Minoan Crete

Between 3000 and 1100 BCE a unique civilization developed and flourished on the island of Crete. The arrival of new peoples, new technologies and new ideas transformed the small pre-existing neolithic communities over a period of hundreds of years. By 2000 BCE the Minoans began to build palaces, conducted trade across wide areas of the eastern Mediterranean, developed a hierarchical society with centralised administration and produced wonderful pottery, jewellery, statues, carvings, frescoes and other artefacts.

Remains of dozens of sites where the Minoans lived and worked can still be seen on Crete today. The aim of this web site is to provide a well illustrated introduction to all the major and many of the minor archaeological sites of Minoan Crete, using text based on excavators' reports as well as plans, photos and video clips. I hope that in the process you will also discover something of the life of the people who occupied these sites.

This website is for anyone with an interest in Minoan civilisation -- tourists, students, archaeologists professional and amateur. Teachers and students of archaeology may be particularly interested in some of the photos, videos and reports of lesser known sites which may not be easily obtainable in their own countries. Archaeologists, teachers and students are welcome to freely use the contents of this site within their educational institutions.


Where have the photos gone?

It appears that the Greek government claims copyright over all the archaeological sites in Greece. As a result, anyone wanting to take photos or video of archaeological sites has to get permission to take photos or video. Anyone wishing to display these photos or video on the Internet has to get permission to do that too.

This website was launched in 1998, certainly before the law on the Internet was in force. At that time I informed the archaeologists in Heraklion about my website so that any potential problems could be sorted out at the beginning. The archaeologists told me they would check my website and I heard nothing further. For the following fifteen years I continued expanding my website on the assumption that all was well until last week when I was informed by an archaeologist that I had to obtain permits from the Ministry of Culture.

I have submitted my application for permits but I do not know how long it will take to get a decision. In the meantime I have, with a heavy heart, removed the photos from my website.

Get the most from this site

CHRONOLOGY OF MINOAN CRETE: A pop-up box will open.

Many pages have a plan of the archaeological site. Click where you see the site plan icon.
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Archaeological terms underlined with a series of dots are defined. Hover your mouse over the word to see the definition. Some of the sources can be found in the resources menu.

For comments on the site or permission to reproduce photos, Contact me here

See Minoan Crete on Google Earth

Got Google Earth on your computer? You can now see many of the Minoan archaeological sites featured on this website. Click here to find out how.

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All photos, text and design (unless otherwise stated) copyright © Ian Swindale, 1998-2013.