This is the essay for the 2nd week of the 9th Grade Tom Woods Homeschool. It’s A Summary of the history of Minoan Crete.

The Minoan Civilization was founded on the island, Crete. It existed from 3600 BC to 1400 BC. The civilization is named after Minos, who under Greek Mythology was Cretan king. We don’t actually know what the Minoans called themselves, this is just a modern name. The civilization was unknown for a very long time until a British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered it. He discovered it in the year 1900.  The Minoan language, Linear A has not been deciphered yet. Due to this, there is not much knowledge about the Minoan civilization, other than the excavations and Greek mythology.

The history of the Minoan Civilization is divided into 4 periods. The Prepalatial Period, the Protopalatial Period, the Neopalatial Period and the Postpalatial Period. We will go through 3 of them.

The Prepalatial Period

The island was first inhabited around 6000 BC There were only small villages on the island. It was called the Prepalatial Period because this was before any of the palaces were built. There was also only a loose social organization that the Minoans had during this period. They were still successful in trading, for example.

The Protopalatial Period

This is in English called the Old Palatial Period. This is when the first palaces were built on Crete. Most of these palaces were built around the same time and very close to each other. During this time there were now several kings controlling Crete. This is when we first see Linear A getting used. The text was written on clay tablets. Around 1700 BC, there was a wave of destruction on Crete. Nobody knows what caused it, maybe an earthquake or an invasion from Anatolia? What it did do however was destroy the Protopalatial palaces, which had to be rebuilt.

The Neopalatial Period

In English, this is called the New Palatial Period. (As you probably already guessed) The palaces from the Old Palatial Period were rebuilt, bigger and more complex. With maze-like rooms and very complex sanitation systems. Most cities and villages were built around these palaces. Minoan Crete also had some overseas colonies, in Egypt and Israel. They never actually conquered any territory, there were no signs of weapons in the graves of Minoans. The Minoan people were very peaceful.