The term “Minoans” was coined in the modern era to denote the inhabitants of Crete during the Bronze Age (ca. 3100-1100 BC). We don’t know how they referred to themselves, or even if they conceived of themselves as ethnically different from, say, the
Mycenaeans. It is, first and foremost, an archaeological label.
Cretans of the Bronze Age are most famous for their large court complexes, conventionally referred to as “palaces”. The largest of these court complexes have been unearthed at Knossos (the second most popular archaeological site in Greece), Phaistos, Malia and Zakros.
In a shrine at Ayia Irini, a site on the island of Kea (ancient Keos), excavators have found a large number of clay sculptures that date back to the Late Bronze Age.
High in the Dicte mountain range along the Lasithi Plateau in Crete is the Psychro Cave, which may have been the place where, according to myth, the great god Zeus was raised.
Ariadne’s Threads, published in 2015, Berenice Jones has written the standard work on clothing in the Aegean Bronze Age that will serve as the basis for all future research. Read more
No archaeological site in Crete gives you a better idea of what it must have been like to live in a Minoan town than Gournia, located on the Isthmus of Ierepetra.
Finds from the Minoan settlement at Malia include a number of beautiful swords and daggers, now in the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion.
We explore the archaeological site of Malia in Crete, located close to the sea. Here, remains of a “palace” have been unearthed, as well as parts of the surrounding Minoan town.
Invicta invited archaeologist Josho Brouwers to provide commentary on the game’s depiction of Knossos. There is, as you might expect, a lot to talk about.
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The Chieftain Cup, currently in the archaeological museum of Iraklion, depicts a scene on one side that features a commanding figure, probably a leader of some sort.
From the Minoan administrative centre of Agia Triada comes a black steatite vase depicting what appears to be a procession or processional dance connected to either a sowing or harvesting festival.
From Agia Triada comes a remarkable limestone sacrophagus with figurative scenes that may shed light on the nature of Bronze Age religion.