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Encyclopedia > Minoan chronology
Model of the "Palace of Minos" on Kephala at the Museum in Iraklio. Note the central courtyard, the columned porticos, the agglutinative architecture, the frequent light wells and the lack of defenses. Not shown are the extensive water supply and sanitation systems.
Model of the "Palace of Minos" on Kephala at the Museum in Iraklio. Note the central courtyard, the columned porticos, the agglutinative architecture, the frequent light wells and the lack of defenses. Not shown are the extensive water supply and sanitation systems.

Minoan chronology refers to the relative dating scheme developed by Sir Arthur Evans for the Bronze Age in Crete based on the excavations initiated and managed by him at the site of the ancient city of Knossos. He called the civilization that he discovered there Minoan. The same scheme was later applied to the Greek mainland and the Cyclades Islands to form a general plan for dating events of the prehistoric and early historic Aegean. The relative chronology is based on the shapes and decorative styles of pottery found at many sites on Crete and elsewhere. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 137 KB) Museu arqueològic de Creta a Heràkleion, foto feta per J. Ollé el 6 dagost del 2005. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 137 KB) Museu arqueològic de Creta a Heràkleion, foto feta per J. Ollé el 6 dagost del 2005. ... Sir Arthur John Evans (July 8, 1851 – July 11, 1941) was an English archaeologist. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... A portion of Arthur Evans reconstruction of the Minoan palace at Knossos. ... The Minoans were a pre-Hellenic Bronze Age civilization in Crete in the Aegean Sea, flourishing from approximately 2700 to 1450 BC when their culture was superseded by the Mycenaean culture, which drew upon the Minoans. ... The Cyclades (Greek Κυκλάδες) are a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of the mainland of Greece; and an administrative prefecture of Greece. ... Greece and the Aegean Sea The Aegean sea in Greece as seen from the island of Greek: Αιγαίον Πέλαγος, Aigaion Pelagos; Turkish: Ege denizi) is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, located between the Greek peninsula and Anatolia...

For more details on on Minoan pottery, see Minoan pottery.

Contents

Minoan pottery is more than a useful tool for dating the mute Minoan civilization. ...

Evans and Knossos

Arthur Evans began excavating on a hill called tou tseleve he kephala, "the headland of the chieftain", some three miles from the north coast of Crete, on March 23, 1900. Two of the palace storerooms had been uncovered by Minos Kalokairinos in 1878. He had been stopped by the then owners of the land. Sir Arthur John Evans (July 8, 1851 – July 11, 1941) was an English archaeologist. ... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... March 23 is the 82nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (83rd in leap years). ... 1900 (MCM) was an exceptional common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, but a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. ...


Meanwhile the citizens of the area were turning up coins and seals inscribed with a mysterious script. These came to Evans' attention as the curator of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, which he was from 1884 to 1908. The place was rumored to have been the site of the ancient city of Knossos. Seal on envelope A seal is an impression printed on, embossed upon, or affixed to a document (or any other object) in order to authenticate it, in lieu of or in addition to a signature. ... The Ashmolean Museum (in full the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology) in Oxford, England is the worlds first university museum. ... This article is about the city of Oxford in England. ... A portion of Arthur Evans reconstruction of the Minoan palace at Knossos. ...


Evans examined the site on March 19, 1894. Nothing further could be done at that time, but in 1898 Crete became an independent republic. In 1899 Evans purchased the land with his own funds (his family had been factory owners in industrial Britain) and decided to set up an excavation. In the first two weeks he discovered the Linear A tablets, a streak of luck exceeded only by Carl Blegen's legendary first day's dig at Pylos, when he uncovered the Pylos tablets, written in Linear B, a script also found at Kephala and named by Evans. March 19 is the 78th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (79th in leap years). ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Linear A incised on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Pylos (Greek Πύλος), formerly Navarino, is the name of a bay and a town on the west coast of the Peloponnese, in the district of Messenia in southern Greece. ... This article is about the ancient syllabary. ...

