MINOAN COLONISATION

According to the Greek tradition, Cretans inhabited the Aegean insular area under the rule of kings and princes in the Minoan period. Rhadamanthys dwelt Euboea and his attendance dwelt smaller islands. Stafylos in Peparithos nowadays Skopelos -, Oinopoion in Chios, Anios in Naxos, Euanthis in Thasos. They introduced the cultivation of cereals, olive tree, and vineyard. According to the ancient tradition, Minos himself established colonies in Kea and Megarida. In the islands of the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean area, there were many cities of the name Minoa. Althamenis inhabited Rhodes, Sarpedon immigrated to Lykia, and Miletos gave his name to the city he founded in Caria. The Carians and the Lykians were always considered to be of Cretan root. Many names of places are common or similar in Crete and Southwester Asia Minor. In addition, the most important oracles and temples of Greece, as Delphi, Olympia, and Eleusis, are linked with Cretan myths. In Kythera, the cult of Aphrodite was related to that of the Minoan divinity. The same happened with the cult of Paphian Aphrodite in Cyprus.

The tradition of the origins of the Mycenean dynasties from Egypt, Phoenicia, and Lykia, gives indirect link with Crete, since in these countries there were Cretan colonies. Minyes, whose name is cousin to that of Minos, inhabited Iolkos and their civilisation had cretomycenean characteristics. The excavations show that the historical reality on Minoan colonisation is hidden under myth. In Melos, there was established one of the greatest colonies during the Neopalatial period. The flourishing of the second settlement at Phylakoti, which has many elements of Minoan architecture, happens to be in the second half of the Neopalatial period. In the same period, another settlement reached its top, in Agia Eirini of Kea. This settlement had fortification with gates and towers, similar to that of Phylakoti. The temple, which is near the eastern gate, is faddish. It has portal, alcove, sanctuary, and rooms of vestry. In this temple, the larger scale idols of the Minoan divinity have been found. In Thera, at Acrotiri, under a thick pan of pumice stone and ash, there was discovered one of the most important and best-preserved settlements of the Aegean. Its houses are luxurious. They have two or three floors, beautiful frescos, and large warehouses. All these elements show life of high quality, similar to that of the Minoan palaces. In Skopelos, there was discovered a royal tomb filled with gems of cretomycenean art, at Staphylos. In Kythera, a Cretan colony was excavated. In the island of Rhodes, at Trianta, there was a minoan settlement, and minoan vaulted tombs were discovered in Kos and Karpathos. In addition, settlements, which show close relationship with the Minoan civilisation, were discovered in Miletos and in Iasos of Karia.

Another colony has been discovered in Phoenicia, especially at Ugarit (nowadays Rhas Samra). Minoan civilisation taught many things to the Achaians, who were responsible for its destruction. In Mycenae, there were found many artefacts, which show minoan influence. The Achaians were taught by Cretans about agriculture and navigation. The Achaians were bellicose. Mycenae is actually a castle. Its cyclopean walls are well preserved until nowadays. The Mycenean civilisation did not preserve the elegance of the Minoan civilisation.

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