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A Rambling Writer Rerun: Crete, Part 16: Iraklion Museum of Archaeology, Early Minoans

We’re back on Crete, at the world’s finest collection of Minoan artifacts, in the Iraklion museum. We’ll start with the oldest artifacts, from Neolilthic to the early Palatial period.

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).

The Iraklion museum is a fabulous treasure trove of artifacts, as well as a beautifully-organized history tour. The exhibit halls are laid out chronologically, so we’ll follow that thread through the labyrinthine history of the early Cretans and rise of Minoan civilization. (Today we’ll cover up to the early palatial period, and move on next week into the full glory of Minoan art and architecture.)

Until recently, scholars believed that human settlement of the big island was fairly recent (as in Neolithic). Now, Stone Age tools found on Crete suggest that the earliest human inhabitants arrived around 130,000 years ago. Neolithic settlements and artifacts have been found dating from around the 7th millenium BC, and the museum displays include these Neolithic ovens:

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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