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Fortifications on Gournia Debunk Myth of Peaceful Minoan Society
Heritage Key ^ | Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | Owen Jarus

Posted on 05/04/2010 5:03:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

A team of archaeologists, led by Professor Vance Watrous and Matt Buell of the University at Buffalo, have discovered a fortification system at the Minoan town of Gournia. The discovery rebukes the popular myth that the Minoans were a peaceful society with no need for defensive structures. That idea arose from work done in the early 20th century by Sir Arthur Evans... The town was originally excavated from 1901-1904 by Harriet Boyd Hawes, a pioneering women who was among the first to excavate a Minoan settlement. Located on the north coast, Gournia was in use during the "neo-palatial" period (ca. 1700-1450 BC), a time when Minoan civilization was thriving. It had about 60 houses with a small palace in the centre... archaeologists have uncovered evidence for wine making, bronze-working and stone-working at the site. The town also had a shipshed, used for vessels. It was at least 25 meters north-south and 10 meters east-west... The fortification system that the team uncovered was built to prevent people from attacking the town by landing on the beach... The eastern-most promontory had a heavy wall that was about 27 meters long. Beside it the team found a semi-circular platform of stone, almost nine meters in diameter -- this is likely the remains of a tower or bastion... In addition to the beach fortifications, it also appears that the Minoans built a second line of defence a little bit inland. Heading south, away from the beach, there were two walls, together running about 180 meters east to west... Tombs uncovered... have shown people buried with swords... Gournia fell around 1450 BC, the same time as other Minoan settlements. A new group called the Mycenaean[s] appeared on Crete at this time, taking over the island.

(Excerpt) Read more at heritage-key.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; gournia; greece; hansgeorgwunderlich; minoan; minoans; thesecretofcrete
"Even when, during the respective Thera Conferences, individual scientists had pointed out that the magnitude and significance of the Thera eruption must be estimated as less than previously thought, the conferences acted to strengthen the original hypothesis. The individual experts believed that the arguments advanced by their colleagues were sound, and that the facts of a natural catastrophe were not in doubt... All three factors reflect a fantasy world rather than cool detachment, which is why it so difficult to refute the theory with rational arguments." -- Eberhard Zangger, "The Future of the Past: Archaeology in the 21st Century", pp 49-50.
1 posted on 05/04/2010 5:03:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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2 posted on 05/04/2010 5:04:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv

No society has ever been peaceful.


3 posted on 05/04/2010 5:04:48 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Jewbacca

(for any length of time).


4 posted on 05/04/2010 5:05:12 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: SunkenCiv

If there are human beings, there will be strife.


5 posted on 05/04/2010 5:06:48 PM PDT by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Fascinating


6 posted on 05/04/2010 5:08:43 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: SunkenCiv

7 posted on 05/04/2010 5:15:47 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: SunkenCiv

For a long time, the “Minoans” probably didn’t need much in the way of defense. It wasn’t just a romantic myth of the archaeologists.
You can see trouble coming from a loooooong way off, on Crete. Invaders landing on the beach would not have had much of a chance, certainly no advantage (such as surprise).
Eventually though, it’s likely the culture went to seed. They usually do. And the Mycenaeans began to crop up like weeds. When the Cretans saw THEM coming, in the mind’s eye, they took prudent precautions.
In the end, it wasn’t enough.
An old, old story.


8 posted on 05/04/2010 5:16:55 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (STOP the Tyrananny State.)
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To: Jewbacca
And even if you are, your neighbors usually are not.

Peaceful has never meant "without defenses". It usually meant that you were the baddest dude on the block when you got riled.

9 posted on 05/04/2010 5:21:38 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (I miss the competent fiscal policy and flag waving patriotism of the Carter Administration)
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To: Jewbacca

Evans was a bit of a nut. And, he may have singlehandedly destroyed any chance of having an accepted translation of Linear A, but that’s another story. :’)


10 posted on 05/04/2010 5:24:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: JoeProBono

That “65” written on it is in modern characters, which proves that it’s a fake. ;’) ;’) ;’) The snake goddess has actually been condemned as a fake in recent years, by some deep thinker. :’)


11 posted on 05/04/2010 5:40:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: GeronL

Thanks G!


12 posted on 05/04/2010 5:41:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv
ok ok I knew that


13 posted on 05/04/2010 5:48:16 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: SunkenCiv

How many historians actually believed the “myth”?


14 posted on 05/04/2010 5:55:07 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: GeronL

In Britain there’s only room for one at the top of any specialty, and Evans was at the top of his; the first batch of written tablets he excavated he had laid down on the hillside in the Sun, it rained in the night, and (as Wunderlich put it) “no more tablets”. After that fiasco Evans jealously guarded his archive, publishing very little, and (despite not being able to read the texts) fought to his dying day against the idea that Greek was hidden in Linear B. The B texts were much more numerous, and (as is still thought today) he thought the A texts would yield after the B writing were figured out.

