1) Who You’ll Meet – Knossus was home of the famous ancient bronze age culture of the Minoans, the earliest of the Aegean civilizations and the legendary King Minos. The Minoans probably originated from Anatolia and settled on Crete by 7th millennium BCE, where they founded an agricultural civilization, based on wheat and livestock. In the early Minoan age of 3000- 2000 BCE , they started using bronze to craft glazed ceramics, gold jewelry, and other artisan items. You can meet the creators of Minoan hieroglyphics, and Linear A. The Minoan culture eventually influenced m

Gold Minoan seal ring of a king of the dynasty...

Gold Minoan seal ring of a king of the dynasty of Minos (Photo credit: UIC Digital Collections)

Fresco of bull-leaping from Knossos

Fresco of bull-leaping from Knossos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throne Hall Knossos

Throne Hall Knossos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ainland Greece, which gave rise to the Mycenaean culture. The Mycenaeans eventually took over Knossus by the 15th century BCE and developed Linear B script, thought to be the predecessor to Greek.

2) How You’ll Get There- Knossus is located on the Northern part of Crete. It is about 5 km south of the modern capital Heraklion. It is in the Southern Aegean Sea, just south of mainland Greece and Turkey. The Minoans and later Mycenaens established themselves on the Mediterranean and dominated the Aegean in trade. Phoenician or Egyptian merchants would know the best sea routes. Travel from mainland Greece is possible with minimal sea travel.

3) Why You’d Come Here Experience what is considered to be the oldest city in Europe. Knossus Palace is the home of the fabled palace of King Minos, Theseus fighting the Minotaur, Ariadne and her ball of string, Daedalus the architect, and Icarus and his flawed wings of wax. Come see the culture which created Linear A and Linear B, the predecessor to Greek. See first hand, the ruins of the kingdom that once dominated the Aegean.

4) What Was It Like? The Minoan world featured a sprawling urban complex which was thoroughly connected by roads and drainage systems. Centered in the Aegean and Mediterranean world, the scenery is classically beautiful.  The Minoans thrived on coastal trading and commerce.  By 1900 BCE, the great capital of Knossus was founded. If you plan to stay in Knossus, make sure to evacuate by 1375 BCE, as violent earthquakes left the capital in ruins.

5) Sources

“Minoan civilization”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013


Adams E. 2007. Approaching monuments in the prehistoric built environment: New light on the Minoan palaces. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 26(4):359-394.

Nafplioti A. 2008. “Mycenaean” political domination of Knossos following the Late Minoan IB destructions on Crete: negative evidence from strontium isotope ratio analysis (87Sr/86Sr). Journal of Archaeological Science 35(8):2307-2317.

Schoep I. 2004. Assessing the role of architecture in conspicuous consumption in the Middle Minoan I-II periods. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 23(3):243-269.

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