Mycenaeans Versus Minoan Civilizations
For all intents and purposes, both the Mycenaeans and Minoan civilizations fell and were lost to posterity; the Minoans probably beginning with the cataclysmic eruption at Thera, an event calculated as being equivalent to the explosion of a 600 kiloton atomic bomb; the Mycenes perhaps due to the Dorians’ invasion which plunged Greece into a Dark Age. However, if it is true that by their works shall peoples be known, we have a picture of their respective societies through the artifacts that they left behind.
Although neither Linear A, the written language of the Minoans, nor Linear B, that of the Mycenes, has been adequately translated, we have at least some understanding of their systems of government, worship and society. The Mycenaean occupation of Crete and the use by Mycenes of Minoan artisans and techniques further blurs the distinction between their two societies. However, from a purely sociological perspective, it is difficult to argue that the Minoan culture was not in almost every respect superior to that of the Mycenes. Our vision of it is one of a well-organized, humane, productive culture, technologically advanced and politically and socially enlightened, one in which the arts flourished. The citizens led pleasant lives filled with an appreciation of their world, without the need to attack their neighbors. The Mycenaean culture by contrast was violent, unethical, bloodthirsty, opportunistic and socially unjust.