BBC Radio 4: The Minoan Civilisation
Thursday, 7 July 2011, 21:30
Melvyn Bragg from the BBC Radio 4 and his guests John Bennet (Professor of Aegean Archaeology at Sheffield University), Ellen Adams (Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London) and Yannis Hamilakis (Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton) discuss the Minoan Civilisation.
In 1900 the British archaeologist Arthur Evans began excavating some ancient ruins at Knossos on the island of Crete. He uncovered an enormous palace complex which reminded him of the mythical labyrinth of King Minos. Evans had in fact discovered the remnants of a Bronze Age society; in honour of Crete’s legendary king he named it the Minoan Civilisation. The ‘Minoans’ flourished for twelve centuries, and their civilisation was at its height around three and a half thousand years ago, when they built elaborate palaces all over the island. They were sophisticated builders and artists, and appear to have invented one of the world’s earliest writing systems. Since Evans’s discoveries a hundred years ago, we have learnt much about Minoan society, religion and culture – but much still remains mysterious.
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