A Greece: The Bronze Age – Society in Minoan Crete 1.Geographical environment -Geographical setting, natural features and resources of Minoan Crete Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands 260 km from east to west – width from north to south, is no greater than 60km Sea: provided Cretans with food (fish, octopus, shellfish), safety (needed a navy to attack, a natural wall against invaders) Lack of fortifications suggest – they saw the sea as something that would provide them with a natural defence from invaders, this made Minoan settlements very different from the cities of otherpeople during the Bronze Age Crete is very mountainous – 3 mountain ranges: Ida range, Mt. Dikte + White Mountains all of which exceed 1800m in height, some reaching as high as 2400m Lower scopes of highlands covered with cypress reesCaves, southern plains Resources: timber (cypress trees), rocks (limestone – used for buildings, pathways, courtyards), caves (rituals, refuge, burials, shelter) Coast: good farmland, rich, fertile soil olives, grapes, lemons, pears, almonds, wide range of vegetables Honey! MOUNTAINOUS Mesara plains in the south Animal husbandry cattle, sheep, goats and pigs Diet had a wide variety than most other societies drank beer, milk, wine + ate cheese -Significant sites: Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, Zakros, AgiaTriada, Gournia PALACE HISTORY: The First Palace Period (c. 2000 – 1700 BC) Bronze Age saw the rise of palatial buildings in Crete First palace seems to have been built at Knossos, then PhaistosAlso first palace period – built at Malia and ZakrosThese palaces consisted of clusters of buildings – little small blocks of apartments – placed around a large, paved courtyard 2 storeys Also had large circular pits – placed in open courts communal storage of grain The Second Palace Period (c. 1700 – 1450 BC) First Palaces were destroyed in an earthquake c. 1700 BC Grander palaces in the Second Palace Period – retained centralcourtyard Buildings completely surrounded by the court Central courts = rectangular and quite large Masonry techniques were much more advanced than those in the earlier periodsLarge number of magazines or storage rooms E.g. Linear A – Minoans stored oil, grains, seeds and wine – used for trade or to pay wages The Third Palace Period (c. 1425 – 1070 BC) Only palatial buildings at Arkhanes and Knossos appear to have beenreoccupied – other palaces were abandonedPeople living in them were Mycenaean’s not Minoans Marked change in the pottery decoration New writing appeared in Linear Blanguage in Ancient Greek Nature of Mycenaean control over Crete is not completely clear – donot know why they came or to what degree Minoans participated
in their government Mixture of both Minoan and Mycenaean architecture suggests that the two groups became integrated Suddenly, and for no known reason, the last palatial residence was abandoned in c. 1070 BC
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- Minoan civilization, Knossos, MINOAN, Crete, Minoan society