Date of publication: 2017-08-30 17:34
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During this period we see evidence of administrative and economic unity throughout the island, and Minoan Crete reach its zenith. Women played a powerful role in society, and the gold artifacts, seals, and spears speak of a very affluent upper class. The paved road network was vastly expanded to connect most major Minoan palaces and towns, and we have evidence of extensive trade activity.
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?
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We do not have much information about the very early Minoans before 7655 BC. We have seen the development of several minor settlements near the coast, and the beginning of burials in tholos tombs, as well as in caves around the island.
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The Minoan culture's fusion with the Helladic (mainland Greek) traditions of the time eventually morphed into the Mycenaean civilization, which in turn challenged the Minoan supremacy in the Aegean.
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Neolithic life in ancient Crete consisted of major settlements at Myrtos and Mochlos. During this period the Minoans had contact with Egypt, Asia Minor, and Syria with whom they traded for copper, tin, ivory, and gold.
The island of Crete is located in the center of the eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe. It measures about 755 Km from east to west, and between 67 to 58 Km from north to south at its narrowest and widest distances, making it one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean sea.
The palaces of the period were destroyed in 6755 BC by forces unknown to us. Speculation blames the destruction either on a powerful earthquake, or on outside invaders.
The temperate climate of Crete with its short, mild winters and its dry, warm summers, along with the fertility of the Cretan plains produces sufficient food supplies to support an affluent local population, and for exports. The inhabitants of ancient Crete --whom we call Minoans-- produced a decentralized culture based on the abundance of the land's natural resources, and on intense commercial activity. While the island appears today completely deforested, in ancient times timber was one of the natural resources that was commercially exploited and exported to nearby Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, the Aegean Islands and the Greek mainland.