Skip to comments.Did Unemployed Minoan Artists Land Jobs in Ancient Egypt?
Posted on 01/06/2010 8:39:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Two of those palaces were decorated, for a very short period of time, with Minoan frescoes. These include drawings of bull-leaping scenes -- which are well known from the Palace of Knossos in Crete.
Site excavator Manfred Bietak published a book in 2007 that discussed these frescoes and compared them with the more famous scenes at the Palace of Knossos.
There is no question that the frescoes at Tell el-Dab'a are Aegean influenced, and it seems likely that the artists are from Crete...
Bietak said in his book that the paintings may symbolize the marriage of a Minoan princess into the Egyptian royal family...
Another idea, which Bietak brings up, is that the frescoes may have been painted for the purpose of a state visit of Minoan leaders to Egypt. This is backed up by excavation which reveals that the paintings appear to have fallen off the walls after a short period of time -- possibly only a few years.
(Excerpt) Read more at heritage-key.com ...
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
When I was in high school we were taught that the “fertile crescent” between the Tigris and Euphrates rives was the cradle of civilization.
I have always believed it was on Crete. I believe Crete is much older than many realize and also think it was the site of the semi-mythical Atlantis.
The discovery of fragments of wall paintings in the destruction debries of M. Bietak’s Tell el-Dab’a/Avaris, found laying over gardens beside the platform of a huge building (70m x 45m), which they are presumed to have decorated, seems to link Ahmose with the Minoan culture. The fragments show bulls and bull-leapers, a scene of an acrobat beside a palm tree, the pose of which is supposed to closely recall the scene of a chalcedony sealstone from Knossos and more images. 
Careful reading reveals that the authors/editors use circular reasoning in that they try to corroberate dates between Minoan Crete, Mesopotamia and Egypt when both, the history of Crete and Mesopotamia, follow Egyptian chronological dating methods. An example is the clay sistrum, said to originate from the Middle Minoan IA funerary building 9 in the Arkhanes Phourni cemetery, compared to an example in blue faience from the pyramid of Amenemhat I at Lisht. The importance of this borrowing of Egyptian products on Crete implies “knowledge of the use and purpose of the Egyptian instrument; in other words we observe symbolic transfer taking place.” 
Here we have an example where the sistrum instrument was borrowed by the Minoans from the Egyptians while many other discoveries seem to indicate Egyptians borrowing or using ideas and products from Crete. Such bi-directional exchanges are normal and may corroborate but do not fix a chronology. See Here for more:
Try to imagine Crete much larger...say, 8,000 years ago before the Ice Age melt raised the level of the dessicated Mediterranean ocean.
“Dey tuk er jeobs!”
Some years ago after looking at the art produced at the montheist pharoah Iknaton’s new city, I said to myself, “that has the free and natural feel of Minoan art.”
I then thought that perhaps artists from the collapsing Minoan civilization might have been hired by Iknaton who appreciated their more natural style of representation.
How’s this for a theory? The artists may have been forced to leave the Aegean because of the eruption of Thera (Santorini)
The dates are relatively close. “ Despite this evidence, the exact date of the eruption has been difficult to determine. Current estimates based on radiocarbon dating indicate that the eruption occurred between 1627 BCE and 1600 BCE. However, this range of dates conflicts with the previous estimatebased on archaeological studies utilizing conventional Egyptian chronologyof about a century later.”
The eruption was a huge event in the Aegean. Who knows how long its effects may have altered the opportunities for artists in the Minoan culture througout the Aegean.
My interest in archeology was definitely piqued when as an adolescent I saw pictures of bare-breasted Minoan babes leaping on bulls.
Dey tuk er jeobs!
:’) Bietak’s changed the date and pharaoh on this site over the years, mostly to reflect the singleminded drive (delusional system) of those who want to push the date of the Thera eruption back and put the blame for the fall of the Minoan palace civ’ on the volcano.
Trouble is, under the conventional pseudochronology moving back the date of the (imaginary) super-eruption makes it A) even less plausible as the cause and B) best case scenario is that the cause is accepted and all the synchronisms established over the past century or so will dissolve in a hideous miasma.
Okay, yeah, so, I’ve fallen in love with “miasma”. Never realized what fun it was to use that in a sentence. And it’s another word that fits in place of “volare’” in the song of the same name. ;’)
I think the bull-leapers were the boys in the picture. Time has played tricks with the mammaries.
