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ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ  ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΔΙΑΧΕΙΡΙΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΟΝΟΥ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΜΙΝΩΙΤΕΣ  ΣΤΟ ΠΑΛΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΚΝΩΣΟΥ

Clues to Minoan Time from Knossos Labyrinth

by Dr. JACK  DEMPSEY

CALENDAR  HOUSE

Minoan Crete and the Labyrinth of Knossos returned to the sun about 100 years ago. Thanks to Minos Kalokairinos (a Cretan who first dug there in 1878-79) and Sir Arthur Evans’ beginnings in 1900, the next century of archaeology unfolded 2000 years of Minoan achievement in every aspect of civilization. And, although the Minoans’ long dynamic story was affected by the Thera Volcano disaster and by the mainland’s Mycenaeans (or early Greeks), research continues to reveal Minoan cultural roots, survivals and influences across the Mediterranean, from the Neolithic to the days of The Bible and Olympic Games.

If Knossos Labyrinth was Crete’s symbolic and ceremonial center for at least 500 Minoan years (Driessen and McDonald 1997: 74), what kind of calendar served to organize their relationships with Crete’s ecological cycles and the cosmos? For a century of study, no central calendar has come to light to suggest how Minoans experienced and expressed their relationships with time.

As early as 1920, Nilsson’s Primitive Time-Reckoning collected then-available evidences about early Greek calendrics, but the later Classical lunar/solar cycle of 8 years---the octaeteris, from which derived the “half-cycle” for Olympic Games every 4 years---presented very little Bronze or Iron Age evidence of its roots. Clues from closer to the Minoans appeared in the 1950s, when Michael Ventris and John Chadwick deciphered clay tablets inscribed in the palaces of their Mycenaean mainland successors, and revealed the names of several months of their ritual year. Since then, however, those clues from outside Crete have not answered much of the mystery.

Research into Minoan astronomy has sparked since the 1990s, based in cultural comparisons with Egypt and the Near East, in direct observation with high-tech help, and in new awareness of the importance of sacred landscape in ancient societies.

 

  

 

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