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A Rambling Writer Rerun: Crete, part 12: Early Finds in the Iraklion Archaeology Museum

Join Thor and me as we admire the foundations of the Minoan culture on Crete.

NOTE: Of course, Thor and I had to make another trip to Greece, as he’s fallen as much in love with the islands as I am. This time, in addition to other island-hopping, I wanted to return to Crete after 37 years. My first months-long trip was as a hippie backpacker, camping in the ruins and falling under the spell of the mysterious, vanished Minoan culture. This time, I got to introduce Thor to “glorious Kriti” and research more settings for my novel-in-progress, THE ARIADNE DISCONNECT. This rerun of a 2019 blog series started August 26, 2023, and will continue every Saturday (with occasional diversions).

Last week, we shared an overview of the Minoan palace complex of Knossos, and some of its treasures in the nearby Iraklion museum. Today we’ll start a tour of the museum with its offerings from the area representing the earliest finds from Neolithic through Bronze Age into the “Protopalatial” period.

Until the late 1800s and early 1900s, the myths of King Minos and his labyrinthine palace were considered just that — as myths. Then archaeologists began to discover evidence of a culture much older than the classic Greek culture and the epics of Homer that mentioned Cretans joining the Trojan War. Heinrich Schliemann made the crucial discoveries at Mycenae and ancient Troy (in Turkey), and attempted to excavate at the rubble later determined to be the site of Knossos. He failed to gain permission, but shortly thereafter, Sir Arthur Evans was able to buy the property. What he found at Knossos basically blew out of the water previous assumptions about the region’s history.

We’ll return to a tour of the site in next week’s post, but first we’ll take a look at artifacts from the early settlement of the area, painting a picture of the beginnings of art and technology on the big island of Crete. The earliest signs of settlement were in the Neolithic era, around 7000 BC. These clay ovens date to between 4500-3000 BC:

I’m posting my complete blog entries on my own author website at, where you can finish this episode and enjoy all the accompanying photos. Please continue reading by clicking on the link below, then you can return here (use “go back” arrow above) to comment, ask questions, or join a conversation. We love your responses!


You will find The Rambling Writer’s blog posts here every Saturday. Sara’s Greek islands novel  from Book View Café is available in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?”  The novel has received the Chanticleer Global Thriller Grand Prize and the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction. Sara is at work on the sequel, The Ariadne Disconnect. Sign up for her quarterly email newsletter at



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