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Palace Of Knossos

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

        Minotaur, labyrinth, and architecture are words forever bonded with the Palace Of Knossos and its civilization. These terms were adopted and given popularity due to the significant history of the Minoan society. These people formed the first fully established civilization on European land, the island of Crete, during 7000 BCE. After four thousand years, the use of metals, notably bronze, to create important equipment helped relieve the civilization of its Neolithic farming lifestyle. The Palace Of Knossos, home of King Minos, represented the Minoan Crete’s greatest architectural feat and was unarguably its capital. The palace was first built around 1900 BCE, 200 years later, an unverified event brought destruction to it, along with all other Minoan palaces. (Ancient-Greece.Org) It was rebuilt almost instantly, with minor modifications, at this point the use of the Minoan pictographic script, Linear A, was abandoned. (Newman 101 -102) Crete had adopted a new script, Linear B, providing evidence that the Greek-speaking Mycenaean lords had taken over the island. (102-103) The Palace Of Knossos was a significant discovery that influenced the history of its specific civilization, the discovery is attributed to archaeology and its scholars.

        The findings of archaeologists, Minos Kalokerinos (1878) and Sir Arthur Evans (1900-1930) were crucial in the discovery and excavation of the palace. Kalokerinos’ excavation was a minor one in comparison to Evans’, only identifying traces of what he believed to be an extremely old Cretan civilization. Evans, however, was an extremely rich man as well as an amateur archaeologist. Evans purchased the site where the palace was located shortly after he had found mild evidence of an ancient civilization’s existence in the area. Although Evans spent his whole life working with the palace, the main excavations had been completed within five years. (Explorecrete.Com) He had used concrete to restore most of the palace, the amount used varied depending on how unstable certain sections had become, namely the stairs. He utilized low-tech tools which were popularly used at that time. Brushes were used to clear dust from fragile pieces of art, as well as walls and other items of importance, while dynamite and other explosion tools were used to clear paths. Evans understood the significance of controlled excavation and accurate recording in his procedures, but due to his lack of experience he made numerous assumptions based on minimal proof. (Digonsite.Com). Archaeology has an undeniable importance in the study of the ancient world, history revolves around the past, and accuracy is key, the importance of events and their dates have only been recorded for a few centuries. What happened before that would be impossible to determine, had it not been for archaeology. It provides historians of all type with purposeful views of the past, allowing them to add other clues to come up with accurate explanations as well as assumptions. It is the only means of learning the history of the ancient world, without recorded history, therefore making it an extremely important asset to the study of ancient history.

        The discovery of the Palace Of Knossos had an enormous impact on the way in which Europe’s earliest civilizations were portrayed. It provided evidence for the existence of an entire civilization, while providing us with information about their roots, their vast history, and their culture. It also provided proof of potential battles and opened another chapter in the history of the Mycenaeans. The palace’s significance to the history of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations was enormous; it provided traces of the first stable civilization on earth. Wall drawings tell us that the Minoans were the first to treat men and women as equals. The palace had an effective plumbing system, and the use of advanced materials and techniques in the palace indicates that they were technologically ahead of other settlements at that time, making their history vital for archaeologists to study. (Thehotel.Gr) The historical importance of the palace is unsurpassed, it was the most magnificent structure to be built by the Minoan civilization, and its size is incredible even in comparison with today’s standards. The Greek myth of the Minotaur was based on this palace, in the extensive legend suggested that a Minotaur, half man, half bull, had lived in the labyrinth located in the castle. It’s said that the people of Knossos were terrified of this creature and strictly followed the king’s guidelines in order to ensure their safety. (Socyberty.Com)

        Just as the people of Athens left behind the legacy of the Olympic Games, the Minoans left behind the legacy of the great Palace Of Knossos. It was an unsurpassed architectural feat, especially during that time period and its restored remains strengthen its importance. The people of Crete produced architectural masterpieces, from which, the later populations derived architectural techniques, modifying the tools and materials. Today, we have nearly perfected these procedures, but to think how much our world could have differed, had the Minoans not left this legacy. The archaeological findings in the palace and its surrounding areas added another chapter to the history of our planet, just as someone may find today’s lost cities in the following millenniums to and add the 20th century’s chapter to its history.


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