I will shortly be adding my first translation of the Minoan Linear A Script writings,but first a little history of the daily life in the Minoan civilization which is an update of a previous post.
Minoan Crete is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean sea, it’s largest town is Heraklion and it’s landscape varies between tall rugged mountains and gentle slopes and it’s plateaus are framed by the Aegean coastline to the North and the Lybian sea to the South. The temperature climate with it’s short mild winters and the warm dry summers, along with the fertility of the Cretan plains, produces sufficient food supplies to support the local population and for exports.
Crete also exported wine, olive oil, wool and textiles, herbs and the purple dye. Imports consisted of precious stones, copper most likely from Cyprus, Ivory, silver, gold and other raw materials. they also imported tin which was used in the production of bronze alloys
The Minoans had developed a strong Naval power and for centuries lived in contact with all the major civilizations of the time. Their commercial contact with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia influenced their own culture and the Minoan civilization in turn appeared as the forerunner of the Greek civilization. The Minoans are credited as being the first European civilization
It is from Thera that we know most of the Minoan period from the archaeological evidence undertaken by the late Professor S. Marinatos where large complexes revealed large buildings , streets and squares with walls standing as much as eight metres high and the excellent masonry and exquisite wall paintings prove that this site was more than just a private house. It is thought that the area must have been inhabited by important officials, however most of the Minoans regardless of occupation or class, lived in large houses with several rooms. In addition to bedrooms, dining areas and so forth the houses actually had bathrooms with running water and “toilets”. While they did not have pipes and faucets like we do today,they built channels for conveying fresh water to homes and sewage away from homes.
The Minoans a variety of stones for their buildings which were locally available. The soft porous limestone which exists in ruch supplies was the most favoured stone for ashlar masonry and there are several varieties of limestone, yellowish or brownish, white, grey and a bluish colour as well as ironstone schist also marble a fine decorative material
The most famous Minoan sport, we see on the frescoes and many other works of art was clearly connected with bulls however, there is nothing to suggest any resemblance to the Spanish corrida-de-toros, because all the human Minoan participants are unarmed.. It would seem physically impossible for even the most highly trained athlete to perform a somersault over the back of a charging bull, even less be caught by another performer stationed behind the bull., so was the artist at fault in showing the correct perspective. The sport must have been for the performer to excite the bull to charge him, then at the crucial time to leap high in the air, allowing the bull to pass harmlessly underneath
At first small estates were able to exorcise adequate control without written records: but as areas grew, the need for an accounting system became imperative, small units ruled by a local baron became amalgamated, whether by peaceful means or imposed unions. The Minoans had devised a system for accounts and had gone on to use their own script also for recording dedications in shrines. Linear A has not yet been deciphered however, many scholars including myself are constantly working to decipher them. I will shortly be posting some Linear A scripts which I have translated as near as possible.
The usual burial custom of the Minoans was inhumation during the Neolithic period, then later in caves or rock shelters, overhanging the ledges of rock with the front roughly walled in. A popular method of burying during the Middle Minoan period, was to place the dead trussed tight, knees to chin into a pithos (large pot) , as in the cemetery of Pachyammos. These jars were then inverted and buried. The Larnax burial came in the Late Minoan period.
The Minoans had developed a strong naval power and for centuries lived in contact with all the major civilizations of the time. Their commercial contact with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia influenced their own culture and the Minoan civilization in turn appeared as the forerunner of the Greek civilization. The Minoans are credited as being the first European civilization.