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. 23/02 17:03

    Greek Foreign Ministry voices support to Turkey and Iran over earthquake

  2. 23/02 16:41

    Greek Health Ministry to hold meeting on coronavirus precautions

  3. 23/02 16:35

    Region of Attica Governor wants to clear Athens from poster pollution

  4. 23/02 16:22

    Athens Science Festival to take place in Technopolis between April 1-5

  5. 23/02 16:17

    IATA: Coronavirus may slash $29 billion from Airlines’ revenue globally

  6. 23/02 16:04

    Greeks from “Diamond Princess” cruiseship test negative for coronavirus

  7. 23/02 15:59

    Initiative to rid central Monastiraki Square in Athens of plastics

  8. 23/02 15:52

    Washington Post: Greece should be the keeper of the Elgin Marbles

  9. 23/02 13:43

    Whistleblower in Novartis case to testify before Greek Parliament

  10. 23/02 11:30

    Minister: Building migration centers on Greek islets 'not a government plan'

  11. 22/02 15:46

    Greek FM discusses renewable energy with Danish counterpart Kofod

  12. 22/02 15:29

    Promotion of renewable energy sources for electricity production in Greece

  13. 22/02 15:25

    Seven bidders for Thessaloniki port pier extension project in northern Greece

  14. 22/02 15:20

    Infographic: Europe’s most passenger-friendly train stations

  15. 22/02 14:52

    DEPA infrastructure privatization attracts 9 international investors in Greece

  16. 22/02 14:48

    Greek climate activist spreads message by cycling around the globe

  17. 22/02 14:32

    Greek champion wins gold at 2020 World Cup Gymnastics in Melbourne

  18. 22/02 13:43

    Grrek PM on EU summit: Some insisted we should do more with fewer resources

  19. 22/02 12:00

    ReGeneration Greece: Five years of supporting young people

  20. 21/02 17:46

    Greek Foreign Minister Dendias visits the Danish capital Copenhagen

  21. 21/02 17:35

    Infographic: China is the planet's manufacturing superpower

  22. 21/02 17:26

    Greek Shipping Minister meets with EU Commissioner for Transport

  23. 21/02 17:06

    European court gives Greece green light for migrant detention centers

  24. 21/02 16:58

    Greek export performance achieves new historical record during 2019

  25. 21/02 16:24

    Greece's comics festival, Comicdom Con Athens, launched on April 10

  26. 21/02 16:18

    SEV proposes measures to reverse brain drain in Greece

  27. 21/02 16:12

    Bible of digital transformation to be presented in Greece until end of March

  28. 21/02 16:01

    Victoria Beckham’s Vogue Greece cover draws global media attention

  29. 21/02 15:51

    Total value of Greek-Chinese trade soars to record €4.5 billion

  30. 21/02 15:48

    Greece plays critical role in European Union ecology app program

  31. 21/02 15:44

    ECB net interest income on SMP holdings of Greek bonds at €94 million

  32. 21/02 12:37

    Connecticut University to create museum of ancient Greek city-state of Sparta

  33. 21/02 10:23

    Greek PM from Brussels: We cannot do more with less

  34. 21/02 02:16

    Carnival season peaks in Greece

  35. 21/02 02:09

    First smart-hotel to open in northern Greek city of Thessaloniki

  36. 21/02 01:56

    Foreign Ministry: Greece's foreign policy always serves international law

  37. 21/02 01:51

    St. Petersburg College cooperates with Greece’s University of the Aegean

  38. 21/02 01:35

    Condé Nast Traveler: Ftelia in Mykonos named Best Beach Club in the World for 2020

  39. 21/02 01:09

    Greek-American Chamber of Commerce hails exemption of local products from tariffs

  40. 20/02 23:00

    Hellenic Society of Constantinople to organize Annual Gala in LA

  41. 20/02 22:28

    Greek PM: More funding needed for climate change and border control

  42. 20/02 21:45

    Parliamentary Budget Office: Greek economy on positive track in Q4 2019

  43. 20/02 19:21

    Reconstruction of Omonia Square concluded in Athens by next week

  44. 20/02 17:16

    Affluent Chinese will bring Greece €1 billion through Golden Visas

  45. 20/02 15:59

    Athens Museum shows Ancient Greek technology was way ahead of its time

  46. 20/02 13:49

    Innovative Greek application protects consumers from harmful substances

  47. 20/02 10:40

    Reuters: Greece says Marbles' return not linked to Brexit negotiations

  48. 20/02 00:48

    Sounds Greek to Me: Celebrate Patras Carnival at the Athens Airport

  49. 20/02 00:39

    Celine Dion to give a concert at the Olympic Stadium of Athens on July 31

  50. 20/02 00:35

    International Greek Language Day marked at Socrates Academy in US

  51. 20/02 00:30

    Ambassador in Athens: US committed to Greece’s security and prosperity

  52. 20/02 00:00

    OTE's chief: 'Performance in the last quarter crowned a very solid 2019'

