Exploring Ancient Mysteries : Demise of the Minoan Crete Civilization

The demise of the Minoan Crete civilization is a subject highly debated by historians according to Waldman and Mason (2006). Over time, a number of theories have been put forth in attempts to explicate the demise. Different theorists hold that the demise resulted from different factors or happenings (Triefeldt, 2008). Notably, the civilization arose and grew in the Aegean Bronze era within the Crete Island. It peaked between roughly 2000 BC to around 1450 BC. For numerous decades, the theories and views propounded by archeologists as regards the demise have differed. The most significant theories are those presented by Spyridon Marinatos and Sinclair Hood (Perry & Bock, 2005). The theories presented by the two exemplify the contestations that color discussions regarding the demise’s causes.

The renowned Minoan Eruption (ME) theory was put forth by Marinatos, an archeologist born in Greece, in the 1930s, to explain the causes. Notably, Marinatos executed many excavations as during his active years as an archeologist. In Crete, Marinatos excavated different areas in Gazi, Arkalochori, Vathypetro, and Dreros. Marinatos held that there was a volcanic eruption in the Thera Island, close to 100 kilometers from Crete according to Waldman and Mason (2006). The eruption ejected loads of hot materials, especially pumice and ash, from the earth and was accompanied by earthquakes (Perry & Bock, 2005). Marinatos held that the hot material devastated the Minoan Crete civilization and culture within Crete.

Hood put forth the theory that the demise stemmed from invading forces. He held that the demise happened when the civilization was overrun by enemy forces. Notably, Hood, an archeologist, conducted many excavations within, as well as around, Knossos. He submitted that even though Crete received significant hot materials from Santorini, the materials on no account destroyed the civilization. The theory he put forth to explain the demise holds that the demise was caused by external conquerors (Perry & Bock, 2005). As well, the theory holds that some of the conquerors burned down many structures and developments on the island selectively. In addition, the theory holds that some the damage caused by the conquerors was uneven.

The theory presented by Hood comes off as more plausible than the one propounded by Marinatos. There is plausible evidence backing Hood’s theory. Archeologists have established that the island and the civilization were destroyed by fire (Triefeldt, 2008). The destruction was selective, meaning that it was carried out by individuals who were keen on destroying some areas or structures and leaving out others for strategic reasons. For instance, as indicated by Hood, the Knossos palace was not as seriously damaged as other structures on the island according to Waldman and Mason (2006). Notably, natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions, never select targets. They destroy the areas they hit indiscriminately.

The deliberate destruction of some structures on the island could only have been executed by persons, particularly Mycenaean invaders, rather than natural disasters. The invaders who attacked the civilization saw the worth of leaving the palace intact to meet their own needs. Archeologists have since found considerable remains of the civilization above the layer of ash believed to have been formed owing to the eruption. That means that the eruption did not destroy the civilization completely (Perry & Bock, 2005). It did not occasion the civilization’s immediate downfall since its effects were insufficient to trigger it. Archeologists have found varied Mycenaean weaponry within Crete’s burials. From the foregoing, it is clear that the theory presented by Hood comes off as more plausible than the one propounded by Marinatos.


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