Oooh, good call!
Wherever it was is probably now underwater, and it will probably remain forever prehistoric, even if it is someday found. But Crete wasn’t Atlantis. It was, however, Tarshish.
I have never studied Atlantis in depth but a few things are obvious. First, Plato’s account cannot be accurate. Second, no one really knows where or even if it existed.
I do think Plato was referring to a specific place. I always thought Crete fit the description better than any other place.
I also always thought Tarshish was ancient Tyre or at least Phoenicia.
“never studied Atlantis in depth” — heh heh... okay, g’night...
...anyway, if Plato’s account can’t be accurate, there’s no point looking for Atlantis at all. Trying to find it other than where he said it was amounts to looking on the sidewalk by your car for the glasses you lost in the dark restaurant, simply because the light’s better. :’)
Here is some more theory, and I am using 1626 BC and 1640 BC for the Thera and the Hyksos beginnings.
- Twenty years before Thera, rumblings caused Santorini people to abandon the island (established information). They mostly move to Crete, but lack of artistic/other jobs either causes a number to move to the Hyksos, or a bunch moved and WERE the Hyksos.
- The great eruption caused a tsunami which may have destroyed much of Minian port activity. Destroying ships in port, many support structures, and a large number of shipping related artisans and craftsmen. Only those ships at sea survived to reestablish shipping. This led to the decline of Minoan civilization which was there but not so strong around 1500 BC (established information), time of Tutmosis III.
- More artists and craftspeople head for Egypt and elsewhere as Myceneans/Sea People put pressure on Crete.
- Around 1350 Ahkenaten and Nefirtiti went off to build Amarna. They took with them a number of artists from the Minoan school who were tired of the stylized and perscribed methods of depiction used by the Egyptian hierarchy, religious and royal. An artistry of naturalism of plants, animals, and even royal personages flourished for a few short years. Here is a detailed and interesting link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten
The problem I have with “volcano effect deniers” is that if one argues that Thera eruption didn’t do major harm to Minoan culture or have any effect on the peoples of the Eastern Med, then the inevitable corollary of that argument is that virtually nothing of note happened due to the eruption.
And that flies in the face of evidence that the eruption was cataclysmic, perhaps 4 or 5 times the explosive force of Krakatoa. Thera ash has been identified in many far off locations worldwide.
It may be that the eruption wound up pushing the Hyksos toward Egypt to get away from the effects of the eruption in their nearby lands of the Levant.
It has been many years since I have read a translation of Plato’s description of Atlantis. I was a Classics major back in the early 70’s.
One thing which seems impossible is that Atlantis was located beyond the “Pillars of Hercules” which is Gibraltar. I have never heard of any account of a civilization located on an island in the Atlantic except for Plato.
Just because Plato’s description is not accurate does not mean that it is totally made up. Just about all the old stories have a basis in fact. Theseus and the Minotaur for instance. Or maybe the Trojan War.
The only Islands in the Mediterranean would be Crete, Sardinia, Corsica, The Balearic’s Rhodes, and Cyprus. I guess you could also include Sicily but it is just barely and Island. Also the various Greek Islands such as Delos, Melos, Santorini etc.
Of all these, none has disappeared tho maybe Santorini has almost. Of all these Islands only Crete is known to have been both highly advanced and large enough to be a real power.
Just my guess but I suspect Plato’s version of Atlantis is most likely inspired by Crete.
I forgot to include Malta.
I resemble that remark. ;’) I beg your pardon in advance for my seeming bitchiness.
There is literally NO evidence for any supereruption of Thera in historical times. There was an eruption of course, more than one, but nothing about an eruption is mentioned in any surviving source, including Herodotus, who says quite a bit about the island — until Strabo, who writes of an eruption there that happened around 200 BC.
Yes, the island formed from a volcano. But the caldera collapse some persist in identifying as a cause for a tsunami didn’t happen in historical times, it happened at least 20,000 years ago, and the island formed a couple hundred thousand years ago.
There’s literally NO evidence for a tsunami — one is often said to have resulted from a caldera collapse at the time of the supereruption.
There’s zero evidence for a tsunami on the eastern and southern coasts of Greece, which is the direction the bay of Santorini points.
