what were some of the characteristic of the minoan civilization
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The Minoan civilization flourished in the middle Bronze Age on the Mediterranean island of Crete from ca. 2000 BCE until ca. 1500 BCE and, with their unique art and architecture, the Minoans made a significant contribution to the development of Western European civilization as it is known today.
The archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans was first alerted to the possible presence of an ancient civilization on Crete by surviving carved seal stones worn as charms by native Cretans in the early 20th century CE. Excavating at Knossos from 1900 to 1905 CE, Evans discovered extensive ruins which confirmed the ancient accounts, both literary and mythological, of a sophisticated Cretan culture and possible site of the legendary labyrinth and palace of King Minos. It was Evans who coined the term Minoan in reference to this legendary Bronze Age King.
THE FOUR PRINCIPAL MINOAN PALACE SITES WERE AT KNOSSOS, PHAISTOS, MALIA AND ZAKROS.
Minoan settlements, tombs and cemeteries have been found all over Crete but the four principal palace sites (in order of size) were at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros. At each of these sites, large, complex palace structures of two or three stories and covering several thousand square metres seem to have acted as local administrative, trade, religious and possibly political centres. The relationship between the palaces and the power structure within them or over the island as a whole is not clear due to a lack of archaeological and literary evidence. It is clear, however, that the palaces exerted some kind of localised control, in particular, in the gathering and storage of materials - wine, oil, grain, precious metals and ceramics. The absence of fortifications in the settlements suggests a relatively peaceful co-existence between the different communities. However, the presence of weapons such as swords, daggers and arrow-heads and defensive equipment such as armour and helmets would also suggest that peace may not always have been enjoyed.
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