Small reconstruction of a huge palace
Road to the Maze ...
What pushes them into the abode of the monster located in Crete, where myths, culture and science are so closely intertwined? What causes people to be so attracted to places of former sacrifices that occurred many centuries ago? And why do they spend such sums of money here, as if bringing great tribute to the king of Crete - the eminent ruler Minos? And why, finding themselves in the palace complex of Knossos, wherever the tourists come from, the main question is asked about the labyrinth: did the underground labyrinth of the Minotaur exist or not? And having heard a negative answer, they do not believe it and with pleasure circle around the excavations of the famous Knossos Palace, imagining themselves to be the hero and savior of Theseus, then the English archaeologist Evans, who discovered him in 1900 AD.
Rhyton stone with relief image of agricultural workers with forks and brooms in their hands! (1500 - 1450 BC) Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, Crete.
Thus, if we rely on the opinion of scientists, here, at the turn of the III – II millennia BC, the first European culture appeared. Evans gave her the name of the Minoan after the famous Minos. It was noted by scientists as the highest in its development culture of mankind. After all, the Minoan culture was the basis of ancient Greek. At least, the earlier cultures are not known to science here. Remains found it only in the early twentieth century. The most famous monument of this culture is the Palace of Knossos in Heraklion. The frescoes on the walls of the palace reveal the character of the life of the people, peaceful and very joyful.
Fragment of rhyton.
The Minoans are not Greeks. Greeks are not Minoans
Much earlier than the ancient Greeks, who were striving for absolute harmony of body and spirit, the Minoans had obviously already acquired it. The first great culture, the forerunner of the ancient Greek civilization, as scientists believe, was a culture ... absolutely happy people!
The core of the social order was not superiority, but commonwealth. The conjecture that this was a peace-loving era is confirmed by another important fact - the absolute absence of any fortification structures. Economy flourished, arts developed. The fact that Cretan-Minoan art is an art of major is obviously not even professional. And the fact that it is not style, but taste, and refined, is not denied by art historians.
Cretan culture unknown tragic. Pessimism is not a Minoan lifestyle. The colors of the Minoan era are colorful, the painting is multi-colored and cheerful. Black silhouette on the red baked clay from the Greeks will appear much later.
Play with the bull. The famous Minoan fresco from the Palace of Knossos.
In Minoan art there are no battle scenes. There are neither warriors nor heroic conquerors here, and therefore the cult figure is the woman who gives life. The conclusion suggests a definite, that in the Minoan culture, in particular, in art, then life and the love of life dominated.
262 characters and a million puzzles
Crete has never been underground treasures. The wealth of their country - the legends and myths of ancient Greece, and material evidence of the existence of Minoan culture, which provide a comfortable life for the inhabitants of the island for a huge number of years. Only the museum of archeology in Athens in its completeness and uniqueness of the collection exceeds the collection of exhibits of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, covering the period of the development of history in 6000 years.
Golden images of a double ax (1700 – 1600 years BC). Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete.
Here are located and carefully preserved the originals of all the frescoes that were found during the excavations of the Palace of Knossos. Other, no less significant exhibits of Minoan culture are also collected here: Kamarian-style ceramics, with transparent walls like good porcelain; stone carving, print, microsculpture, gold jewelry. One of the central exhibits - the Festival of the disc - the very first Minoan letter, made in the form of clay "pancake" with a diameter of 16 centimeters. Both sides of the disk are written in spirals with hieroglyphic signs. This disc has been preserved due to the excellent property of clay: when firing, acquire special strength. The fire that occurred in the Palace of Knossos destroyed it to the ground, but the unique disk has survived to our times. On both sides of this artifact is the 262 symbol, of which 46 is unequal. The meaning of these signs is still unknown to science, but it assumes that there is a cult hymn written to the mother goddess. In the archaeological world there is such a suitable line: the inexplicable explain ritual meaning.
The columns of the Palace of Knossos. Photo by A. Ponomarev.
... It is necessary to look intently through the stone horns of a bull from the Knossos ruins on the mountain Yukhtas, as in its outlines one can recognize the face of a man with a beard. This is Zeus, who blesses tourists for a visit to the Palace of Knossos, an archaeological complex with an area of 22000 square meters, having 300 premises of various purposes: royal chambers, treasuries, workshops, warehouses, bathrooms ... The Throne of Minos, which is already four thousand years old, can be admired indefinitely, and a copy of the throne can be seen in the building of the International Court of Justice in The Hague ...
