Europe’s oldest city Minoan civilization capital Knossos reveals even more priceless treasures

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Europe’s oldest city Minoan civilization capital Knossos reveals even more priceless treasures The greatness of Knossos grows as new evidence suggests that an ancient Aegean city not only recovered but also flourished following the collapse of the Bronze Age

The latest discoveries on Crete at the site of the ancient city of Knossos suggest that the capital of Minoan Civilization was far larger and more impacting than experts believed.

Scientists already knew that Knossos was Europe’s oldest city and ruled over the massive trade empire during the Bronze age, nevertheless, new evidence suggests that the Minoans may have actually survived into the Iron Age.

Europe’s oldest city, the majestic site of the Greek Bronze Age, was the seat of power of the mythological King Minos and the home of the enigmatic labyrinth. Also linked to far reaching legends like Daedalus and son Icarus, the Minoan palace and the Minoans were also considered to be the sons and daughters of Atlantic by the ancients. This civilization is widely acclaimed as the birthplace for all western civilization and,  when the mainland Greeks came out of the Stone Age, the Minoans managed a maritime empire across the entire Mediterranean basin and beyond. When Rome was not even so much as an idea, Minoans built the first paved roads.

Even though the ancient city was previously thought to have perished around 1200 B.C. after the volcanic eruption of Thera on Santorini, new artifacts discovered by a team led by a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of classics, Antonis Kotsonas, suggest that it was much larger and richer than was previously thought. 

According to a press release on Kotsonas’ work, "recent fieldwork at the ancient city of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete finds that during the early Iron Age (1100 to 600 BC), the city was rich in imports and was nearly three times larger than what was believed from earlier excavations. 

San Francisco meeting

The discovery suggests that not only did this spectacular site in the Greek Bronze Age (between 3500 and 1100 BC) recover from the collapse of the socio-political system around 1200 BC, but also rapidly grew and thrived as a cosmopolitan hub of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Antonis Kotsonas, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of classics, will highlight his field research with the Knossos Urban Landscape Project at the 117th annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and Society for Classical Studies. The meeting takes place Jan. 7-10 in San Francisco.

The Knossos Urban Landscape Project over the past decade has recovered a large collection of ceramics and artifacts dating back to the Iron Age. The relics were spread over an extensive area that was previously unexplored. Kotsonas says that this exploration revealed considerable growth in the size of the settlement during the early Iron Age and also growth in the quantity and quality of its imports coming from mainland Greece, Cyprus, the Near East, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia and the western Mediterranean.

“No other site in the Aegean period has such a range of imports,” Kotsonas says. The imports include bronze and other metals – jewelry and adornments, as well as pottery. He adds that the majority of the materials, recovered from tombs, provide a glimpse of the wealth in the community, because status symbols were buried with the dead during this period. 

The antiquities were collected from fields covering the remains of dwellings and cemeteries. “Distinguishing between domestic and burial contexts is essential for determining the size of the settlement and understanding the demographic, socio-political and economic development of the local community,” explains Kotsonas. “Even at this early stage in detailed analysis, it appears that this was a nucleated, rather densely occupied settlement extending over the core of the Knossos valley, from at least the east slopes of the acropolis hill on the west to the Kairatos River, and from the Vlychia stream on the south until roughly midway between the Minoan palace and the Kephala hill.”

Research partnership 

Kotsonas’ Jan. 9 presentation is part of a colloquium themed, “Long-Term Urban Dynamics at Knossos: The Knossos Urban Landscape Project, 2005-2015.” Kotsonas serves as a consultant on the project, which is dedicated to intensively surveying the Knossos valley and documenting the development of the site from 7000 BC, to the early 20th century. The project is a research partnership between the Greek Archaeological Service and the British School at Athens. Kotsonas has served as a collaborator on the project since 2009

Funding for the University of Cincinatti research was supported by the UC Department of Classics Louise Taft Semple Fund

Kotsonas underlines that because the site also is a popular tourist attraction, there is a strong interest in development around the site. The Knossos Urban Landscape Project works to inform the community about the importance of preserving the area that has history yet to be uncovered, history that could be lost if future development destroyed unexplored parts of the site.

The AIA and SCS Joint Annual Meeting brings together professional and vocational archaeologists and classicists from around the world to share the latest developments from the field. The conference is the largest and oldest established meeting of classical scholars and archaeologists in North America.

UC’s Classics Department in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences is one of the most active centers for the study of the Greek and Roman Antiquity in the United States. UC excavations have been led at two Bronze Age palatial centers, Knossos in Crete, and Pylos in the Peloponnese, a site first discovered by UC archaeologist Carl W. Blegen in 1939. 

