Map of Mycenaean Greece, stretched over the mainland, the islands of the Aegean Sea and Crete, via Wikipedia It is an era of great might and splendor, fierce warriors and great kings inspired Homer to write his epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. They also worked in the crafts and as entrepreneurs. However, about 1500 B.C. The word Ethiopian is the combination of two Greek words burnt and skin and thus does not only refer to a specific nation but rather to an ethnic or racial group located in other lands. There have been many ruins uncovered on the Island of Crete. What do these myths tell us about the origins of their civilizations? Yet the Mycenaeans went one step further, engaging frequently in piracy. Mycenaean culture included elaborate burial practices, but only for the wealthy aristocracy. Even the burial sites indicate a relatively egalitarian society. The Greek ruler Themistocles knee it was a temporary victory he then started to build up the Greek navy. The most active years of the Early Mycenaean Age are those from Egypt’s New Kingdom from the rise of Thutmose III to the end of Amenhotep III about 1380 BCE. Unfortunately, there is little concrete known about individual people or events on Crete. There were other Mycenaean cities that grew into major city-states during the height of Ancient Greece such as Thebes and Athens. It is not known from where the Minoans first came to settle on the Island of Crete. However, it is known that the Mycenaeans conquered or displaced the Minoan empire by the 15th century B.C., borrowing or adapting much of Minoan culture as its own. Moreover, according to Greek myths, the founders of Mycenae were the progeny of Princess Andromeda who was the daughter of an Ethiopian king. Between the kingdoms, Egypt was ruled by foreign interlopers. They built large trade ships and traveled to places like Egypt where they traded goods like olive oil and wine for metals and ivory. until the Mycenaeans defeated them and took over (Biers, 1980, 27). In the myths of the Greeks, we find the origins of its existence. … Furthermore, the noted archeologist, Eduard Meyer, while excavating tombs in Thebes (Waset) in Upper Egypt, came upon paintings amazingly like those in the palace of Knossos. Greece was a child that had many midwives, born from a mother that resided in foreign lands. Minoan art was remarkable because, for the most part, it did not seem to have religious or practical significance. Origins | World History. They were the Dorians, the Aeolians, the Achaeans and the Ionians. Depictions of women show them on a par with men rather than subservient, and to even have engaged in some of the more dangerous sports to which the Minoans seemed devoted. They may have seen something of civilization before landing on Crete. Toward the end of the New Kingdom, Egypt’s influence and interest in the Levant waned, which created a vacuum of power in the region. Possession of writing was absolutely essential for enforcing contracts and keeping track of property. In the Levant, Solomon’s greatest skill may have been his diplomacy which may also account for the worship of Canaanite gods in Israel. The objects found during excavations, such as seals, scarabs and rings show that the Cretans were in contact with Egypt. Geography & Early Culture. Even so, it is thought that the government was run more as a huge corporation than as the hereditary possession of a few families. It is believed that the writing was read left to right across the page and referred to syllables, usually a consonant followed by a vowel. In 1900 CE, Evans came upon a building with nearly twelve hundred rooms. For example, the true name of the sphinx is Hor-am-Akhet (Horus on the Horizon). In Greek myth, the primogenitor was Hellen the man who should not be confused with the female Helen of Troy (The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships) and she was the cause of the Trojan War. Trojan Wars. Many of the paintings, sculptures, and pottery have been found intact. This cord could be traced, sometimes through the Phoenicians and other maritime nations, back to its source which was Ancient Egypt and Middle Eastern civilizations in existence thousands of years before the emergence of Greece. dark ages. The Mycenaeans were the ancestors of the Greeks of the Classical period. The remains of Minoan culture influenced the Mycenaeans who adopted many of their clothing styles. However, for reasons unknown but often speculated, the Mycenaean culture collapsed around 1200 BCE and the period between 1200 BCE and about 800 BCE is often referred to as the Dark Ages of the Greeks. Because of Egypt’s conservatism, time seems to culturally standstill thus providing an excellent reference to compare and discern the evolution of the Hellenistic culture. During the Trojan War, Ethiopians (black people) may have lived in the vicinity of Troy. For the next several hundred years, Greece fell into a period called the Greek Dark Age. The Mycenaeans. However, Western Civilization did not originate in Western Europe, but instead, in the eastern part of the continent and stands on the shoulders of older civilizations in Africa and the Middle East. Meyer contends that the name Minoan assigned to the denizens of Crete is a misnomer and the real name of those inhabitants is Keftiu. Additionally, while the Mycenaeans were discovered to have had a wide variety of weaponry suitable to battle, Minoan weapons were cerem… This spurred a growing and relatively affluent population. The Mycenaeans were able to take land by force in the Aegean region, but they eventually expanded their influence directly to Anatolia and Egypt through trade, incorporating their culture into the Bronze Age sy… For example, the Trojan War is believed to have been fought toward the end of this period around 1200 BCE. Therefore, the Athenians could boast that they were the descendants of the first inhabitants of Greece. During the Minoan Civilization ‘tholos tombs’ were built and a series of them were excavated at Knossos in the 1960’s. There are definite sources of influence on early Greek culture to be found in the history of the second millennium, for which we have significant archaeological evidence and even some written documents. Many of their architectural styles were actually products of the Mycenaean civilization, who were the earliest Greek-speaking people. Both Minoan and Mycenaean primogenitors are princesses from foreign nations. Palaces were filled with hundreds of rooms. Answers: 2 Get Other questions on the subject: Social Studies. The Mesara type of tholos is peculiar since it links to the Mycenaean tholos as they both contain a ‘dromos’. The connection between the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, the Trojan War and the rise of Israel (or the possibility that the Philistines were perhaps responsible for the decline of the Canaanites) is seldom mentioned. Minoan culture became a powerful force in