The throne room with a griffin in the Palace of Knossos in Crete. Photo by A. Ponomarev.
Next to the colossal pithoi - vessels for storing olive oil, honey, wine and other provisions, the height of a person - come thoughts about the insatiability and thrift of a person. The time of the manufacture of vessels around 1800 BC
It was in such jars that the grain was then stored. In the girl next to the pitcher exactly 1 and 70, see
More than a hundred of such vessels with a capacity of up to one ton were found at the excavations. ... The inhabitants of the Palace of Knossos sought to make life more favorable in it. A stunning fact, but true: the water supply and sewage system, perfect in its qualities, was built in the palace so that, in any place where water leaks, the system could be easily and quickly repaired. Interestingly, in the early twentieth century. when excavating in Crete, there was no sewage on the island, and then Arthur Evans, seeing a round hole and ash near it, obviously, it was a wooden toilet belonging to the queen, he cried: "Now I am the only person in Crete who has a real toilet ! Evans believed that he discovered the oldest toilet in the world. And so far no one has denied this.
Rich German Schliemann and rich Englishman Evans
Before Evans, the 63-year-old Heinrich Schliemann was selected to the place where the Palace of Knossos was subsequently opened. He had a goal - to buy up these lands in order to delve over there himself, but it was not possible to conclude a deal. The reason is called the following: it seems that Schliemann didn’t buy it because the number of olive trees on this site didn’t coincide with the stated number. That is, the Turks (then they and the Turks!) Decided to deceive him, so he did not make a deal with them. Most likely, his ego played a role here. He, a world-famous scientist, was offended by the fact that they simply wanted to be held. But the historian and journalist Evans was less scrupulous, and besides - he was much younger than Schliemann. And the 48-year-old Briton had as many as fifteen years in reserve. In the spring of 1900, Evans bought land here, as the man was not poor and had the opportunity, although not without risk, to manage impressive amounts. He began to dig, and from the very beginning of his research he discovered frescoed walls, ceramics from Dominican times and clay tablets with inscriptions. By the end of the archaeological survey, a quarter of the Palace of Knossos was excavated. A year later, Evans announced his wish: it would take him at least another year to find everything that is of scientific interest. But he miscalculated. And after a quarter of a century, excavations were still going on there ...
Wall painting in the “House of Women” in Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece.
Contemporaries of Arthur Evans, to put it mildly, scolded him: the excavation technology at that time was imperfect, and Evans considered one of the main “sins” of trying to protect the ancient walls of the palace from the pernicious influence of the sun and rain, which they fixed with concrete; and others, which seemed to be later, demolished, others overbuilt, making the palace look the way he saw it — too great was the desire to show the Palace of Knossos in the form of romantic ancient ruins ... Although to its credit we note that the findings were not removed from Greece: it remains in the funds of the museums of Crete and Athens. Evans spent enormous own funds to expand archaeological research. And ... he died at the age of 90 years absolutely happy - from the historical non-existence he revealed to the "world of God" the seemingly forever gone culture and introduced it to the whole world.
... Thin waist, bright make-up, huge eyes, air laces on the shoulders are a seductive creation, the elegance and grace of which did not spoil the centuries spent by this miracle in the land ... "This is a true Parisian!" Cried one of Evans’s hired workers, having seen a fresco with the image of young Minoan "young lady". She really reminded the archaeologists of elegant French women at the very beginning of the twentieth century, so the name "Parisian" remained forever behind her.
The Arkalohori Axis is a bronze cast double-edged ax, probably a sacral destination, found in the Arkalohori cave by the Greek archaeologist Spiridon Marinatos in 1935 year. 1700 - 1450 BC. Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Crete.
Because of this, some critics find the first signs of impressionism in Cretan painting, and compare its sophistication with decadence, noting that the impressionist vision of the Cretan painter was repelled, not from satiety in life, as in the West, but from youth ... Looking at the "Parisian" , people make assumptions about the Minoan fashion, reflecting the life style of the Minoan society, where a considerable socio-political role was determined for the woman.
Here it is - the famous "Parisian".
