Monthly Archives: December 2016

Minoan Civilization Knossos reveals more treasures.

The greatness of Knossos grows as new evidence suggests that an ancient Aegean city not only recovered but also flourished following the collapse of the Bronze Age.

The latest discoveries on Crete at the site of the ancient city of Knossos suggest that the capitol of Minoan Civilization was far larger than previously thought.knossos-archaeological-site

Scientists already knew that Knossos was Europe’s oldest city and ruled over the massive trade empire during the Bronze Age, nevertheless, new evidence shows that the Minoans may have actually survived into the Iron Age.

Europe’s oldest city, the majestic site of the Bronze Age, was the seat of power of the mythological King Minos as attested by the Linear B tablets discovered by Sir Arthur Evans while excavating the site in 1900.   The Minoan civilization is widely acclaimed as the birthplace for all western civilization and, when the mainland Greeks came out of the Stone Age, the Minoans managed a maritime empire across the entire Mediterranean basin and beyond.

Even though the ancient city was previously thought to have perished around 1200 B.C. after the volcanic eruption of Thera on Santorini , new artifacts discovered by a team led by a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of classics, Antonis Kotsonas suggest that it was much larger and richer than was previously thought. Professor Kotsonas recent fieldwork at the ancient city of Knossos finds that during the early Iron Age (ll00-600 B.C.) the city was rich in imports and was nearly three times larger than was believed from earlier excavations

The discovery suggests that not only did this spectacular site in the Greek Bronze Age (between 3500 and 1100 B.C. recover from the collapse of the social-political system around 1200 B.C., but also rapidly grew and thrived as a cosmopolitan hub of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Antonis Kotsonas,a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of classics, will highlight his field research with the Knossos Urban Landscape Project at the 117th annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and Society for Classical Studies. The meeting takes place Jan 7-10 in San Francisco.

The Knossos Urban  Landscape Project over the past decade has recovered a large collection of ceramics and artifacts dating back to the Iron Age. The relics were spread over an extensive area that was previously unexplored. Professor Kotsonas says that this exploration revealed considerable growth in the size of the settlement during the early Iron Age and also growth in the quantity and quality of its imports coming from mainland Greece, Cyprus, the Near East, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia and the western Mediterranean.” No other site in the Aegean period has such a range of imports,” Kotsonas says. The imports include bronze and other metals-jewelry and adornments, as well as pottery. He adds that the majority of the materials, recovered from tombs, provide a glimpse of the wealth in the community, because status symbols were buried with the dead  during this period.

BELOW are some images of  beautiful Minoan jewelry.


Minoan gold ring from Isopata tomb Nr Knossos.



Minoan gold necklaces from Mochlos Crete


Minoan bee jewelry from cemetery Chrysolakkos outside Malia Palace.



Minoan gold openwork earring ll00 B.C.


Minoan gold ring showing worshippers. This is my favourite.Such intricate work.


Although not jewelry I could not resist this complete set of gold pieces that covered a child’s body found at Mycenae.

The antiquities were collected from fields covering the remains of dwellings and cemeteries. ” Distinguishing between domestic and burial contexts is essential for determining the size of the settlement and understanding the demographic, social-political and economic development of the local community,” explains professor Kotsonas. ” Even at the early stage in detailed analysis, it appears that this was a nucleated, rather densely occupied settlement extending over the core of the Knossos valley, from at least the east slopes of the acropolis hill on the west to the Kairatos River, and from the Vlychia stream on the south until roughly midway between the Minoan palace and the Kephala hill”.

Research Partnership

Kotsonas’ Jan 9th presentation is part of a colloquium themed,’Long – Term Urban Dynamics at Knossos: The Knossos Urban Landscape Project 2005-2015,” Professor Kotsonas serves as a consultant on the project which is dedicated to intensively surveying the Knossos valley and documenting the development of the site from7000 B.C, to the early 20th century. The project is a research partnership between the Greek Archaeological Service.


Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized


Ancient Underwater Potato Garden Uncovered in Canada

Archaeologists discovered hundreds of Indian potatoes at a once-waterlogged prehistoric garden in British Columbia.

Source: Ancient Underwater Potato Garden Uncovered in Canada

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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized


Egyptian mummies virtually unwrapped in Australia – The Archaeology News Network

via Egyptian mummies virtually unwrapped in Australia – The Archaeology News Network

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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Ancient and Early Footwear.

The worlds oldest surviving shoes date back to somewhere around 10,000- 13,000 years. They were a pair of sandals made of sage bark and other fibres  and were found in a cave nr Rock Fort Oregon in the United States. Below is one in the collection at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Origon


. The oldest leather shoe found in a cave in Armenia was around 5,500 years old. These shoes were made of a single piece of leather and also stitched with leather thongs.

