iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for The Minoan Civilisation

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player

The Minoan Civilisation

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 07 July 2011

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Minoan Civilisation.

In 1900 the British archaeologist Arthur Evans began excavating some ancient ruins at Knossos on the island of Crete. He uncovered an enormous palace complex which reminded him of the mythical labyrinth of King Minos. Evans had in fact discovered the remnants of a Bronze Age society; in honour of Crete's legendary king he named it the Minoan Civilisation.

The Minoans flourished for twelve centuries, and their civilisation was at its height around three and a half thousand years ago, when they built elaborate palaces all over the island. They were sophisticated builders and artists, and appear to have invented one of the world's earliest writing systems. Since Evans's discoveries a hundred years ago, we have learnt much about Minoan society, religion and culture - but much still remains mysterious.

With:

John Bennet
Professor of Aegean Archaeology at Sheffield University

Ellen Adams
Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at King's College London

Yannis Hamilakis
Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

  • FURTHER READING

    J. Lesley Fitton, ‘Minoans’ (London: British Museum Press, 2002)

    J. W. Myers, E. E. Myers, and G. Cadogan, ‘The Aerial Atlas of Ancient Crete’ (Berkeley: University of California Press/London: Thames and Hudson, 1992)

    Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (ed.), ‘The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age’ (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

    Eric H. Cline (ed.), ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean’ (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)

    Nicoletta Momigliano and Yannis Hamilakis (eds.), ‘Archaeology and European Modernity: Producing and Consuming the "Minoans"’ (Padua: Aldo Ausilio)

    Cathy Gere, ‘Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism’ (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)

    J. Alexander MacGillivray, ‘Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth’ (London: Jonathan Cape, 2000)

    Y. Hamilakis (ed.), ‘Labyrinth Revisited: Rethinking "Minoan" Archaeology’ (Oxford: Oxbow, 2002)

    Joan Evans, ‘Time and Chance: The Story of Arthur Evans and His Forebears’ (London: Longman, 1943)

    Davina Huxley (ed.), ‘Cretan Quests: British Explorers, Excavators and Historians’ (London: British School at Athens, 2000)

    Gerald Cadogan, Eleni Hatzaki and Andonis Vasilakis (eds.), ‘Knossos: Palace, City, State’ (London: British School at Athens)

    John Chadwick, ‘The Decipherment of Linear B’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967)

    Sara Immerwahr, ‘Aegean Painting in the Bronze Age’ (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990)

    D. Preziosi and L. Hitchcock, ‘Aegean Art and Architecture’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

    C. MacDonald, ‘Knossos’ (London: Folio Society, 2008)

Broadcasts

In Our Time Downloads

melvyn-bragg.jpg

Every episode of In Our Time - available to download to listen to when & where you want.

Free downloads

  1. Image for In Our Time Archive: Culture

    In Our Time Archive: Culture

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas as it applies to culture - from literature…

  2. Image for In Our Time Archive: History

    In Our Time Archive: History

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the people, conflicts and events that have shaped the world.

  3. Image for In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

    In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of philosophy - from ancient Greek thinkers to the…

  4. Image for In Our Time Archive: Religion

    In Our Time Archive: Religion

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of religious ideas - from the faith systems of…

  5. Image for In Our Time Archive: Science

    In Our Time Archive: Science

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas and the evolution of the sciences - from…

  6. Image for In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas - including topics drawn from philosophy,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.