The ash layer on eastern Crete that has been linked to Thera is up to five millimeters thick — whoa — and that’s the direction the ash is said to have been blown. :’)
One could say, erosion — but the beachfront structures supposedly messed up by the supposed tsunami (which would have gone in the other direction) were actually just picked-apart for stone, and subjected to ordinary wave action from time to time over thousands of years were subjected to erosion, and the tsunami non-deniers say ordinary wear and tear on derelict buildings near the beach doesn’t take place.
Pumice attributed to Thera has been found in a few places, but hasn’t been dated. A chunk of pumice adapted as a household item and found at this site excavated by Bietak was of course attributed to Thera — because the supereruption advos saddle on anything that supports their claims — but turns out to have been A) a match with the Kos volcano, and B) over 100,000 years old. This means the pumice floated around for who knows how long, no more than 97,000 years though, and obviously can’t be used to date any eruption from Thera. :’)
Sturt Manning, the main advocate of the pushing back the date of the supereruption, seized on the example of the pumice serving tray, denying that it was in use immediately after the eruption (the 15th c BC dating advos claimed this), that it could easily have been floating around the extra 150 or so years before it was found and used — and then when it was shown to be from the Kos volcano, said, “The Tell el-Dab’a3 samples have now been identified as related to the Kos volcano (Peltz et al. 1999). The general argument about use of differing pumices of differing ages remains valid, nonetheless.” That includes Manning’s idea that pumice was a trade item, which is obviously neither here nor there vis a vis the dating of the supposed event.
There is no point, because the event never happened in the first place.
That could still be true, insofar as there could have been an area still controlled by the Hyksos, perhaps the western coast of the Red Sea, which was the route used for her journey to Punt (Israel).Speos Artemidos (Grotto of Artemis)About 2 miles southwest of Beni Hassan is the Cave of Artemis, which was hewn out of rock. It is located in the Batn el-Baqara wadi and is dedicated to the lion-goddess Pakhet (she who scratches), otherwise known as Artemis. There are scenes of offerings to various gods, but the most interesting thing here is an inscription over the entrance which states that Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty) has rid Egypt of the Hyksos. Actually, she did not.
Jimmy Dunn (?)
I once did a paper on the queen of Sheba. Back in the early 70’s there was a consensus, at least among scholars that there was a Sheba in what is now Southern Yemen.
Also probably not related to Atlantis tho it is in the Atlantic, the current issue of “National Geographic” has an interesting article on the Hebrides. One of those islands, Hirta or St. Kilda, as it is also know, was occupied for over 4000 years. Hard to believe as it is pretty near “The Edge Of The World” as they put it.
Also nearly impossible to land there except during Summer and at only one spot. Some Stonehenge type monuments on some of those islands too. They were probably occupied far earlier than Hirta.
Warm climate in some of the Scottish isles, but rocky.
A NON-Event??? I love a man who is so positive in his opinions.
Although you think the matter is settled and no event occurred, the debate about Thera has gone on for some time and has included many archeological, geologic and dendrochronological discoveries by respected academics.
As a starter I recommend the Overview and Assessment Paper delivered at the Third Thera Congress in 1989. “Overview and Assessment of the Evidence for the Date of the Eruption of Thera” in D. A. Hardy and A. C. Renfrew, eds., Thera and the Aegean World III: Proceedings of the Third International Congress, Santorini, Greece, 3-9 September 1989. Vol. III “Chronology” (London: The Thera Foundation 1990) 13-18. For citation purposes, page “numbers” are marked in the text. Click on the numbers here to see where page breaks exist in the linear text.
13 14 15 16 17 18
Please note that this article was part of a talk given at the Thera III Congress, which took place in 1989. While this article sums up the chronological evidence at hand at the time, several articles have appeared since then from Kuniholm, et al., that add to the debate. Please see Nature (online soon).
Regarding evidence of Thera sunamis I recommend:
My studies lead me to the conclusion that an event did occur. It is only the details of how large and how intrusive in the culture of the nearby islands and mainland that may be in dispute.
This might be interesting.
I found it while searching what you said.
