''Earth of Myths.
Earth of the Mother Goddess,
the labyrinth and the lilies.
Earth of Giouchtas, Idis and of the holy tree of olive.
Earth of Ariadne and Pasiphae.
Earth of Minos.''
Minos in Greek mythology, was the king of Crete. The kingdom of Minos included the whole island of Crete , which was composed of a hundred cities , and Cyclades , which were called Minoides . The capital of the Minoan kingdom was Knossos , which was located 6 km away from Heraklion of Crete. There was the famous Palace of Minos , some of its parts are preserved even today. The name of Minos is involved in many of the myths of Greek mythology. From the name of Minos was named the Minoan civilization , which developed in Crete from 3.000 to 1.450 B.C.
Crete which is located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, because of its location , quickly became a great naval and commercial power. Many ports were on the island and countless Cretan ships were crossing the Aegean sea. They traveled to Cyclades and reached to the East , Egypt, Troy and Cyprus. Cretans or Minoans were selling there their products, olive oil, honey and wine , pottery , jewelery and seals and brought to Crete copper, silver, gold , ivory and precious stones. That time was created the "Minoan naval" and Cretans became "thalassocrats". The cities of Crete had no walls. They were such a great naval power, that no one enemy dared to threaten them. On the island reigned peace.
Many minoan men were traders and sailors. Others were craftsmen or artists. Others were engaged in fishing, agriculture and animal husbandry. The fertile land of Crete gave plenty of wheat, barley, olives, and grapes. Beekeeping was also highly developed. Some of their products are brought to the palace and stored in huge warehouses. That was a mandatory tax paid to Minos.Women were engaged in housework and weaving. In almost all the houses were looms. They wove wool and linen fabrics, and also fabrics that were very thin and transparent with nice designs.
The Minoans were the first from the Greek residents who used writing. In order to write a word they were painting images of animals, plants, ships, vessels, etc. This first-hieroglyphic script was called Linear A. In Phaistos archaeologists discovered a disc written in Linear A. Nobody so far achieved to read it. They say that on it is written a religious hymn. At Phaistos Disc the signs were written by seals. It is the oldest printing sample. Later the Minoans discovered a simpler script called Linear B '.
In Minoan Crete people worshiped the Great Goddess, the Mother Earth Goddess. She was the goddess of nature. She made the earth to sprout and gave life to plants, animals and humans. They thought that she brought the rain, the wind, the light and the darkness. They worshiped her in small temples inside the palace and in caves and mountain peaks or hills. They offered her little figurines of humans or animals, double axes and fruits of the earth, in order to please her that made the earth to bear fruit. They depicted her as a woman holding in her hands snakes, doves on her shoulders and sitting among animals. For her sake they made festivals where they danced and did sports.
The Minoans also were great painters. They painted beautiful murals on the walls of their homes. Archaeologists discovered in the palace of Knossos, and in other houses, frescoes of great art. Minoans took the themes of the murals from nature and from religious ceremonies. They painted lilies, birds, animals, dolphins, princes and noblewomen, but also and priestesses, bulls, acrobats etc. In honor of the Great Mother Earth Goddess, Minoans did many rituals which were presented on various utensils and jewelry of the period, most of which are in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.The civilization of the Minoans lasted over 1500 years.
'' This Earth is.