Professor Anne Keyes
The Decline of the Minoan Civilization
Minoan Crete was a major civilization in its time, but several theories have been advanced to explain its demise, including speculations associating it with mythical Atlantis. What were the causes of the Minoan Civilization’s decline? State the mystery and provide a brief summary of 2 reasonable scholarly theories. Identify one of the theories as the most plausible and provide at least two convincing reasons.
In researching this topic “there are essentially two main theories that have been invoked to explain the demise of Minoan civilization, but neither matches the observed …show more content…
In 1987, studies conducted at the Greenland ice cap revealed a rather precise dating of the Mount Thera eruption, moving it to the year 1645 BC, a century and a half before the final destruction of the Minoan palaces. Knossos and the other great palaces continued to be populated after the eruption, though Minoan wealth seems to have declined somewhat. Soon, a new threat apparently appeared. The Mycenaean’s, the Greeks of the mainland, seem to have invaded Crete around 1450 BC. Perhaps the eruption in 1645 had weakened the Minoans to the point that they were easy targets for the Mycenaean’s when they arrived about 200 years later. On the other hand, the Mycenaean’s may have conquered them even if the volcano had not erupted. After all, the eruption would have affected the Mycenaean’s just as much as the Minoans. It may just be that the Mycenaean’s were a more warlike people, while the Minoans had little military expertise. We should not see the end of the Minoans as a clean break, as the sudden and complete demise of a civilization.” (The Fall of Minoan Civilization, 2012) “The former was suggested by Marinatos. This catastrophic theory argues that earthquakes destroyed the palaces, tsunamis obliterated the fleet and peers of the Minoans, and the volcanic ash of Thera covered the whole island destroying crops and killing animals. This view was initially supported by geologists who agreed that the Thera eruption was of a colossal scale, and such