Photograph of the Palace.
Photograph of the Palace.
Another View of the Palace.
Another View of the Palace.

Attacking the site with crews of hundreds of diggers, Evans uncovered most of the site's 6 acres within 6 seasons. By 1905 he had named the civilization whose traces he found there Minoan, after the legendary king Minos, and had created a detailed chronology of the serial phases of the pottery styles in Minoan Crete, based on what he found at Knossos. Subsequently he concerned himself mainly with restoration, an activity that is frowned upon by archaeologists of today. He continued to excavate there and elsewhere and to restore until 1935. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x868, 366 KB) Palace of Knossus, overall view. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x868, 366 KB) Palace of Knossus, overall view. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x854, 339 KB) Bildbeschreibung: Knossos - Rekonstruktion Quelle: photographed by me Fotograf/Zeichner: Apeto Datum: Autumn 2000 Sonstiges: ... File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Minoan chronology Metadata This... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x854, 339 KB) Bildbeschreibung: Knossos - Rekonstruktion Quelle: photographed by me Fotograf/Zeichner: Apeto Datum: Autumn 2000 Sonstiges: ... File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Minoan chronology Metadata This... In Greek mythology, Minos was a semi-legendary king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. ... A portion of Arthur Evans reconstruction of the Minoan palace at Knossos. ...


Evans was knighted in 1911 for his work, becoming "Sir", which previously he was not. In 1921 the first edition of his monumental work, Palace of Minos, came out, which is a sine qua non for any department of classical archaeology. On Evans' death in 1941, the British School of Archaeology assumed responsibility for the excavation, later turning the property over to the Greek government, while retaining excavation rights.


Evans' Chronology

Evans' chronological framework had triple divisions each triply divided, a formula that has been retained, thus Early Minoan (EM) I II and III, Middle Minoan (MM) I II and III etc. Each subsection he divided into A and B, early and late. In 1918 Alan J. B. Wace and Carl Blegen adapted Evans' chronology to the Greek mainland and the islands, where the culture was termed Helladic and Cycladic. In 1941 Arne Furumark applied the term Mycenaean to LH and LC. As it is clear that the Mycenaean Greeks dominated at Knossos at some point in Late Minoan (LM), the latter is often included under "Mycenaean" or called "Minoan-Mycenaean". Alan John Bayard Wace (born July 13, 1879 in Cambridge, England; died November 9, 1956, in Athens, Greece) was an English archaeologist and director of the British School at Athens (1914-1923). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Helladic is a period of ancient Greek Civilization. ... The Cyclades, from the Greek Κυκλάδες, (circular, modern Greek Kykládes; see also List of traditional Greek place names) form an island group south-east of the mainland of Greece. ... Mycenaean Greece, the last phase of the Bronze Age in ancient Greece, is the historical setting of the epics of Homer and much other Greek mythology. ...


The major study of Cretan pottery was Evans'. A very general trend of facture was from dark decoration on a light background in the Early Minoan to white and red decorations on a dark wash of slip in Middle Minoan, and finally a return to the earlier manner of dark on light in Late Minoan.[1] New body shapes for vessels also emerged and various styles of decoration are evident within Evan's chronology.


Evans never intended to give exact calendrical dates to the pottery periods. He did correlate them roughly to better dated Egyptian periods using finds of Egyptian artifacts in association with Cretan ones and obvious similarities of some types of Cretan artifacts with Egyptian ones. Subsequent investigators checking Evans' work varied the dates of some of the periods a little, usually less than a few hundred years, but the chronological structure remains basically as Evans left it, a solid framework for placing events of Aegean prehistory.


