The strangely advanced Minoan civilization

These are some of the things I would like to research about ancient Crete

I learned some of these on my 2016 Crete trip and some from my own research


See Minoan Crete Exploration Research news items below

There have been some interesting discoveries in recent years













Minoan Crete Exploration Research news items


"Were ancient Minoans centuries ahead of their time? Unprecedented mathematical knowledge found in Bronze Age wall paintings.". - Nature - February 28, 2006



The Minoans were the first civilization to use underground clay pipes for sanitation and water supply - History Whiz

The Romans would develop these sophisticated comforts - but not for 1500 years.



The Antikythera Mechanism was retrieved from a shipwreck in 1901 by sponge divers off Antikythera Island which is only 22 miles from the northwest corner of Crete. I could see Antikythera from there. It's one of the most amazing artifacts ever found. Researchers have been piecing together the details on who created this clockwork mechanism with 37 gear wheels that was used for calculating astronomical events over 2,000 years ago in 205 BC. A Cretan researcher has identified a Minoan object discovered at Paleokastro, Crete as possibly being a cast for building a similar astronomical mechanism nearly a millennium and a half before the Antikythera Mechanism.

"Researcher cites ancient Minoan-era computer" - Archaeology News Network - April 7, 2011 

Possible Minoan computer predating Antikythera Mechanism

It's been proposed that this was a cast to build a mechanism that functioned as an analog computer to calculate solar and lunar eclipses. It was first discovered in 1898 but was re-discovered in the Heraklion Archeological Museum during a search for Minoan astronomical symbols.


"Minoan Shipyard Found On Crete" - Greek - March 5, 2013


"Turkey: 4,000-year-old Minoan ship discovered off the coast" - International Business Times - Feb. 2, 206



"Scientists: Santorini Tsunami of 1650 BC Caused by Pyroclastic Flows, Not Caldera Collapse? - Greek - March 17, 2017



Akrotiri on Santorini (Thera)

Minoan civilization on island of Thera with similarities to Atlantis?

This Bronze Age civilization thrived between 3000 and 2000 BC, reaching its peak in the period between 2000 and 1580 BC.

Many of the houses in Akrotiri were major structures, some of them three stories high. It's streets, squares, and walls were preserved in the layers of ejecta, sometimes as tall as 26 feet or 8 meters indicating this was a major town. In many houses stone staircases are still intact, and they contain huge ceramic storage jars, mills, and pottery. Noted archaeological remains found in Akrotiri are wall paintings or frescoes, which have kept their original colour well, as they were preserved under many feet of volcanic ash. The town also had a highly developed drainage system and, judging from the fine artwork, its citizens were clearly sophisticated and relatively wealthy people.

Pipes with running water and water closets found at Akrotiri are the oldest such utilities discovered. The pipes run in twin systems, indicating that Therans used both hot and cold water supplies; the origin of the hot water probably was geothermic, given the volcano's proximity. The dual pipe system, the advanced architecture, and the apparent layout of the Akrotiri find resemble Plato's description of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, further indicating the Minoans as the culture which primarily inspired the Atlantis legend.

The volcanic eruption that destroyed Akrotiri ejected up to four times as much as the well-recorded eruption by Krakatoa in 1883.



Homer's Wine Dark Sea

The world's oldest wine originiated on Crete

Homer's Wine Dark Sea

The oldest known place where wine was made was near the eastern shore of Crete at the bottom center of this view. The locals still grow wine grapes on the very same land where it all began. Why the poet Homer called it the wine dark sea hasn't been explained but it is one of the more famous quotes from the epic ILIAD and the ODYSSEY that described events in the Age of Heroes we now have identified as the Bronze Age.

The Mycenaean Greeks and Minoans seem to have shared a common religion which later became the Greek's religion. Poseidon, for instance, predates the Greek's religion. Very similar, even identical Gods and Goddesses and myths, point to the famous Olympian Gods of being of Bronze Age origin. Zeus was said to have been born in a cave on a high peak on Crete to his Titan mother Rhea.

