Minoan Culture research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?
By about 3600 BCE, Minoan culture began to spread across the Aegean and to the mainland of Greece, but the following century the Cretan culture that had grown out of its original Bronze Age settlements was defeated by mainland conquerors. After a brief period in which Cretan culture was invigorated by this invading culture, the Minoan world slipped into economic and political decline even as it bequeathed important parts of its culture to the Greek, including its advanced writing system now called Linear B.
Culture of Crete
The Minoan culture of Crete was able to last for centuries because of its strong economic basis in trade both locally in the Adriatic and far from its own Minoan Civilization. Its cultural influence were as follows:
- Based in the skill of its artisans
- The ritual and religious life
- The literacy of many (for the time) of its people
The culture extended at least as far as its trade routes and has endured centuries after its decline.
Something of the beauty of Minoan pottery – far more obvious when one views pictures of the works that survive – can be derived from reading this description of it:
The decoration [on Kamares ware] is an elaboration of the white-on-black of the previous phase but the fabric is immeasurably superior, thanks to the introduction, probably from Asia Minor, of the potter’s wheel.
Minoans of Trade
The above passage helps demonstrate the skill of the Minoan artisans; however, of at least equal interest and importance is that fact that it describes the importance to the Minoans of trade. Not only did goods pass into and out of Crete, but ideas and skills were also passed along the trade routes, and one of the strengths of the Minoan culture was its willingness to set aside native ways of doing things when its people discovered that their trading partners had superior methods.
Minoan frescoes – which are created when pigment was applied to still-wet (or “fresh”) plaster, which results in soft, almost dreamlike imagery – are one of the primary ways through which we have learned about Minoan culture, including Minoan religion because of the wealth of detail included in the images that the fresco artists created.
Mycenae in Greece is perhaps a more familiar subject to the western student of archaeology. It was during the latter part of the 19th century that Heinrich Schliemann began searching for sites associated with Homer’s writings. During the Bronze Age, Greece was not a unified culture during what has been identified as the Mycenaean period, with only decorated pottery being a common find. The Mycenaeans themselves borrowed much from earlier Minoan culture, with a civilization largely based around the palace, the central seat of religion and political power, the center of military and economic activities. It terms of cultural structure then, it is already clear that Mycenae was about as opposite as Harappa as one can get.