Most criticism does not aim at the overthrow of Evans' system, but only complains that it does not capture all the data, such as local variations. Even with these faults the system has no competitors. In 1958 Nikolaos Platon proposed a new chronology at the Prehistoric Conference in Hamburg. In it, the terms "Pre-palace", "Old Palace" and "New Palace" were to replace Evans' scheme. The academic community accepted the scheme but not the replacement, simply stating where in Evans' system the new terms fit.


The one serious question[2] concerns the date of the Knossos tablets. Allegations were made that Evans falsified the stratum in which the tablets were found to place the tablets at 1400 BCE when they ought to have been the same date as the Pylos tablets, 1200 BCE. This dispute became known as the Palmer-Boardman Dispute when it first appeared. Despite the intense debate that developed on the subject no conclusive evidence has yet been found to settle the question. A key part of the case was that a certain kind of vase, a stirrup jar (named from the handles) found in tablet contexts, is dated only to 1200. Other archaeologists hastened to the journalistic scene with instances of similar jars going back to 1400. The search for closure goes on. By default, archaeologists tend to use Evans' dating.


Table of Minoan Chronology

Other Names Relative Chronology[3] Conventional Dates, BCE[4] Notes
Prepalatial, Pre-Palace (Προανακτορική), Protominoan Age (Platon)[5]
Copper Age (Matz, Hutchinson)[6]
Early Bronze Age (Hood)
EM 3000-2200 (Evans, Hood)
2600-2000 (Matz)
Πρωτομινωική or ΠΜ in Greek.
First Early Minoan (Hutchinson)
Phase I (Platon)
I 3400-2800 (Evans)
2600-2300 (Matz)
2500-2400 (Hutchinson)
3200-2600 (Gimbutas)
3000-2600 (Willetts, Hood)
2800-2200 (Mackenzie)
The main problem has been setting the end of the Neolithic; its layers were destroyed by building at Knossos.

The period is attested by pottery from a well at Knossos, in Tholos Tomb 2 at Lebena and by an EM I layer at Debla. The Treasure of Atreus tholos in 2004 Beehive tombs, also known as Tholos tombs (plural tholoi), are a style of Mycenaean chamber tomb from the Bronze Age. ...

Second Early Minoan (Hutchinson)
Phase II (Platon)
II 2800-2400 (Evans)
2300-2200 (Matz)
2300-2100 (Hutchinson)[7]
2600-2300 (Gimbutas, Willetts, Hood)
Seals like those of Egyptian 1st Intermediate Period, Dynasties 6-11, 2345-1991.
Third Early Minoan (Hutchinson)
Phase III (Platon)
III 2400-2200 (Evans)
2200-2000 (Matz)
2100-2000 (Hutchinson)
2300-2160 (Gimbutas)
2300-2200 (Willetts, Hood)
Palace Period (Matz, Platon)
Minoan Age (Platon)[8]
Full Bronze Age (Matz)[9]
MM 2200-1500 (Evans)
2000-1570 (Matz)
2000-1580 (Ventris & Chadwick)
Μεσομινωική or MM in Greek
Phase III of Pre-Palace (Platon)
Early Palace (Matz)
First or Early Palaces (Hood)
IA 2000-? (Matz)
2000-1900 (Hutchinson)
2160-1930 (Gimbutas)
2200-2000 (Willetts, Hood)
2000-1925 (Ventris & Chadwick
2200-? (MacKenzie)
Kephala mound cleared of earlier structures, palace at Knossos begun (Hutchinson).
Protopalatial
Old Palace (Evans)
Early Palace (Matz)
Old Palace (Παλαιοανακτορική) Phase I (Platon)
First or Early Palaces (Hood)
IB ?-1800 (Matz)
1900-1850 (Hutchinson)
2000-1900 (Platon, Willetts, Hood)
1925-1850 (Ventris & Chadwick)
1930-1800 (Gimbutas)
?-2100 (MacKenzie)
"First Palaces" or "First temple-palaces" (Gimbutas)[10]

