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.
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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
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