• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Economic activities were an important component of life in prehistoric Greece. Discuss how Minoan Palaces supported such activities.

Extracts from this document...


Economic activities were an important component of life in prehistoric Greece. Discuss how Minoan Palaces supported such activities. In history, Greece has always been at the forefront of technology, philosophy and diplomacy. With ancient Greece being one of the most advanced early civilizations in the world, it must be assumed that the roots of its success are at least partially influenced by its prehistoric past. There were several civilizations during the course of the Greek Bronze Age prior to ancient Greece, including the Minoans and Mycenaeans, which are the two most relevant civilizations when discussing Minoan palace society, the topic in discussion. The Minoan civilization is celebrated as one of the finest to rule within Greece in this quote from Gerald Cadogan and Pat Clarke's book, Palaces of Minoan Crete: "The most prosperous periods in Crete's history appear to have been the Minoan and the Roman and, we can add, today. These are the times when settlements have been most dense, and only then - as now - have there been sufficiently long periods of peace to enable people to live on the low hills and flat land by the sea without needing fortifications". This quote admires the Minoan rulers for their abilities to control a large population whilst defending their civilization from attack at sea, suggesting a well-run nation with little to no conflict. ...read more.


During the new palace period, many of the old palace period architectural features remained unchanged, though a slight change can be seen in the burial customs, with chamber tombs becoming popular (Cadogan, Clarke, 1991: 55). Despite this, larnax, pithos and tholos burial sites continued to be used alongside this new type. Paved roads also began to appear at many palatial sites, including the 'royal road' at Knossos, added in the new palace period. These roads show the palaces were well linked with one another, and possibly that the leaders of each palace would visit one another, potentially staying in the residential quarters of each other's palaces, keeping relations happy between the individual territories and ensuring the smooth running of the civilization. The Minoan palaces also contained residential quarters, though it is not known exactly who stayed there, but it is certainly possible that the ruling elite lived in them, or that they were guest suites for important visitors (Haughton, 2007: 51). The residential quarters at Knossos were once very elaborately decorated, and enjoyed a view of the beautiful central court, appearing to be a very desirable place to stay (Murray, Runnels, 2001: 79). If these 'residential quarters' were for other leaders to visit, the elaborate finish would have impressed them, and thus aiding relations between the different territories of Crete. ...read more.


Though the script has not been deciphered as of yet, it is apparent that the script used by the later Mycenaean civilization in Greece, named 'Linear B' was influenced a great deal by the Minoan 'Linear A', one of several Minoan cultural aspects the Mycenaeans appear to have recycled after their destructive takeover (Budin, 2004: 227). The palaces were eventually destroyed, along with the Minoan civilization, by the Mycenaeans, the Greek civilization who followed (Murray, Runnels, 2001: 79). The Mycenaeans used many of the Minoan ideas themselves, including a very similar writing method and many art and architectural styles distinct to the Minoans, showing they at least respected the quality of the Minoan style. In conclusion, the Minoan palaces of prehistoric Greece heavily supported the economic activities of the civilization, allowing for the creation and storage of trade goods, with trade probably being the main source of economy at the time along with agriculture, which they supported via trade. As mentioned, it is probable that whoever was leading within the Minoan palace society was using religion to heavily influence their people, making it a large part of their everyday lives and, it seems, impossible to avoid. However it appears this was, despite being fairly immoral, beneficial to the continuation of the society, as it seems the Minoan people were happy with their leadership enough to remain under control, and the society prospered for many years as one of the longest surviving Cretan civilizations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Anthropology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Anthropology essays

  1. Article Review. This essay is reviewing a text The original affluent society in Sahlins ...

    illustration of hunter-gatherer society as the study only covered a four week period which for many is alarming as it does not cover the different climates and is therefore not enough to represent their living conditions of a whole year (Kaplan, 2000 & Bird-David, 1992).

  2. A History of Body Piercing throughout Society

    The Prince Albert piercing is named after Prince Albert who was the husband of Queen Victoria of England. He was reputed to have had this piercing done prior to his marriage to the queen around 1825, at that time Beau Brummel started the craze for ultra tight men?

  1. Durkheim on religion. In his text Elementary Forms of Religious Life Durkheim begins his ...

    The reason for such thoughts are present in the concept of totemism, which according to Durkheim does not base its existence on god but rather the group itself. This not only symbolizes the strength of these tribes but also the strength of the individuals that form them. 1 J. N.

  2. Effects on economy due to a food outlet

    Therefore, Jaipur would not benefit from the expansion of Canuck Burgers as well. There are many religious beliefs in Jaipur. The foremost religion which is followed in Jaipur is Hinduism. Other religions include Jainism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity in the declining order (Jaipur India).

  1. Discuss the extent to which tourism is a neo colonialist activity supported by cultural ...

    who stated that; 'By 1920, the indigenous people had been reduced from at lat 120,000 to 20,000; this involved at least 10,000 direct killings.' Whittaker (Ed. Robinson and Boniface, 1999, p.35) reports that in March 1992, the Mabo and Others v.

  2. Arthur Marwick argues that the sixties were characterised by the counter-cultural movements across a ...

    In post war America affluence had arrived although there were still some very poverty ridden parts. The second world war in America were everyone from women to black people all participated in the war effort raised great hopes of substantial social change.

  1. How have ethnographic analogies have been used in the interpretation of Prehistoric exchange systems?

    of how prehistoric exchange might have looked elsewhere in the world is not straightforward.??(1993:467). Sollas does not consider the impact that outside influences have on societies, which can perhaps partially be blamed on the nature of ethnography. At best, even ethnography only provides an archaeologist with a snapshot of human behaviour.

  2. Is our consciousness determined by existence or by the social economic aspects of our ...

    He used a scenario where he asked his readers to imagine someone walking through an expanded brain as one would walk through a mill and observe all its mechanical operations, which for Leibniz exhausted its physical nature. Nowhere, he asserts, would such an observer see any conscious thoughts.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work