|Publication Date||October 11, 1990|
In the short time that has elapsed since Sir Arthur Evans rediscovered the Minoans in the early 1900s, the people of Bronze Age Crete have become a fixture in European prehistory. We have defined a whole string of cultural traits that make the "Minoan" personality. The Minoans were an elegant and graceful people, lithe and athletic, refined aesthetes who surrounded themselves with sophisticated architecture and beautiful objects. They were nature lovers and lovers of peace: the inhabitants of each city-state living in harmony with their neighbours. With fleets controlling the seas surrounding Crete, they were collectively strong and ruled by a great and powerful King of Knossos called Minos. But how far does the work of subsequence archaeologists in Crete support this widely-held view of Minoans? It is appropriate, as we approach the centenary of Evans' historic excavation, to take stock of the evidence. Rodney Castleden has extended the new interpretation he began in "The Knossos Labyrinth". Embodying the fruits of recent archaeological research, he has produced a new vision of the peoples of Minoan Crete.