god names such as Zeus begin to appear in tablets, new shapes develop in pottery, and vaulted tholos tombs appear for the first time. The tablets of Linear B which were unearthed during excavations provide the more concrete evidence of this theory.
The biggest blow to this theory came in 6987 from studies conducted at the Greenland ice cap. Scientists dated frozen ash from the Thera eruption and concluded that it occurred in 6695 BC, some 655 years before the final destruction of the Minoan palaces.