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.
May 2016. Videoclips of fourteen archaeological sites, which I was forced to remove along with the photos by the Greek Ministry of Culture, are now back online. They are embedded in the relevant pages (click on the video camera icon) or they can be viewed by going to My Minoan YouTube channel.
Summer 2015. In June 2013 I was forced to remove all my photos and videos from this site when I discovered that the Greek Ministry of Culture claimed copyright over all the archaeological sites in Greece and I was reported to the Ministry by Ms Tsipopoulou for not having permission to put photos or videos on the Internet. In September 2013 I submitted my application for permission to put my photos and videos back on my website.
After what I consider to be an unacceptable delay of 22 months that permission has now been granted. The photos are now back online. The videos will be uploaded in May 2016.
CHRONOLOGY OF MINOAN CRETE: A pop-up box will open.
VIDEO CLIPS -- BACK IN MAY 2016
Fourteen high definition videos now uploaded. Click where you see the video camera icon. On some Android devices, video clips only play on Chrome.
Download videos from My Minoan YouTube channel.
LARGE PHOTOS ARE BEST
Click on a small photo to get a full-screen version and see all the detail missing in small pics. Use the back button to return to the site page. Photos may be kept for personal use.
Many pages have a plan of the archaeological site. Click where you see the site plan icon.
Pop up boxes may need permission to open in IE or if you have an anti-java script add-on active in your browser.
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.
ANDROID: Users of Android mobile devices are advised to use the Chrome browser to view this site properly.
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.
All photos, text and design (unless otherwise stated) copyright © Ian Swindale, 1998-2016.