The Minoan or Cretan Civilization It developed on the islands of Crete, south of Greece, between 3,000 and 200 BC.
This pre-Hellenic culture is also known as Aegean, Cretan or Minoan . This last denomination was due to Minos , the legendary mythological king who forged the greatness of Crete.
Its inhabitants were already typified in Egyptian hieroglyphs with the name of Kafti , whose translation would mean man of the islands .
The Island of Crete It was established at this time as a political and cultural center most important of the Aegean Sea .
1. Commercial Activity
The Cretans were extraordinary merchants thanks to the navigation that reached a great development. They actively traded with the peoples of the neighboring islands of the Aegean Sea. Their ships, favored by the wind, could reach the Delta of the Nile River in three days. . Thus a cultural exchange with Egypt was established.
Due to their commercial activity, important cities arose on the Island of Crete, such as Cnossos and Faistos . The merchants of Knossos sailed the most in all directions, carrying the products of the insular industry, especially bronze objects and brightly colored ceramics.
2. Cultural Development
The expressions of the Cretan or Minoan Civilization were studied, fundamentally by the English Artur Evans. They excelled in metallurgy, ceramics, architecture , among others.
In metallurgy They had great skill with metals. They did not yet know iron. Instead, they made fine gold, copper and bronze jewelry .
In architecture , reveal in the archaeological remains of Knossos and Faistos the great development achieved by the ancient Cretan cities.
They built large and beautiful palaces. The stately mansions had up to two or three floors, whose interior luxury evidenced the wealth of their owners. They used columns similar to the Doric ones of the Greeks and decorated their walls with brightly colored frescoes, which shows the clear Asian influence.
Ceramic , they made clay vessels surpassing the masters of Egypt. In the vessels they represented marine motifs. The most used colors were yellow, pink, red, brown, orange and white. They also knew how to enamel their vessels.
In writing they knew more than a hundred characters that have not yet been deciphered.
Among others, they cultivated music and invented the lyre. In sports they practiced boxing, races and bullfights.