WILT #7: Europe’s First Civilization, The Minoans

WILT #7: Europe’s First Civilization, The Minoans

Today I watched a documentary about the city of Knossos in Crete, discovered 100 years ago. It’s the home of the oldest known civilization in Europe, the Manoans.

 

The documentary starts with the Greek legend of the Minotaur, but quickly leaves to explain its origin and possible inspiration for the Labyrinth in which the Labyrinth was kept, possibly Knossos.

 

The discovery of the Minoans blew the archeological world away by being both prehistoric and advanced culturally. Of course like all mysterious ancient cultures, they up and disappeared, due to a volcanic eruption, killing and destroying in a flash, then slowly ruining the islands prosperity with long term effects, one of them religious catastrophy due to a loss of faith.

 

Their gods were female and likely represented the elements of nature that they depended on greatly for their harvests and good weather. The religious leaders were often women and like quite a few cultures before exposure to Christianity or Islam, they seemed fairly equally balanced among the genders.

 

The Minotaur however, whose size was enormous, and story sorted and sad, was based on the Minoan’s favorite recreational creature, the extinct Aurochs; the ancient ancestors of modern cattle. They were the size of American Bison with hooves the size of a man’s head.

I watched it on Hulu but it’s also available YouTube!

The only thing that bothers me about the documentary is that the host won’t stop touching things, and at times, her loose shirt is on the verge of anarchy. She’s also a bit awkward at times, but much of that is due to her strange wardrobe (for a documentary) and odd shots and camera angles, basically I think the director is to blame, not the host. Overall she keeps it interesting. I’m still a film minor after all, I can’t help but notice things like that.

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