Greece The Minoans
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
The civilization that developed in Crete is called Minoan after the mythical King Minos. The Minoan culture began producing sculpture and pottery in approximately 2600 B.C., inaugurating what was known as the prepalatial (early Minoan) period. Then about 2000 B.C. the Minoans began constructing the palaces that became their trademark. The palace-building protopalatial (middle Minoan) period, which lasted until about 1450 B.C., included flourishing economic, political, and social organization and active trade in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as the first appearance of writing in the Greek world. In the latter part of this period, Minoan traders ventured as far west as Spain. The large, ornate palaces had a distinctive design, were built at population centers and were the scene of elaborate religious ceremonies. The destruction of many of the society's palaces by a severe earthquake began the postpalatial (late Minoan) period. In that period, the rival Mycenaean civilization took control of Crete's Mediterranean commerce, and by 1200 B.C. development of the Minoan culture had ceased.
Data as of December 1994
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