What were the women of that time? They, as well as men, were slim and short. They wore a lot of expensive jewelry: earrings, tiaras, gold pendants. Minoan men also loved jewels. "Minoims" adored fluffy dresses with long multi-layered skirts and ... an open corsage, faces shaded with headdresses in order to keep the skin pale. It was considered indecent to expose the belly, but now the breast was willingly exposed! They were not similar to the harem captives, whose spouses or fathers were released from captivity on the occasion of a momentous event ... Looking at their images, one would like to see them in some entertaining movie, although this would most likely never happen. In 1952, an attempt was made to show them in the movie “Wanderings of Odyssey,” where the young beauty of Crete who fell in love with Odyssey, just puts on the characteristic Cretan outfit before the wedding. But ... because of morality, she had to cover her breasts with a white fabric insert, which in fact was not. And imagine a film in which all the heroines have their breasts naked and some adventures still occur there. Funny, isn't it?
As many as three "Parisians" ...
Cretan women had an unusually thin waist and were fragile. The Minoan men were also slim and well built. They all wore long hair styled in fancy hairstyles. You can compare for a long time, but the result is the same: in the works of Minoan art, men have a very feminine look. On the frescoes from Knossos, they are distinguished solely by coloring - men were depicted with reddish-brown skin, and women sported amazingly white. The latter in all the frescoes are represented by those attending religious ceremonies, dancing and competing in full equality with men. For women, there was not just freedom: all scientists say - the Minoans had a real matriarchy. And the entire value system that was characteristic of the Minoan civilization was oriented specifically towards women, and it was the women who determined the way of life and themes in art. That's just what it all led to?
Incense jars from the Archaeological Museum in Larnaca, Cyprus.
The wrath of the gods or the intrigues of flighty women?
From the Palace of Knossos, built approximately in 1900 BC. and turned into ruins after an earthquake in 1700 BC, rebuilt and finally collapsed after a fire (arson?) 1400 BC, only ruins remained. What did not fall apart during natural disasters and did not burn in the fire, in the Roman era was plundered by people. Stones went to the course as a building material for homes. But this is not about the barbaric attitude towards the ancient civilization, but about the disappearance of the Minoan culture.
Restored part of the Palace of Knossos. Photo by A. Ponomarev
Unfortunately, the hieroglyphic writing and linear letter “A” remained unscrambled. Scientists know the main thing: the Minoans were not interested in war. They lived a serene, but short life - at that time fifty years were revered by extreme old age, and mature age in men came in 35, and in women in 27 years. But over time, the women of Minoan Crete, no one remembered ...
Jugs from the Palace of Knossos are exhibited right there and all of them are photographed. Photo by A. Ponomarev.
Why did the Minoans die? From the earthquakes that took place on a nearby island, where the height of a tsunami wave that started near Santorina could reach a height of two hundred meters? Or from psychological shock, because the universal natural cataclysm meant that the higher forces sent a terrible punishment to the whole people? And maybe from the aggression of foreigners? Or because of banal female intrigues? It is known that where women are sovereign, no threads of Ariadne will lead to one truth: there will be a great many, and every one will be right in its own way ...
Sarcophagus from Larnaca. Though not of the Minoan time, it is still very ancient and impressive.
From the ancient theater leads the road that unites the large Knossos Palace with the small. There are still excavations here, the palace is already on the surface of the earth, but for the time being it is closed to visitors. Of course, the work should continue, at the same time the bottom near the coast of Crete should be studied. Nowadays, when the world has become the only and necessary form of coexistence of all mankind, the social order of Crete may be of more than just academic interest.
Phaistos disc, side A. Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete.
“... The Phaistos disc will never be decrypted - there is very little text in this letter,” some believe. “The new excavations will help to solve the riddles of the death of the first European culture and point the way to universal harmony,” the latter wholeheartedly believe. Well, living nowadays can only hope for the correctness of the latter. And what is by no means the sacred hymn written on the festival of disc, but the ancestral formula of love and the “recipe” of world harmony left behind us by our ancestors, for which humanity will not spare any of the treasures of the world. And in the same place among the symbols there is an image of a running man dressed in short pants. It may be that he is in a hurry to tell mankind a secret of happiness, which is already four thousand years old?
Phaistos disc, side B. Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.