The astonishing ruins of the Minoan Palaces of Crete, especially of Knossos and the opulent finds of this highly sophisticated culture that shaped the early stages of Greek civilization have always left the visitors of Crete in awe. Closely interwoven with tales of blood and gore such as the story of the beast slayer Athenian prince Theseus who killed the half-man half-bull Minotaur in his lair, the Labyrinth, putting an end to the bloody tribute of the youth and maidens of Athens, Knossos, since the Homers time, has been the scene of scene of some of the most fascinating episodes of Greek mythology..
Except that the Minoan sites and especially Knossos is much more… Home of the ancestors, administration center using the first writing systems in Europe, industrial area for crafting magnificent status symbols used in export, storage for the treasures of the land and most of all ritual site where the Minoans gathered to celebrate the fertility of the Crete and perform an extremely dangerous leap of death: The bull leaping game…
It is a multi-layered site with an amazing history that starts 9000 years ago, long before its culmination as a palatial site in the middle of the Bronze Age, an architectural setting that acts as an active agent between the ruling elite and the inhabitants or visitors of Crete in the Bronze Age. A holistic archaeological approach, by stripping of the ‘Minoan Utopia”, the Victorian vision of the excavator Sir Arthur Evans, of the ruins is really vital to understanding their amazing achievements: Construction techniques, elaborate water management systems, anti-seismic protection, indoor latrines that provided an superb living standard and served the complicated purposes of the architects of the Palace: from orientation and axiality to possible star alignments we will uncover together the astonishing, deliberate use of architectural novelties of the Minoan brilliant craftsmen to provide a dramatic effect in the ceremonial use of light and darkness while controlling access.
Furthermore, we will trace the seeds of historical accuracy of the Greek myths and try to unravel their religion: the possible rites of passage, sacrifices and rituals performed by the Minoans. Taking it a step further, we will investigate the human agent: the status of men and women in their determined hierarchical positions within the religious context of their appearance, clothes, jewelry and burial finds in the Archaeological Museum and how it shifts in the 2000 years of the Minoan history.
The archaeological tour of the Palaces and the Museum is addressed to the informed guest who wants to hear, learn and engage in the presentation the most recent arguments of Minoan archaeology specialists. It is aimed for the visitors who really want to discover layer by layer the most extrovert, sophisticated, brilliant culture of prehistoric Europe that still manages to keep most of its secrets hidden…
The tour is conducted by an experienced archaeologist and is upon request. The reason is that we try to maximize the experience by choosing the best possible time for the visit, to avoid the crowds and to secure the availability of the expert of our team. The cost depends on the duration and the number of participants. Colleges and study groups are welcomed.
Contact us to make your reservation.