As noted in “Lost Languages”, Evans even found what appeared to be a clear-as-day Greek word in Linear B (and as it turned out, he was correct), wrote about it, and rejected it as just a coincidence, the kind that is a peril to serious scholars. Wow.

But anyway, Evans’ better-known myth was the “thallosocracy”, the Minoan naval supremacy that turned the Aegean and the environs of Crete, and possibly points east (where Minoan stuff has been found under Mycenaean strata) into an empire not unlike Evans’ own Victorian Britain. Another weird coincidence.

That the Minoans had access to boats shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has noticed that they lived on an island. :’)

There really was zero evidence for his thallosocracy; the Minoans were somehow involved in seagoing trade, and since they weren’t confined to Crete, chances are good they were a maritime people (pretty much what Herodotus says). That they were peaceful was wishful thinking, but at least Evans could point to what he (and most people) consider Minoan palaces and note that there are no fortifications around them. There are ancient roadways and bridgets leading to them, but no fortifications.

Neither has there been much effort to look for any. :’)


15 posted on 05/04/2010 6:05:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth Mysteries Of The Snake Goddess: Art, Desire, And The Forging Of History The Secret of Crete
Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans
and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth

by Joseph Alexander MacGillivray

Hardcover
Paperback
Mysteries Of The Snake Goddess:
Art, Desire, And The
Forging Of History

by Kenneth Lapatin

Bargain Hardcover
Hardcover
The Secret of Crete
by Hans Georg Wunderlich

First Edition Hardcover
Paperback
Mass Market Paperback
Unknown Binding

(in part, MacGillivray contends that Evans's creative drive stemmed from his suppressed homosexuality)
16 posted on 05/04/2010 6:07:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv

and now they found some.

Very interesting. A lot of fantasy novels revolve around stuff that are similar to this era of history.


17 posted on 05/04/2010 6:09:21 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: SunkenCiv
The American Carl Blegen found the palace archive at Pylos in 1939, full of Linear B tablets. I think it was that new supply of tablets that allowed Michael Ventris to make his breakthrough in 1952. The Linear B collection from Knossos is still the largest cache of Linear B, if I'm not mistaken.

That should be thalassocracy from the Greek thalassa (actually a loanword from the pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece).

18 posted on 05/04/2010 6:17:23 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

I feel like reading up on stuff now. lol.


19 posted on 05/04/2010 6:36:49 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: Jewbacca; SunkenCiv

“No society has ever been peaceful”...that had mothers-in-law.

(There, I fixed it for ya.)


20 posted on 05/04/2010 9:38:04 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: JoeProBono

What snakes?


21 posted on 05/05/2010 3:53:59 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: JoeProBono; SunkenCiv
Snakes, it had to be snakes . . . .


22 posted on 05/05/2010 10:07:15 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: wildbill

:’D


23 posted on 05/05/2010 4:29:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: Verginius Rufus

You’re right, Blegen’s find at Pylos — literally on the first day of his dig there — meant there was a large body of published (undeciphered) Linear B texts for the first time, and that is what Ventris used. By the time he had his breakthrough, Evans had been dead for years, so he never had to eat crow about it. And thanks for the etymology!


24 posted on 05/05/2010 4:34:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: GeronL

:’)


25 posted on 05/05/2010 4:38:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv
I was told that when Blegen went looking for the palace at Pylos, he asked himself, "if I was a Mycenaean prince, where would I put my palace?"...found a likely spot and immediately found the palace when they started digging.

Thalassa is one of many words with -ss- or -s- (including common nouns like glossa and nesos and proper nouns like Knossos, Tylissos, Parnassos, etc.--in Attica they tend to be -tt- as in Hymettos, Lycabettos) that are all thought to come from the pre-Greek population. The placenames are on the mainland, on Crete, and on other islands. Also words in -nth- are thought to come from the same previous language (Corinth, plinth, etc.).

For place names to be taken over from earlier inhabitants is common--many examples in the US of Indian, Spanish, or French place names.

26 posted on 05/06/2010 8:04:52 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

-nth suffix means “place of”, for example “Corinth” means “place of the Carians”. :’)


27 posted on 05/06/2010 3:27:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: SunkenCiv
I hadn't heard that they had figured out the original meaning of the -nth- element, and never heard of Carians in Corinth. There are a great many placenames in Greece with that element in the name (sometimes disguised as in Tiryns, where the -th- is missing in the nominative case, but found in other forms of the name). There are also a lot of place names in -nd- in Asia Minor which is supposed to be a variant of the same element.

Another example of this element is the word "labyrinth" which is believed to mean "the house of the double axe."

Of course to get the latest theories you need to axe a Bronze Age specialist.

28 posted on 05/07/2010 6:16:04 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
;') The -nth place names are found (or rather, were found, during later classical times) in Italy and parts of former Yugoslavia, as well as Greece, Anatolia, and the Aegean. Hmm, wonder where that scan is... [rummages around the hard drives]
-inthos place names (from Settegast):

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29 posted on 05/07/2010 2:53:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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