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

Tornos
  1. 22/08 22:01

    Dakos: A simple but delicious and healthy Cretan specialty

  2. 22/08 21:57

    Beijing University students of Geosciences visit Lesvos Island in Greece

  3. 22/08 21:52

    Greece eyes global tourism's 'Top 10' after rising 14th place in 2016

  4. 22/08 21:42

    Usain Bolt doused in champagne in Greek island of Mykonos (video)

  5. 22/08 19:00

    Thessaloniki's shipping agents deplore cutting customs officers' night shift at port

  6. 22/08 18:55

    World Health Organisation: Cyprus safest country for young people

  7. 22/08 17:32

    Smartertravel: Volos and Pelion in Greece among 10 secret and affordable places in Europe

  8. 22/08 17:28

    IATA: Global passenger demand reached 12-year high during first half of 2017

  9. 22/08 16:23

    Historical Italian Navy sailing ship “Palinuro” to visit Larnaca in Cyprus

  10. 22/08 14:54

    ND: Government abstention from EU event on communist crimes 'offends Greeks'

  11. 22/08 12:50

    Nafplion church in Greece needs help to continue feeding the poor

  12. 22/08 10:47

    Greek exports to the United Kingdom up during first half of 2017

  13. 21/08 18:46

    French President Macron expected to visit Greece on September 7-8

  14. 21/08 18:37

    Greek current account surplus shrinks in June despite tourism revenues rise

  15. 21/08 18:34

    Meeting between Greece-Israel-Cyprus on diaspora issues held in Nicosia

  16. 21/08 18:28

    Greek island of Syros set to become location for shooting movies

  17. 21/08 18:25

    Greece among top-10 destinations for German tourists

  18. 21/08 18:22

    Island Park Greek Festival in Long Island a great success (video)

  19. 21/08 18:17

    Extreme weather expected for Tuesday in northern Greece

  20. 21/08 18:12

    Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer 2017: Athens in cheapest European cities

  21. 21/08 18:08

    Greek bond yield falls after Fitch upgrade to B-

  22. 21/08 18:05

    Whoopi Goldberg spends her vacations in Greece

  23. 21/08 17:52

    Barcelona attack driver still at large despite confirmed identity

  24. 21/08 17:49

    New Erasmus student booking portal launched by Ryanair

  25. 21/08 17:46

    Eurowings: Reservations opened for flights to Corfu in 2018

  26. 21/08 17:43

    Virtual eruption of Santorini's volcano set for September 16th, 2017

  27. 21/08 17:37

    Report: Thomas Cook takes action after hotel 'boghole' complaint goes viral

  28. 21/08 17:31

    ABTA's advice on dealing with complaints via social media

  29. 21/08 17:24

    Guardian presents 10 of the best beach bars in Greece

  30. 21/08 16:20

    Alltours: Additional flights to Crete, Rhodes, Kos in the autumn

  31. 21/08 14:14

    Ryanair launches new routes from Thessaloniki to Barcelona And Porto

  32. 21/08 12:10

    Turkish tourism industry’s loss for 2016-2018 may top $30 billion

  33. 21/08 10:48

    WizzAir: New service from Iasi to Thessaloniki in summer 2018

  34. 20/08 20:44

    Virtuoso: Luxury tourism attracts growing numbers of millennials with higher income

  35. 20/08 20:39

    Greek sailor named 2017 Laser Radial Youth world champion

  36. 20/08 20:34

    Hellenic Youth Club Movie Night in Sydney on August 22nd

  37. 20/08 20:25

    Report: Notos owner Greece’s best culinary ambassador in Belgium

  38. 20/08 20:15

    NBA star Kevin Durant promotes Greece in social media with Navagio photo

  39. 20/08 20:11

    56 fires across Greece in past 24 hours - most of them extinguished

  40. 20/08 18:07

    Hoop Federation: Bucks kept Antetokounmpo off Greek Euro Team

  41. 20/08 18:01

    Supermarket chains claim provinces all over Greece

  42. 20/08 16:59

    ND: Greece still hasn't reached the rating level it had in 2014

  43. 20/08 16:53

    Forbes: Great estate buying opportunities in Athens, Greek cities, islands, beaches

  44. 20/08 14:49

    Greek FinMin: Fitch upgrade shows 3rd review will be completed without instability

  45. 20/08 12:43

    Usain Bolt vacations in Mykonos relaxing after end of career

  46. 20/08 10:38

    Greece's Volos lights city hall with Spanish flag to honor Barcelona terror victims

  47. 19/08 14:53

    Greek Orthodox Church Bishops in America statement on Charlottesville

  48. 19/08 14:46

    Report: Three must-see Islands in Greece that most tourists miss

  49. 19/08 14:42

    Lighthouses across Greece open to public on Sunday, August 20th

  50. 19/08 14:39

    Nicosia in Cyprus to host 5th Energy Symposium in November

  51. 19/08 14:36

    Funeral of iconic Greek actress Zoe Laskari to be held on August 22

  52. 19/08 14:32

    July was ‘hottest on record’ in Greece and globally

  53. 19/08 14:24

    Momentous Foo Fighters’ Acropolis concert in Athens to air on PBS (video)

