Sunday, November 21, 2010


Knossos is the largest Bronze Age site on Crete and probably the center of Minoan civilization and culture. It was substantially restored by archaeologist Arthur Evans, an Englishman of independent means who purchased the entire site and pretty much did with it as he pleased. The reconstructions at Knossos have been highly criticized for irrevocably damagin the original remains and have provided a 'reinvented' culture of the original inhabitants of Crete.Very little of the visible site is original and much of the modern reconstruction is indistinguishable from the original remains. Despite all that, and maybe even because all the fresh paint really evokes the culture, however much it may have been invented, it's a compelling site and great tourist attraction.

One of the most famous activities of the Minoans, at least in legend if not in fact, is bull-leaping or bull-dancing; the bull is extensively represented at Knossos:

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