Text 1: Minoans Prosper From Trade. Topic 5: Ancient Greece Lesson 1: Early Greece

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1 Text 1: Minoans Prosper From Trade Topic 5: Ancient Greece Lesson 1: Early Greece

2 VOCABULARY Crete Aegean Sea fresco Mycenanean Arthur Evans Minoans Knossos shrine

3 Minoans Prosper From Trade The island of Crete was the cradle of an early civilization that later influenced Greeks living on the European mainland The people of Crete had absorbed many ideas from the older civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia

4 Minoans Prosper From Trade Located in the Aegean Sea, Crete was home to a brilliant early civilization and the first European civilization It is not known what the people who built this civilization called themselves The British archaeologist Arthur Evans, who unearthed its ruins in the early 1900s, named the culture

5 Minoans Prosper From Trade He called them Minoans after King Minos, a legendary king of Crete Minoan civilization had lay buried for more than 2,500 years Today, the Minoans are recognized not only for their unique civilization but also for their contribution to the rise of civilization in Greece

6 A Crossroads Location Location affected the early people of Crete They lived at the crossroads of three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Early on, they engaged in seaborne trade From their island home in the eastern Mediterranean, they crossed the seas to the Nile Valley and the Middle East

7 A Crossroads Location Through contact with the older civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, they acquired artistic ideas and technologies such as metalworking that they adapted to their own culture

8 A Crossroads Location Minoans developed several systems of writing during their long history The first used hieroglyphs, although it does not seem related to Egyptian hieroglyphs and has not yet been deciphered Later, Minoans used two other scripts, each somewhat different Most writing appeared on seals or disks

9 An Economy Based on Trade Abundant resources and trade helped Minoans build a prosperous economy Unlike the early civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the success of the Minoans was based on trade, not conquest Minoan traders set up outposts across the Aegean and beyond From Crete, they exported timber, food, wine, wool, and many other goods

10 An Economy Based on Trade From Egypt and the Middle East, they brought back cargoes of precious stones, copper, ivory, gold, and silver as well as tin The nearest tin mines were located in Spain, Britain or Persia, suggesting that Minoan traders acquired goods that had traveled great distances

11 The Palace at Knossos Minoan civilization reached its height, or greatest success, between about 1700 B.C.E. and 1400 B.C.E. During this time, Minoan kings built a vast palace at Knossos The palace housed rooms for the royal family, banquet halls, and working areas for artisans It also included religious shrines

12 The Palace of Knossos The Minoans were polytheistic Archaeological evidence shows the importance of a snake goddess, often holding a snake in either hand The later Greeks associated the snake with the god of healing Along with other ancient civilizations, the bull held a place of honor in Minoan religious beliefs

13 Minoan Frescoes Show Palace Life The walls of the palace at Knossos were covered with colorful frescoes, and provide evidence of Minoan life Some frescoes show young nobles, both men and women, strolling through gardens outside the palace These images suggest that women appeared freely in public and may have enjoyed more rights than women in other ancient civilizations

14 Minoan Frescoes Show Palace Life A startling fresco depicts men and women in a dangerous athletic contest, jumping through the horns of a charging bull Minoan sculptors also created works showing bull leapers Scholars think that the bull leaping was part of a religious activity

15 Minoan Civilization Disappears Archaeologists have found that Minoan palaces were destroyed and rebuilt more than once But some time around 1400 B.C.E. palaces were destroyed Evidence shows fire and sudden destruction

16 Minoan Civilization Disappears Scholars do not know why Minoan civilization fell A volcanic eruption on a nearby island or perhaps an earthquake destroyed the palace, followed by an immense tidal wave that drowned many inhabitants It is certain that invaders played a role in the destruction of Minoan civilization

17 Minoan Civilization Disappears These intruders were the Mycenaeans, the first Greek-speaking people of whom we have a written record Minoan civilization slowly disappeared, surviving only in legend for thousands of years In the last century, its legacy was recovered as archaeologists revealed its influence on later Western civilization

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