Minoan Crete

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Minoan Crete, the Greek mainland and Asia Minor

The Minoans are considered the first European civilization. They were in one sense the first "Greek" civilization. But the people were not Greek. They came from Asia Minor (Anatolia) around 2600 BCE while still in the neolithic age. They were of medium height with black curly hair and brown eyes.

During the Bronze Age, starting around 1900 BCE, they developed into a sophisticated trade power in the Mediterranean. They were not a warrior culture like the Mycenaeans and later Greeks. The Minoans had a fleet to protect their trade ships from pirates, but probably not a military navy.

They were fortunate in their location. The civilization was based on the island of Crete, and expanded to other island cities in the Mediterranean. Their island location probably protected them from serious invasion, and their position as a crossroads to Asia, Africa and Europe facilitated their economic success.

Part of The Minoans a HistoryWiz exhibit

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