  54. 19/08 14:21

    Greek opposition: SYRIZA's investment-friendly facade a 'theater of the absurd'

  55. 19/08 14:13

    First trailer of new movie by Greek director Lanthimos released

  56. 19/08 14:08

    Fitch Ratings upgrades Greece to 'B-' from 'CCC' with 'positive' outlook

  57. 19/08 14:01

    Greek tavern owner in Volos fires in the air to scare tax auditors

  58. 19/08 13:57

    Increased checks of POS terminals and transactions in Greek tourist-laden areas

  59. 19/08 13:53

    Report: The Fethiye Mosque in Athens re-opens

  60. 19/08 13:45

    Migration trends shifting across the Mediterranean and away from Greece

  61. 19/08 12:50

    Greek President welcomes students who excelled in Math and Chemistry Olympiads

  62. 19/08 10:36

    Little Greek culinary secrets: Appetizers with ouzo

  63. 18/08 22:33

    Road traffic restored in Kalamos area near Athens after wildfire

  64. 18/08 22:24

    Amphiareion sanctuary in greater Athens spared from recent wildfire

  65. 18/08 22:01

    U.S. presses Turkey on Hagia Sophia and Halki School issues

  66. 18/08 21:55

    Castle of Methoni, one of the most important and beautiful in Greece

  67. 18/08 21:38

    National Hellenic Society's Heritage Weekend attracts compelling panelists

  68. 18/08 21:17

    Iconic Greek actress and former Miss Greece Zoe Laskari dead at 73

  69. 18/08 19:47

    Thessaloniki's state bus company allows free travel for the unemployed

  70. 18/08 17:50

    Stephen Fry takes on mythical figures from ancient Greece in Ontario

  71. 18/08 15:31

    Greek top court freezes temporarily Enel Hellas wind farm project in Evia

  72. 18/08 15:01

    Ministry: Greek woman among those injured in Barcelona terrorist attack

  73. 18/08 13:26

    Greek tastes that you will remember forever

  74. 18/08 10:56

    New, impressive ancient treasures discovered at historical Mentor shipwreck in Kythira

  75. 17/08 20:23

    80 sailing yachts gather in Patmos island for countdown to 2017 Aegean Regatta this Sunday

  76. 17/08 20:13

    Van plows into Barcelona summer crowd of residents and tourists killing up to 13 (videos)

  77. 17/08 18:40

    Cyprus tourism: Another record in July and during the first 7 months of 2017

  78. 17/08 18:20

    Greece’s most expensive villa up for sale at €23 million

  79. 17/08 18:06

    712 hotels and rented rooms units in Greece inspected by tax auditors in Q2 2017

  80. 17/08 17:50

    Turnover of e-commerce across Greece on the rise

  81. 17/08 17:42

    Greek government announces relief measures for those affected by wildfires

  82. 17/08 17:34

    Grivalia eyes new resort at Asteria in SE coastal Athens area of Glyfada

  83. 17/08 17:30

    French president adds Greece to Europe-focused agenda after summer break

  84. 17/08 17:25

    Greek President reiterates call for German WWII reparations

  85. 17/08 16:36

    85 million euros approved by European Union for Athens projects

  86. 17/08 14:33

    Museum of the Greek Immigrant up next for Montreal in Canada

  87. 17/08 12:26

    The long and arduous tradition of emery mining on Naxos island

  88. 16/08 19:13

    “Taste of Danforth” Greek Food Festival takes place in Toronto

  89. 16/08 19:06

    First World Music festival in Greek island of Hydra on August 25-27

  90. 16/08 18:59

    Report: The revival of the Athens' commercial triangle

  91. 16/08 18:52

    Paths of Culture network aims to put Samothrace island on the map

  92. 16/08 18:41

    Eastern Attica wildfire becomes manageable at last

  93. 16/08 18:26

    Hilarious responses by US kids who taste Greek vegetables

  94. 16/08 18:06

    Three Greek universities among the best in the world (full list)

  95. 16/08 17:01

    Greece, Cyprus and Israel to address marine pollution jointly

  96. 16/08 15:55

    Review of decades-old laws to help business firms in Greece

  97. 16/08 13:52

    Athens Archbishop: Greeks always were and will remain Orthodox

  98. 16/08 11:46

    Economy Minister: Greece needs an "investment shock"

  99. 15/08 19:20

    Pop star Ronan Keating with model wife and infant vacation in Corfu

  100. 15/08 19:14

    Travel guide: The charming and elegant Greek island of Serifos