Use of potter's wheel. It may have been introduced in IA.
Protopalatial
Old Palace (Evans)
Early Palace (Matz)
Old Palace Phase II (Platon)
First or Early Palaces, Middle Bronze Age (Hood)
IIA 1850-? (Hutchinson, Ventris & Chadwick)
1900-1800 (Platon, Willetts, Hood)
2100-? (MacKenzie)
Protopalatial
Old Palace (Evans)
Early Palace (Matz)
Old Palace Phase III (Platon)
First or Early Palaces, Middle Bronze Age (Hood)
IIB ?-1700 (Matz, Ventris & Chadwick)
?-1750 (Hutchinson)
1800-1700 (Platon, Willetts, Hood)
?-1900 (MacKenzie)
Palaces were so destroyed by an earthquake ca. 1700 that they had to be rebuilt. This is the dividing line between Old and New Palace and between II and III.[11]
Neopalatial
Old Palace (Evans)
Late Palace I (Matz)
New Palace (Νεοανακτορική) Phase I (Platon)
Middle Bronze Age (Hood)
IIIA 1700-? (Matz)
1700-? (Platon)
1700/1750-1600 (Hutchinson)
1700-1660 (Ventris & Chadwick)
1700-? (Willetts)
1700-? (Hood)
1900-? (MacKenzie)
Frescoes begin.
First pot signs in Linear A.
Neopalatial
Late Palace I (Matz)
New Palace Period Phase I (Platon)
Middle Bronze Age (Hood)
IIIB 1600-1550 (Hutchinson)
?-1570 (Matz)
?-1600 (Platon)
1660-1580 (Ventris & Chadwick)
?-1600 (Willetts)
?-1550 (Hood)
1700-1600 (Palmer)
?-1700 (MacKenzie)
Linear A.
Another earthquake requiring more rebuilding occurred ca. 1570, which for some was the middle of IIIB and for others the start.
First Linear A archives from Mallia.
LM 1500-1000 (Evans) Υστερομινωική or ΥΜ in Greek
Late Palace II (Matz)
New Palace Phase II (Platon)
IA 1550-1500 (Hutchinson)
1600-1500 (Palmer, Furumark)
1570-? (Matz)
1600-? (Platon)
1580-1510 (Ventris & Chadwick)
1700-? (MacKenzie)
Most likely period of Thera eruption and tsunami.[12]
Largest cache of Linear A tablets, Hagia Triada, IA and/or IB.
Late Palace II (Matz)
New Palace Phase II (Platon)
IB 1500-1450 (Hutchinson)
?-1450 (Matz)
1510-1450 (Ventris & Chadwick)
1500-1450 (Palmer, Furumark)
?-1450 (Platon)
?-1500 (MacKenzie)
All the palaces except Knossos were burned ca. 1450, events interpreted by the majority view as the advent of the Greeks and installment at Knossos.
Late Palace II (Matz)
New Palace Phase III (Platon)
Palace Period (Evans, MacKenzie)
II 1450-1400 (Hutchinson, Palmer, Furumark, Matz, Platon)
1450-1405 (Ventris & Chadwick)
The period ends with a destruction by fire of all the palaces on Crete from unknown causes.[13] They were, of course, reoccupied.
Post-Palace Phase I (Platon) IIIA 1400- (Matz)
1400-1320 (Platon)
1400-1300 (Hutchinson)
Linear B tablets ca. 1400 (Evans and his defender, Boardman)
Post-Palace Phases II, III (Platon) IIIB 1300-1200 (Hutchinson)
1320-1280 (II), 1260-1150 (III) (Platon)
Linear B tablets ca. 1200 (Palmer, doubter of Evans' chronology)
IIIC ?-1100 (Matz)
1260-1050 (Willetts)
A general Mycenaean Greek palace destruction by fire on the mainland and Crete happened in a window of time ca. 1200 at the end of IIIB. How wide a window is not known, nor are the causes for sure. Some possibilities are any or all of civil strife, the Sea Peoples, the Dorians.
Subminoan Age (Platon, Matz, Willetts) 1100- (Matz)
1150-1000 (Platon)
1075-1025 (Furumark)
1050-900 (Willetts)
This period is considered a Mycenaean Greek holdout against the Dorian Greeks arriving at this time. Its end marks the completion of assimilation to them.

