Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


9 November 2011

The evidence from Knossos on the Minoan calendar

G. Henriksson & M. Blomberg The Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 11.1 (2011): 59-68.


From the early results of our archaeoastronomical investigations at the peak sanctuaries on Petsophas and Mt Juktas, we inferred that the Minoans had a lunisolar calendar that began at a particular phase of the moon on or following the autumn equinox. We used classical archaeoastronomical methods: a digital theodolite with observations of the sun to determine the orientation of the coordinate system, measuring the orientations of foundations to celestial bodies, and determining the positions of celestial bodies at the appropriate times in the past using our own programs. In our later investigation of the palace at Knossos, we found further evidence including the impressive use of a reflection in the central palace sanctuary to determine the beginning of the Minoan year and for knowing when to intercalate a lunar (synodic) month in the lunisolar calendar. The reflection occurred at the precise moment of sunrise at the equinoxes and also during the eleven days before the spring equinox and after the autumn equinox. We also discovered that the non-integral length of the solar year would have been revealed by the unique shift of the reflection during a series of four years. Later results at three other Minoan sites underscored the probability that the Minoans had a solar calendar and twelve solar months.

Read the article


Παρακαλούμε τα σχόλιά σας να είναι στα Ελληνικά (πάντα με ελληνικούς χαρακτήρες) ή στα Αγγλικά. Αποφύγετε τα κεφαλαία γράμματα. Ο Αιγεύς διατηρεί το δικαίωμα να διαγράφει εκτός θέματος, προσβλητικά, ανώνυμα σχόλια ή κείμενα σε greeklish.