From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization which arose on the island of Crete. The Minoan culture flourished from approximately 2700 to 1450 BC; afterwards, Mycenaean Greek culture became dominant at Minoan sites in Crete. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century, at first through the work of the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, when Minoan Crete took its historic place, as Will Durant said in 1939, as "the first link in the European chain."
The collection of Minoan art is in the museum at Heraklion, near Knossos on the north shore of Crete. Minoan art, with other remains of material culture, especially the sequence of ceramic styles, has allowed archaeologists to define the three phases of Minoan culture (EM, MM, LM) discussed above.
Since wood and textiles have vanished through decomposition, the best preserved, and so most easily learned from, surviving examples of Minoan art are Minoan pottery, the palace architecture with its frescos that include landscapes, stone carvings, and intricately carved seal stones.
In the Early Minoan period ceramics were characterized by linear patterns of spirals, triangles, curved lines, crosses, fishbone motifs, and like. In the Middle Minoan period naturalistic designs such as fish, squid, birds, and lilies were common. In the Late Minoan period, flowers and animals were still the most characteristic, but the variability had increased. The 'palace style' of the region around Knossos is characterised by a strong geometric simplification of naturalistic shapes and monochromatic paintings. Very noteworthy are the similarities between Late Minoan and Mycenaean art. Frescoes were the main form of art during this time of the Minoan culture.
- Linear A
- Peak sanctuaries
- Sacred caves
- Phaistos Disc
- Herakleion Archaeological Museum
- Cretan diet
- Bull-Leaping Fresco