Crete – The Palace of Knossos and the Minotaur

Knossos postcard 1

The ruins at Knossos were first discovered in 1878 by a local man, Minos Kalokairinos, and the earliest excavations were made. After that several Cretans attempted to continue the dig but it was not until 1900 that the English archeologist Arthur Evans purchased the entire site and carried out massive excavations and reconstructions.

These days archaeology is carefully regulated and supervised by academics who apply scientific rigour (except for Tony Robinson and the Time Team of course) to make sure that history isn’t compromised but it was very different a hundred years ago when wealthy amateurs could pretty much do as they pleased and went around digging up anything that they could find of interest and aggressively reinterpreting it.

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Arthur Evans



15 responses to “Crete – The Palace of Knossos and the Minotaur

  1. Knossos was the first Ancient Greek site I ever learned about at school …. never been, but we instead decided to spend a whole week in Athens a few years back which was very absorbing. It’s a long way from Cornwall though!


  2. It’s a fascinating place. Our visit was spoiled a bit by a sulky small boy, but we knew we wouldn’t be back so we dragged him along with us. Those were the days! 😦


  3. I visited in the ’80s, and I imagine it’s much more crowded now….


  4. Great blog post Andrew. When I was in my thirties everything about Knossos and Minoans was of the greatest interest to me, I was obsessed by it and read extensively. That’s a long time ago… Much more accurate studies have been done since like you point out in your writing. Greatly enjoyed this post!


  5. Knossos has always been an interest of mine, Andrew, although I have never been there. One of my goals is to go spend more time in that part of the Mediterranean. I agree that ancient sites need to be carefully dug up and explored, but darn, wouldn’t it have been fun to be Evans digging away and finding treasures. –Curt


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