Linear A incised on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini. ... Linear A incised on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini. ... Malia could refer to: Malia, a city in Crete Malia, a bird found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi This is a disambiguation page — a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Satellite image of Thera The devastating volcanic eruption of Thera in the Bronze Age (dated to ca. ... Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) is a Minoan site in southern Crete, 4 km west of Phaistos, situated at the western end of the Mesara Plain. ... The Sea Peoples is the term used for a mysterious confederacy of seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, invaded Cyprus, Hatti and the Levant, and attempted to enter Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty, and especially during Year 8 of Ramses III of the... This article or section should include material from Dorian invasion The Dorians were one of the ancient Hellenic (Greek) races. ... Fifth century BCE hoplite, or heavy-armed soldier, possibly the Spartan king Leonidas, a Dorian, who died holding the pass at the Battle of Thermopylae. ...

Other tables on the Internet

The search for a consistent chronology of Cretan civilization goes on. Other tabular chronologies have been published on the Internet by

Notes

  1. ^ Sinclair Hood, The Home of the Heroes: The Aegean before the Greeks, 1975, ISBN 0500290091 , Chapter 3, Dating the Bronze Age.
  2. ^ There are many questions, of course, but this one persists and would overthrow an important part of Evans' chronology. A brief review can be found at the Stanford Archaeopedia site.
  3. ^ It is well-nigh impossible to peruse any several books and articles on Crete and come up with anything like a uniform chronology. The underlying reason is no doubt that the time windows of the artifacts are not uniform. Some sites did not experience the full complement of periods; one period got extended over more than one elsewhere. The dates of the periods are not the same everywhere. The utility of a scheme such as Evans' becomes evident in a context such as this. It might be viewed as a median chronological framework.
  4. ^ The dates given below are a sampling from the noted works listed in the References section below. Many samples of other noted works might be selected with little likelihood of finding the same dates, but they would tend to vary about Evans' relative chronology. Note also that some of the authors, such as Hutchinson, revised their dates as part of the ongoing process of discovery. Even in different chapters of the same book the reader will find the same period dated differently by the same author.
  5. ^ Platon's Pre-Palace Period incudes EM and MM IA. His Protominoan Age includes the Neolithic and the Pre-Palace Period.
  6. ^ Matz uses "Metal Age" also to comprise Copper and Bronze Ages.
  7. ^ The lacuna 0f 100 years is Hutchinson's. As the dates are imprecise, the reader may pick either.
  8. ^ Platon's Minoan Age includes MM (exclusive of IA) and LM. His Palace Period includes MM (exclusive of IA) and LM I and II.
  9. ^ Matz's Full Bronze Age includes MM and LM I&II (but not III)
  10. ^ This hyphenated name is a concession to the view that the palaces were really temples. Those who espouse this minority view use "Temple Period" instead of "Palace Period", etc. A brief discussion of the question is given by Jan Driessen under The Court Compounds of Minoan Crete, Athena Review, Vol. 3 No. 3. All the authors from Evans on recognize that some areas of the palaces found religious uses. On the other hand the throne rooms and private quarters tend to support the "great king" idea. The degree to which the complexes were communal, religious or secular remains open.
  11. ^ The events of course are not quite so simple. There was more than one earthquake. Old Palace at Knosses seems to have gone on modified until the middle of IIIA. There is some equivocation also about what building activities constitute "old" and "new", as earthquakes in Crete were frequent and rebuilding ongoing. The transition from old to new should not be regarded as any sharp event. The quest for precision goes on.
  12. ^ The date (and effect) of the Thera eruption is as indecisive as the rest of the chronology. It was initially hypothesized to be responsible for the loss of Cretan fleets and consequent fall of Crete to the Greeks, which LMIA contexts at Akrotiri seemed to support. Dendrochronology and Carbon dating indicate the date was near 1630 (MM IIIB) and therefore the tsunami was not responsible for the fall of Crete. Another possibility may be that the chronology as it now stands is not precise or complete enough to make an archaeological determination.
  13. ^ Furumark divides IIIA into a pre-disaster IIIA1 and a post-disaster IIIA2. The latter is dated by its pottery being found at Amarna, 1375-1350. Most chronologies ignore Furumark's distinction. Until absolute dating showed the Thera eruption to be earlier, Spyridon Marinatos' theory that the eruption caused the disaster prevailed.