During Alexander the Greats time there was an increase in wealth, and leisure and the development of the arts and sports, which led to the creation of many sandal styles where rules were set as to which sandal was worn for a specific type of occasion. Basic sandals began to appear around 2,000 BCE and the Egyptians, Greeks Romans, and the Etruscans wore simple pieces of leather under their feet that were bound to their ankles with most likely rawhide laces..



An old shoe found in a cave in Armenia.

A moccasin is a simple shoe often made out of a single piece of leather and stitched together and held closed with leather laces. These moccasins were popular with the indigenous Americans and American pioneers.The basic moccasin type of shoe was worn for thousands of years world wide.  The Neolithic people made simple shoes like moccasins which were worn until the Middle Ages.



CHOPINS were a form of platform clog and worn in the Middle Ages and became popular with the elite at first to protect the thinner shoes of that time.

Chopin shoeschopines-shoes


Fancy Chopin shoe most likely covered in velvet. Worn by the Elite.


Of course, we must not forget the ancient Greek shoes of which there were different styles for the said occasion. The EMBADES boot design for instance was cut in different styles. To ensure comfort for the wearer, the boots had an enclosed shape. Felt or fur was used by shoemakers to design the outer lining of these boots.       Unfortunately I could not find a picture of the Embades boot.




The rugged soles of these boots were excellent to tread the rocky terrain and were designed for the outdoors  offering the wearer protection and comfort to the wearer. The half boot designs and flat sandal designs made with soles made from cowhide leather were popular among individuals in ancient Greece. Because of their durability, numerous designs of these shoes were worn in military combat by soldiers. The uppers of these boots consisted of a cross stripped design.




Worn by actors in Ancient Greek theatres.

These boots had high soles and were designed to give an individual a raised height. When worn by actors in ancient Greek theatres, the design differed in accordance with male and female characters. Raised soles of boots were often associated with tragedies in Greek theatre. Boot with  a low sole were commonly worn by comedians in ancient Greece. Shoes with raised heels and low platform  heels were an essential part of attire in ancient Greek costumes worn by actors in different forms of theatre.



Low Buskin


These boots were made from leather or cloth with closed laces overlapping each other in a crisscross design. The length of these boots varied in accordance with an individual’s preference. Calf length and knee length boots worn by soldiers,, hunters and actors in Greek theatre. Hunters and travelers preferred wearing buskins that covered the entire shin as it protected them from poisonous bites from reptiles at night. Luxurious buskins with intricate designs and fur covering were worn by affluent individuals.


These were boots worn by priests, countrymen and philosophers. A variety of these shoes were also worn for ceremonies and rituals.Boots with elegant embroidery patterns were popular among women. These shoes were made from leather, felt or linen. Shoes and boots worn by women were adorned with pearls and ornaments to signify their status.

Phaecasium worn by priests.phaecasium-greek-shoe



In Greek mythology Hermes, known as god of nature, and a messenger god, is seen wearing sandals that had wings on the rear side. Wings on sandals were symbolic of courage, bravery and swiftness in ancient Greece. These sandals would have been worn by individuals that were swift, fleet-footed and known for their valor.



Talaria winged shoes





It goes without saying that the different styles and designs of footwear in ancient Greece were a significant part of ancient Greek fashion.

Today we can see the shoe, boot sandal and slipper designs are an inspiration from Greek  and Roman footwear.


Klompen shoes or clogs have been worn since medieval times. Originally made with a wooden sole and leather top  or strap tacked to the wood. Eventually, the shoes were being made entirely from wood in order to protect the whole foot. They were originally made with elder, willow and other popular woods of the time. The first Klompen or clog makers dates back to around 1570 in Holland and worn by farmers, fishermen and factory workers to protect their feet from nails, fishing hooks or any other sharp implement.  These clogs were painted or  carved, popular colours were yellow red or black. Each clog maker had his own design. These shoes are still made today and still as popular.

klompen-15th-century Klompen shoes 15th century.

klompen-carvedKlompen shoes carved.


There are many more ancient shoe designs but far to many to include in this post. It is astounding to note that so many of our modern shoe designs originate from ancient times and still look as impressive as they did  then..




Posted by on December 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


2016 excavations at Nea Paphos completed – The Archaeology News Network

via 2016 excavations at Nea Paphos completed – The Archaeology News Network

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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized


Pompeii marvels on display after restoration – The Archaeology News Network

via Pompeii marvels on display after restoration – The Archaeology News Network

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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

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