Sunday, February 17, 2008

The end of the Minoic civilisation

Around 1500 Thera was hit by an earthquake. The western half of the island was the top of a vulcano which exploded and completely destroyed most of the island. The results were noticeable in a large part of the Mediterranean: the whole Aegean area was hit by a huge tsunami. The Cretan fleet probably got destroyed for the biggest part. The rain of vulcanic ashes covered Crete in a grey layer of 10 centimetres thick, and had a catastrophic effect on the crop for many years. Because of this, and more reasons, many believe that Crete was the legendary Atlantis.

Fifty years later Crete was struck by another disaster. Everywhere on the island the palaces went up in flames. Only Cnossus was saved. The only logical explanation for this is that the Acheans from Hellas had attacked Crete for unknown reasons, and settled themselves down in Cnossus. The explosion of Thera had decreased the strength of Crete so much that they did not find much resistance. This theory gets more convincing as you know that Cnossus is the only place outside Hellas where Linear-B tablets were found. We do not know for how long the Acheans controlled Crete, but somewhere around 1400 BC Cnossus got destroyed. The destructions were so spread out over the island that it seems most likely that Crete was not attacked by a foreign force, but that a revolt against the Mycenaean rulers had take place. Whatever the reason might have been, this was the end of the Minoic culture.

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