Geography

The Minoan civilization was centered on Crete an Island in the Aegean Sea in the Mediterranean. The climate of the Cretan Island is warm and dry. Crete is extremely mountainous and it is personified by high mountain ranges crossing the Island. The island is situated 160 km (99 mi) from the Greek mainland. Although the distance from the mainland the Minoan civilization developed a prosperous shipping trade network that spanned throughout the Mediterranean Sea.



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The Minoan Civilization


In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries archeologists discovered and excavated Knossos in the North of the Crete. Knossos was the Ancient capital city of the Minoans.
The archeologists found the remains of an advanced and thriving culture. Painted walls produced a lot evidence of the sophisticated culture of the Minoans. The art crafts
including frescoes, mosaics, pots and vases. These illustrated that the Minoans were an athletic and graceful culture who loved well crafted objects. Temples and shrines built for
different Gods were also excavated at Knossos.

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From their center on the Island of Crete the Minoans developed a major influence on Mediterranean overseas trade. They developed trading ships that could effectively be filled with large amounts of goods. This was the key to dominate trade in the Mediterranean. The Minoans would dominate the Mediterranean trading network for about six centuries, from 2000 B.C. to 1400 B.C.


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Religious practices of the Minoans included sacrifice of bulls and other animals. Evidence has further been discovered that the Minoans practiced human sacrifice. Priestesses also took part in the religious ceremonies suggesting that women played a significant role in Minoan civilization. Numerous art works suggest that women held a higher rank in Minoan society than women played in any other culture of this era.



The Minoan civilization ended in about 1200 B.C. No one knows what the cause of the Minoan cultures end was. One theory states that the civilization had suffered from several natural disasters and had declined, another that the Island had become overpopulated and the civilization collapsed, or an invasion by foreigne powers had sparked the fall of the Minoan civilization. Crete’s influence on the Mediterranean sea trade as a major power and cultural force was over.

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Maps

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