When you look at the advertisments for Crete, usually provided by the Greek tourist board, a huge amount of publicity is given to the ‘great Minoan civilisation’ discovered by Arthur Evans at the turn of the 20th century. Coach tours are offered to Knossos, the disneyland of archeology, where Evans poured concrete to recreate his ideas of what this fine civilisation meant.

He has written about a ‘pax Minoica’ a society that lived in peace under a matriarchal dynasty based on the legend of King Minos. A society of art and bull jumping and palaces with plumbing. It all sounds rather dreamlike. Perhaps it was.

After all, Evans invented the Minoans. The name came from the legend of King Minos who demanded Athenians to offer annual tribute to Crete of young men and maidens to be fed to the ‘minotaur’, the legendary half man half bull imprisoned in the labyrinth…

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