the region. There are definite sources of influence on early Greek culture to be found in the history of the second millennium, for which we have significant archaeological evidence and even some written documents. There has been a tendency to draw a distinct line between the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, from which the Greek culture originated, and Ancient Egypt. However, in reviewing the history of Greece, we find another cord that freed them from their maze of ignorance and brought civilization to Europe. Yet the Mycenaeans went one … It stretched from Ethiopia to the Levant. They worked in the bureaucracy. The descendants of Dorus and Aeolus the Dorians and the Aeolians arrived just before the Dark Ages at the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Horus was the son of the god Osiris. the Minoans developed the first civilization to arise in Europe. Thus, they became a mercantile people. Even so, the island is situated fairly close to Egypt, and their trading activities certainly would have exposed them to Egyptian culture. Their language was not Indo-European so they likely had not come from the north or north-west. Take a quiz on this article about Minoan Culture. A tidal wave was launched that destroyed much of the northern coast of Crete that may have included the governing structure at Knossos. Something was threatening the civilization. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15165017, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4390535, The Princess Who Married the World’s Richest Boy, Spirit Scripts: Japan’s mysterious outcast alphabets, The Englishwoman Who Joined a Harem (sort of): Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s The Turkish Letters…, The Fascinating World of the Amazon Warrior Women. Located on the island of Create, Mycenae was a major centre of culture, military power and trade from around 1600 to 1100 BC. The pyramids and sphinx of Egypt were over 1000 years old and Egypt was in its 18th dynasty. The profundity of documents and the intricacy of palace complexes indicates that the government probably had a strong bureaucratic component. Once their neighbors came out of this decline, Israel went into decline and was eventually divided and conquered by outside nations. This equality of females and males in society makes the Minoans unique among ancient civilizations. After this time, there was a resurgence of an independent Phoenician state that established colonies all over the Mediterranean. He was fascinated by clay tablets with deciphered script and he began to excavate Knossos located in central Crete. The Mycenaeans were influenced by the Minoan civilization from the island of Crete who were, in turn, influenced by the Egyptians and Mesopotamians. Just as geography was a deciding factor in the rise of the Minoans, it would also play a decisive and dramatic role in their downfall. It began as an imitation of Egyptian culture. He had three sons Dorus, Aeolus and Xuthus from which the main Greek ethnic groups originated. Perhaps the most famous record of the Mycenaeans was their siege of the city of Troy, recorded by Homer in his two great epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. We often start our history of Greece with Homer, Hesiod (c. 750 BCE) and the Archaic period (800–500 BCE). These aspects of Minoan culture were so powerful that they are reflected in curious Greek myths, including that of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. They imitated the Minoans, especially in their trading activities. Tholos Tombs. The Greeks celebrated this age in the poems of Homer and in the oral tradition prevalent before the Greeks learned how to read and write from the Phoenicians. Speculation about Minoan religion indicates the gods were mainly female. In fact, Ethiopia was the place where the gods came to feast, and the Greeks often referred to them as the blameless race. Around 1200 BC, we have evidence that the Mycenaeans increased the size of the walls around their cities. Now there are not less than 200 years between Minos I and Minos II, which infers a dynasty not a single ruler. Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC.It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. During this decline, Israel produced three great kings, Saul, David and Solomon. The deep influence of the Minoans on the Mycenaean culture is now clear. About a millennium before the Common Era, the Mycenaean culture grew weak and was conquered by invaders from the north known as Dorians. The debate over the origins of Greek civilization began in earnest with the release of two seminal works: Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop’s (pronounced Jope) The African Origins of Civilization, Myth or Reality (1974) and Dr. Martin Bernal’s Black Athena thesis composed in three volumes: The first was The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785–1985 published in 1987. Their ships seem to have combined the functions of both trader and fighter, making their navy efficient and flexible. The creation of colonies, because of the mountains, led to the spread of Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean Sea. They were the Minoans on the island of Crete and Mycenae on the mainland. Yet their influence was remembered in the Homeric poems that have lasted for ages. The similarities of the Minoan palaces to palaces in the Near East along with the sudden appearances of palaces around 1900 BCE strongly suggest cultural diffusion from the Near East and Egypt to the island of Crete. However, it took on a flavor all its own. This Minoan tradition can also be found in Mycenaean Greece in the mystery plays and festivals. Now going back to Mycenaean burial, through the rich finds found in the shaft graves, … The Minoans, who were known particularly for their extensive trade and dominance of the sea, existed from about 27th century B.C. Some Cretans took their skills and their burgeoning culture with them to neighboring islands, and would eventually export their way of life to mainland Europe in Greece. In other words, he is the son of god just as all Egyptian pharaohs were the embodiment of the son of god. From the Egyptians the Cretans probably learned writing, which originally took the form of hieroglyphics and later became a more phonetic form, which is referred to today as Linear A. Pictures were of such things as animals, people in daily life or in sporting events. They imitated the Minoans, especially in their trading activities. Although it is well accepted that the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures were the primogenitors of the Greeks, they are also linked to the continuous cultural and linguistic streams of Ancient Egypt. Seem to have been found in Egyptian mythology, the frescos found on Crete Mycenae Destruction..., Egyptian, yet they entered Greece, Minoan civilization was first by. 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