Iron Age Knossos

1 Jan 2017

nAt ... contrary to what most people think, that Knossos was severely affected by the Thera volcano and limped on towards the end of the Bronze Age, it seems that Knossos did not disappear - but thrived even in the Iron Age (in spite of what might have happened to bring the LB age to an end). It has all the hallmarks of a civilisation reasserting itself after a natural disaster - the nature of which is poorly understood.

   Knossos has Iron Age strata and this means the Minoans must have been around at the same time as the Phoenicians and that opens some interesting permutations - especially if you are a chronological revisionist. The Minoans had been a maritime naval power in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze ages with strong links to the Levant (and to early occupants of cities that became Phoenician in the Iron Age). How much did the people of Crete owe to the people of the Levant, in the Bronze Age as much as in the Iron Age? It is assumed the Minoans were entirely independent and created the first European civilisation - but were the origins of their culture in what later became Phoenicia, and how much did the Iron Age Phoenicians influence the Aegean world as late as the Early Iron Age (prior to the rise of mainland Greece), in the Mycenaean LB Age as much as the Phoenician Iron Age? It seems that there are more treasures to unearth - and clues to the past. Do we really know as much about the Minoans as we are led to believe. Is it a case of a little knowledge developing into a big story? What is clear is that Crete had a window on the Mediterranean world at the same time as the Phoenicians - see the map above. It imported goods from far and wide, from mainland Greece to Cyprus and the Levant, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia, and apparently the western Mediterranean in general (the very theatre of the Phoenicians).