I thought of Krenna a lot as we journeyed back in time to visit ancient Minoa, and how she and my sister-in-law, Meenakshi (who studied Greek and the classics), would love the place. First, we saw the treasures of this age kept in pristine condition in the newly remodeled Archaelogical Museum.
|Inspiration for the legend of the Minotaur: |
the revered bull
|Prince of Lillies|
|Ladies in Blue|
|Queen's bee pendant (gold)|
|Disc of Phaistos: Its Linear A script has yet to be deciphered|
|Griffons, symbolizing sky with the head and wings of an eagle,|
and earth, with the body of a lion and tail of a snake
|Minoan stag beetles. Be still, my heart.|
|Marine motifs were found on many amphora and pitchers|
The next day we toured the actual site, the magnificent Palace of Knossos, excavated by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. As we walked through the ruins, our imaginations sparked and fueled by the colorful stories told by a very talented and well-informed English-speaking tour guide, the place reached through the centuries, grabbed us, and whisked us back to a time of wealth, art, and knowledge when the Minoan civilization flourished at the height of the Bronze Age. This is a recreation in wood of what the palace is thought to have looked like:
In its heyday, 1500 people were thought to have resided at the palace, including the royal family, priests, leading politicians, and servants, and 80,000 people lived in the surrounding area. The palace had running water, conduits for waste water, architecture that kept rooms cool in the heat of the summer, a throne room, a treasury, a center for religion, a center for politics, and beautifully painted mural and frescoes throughout.
|Griffon standing guard|
|Dolphin frescoes in the Queen's chamber|
|Bull fresco detail|
|Comparing the double axe to the inscription in stone. These symbols|
are thought to mark the palace as a holy place.
For a magical journey back in time, visit this amazing place.