Minoan Archaeology

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Minoan archaeology cannot be properly understood without considering the controversial figure of the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. He contributed incredibly to our understanding and knowledge of the past through his work at Crete, in Knossos, and in reconstructing and bringing to light the artefacts and customs of the ancient Minoan civilisation. Through his effective excavation, meticulous and detailed note taking, his methods of dating and developed analysis of finds, he greatly enriched our interpretation and perception of Bronze Age Minoan society. However, his restoration of the palace Knossos, has been harshly criticised by many historians for being controversial and exuberant, as he broadly used his imagination and assumptions …show more content…
For different styles, recurring patterns and shapes of pottery, he provided an accurate depiction of the stages of the Minoan civilisation. He divided it in three phases: Early Minoan, Middle Minoan and Late Minoan, and every section was again divided in A and B, early and late. Evans never intended to assign the pottery to a specific calendrical date. He correlated the findings with artifacts recovered in Egypt, finding obvious similarities and establishing a more specific date. This dating system presents some flaws, such as the inability to capture all the data; however, archaeologist still use this method by …show more content…
It can be clearly seen in the Frescoes and the limestone throne. Evans used this as evidence to suggest that the Minoans were ruled by a priest-king. Another relevant example of this imagination-based reconstruction, is one of the most beautiful and relevant frescoes found in the palace of Knossos: the Prince of Lilies. Evans had to do something to preserve the fragments of the fresco, and he decided to apply a process called reconstitution. He employed a number of European artists, specialised in archaeological drawing, to reconstruct the fresco. The artefict represents a ruling figure crowned with a headpiece of lilies and feathers. Sir Arthur Evans interpreted it as being a portrayal of a king (possibly King Minos), and he found it logical as it matched the ancient sources and his own assumptions about the site and the Minoan society. However, Evans’ conclusion encounters diverse disputes. This fresco was the main evidence that Evans held supporting his presupposition that the structure of Knossos was actually a palace, and had been ruled by a male figure, who detained both religious and decisional power. His thesis lacks of solid historical evidence. The fragments left from the original fresco were not enough documentation to even guess a reconstruction, and they can be interpreted in several and different ways. As a matter of fact, the Prince of Lilies has

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