Greek mythology is really quite remarkable. Did wine play a role in the wild imaginations of the region? We don't know but we have found numerous amphorae in shipwrecks - tall ancient Greek jars with two handles and a narrow neck. They carried wine, among other things. Some have been found unbroken and still containing wine, congealed but still in a liquid form even after thousands of years under the sea. We know about the Golden Age, the Silver Age and the Bronze Age but the Wine Dark Age seems to have been around even longer.

Europe had some very early civilizations around the eastern Mediterranean and up to the Black Sea and Balkans regions of today's Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. They were all civilized long before the rest of Europe. Serbia's is the earliest known so far but there may be even older discoveries. We probably haven't found the oldest civilization yet. We've really only started looking in the last 150 years so how could we know everything that happened over the last twelve thousand years yet?



Bull jumping in Crete and bull fighting in Spain

was there any connection between that similarity and Atlantis?



Ogygia located in Crete?

Ogygia has long been associated with the legend of Atlantis and also the island of Calypso from Homer's Odyssey. Gavdos island is located 36 miles from the southwest corner of Crete and has been associated with both legends. See Gavdos island website for more about that. I'd like to explore the island on a future Crete trip to learn more about the connections to those legends. The undersea topography is interesting, see maps below.S


Gavdos Island location maps from Google Earth



The fact that Gavdos is the last remaining piece of what appears to be a submerged part of Crete is interesting in light of the Ogygia-Atlantis legend.

Note also the interesting patterns on the sea floor between Crete and Gavdos island. Probably just some kind of sea floor scanning artifacts but I haven't researched it. I "discovered" them recently.


The fact that Gavdos is the last remaining piece of what appears to be a submerged part of Crete is interesting in light of the Ogygia-Atlantis legend.

Note also the interesting patterns on the sea floor between Crete and Gavdos island. Probably just some kind of sea floor scanning artifacts but I haven't researched it. I "discovered" them recently.





 Tectonic map of Crete, the Aegean Sea and the Hellenic Arc

The Minoan civilization collapsed but they influenced the Mycenaens and the later Greeks

The African plate's continual movement north is wreaking havoc on Greece in slow motion. The same tectonic forces that power Italy's volcanoes are also at work in Greece but not as famous. There have been some epic earthquakes of truly shocking proportion on Crete. They've caused devastating tsunamis. I was aware of this potential when I was there but nothing happened. The really big ones seem to strike several thousand years apart but scientists are still investigating and they may be more common.


"The Wreck of the Minoans"

Few people are aware there is also a chain of volcanic islands in Greece called the Volcanic Arc. Santorini is the only famous one but there are others. Santorini's major eruption during Minoan times is still being investigated as to what actually happened and what effects it had. There definitely was a tsunami that struck Crete and Dia island at that time. It apparently did not end the Minoan civilization but it seems to have been a factor in weakening them. The Mycenaean Greek conquest of Crete that came not too long after the tsunami was the main reason the Minoan's lost their grip on the island and were assimilated. Surprisingly the Myceneans were greatly influenced by the sophisticated civilization they had conquered. They couldn't help but admire the Minoans and copied a number of things from them including their appearance. This led to the Bronze Age Mycenaean Greek's becoming a more sophisticaed civilization, too. They in turn influenced the classical era Greeks that followed.



Submerged Greece research maps

 Using undersea maps like this are useful to locate areas of interest to explore underwater in general but possibly also in regards to Plato's description of an Atlantean war against Greece 9,000 years before his time. You can see a very large submerged area where the Aegean Sea is now. Crete was larger then, as were the other islands. It would be interesting to explore the undersea Aegean plateau at a depth that corresponds to what used to be above water during the supposed time that Atlantis was trying to conquer Greece. The discovery of 5,000 year old Pavlopetri was a step in that direction. It's surprisingly old and surprisingly sophisticated. It's probably just the tip of the iceberg as to what may still be discovered.

 Undersea Mediterranean Google Earth wide view


 Submerged Greece Google Earth view



 Submerged Crete Google Earth view


 Submerged entrance to Aegean Sea Google Earth view


 Antikythera Island as seen from Balos Beach Google Earth view.


 Antikythera Island as seen on Google Earth view.


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