cj#544> re: Knossos re-interpreted


Richard Moore

From: Andrew W Hagen <•••@••.•••>
Date: Wed, 29 May 96

I like your re-interpretation of Knossos. As little as I know of the
place, you make a very convincing argument. You might wish to try to have
it published in a scholarly journal or the like.


Date: 30 May 96
From: Robert Ward <•••@••.•••>

Very interested to read of your trip to Knossos. If you haven't come across it,
R W Hutchinson's study "Prehistoric Crete" provides a very readable overview of
Minoan history and culture.

>> many of the features seem to be inadequately interpreted by the archeologists
<<  well, let's be frank, they weren't there so they're only making more-or-less
well educated guesses.

>>  Minos' power was based on having the first strong European navy, controlling
trade on the nearby seas, and stemming piracy << Certainly the Minoan economy
was sustained largely by overseas trade, but there's room for debate how far
Minoan civilisation was controlled by any strong central authority in charge of
a "navy". The existence of the palaces bespeaks a well-ordered society with a
supply of surplus labour able to put effort into building them; but then of
course so did the Greeks, who also lacked any coherent central authority. I
suggest a more or less shifting confederacy of city-states was more likely,
perhaps with a common religious framework - again, cf the Greeks who despite
being at constant war with each other had common religious institutions, eg at
Delphi. Piracy has been endemic in the Mediterranean since ships were invented;
one man's piracy tends to be another's free-trading. It seems unlikely that the
average Minoan sea-captain would turn his nose up at a spot of piracy or
slave-trading if the opportunity presented itself.

>>  water would have been in relatively short supply << ah, yes, but relative to
what? If they had piped drainage, that in itself suggests that the palaces at
least had a reasonably effective and reliable water supply. Don't forget also
that the Minoans had trading links with the Egyptians who also had competent
engineers and some knowledge of basic hydraulics.

The idea of using water-pools for decorative effect is not without parallel in
the ancient world. The Greek temple of Athene in Athens also used a pool of
water in front of the statue to provide lighting effects.


Robert Ward

Date: Wed, 29 May 1996
From: •••@••.••• (Chris Thorman)
Subject: Re: cj#541> Crete Diary: Knossos re-interpreted

Hi Richard,

Just FYI, I am getting repeated copies of cj#541 -- which by the way is one
of the most fascinating and evocative pieces I have ever read on the net.


    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib