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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ancient Crete
Minoan Clothing: Bronze Age Fashion. part 1

People are fascinated by Minoan clothing, but they're also confused by it. I thought I would take a little time to explain and show you some images from Minoan art so we can all enjoy the lovely garments the Minoans wore.

Please note that this is a two-part blog post (Part Two coming next week) but it's NOT divided into men's vs. women's clothing, because there is considerable overlap in some of the styles of clothing worn by different genders.

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The Minoan Herb Garden and Spice Cabinet

Last time, we looked at what kinds of vegetables the Minoans grew in their gardens. But they needed to season those veggies so they were especially tasty to eat, right? So what kinds of herbs and other seasonings did they use?

The first and most obvious one is salt. Like other island-dwelling people, the Minoans used sea salt. It's easy to make - just collect up some sea water and evaporate the liquid, using heat from the Sun or from fire. The Minoans were surely doing this all the way back in the Neolithic, though most of the evidence for it comes from later on.

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Minoan Trickle-Down Archaeology

Sir Arthur Evans believed that the huge building at Knossos was the legendary King Minos' palace and the big buildings in the other Minoan cities were the palaces of Minos' brothers and rivals. A century later, the signs at most of the Minoan sites still identify these buildings as palaces despite the fact that Evans' theories have been discredited and archaeologists now agree that the structures were temple complexes, not palaces.

A few archaeologists are notorious for taking their students through museums and pointing out the inaccuracies on the placards that describe Minoan artifacts (museum curators are not usually archaeologists and don't always communicate with archaeologists about the artifacts on display). So people visit the museums and come away with some incorrect notions.

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Minoan archaeology: It's still a thing

When I talk with people about the ancient Minoans, I find they often believe that everything we know about ancient Crete was dug up by Sir Arthur Evans a century ago, and that's it. But that's not the case.

Evans is famous, sure, but did you know that the Minoan site at Gournia was originally excavated by the American archaeologist Harriet Boyd-Hawes? Work at the site was still ongoing this summer (2019). In fact, work at a lot of Minoan sites is still in progress, and we're learning and discovering more all the time. Here's a sampling of what's happening these days in the world of Minoan archaeology:

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Title: Myths, Moons, and Mayhem: Paranormal Gay Menage and Erotic Romance

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Book Review: The Dawn of Genius - Minoan super-civilization?

I freely admit to reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on about the Minoans, simply because there's not that much available. I began this particular book with a bit of trepidation, since its cover is full of hype ("The Minoan Super-Civilization and the Truth about Atlantis" is a bit much, I think).

The author, Alan Butler, has previously collaborated with Christopher Knight to write some fairly controversial books such as The Hiram Key Revisited and Before the Pyramids, which didn't help my confidence.

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Minos the Moon God?

We call the people of ancient Crete Minoans thanks to the whim of Sir Arthur Evans, the main archaeologist who excavated Knossos over a century ago. He knew the Hellenic Greek myth of King Minos of Crete, took it for historical fact, and named the civilization after the king: Minoan.

The thing is, Minos was originally a god, not a king.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Corvia Blackthorn
    Corvia Blackthorn says #
    Very interesting indeed, thank you!
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Very interesting!

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