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Featured Episode - Thera and the "Lost Map of Atlantis"
In This Episode
In this episode, host, Petros Koutoupis discusses the Minoan civilization and how their dominance over the Mediterranean Sea alongside the Theran eruption on the island of Santorini inspired the later tale of Plato’s Atlantis. Petros also reveals an ancient 3600 year old “map” which looks quite similar to Plato’s description of the island.
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Akrotiri - The archaeological site and location of an ancient Minoan settlement located on the island of Thera.
Anatolia - The region that is Turkey today.
BCE - Before the Common Era, the equivalent of B.C.
Bronze Age - Defines a historic period dated to approximately between 3300 BCE and 1200 BC. It is characterized by the use of bronze, the presence of writing in some areas, and other early features of urban civilization.
Crantor - A 4th - 3rd century BCE Greek philosopher.
Critias - A dialogue (book) written by Plato which contains a detailed description of both the people and island of Atlantis.
Cyclades - A collection of islands (which form a circle) located in the Aegean Sea and to the East of the Peloponnese.
Hittite - An ancient civilization and empire that controlled most of the Anatolian mainland.
Keftiu - The ancient Egyptian name referring to the Minoans.
Knossos - An ancient Minoan site and palace center located on the island of Crete. It is believed that their control of the Aegean was centralized from this location.
Levant - The general geographical region of the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia, more centralized around modern-day Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
Linear A - The written language of the ancient Minoan civilization. It is made up of hundreds of signs that represent syllabic, ideographic and semantic values.
Linear B - An adaptation from the Minoan Linear A, it is made up of hundreds of signs that represent syllabic, ideographic and semantic values that represent an ancient dialect of the Greek language.
Minoan - An ancient civilization that inhabited (and dominated) the Aegean during the Bronze Age and just before the Mycenaean Greeks. Early archaeological evidence identifies the civilization as early as 3500 BCE.
Mycenaean - A phase or period of the Bronze Age Greece, spanning from approximately 1600-1100 BCE.
Neith - An ancient Egyptian creator deity who created the universe and all in it.
Pillars of Heracles / Hercules - An ancient Greek phrase applied to the Strait of Gibraltar. Although, it is believed to have once been applied to the Gulf of Laconia in much older times.
Peloponnese - A geographic region located and describing the southern parts of the Greek peninsular mainland.
Plato - (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BCE) was an Athenian Greek philosopher and a student of Socrates.
Sais - An ancient Egyptian city in the Western Nile Delta.
Santorini - Refer to Thera.
Sir Arthur Evans - (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) A British archaeologist credited with discovering the Minoan civilization which includes the Minoan site of Knossos.
Solon - (c. 630 – c. 560 BCE) An Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet credited with laying down the foundation for Athenian democracy.
Spyridon Marinatos - (November 4, 1901 – October 1, 1974) The Greek archaeologist best known for discovering the site of Akrotiri on the island of Thera.
Strabo - (64 or 63 BCE – c. 24 CE) A Greek geographer, philosopher and historian who lived in Anatolia.
Thalassocracy - A maritime empire.
Thera - The southern most island of the Cyclades located in the Aegean Sea.
Timaeus - A dialogue (book) written by Plato c. 360 BCE. It contains the earliest mention of the fabled city of Atlantis.
The Flotilla Fresco
The Entire Fresco
The Entire Fresco (Divided)
The Island of Thera
By Rodney Castleden
Thoroughly researched, Rodney Castleden's Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete here sues the results of recent research to produce a comprehensive new vision of the peoples of Minoan Crete.
Since Sir Arthur Evans rediscovered the Minoans in the early 1900s, we have defined a series of cultural traits that make the ‘Minoan personality’: elegant, graceful and sophisticated, these nature lovers lived in harmony with their neighbours, while their fleets ruled the seas around Crete. This, at least, is the popular view of the Minoans. But how far does the later work of archaeologists in Crete support this view?
Drawing on his experience of being actively involved in research on landscapes processes and prehistory for the last twenty years, Castleden writes clearly and accessibly to provide a text essential to the study of this fascinating subject.
By Nanno Marinatos
Ancient Minoan culture has been typically viewed as an ancestor of classical Greek civilization, but this book shows that Minoan Crete was on the periphery of a powerfully dynamic cultural interchange with its neighbors. Rather than viewing Crete as the autochthonous ancestor of Greece's glory, Nanno Marinatos considers ancient Crete in the context of its powerful competitors to the east and south.
Analyzing the symbols of the Minoan theocratic system and their similarities to those of Syria, Anatolia, and Egypt, Marinatos unlocks many Minoan visual riddles and establishes what she calls a "cultural koine," or standard set of cultural assumptions, that circulated throughout the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean at the time Minoan civilization reached its peak. With more than one hundred and fifty illustrations, Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess delivers a comprehensive reading of Minoan art as a system of thought.