As you note, none of that stuff is new. It might surprise as much as it did me that the supereruption mania began in the 19th century; Marinatos revived it in the 1930s, Pellegrino in the 1960s; it has never been anything but a seeking of evidence for a groundless belief, and its advocates merely point at the same fallacious non-evidence, and scratch each others backs. Great way to milk gov’ts for grants though.
[snip] I, for one, find it difficult to believe that something as cataclysmic as the Theran eruption could have taken place without causing world-wide tremors or reactions and am therefore inclined to favor the earlier date.. all around 1628-1627 BC, possibly corroborated by the silence from Egypt... The Chinese evidence is not entirely secure as to its date, the Annals having been found, lost, and then recovered, and the question of the Shang Dynasty and its dates really depends on one line in the text (information from Professor Martin Bernal at Cornell)... [unsnip]
IOW, the silence from Egypt — lack of any record of any kind of eruption, tsunami, etc — CORROBORATES the event. That’s a nice example of a delusional system in action.
Apparently you either didn’t read this:
Regarding evidence of Thera sunamis I recommend:
Or chose to ignore it.
Your argument that there is nothing new is one of the weakest I’ve ever heard you express. Do we need new proof that Kin Tut’s tomb was found in order to believe it? While there is always the possibility that new evidence or theories will occur as research continues, the absence of ‘dittos” usually means that the research studies submitted are accepted as true until proven incorrect—and that the academic community sees no point—or possiblity of publication or funding—in rehashing them.
If you insist on recent news being the only viable proof, then where are your citations (recent) from scientists, experts or archeologists that no eruption occurred.
The absence of recent proofs is not proof of the absence of proof.
Wow, there is some heavy disagreement here.
I have a book on Thera which I have not yet had time to read. Will post something after I have. Regarding the lack of information from Egypt, this was a time of chaos with the Hyksos invasion. Perhaps scribes in hiding, killed, or unemployed. I have read of several other times of trouble and evidence being lacking because of disruption.
Regarding the time of Pharoah Ahkenaten, the 3 or 4 sources I have seen all point to 1350 BC, plus or minus a few decades, not the 9th Century.
Regarding the Queen of Sheba. I just looked up ancient Ethiopan history. She was part of their legendary history, and the article points out that the upland Ethiopians were early migrants from southern Arabia (Yemen?).
At any rate, even if we do not agree, we have fun. Happy new year to all seekers of knowledge.
The dating of the New Kingdom is screwed up; almost any book you pick up will say 14th c BC for Akhenaten, but 9th c BC is correct. The UluBurun II wreck had a chunk of lumber that was RC dated to circa 1316 BC, which was hailed as a dating verification (a scarab with the name of Nefertiti had been found on the wreck, but that was the around date that the rings were alive, IOW, the tree was around for some time thereafter before being cut into lumber (we don’t build with saplings), so these results, while accepted and published, actually undercut the conventional pseudochronology for the late 18th dynasty (which isn’t surprising at all). Therefore it was decided that this piece of lumber was a random log.
What that means is, the ship went down, and centuries later a log just happened to sink (?) and land on the wreck. Before the significance of the RC dating was realized, no one had any doubt that the wreck and lumber went down at the same time. :’) Obviously the lumber of the wreck itself should be tested. The current fallback position is, the scarab was already centuries old when the ship went down, and that it was just scrap metal on the way to the recycler.
The Minoan art seen in the Bietak dig (and it wasn’t Avaris, location is wrong, but anyway), if from the New Kingdom (Theban / 18th Dynasty or later) is no older than circa 3000 years. I’d like to see cosmic ray exposure dating done to the big statues of Ramses II, the ones at Abu Simbel which were moved to higher ground when Lake Nasser started to form. That would be fun to watch, when the date comes back over 700 years too young.
Another volcanic event that could have played some role in unsettling the Mediterranian area is Mt Etna, which had a very large eruption at 1500 BC, + or - 50 years. I have found very little reference or speculation as to the effects of this event. Tsunamis, ashfall, climate change, etc.
As I recall the story, Solon was quoting an ancient Egyptian priest saying something like this: You Greeks are so young, this all happened 9,000 years ago. Given the time the priest was referring to, this puts the Atlantis events occurring around 12,000 years ago. Were they affected by the cosmic catastrophe of Firestone’s work, or the subsequent Younger Dryas climate change? IF so, then a place outside Gibraltar becomes more plausable.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.