  53. 19/02 23:46

    Minister: Government to proceed with closed type hosting facilities

  54. 19/02 23:13

    Commissioner Schinas: EC will stand by Greece's regional authorities

  55. 19/02 21:06

    AP: Greece’s first official mosque will commence services this Spring

  56. 19/02 19:54

    European Union puts Parthenon Marbles return to Greece on Brexit list

  57. 19/02 17:38

    UNWTO places tourism high on European Union’s agenda

  58. 19/02 15:29

    Greek PM will work to secure as many European Union funds as possible

  59. 19/02 13:24

    Tsiknopempti celebrated at the Acropolis Museum restaurant

  60. 19/02 12:04

    Expanding Greece and UAE's strategic cooperation will boost region's stability

  61. 19/02 10:22

    Airlines and posts for a sustainable and reliable airmail network

  62. 19/02 03:07

    Greece-UAE Broader Strategic Cooperation Forum held in Athens

  63. 19/02 03:04

    Greek PM: Lignite phase-out a key aspect of national energy policy

  64. 19/02 02:59

    Greek Youth Summit in Melbourne inspires commitment to community

  65. 19/02 02:56

    Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of €498 million in January

  66. 19/02 02:55

    Cyprus protests Turkey’s illegal Famagusta plans at EU's top level

  67. 19/02 02:27

    Historic Plaka single-arch stone bridge in Greek Region of Epirus restored

  68. 19/02 02:02

    New space dedicated to ancient Greece at Musée des Moulages in Montpellier

  69. 18/02 23:40

    Cyprus President Anastasiades discusses EIB support for local projects

  70. 18/02 22:37

    Greek Foreign Ministry's Secretary General visits United Arab Emirates

  71. 18/02 21:15

    Athens suburban and intercity train services resume after 24-hour strike action

  72. 18/02 19:07

    Rallies in downtown Athens against social security bill concluded

  73. 18/02 17:47

    Summer Nostos Festival organized between June 21-28, 2020 in Athens

  74. 18/02 15:32

    Media report: Short-term rentals soar in Greek cities and neighborhoods

  75. 18/02 11:55

    Greek PM: Government is moving ahead with its national reforms plan

  76. 18/02 11:22

    AP: Europe’s busiest airport at Heathrow hit by second day of disruptions

  77. 18/02 11:11

    Cyprus has highest number of marriages per capita in European Union

  78. 18/02 02:25

    World Bank: Cyprus reunification would boost national income by 7% in a decade

  79. 18/02 02:18

    Greek FM hails EU Foreign Affairs Council's decision to enforce Libya arms embargo

  80. 18/02 02:14

    Greek government pulls back migrant detention plans following backlash

  81. 18/02 02:11

    Social insurance bill tabled by government in Greek Parliament on Monday

  82. 18/02 01:58

    Australia’s daily Greek newspaper "The Greek Herald" celebrates 94 years

  83. 18/02 01:49

    Two new permits for hotels in Chania and Corfu in Greece

  84. 18/02 01:44

    Greece and Turkey commence talks on confidence-building measures

  85. 18/02 01:35

    German ambassador hails HELPE-Juwi solar power park in Kozani of Greece

  86. 17/02 22:12

    US authorities renew tariff exemptions for Greek olive oil and cheese

  87. 17/02 20:30

    Tourist arrivals in Cyprus this January rise by 4.5% annually

  88. 17/02 16:29

    US interest for Alexandroupolis, Kavala, Volos port concessions in Greece

  89. 17/02 15:00

    Greek chefs win bronze medal in culinary Olympics 2020

  90. 17/02 14:48

    Athens transport and public services affected by Tuesday strike in Greece

  91. 17/02 10:28

    2nd Athens Fashion Film Festival concludes at Technopolis on Sunday

  92. 16/02 15:01

    Obama invites Giannis Antetokounmpo in Chicago event (video)

  93. 16/02 14:56

    Turkey to reopen Varosha ghost town on divided island of Cyprus

  94. 16/02 14:50

    Mobile app could offer solution to Motorways’ electronic tolling in Greece

  95. 16/02 14:45

    American Hellenic Institute protests Turkey turning church museum to mosque

  96. 16/02 14:40

    Sea route between Greece and Cyprus discussed at ministers’ meeting

  97. 16/02 14:37

    New President of the Greece’s Council of State announced

  98. 16/02 14:33

    Piraeus port to Athens city tram service gets another setback

  99. 16/02 14:19

    Reuters: Greek islanders protest against plans to construct new migrant camps

  100. 16/02 12:14

    Greek Health Minister proposes e-platform on coronavirus at EU ministers’ meeting