Map of Akrotiri (Western) SBA Akrotiri (also known as the Western Sovereign Base Area or WSBA) and Dhekelia (also known as the Eastern Sovereign Base Area or ESBA) are UK Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) in Cyprus, a former British Crown Colony. ... The growth rings of an unknown tree species, at Bristol Zoo, England Pinus taeda Cross section showing annual rings, Cheraw, South Carolina Pine stump showing growth rings Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree-ring growth patterns. ... Radiocarbon dating is the use of the naturally occurring isotope of carbon-14 in radiometric dating to determine the age of organic materials, up to ca. ... The tsunami that struck Malé in the Maldives on December 26, 2004. ... Amarna The site of Amarna (commonly known as el-Amarna or incorrectly as Tel el-Amarna; see below) (Arabic: العمارنة al-‘amārnä) is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the modern Egyptian province of al-Minya, some 58 km (38 miles) south of the city of... Spyridon Nikolaou Marinatos (November 4, 1901 - October 1, 1974) was one of the premier Greek archaeologists of the 20th century, whose most notable discovery was the site of the Minoan port city on the island of Thera destroyed and preserved by the massive volcanic eruption, ca 1650-1600 BCE, spawning...

References

  • Platon, Nicolas, Crete (translated from the Greek), Archaeologia Mundi series, Frederick Muller Limited, London, 1966
  • Hutchinson, Prehistoric Crete, many editions hardcover and softcover
  • Matz, Friedrich, The Art of Crete and Early Greece, Crown, 1962
  • Mackenzie, Donald A., Crete & Pre-Hellenic, Senate, 1995, ISBN 1-85958-090-4
  • Palmer, L. A., Mycenaeans and Minoans, multiple editions
  • Willetts, The Civilization of Ancient Crete, Barnes & Noble, 1976, ISBN 1-56619-749-X

External links

  • Minoan Civilization, Myrtos Museum site.
  • The First Great Expansion of Aegean Commerce, Chapter 9 in H. J. Kantor, Plant Ornament in the Ancient Near East
  • The Impact of Cycladic Settlers on Early Minoan Crete, article by Philip P. Betancourt in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Vol. 3 No. 1 2003.
  • Minoans and Mycenaeans: Sociopolitical & Economic Evidence for LM III Crete at Knossos and Khania
  • The Palaces of Minos at Knossos, article by Colin F. Macdonald in Athena Review, Vol.3, no.3: Minoan Crete
  • A brief history of Knosós, British School at Athens
  • Aegean Archaeology Research Resources UT Arlington
  • Settlement Patterns ... in East Crete in the Final Neolithic, Peter Tomkins et al.
  • The Rise of the Minoan Palaces, article by Ioannis Georganas in Antistoreton, Issue E985 of 1 July 1998.
  • MINOAN TRADE: ASPECTS AND AMBIGUITIES, unrestricted thesis at the University of South Africa, by Deanne Kieser
  • Courtyard Complexes and the Labyrinth of Minoan Culture, Michele A. Miller, Athena Review, Vol.3, no.3

james knapp July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


 
 

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