Walk through historical sites and we walk in the steps of prominent, meaningful, and ancient peoples. In such places, I imagine being a spectator watching the people who made that spot on earth notable. And this is what I did when I toured the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete.
Crete is Greece's largest, most populated, and perhaps, most desirable island for invaders throughout history. Ruins on Crete can be traced back to the Neolithic (6700-3200 B.C.) period. Some known inhabitants who occupied the island include the Minoans, Mycenaeans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Venetians. It wasn’t until 1913 that Crete became a state of Greece.
The Minoans were an advanced civilization with poetry, music, and art. Sophisticated ceramics created on a pottery wheel ranged from wafer-thin vessels and boxes with lids to large vases.
Minoans also made sculptures from pottery as well as bronze. The Minoan Palace of Knossos was decorated with frescoes of bulls leaping and the worship of bulls. Paintings on walls and vases also featured processions and sea animals. In addition, the Minoans designed jewelry from gold and other elements.
Palaces were a center for trade, political meetings, and religious events. Wine, oil, grain, precious metals, and ceramics were stored there.
Knossos was a complex structure constructed, at least in part, of large gypsum blocks. It had multiple floors with staircases and stretched over a thousand square meters.
One of the oldest thrones in the world is thought to be in this palace.
Most impressive to me was that the Minoans had an extensive water and drainage system with a series of clay pipes.
An area with rows of steps and a platform is thought to have been used for important ceremonies and public events.
Roads connected surrounding villages and farms to the place. The absence of fortifications surrounding settlements suggests that they were a peaceful community. However, swords, daggers, and arrowheads as well as armor and helmets were also found, so at least minor unrest may have occurred at some time.
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