Akrotiri Fresco showing Minoan city in center of caldera basin of island of Thera.
Pre-Kameni island is comparable to island in Akrotiri fresco.
You might think it’s strange that I have strayed in this blog from the Fertile Crescent as far west as Crete. However, my primary interest is the interplay of all civilizations that are linked together in trade and culture with the Fertile Crescent during the crucial Cultural Genesis of the late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and early Bronze Age.
I have now added Minoan Crete, which started around 5500 years ago, contemporary with the middle Uruk or late Ubaid culture, predynastic Egypt, the stirrings of the Harappan civilization in Mehrgarh, and the first signs of Proto-Indo-Europeans in the Kurgan Culture of the Steppes. We will later expand the cultural interplay both west and north. Trading links are cross-cultural conduits for the adventurous, greedy, inquisitive, dissatisfied, exiled, visionary, and ambitious. Such people were willing to accept the enormous risks of overland and sea travel in exchange for the opportunities. I have peopled my novels with such adventurers.
Before we leave Minoan Crete, I want to make sure we understand how thoroughly it fell off the historic radar, leaving negligible cultural memories, so much so that 1000 years later Plato placed his Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean. After you have read this post, you should clearly understand the complete destruction of the powerful Minoan trading center at Akrotiri. Its city-plan from the island’s picture on the fresco recovered at the excavation of Akrotiri (shown at the top of this post) fits Plato’s description to a “T.”
The scientifically-based search for the cause of the rapid demise of Minoan Crete is rapidly coming to a conclusion. One avenue of research has been the geologic study of the volcano which erupted on the island of Thera in mid-second millennium BC, just 87 miles due north of Heraklion, Crete. You will be stunned to find out where this volcano ranks among all recorded volcanoes. I find it amusing that so many people have argued so long that Minoan Crete could have survived intact such an event – quibbling over the fact that the death throes of the mutilated carcass of Minoan Crete lasted about 100 years. Scientists have put a resounding Q.E.D. with their physical proofs, and archaeologists are piling on.
To view the full presentation, the following two videos should be watched in order: First Video, Second Video. Pay close attention, and you should reach the same conclusion. If you don’t, please leave a comment explaining your counterargument.
Wrapping up today’s post, I want to confirm last week’s recommendation of the King Must Die novel by Mary Renault. I am rereading it to assure it is fit for Middle Grade children to read, and not too lusty or graphically violent, while taking into account that Middle Graders in my time, and even my children’s time, were exposed to much less of both than today’s generation. For my many conservative friends, I suggest they read it first. I’m nearing the conclusion, and finding it more difficult to read my hardbound than an e-book. I’ve read enough to satisfy myself it’s Middle Grade for kids watching prime time TV.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke