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The Minoan civilization was an Aegean Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately 2700 to 1450 BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans. Will Durant referred to it as "the first link in the European chain."


The influence of the Minoan civilization outside Crete has been seen in the evidence of valuable Minoan handicraft items on the Greek mainland. It is likely that the ruling house of Mycene was connected to the Minoan trade network. After around 1700 BC, the material culture on the Greek mainland achieved a new level due to Minoan influence.[19] Connections between Egypt and Crete are prominent. Minoan ceramics are found in Egyptian cities and the Minoans imported several items from Egypt, especially papyrus, as well as architectural and artistic ideas. The Egyptian hieroglyphs served as a model for the Minoan pictographic writing, from which the famous Linear A and Linear B writing systems later developed.[17] Bengtson has also demonstrated Minoan influence among Canaanite artifacts.

Minoans were traders, and their cultural contacts reached far beyond the island of Crete to Egypt's Old Kingdom, to copper-bearing Cyprus, Canaan, and the Levantine coasts beyond, and to Anatolia. In late 2009, Minoan-style frescoes and other Minoan-style artifacts were discovered during excavations of the Canaanite palace at Tel Kabri, Israel, leading archaeologists to conclude that the Minoan influence was the strongest foreign influence on that Caananite city state. These are the only Minoan remains ever found in Israel.[30]

The Cyclades were in the Minoan cultural orbit, and, closer to Crete, the islands of Karpathos, Saria and Kasos, also contained Minoan colonies, or settlements of Minoan traders, from the Middle Bronze Age (MMI-II). Most of them were abandoned in LMI, but Minoan Karpathos recovered and continued with a Minoan culture until the end of the Bronze Age.[33] Other supposed Minoan colonies, such as that hypothesised by Adolf Furtwängler for Aegina, were later dismissed by scholars.[34] There was a Minoan colony at Ialysos on Rhodes.[35]

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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About trade and society


Fresco showing three women who were possibly queens.[citation needed]

The Minoans were primarily a mercantile people engaged in overseas trade. Their culture, from 1700 BC onward, shows a high degree of organization.

The Minoan trade in saffron, the stigma of a mutated crocus which originated in the Aegean basin as a natural chromosome mutation, has left fewer material remains: a fresco of saffron-gatherers at Santorini is well-known. This inherited trade pre-dated Minoan civilization: a sense of its rewards may be gained by comparing its value to frankincense, or later, to pepper. Archaeologists[who?] tend to emphasize the more durable items of trade: ceramics, copper, and tin, and dramatic luxury finds of gold and silver.

Objects of Minoan manufacture suggest there was a network of trade with mainland Greece (notably Mycenae), Cyprus, Syria, Anatolia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and westward as far as the coast of Spain.

Minoan men wore loincloths and kilts. Women wore robes that had short sleeves and layered flounced skirts. The robes were open to the navel, allowing their breasts to be left exposed.[37] Women also had the option of wearing a strapless fitted bodice. The patterns on clothes emphasized symmetrical geometric designs. Given the fragility of organic materials, other forms of dress may have been worn of which no archeological evidence exists.

---here we can see egyptian influence in Minoan culture---

The Minoan religion focused on female deities, with females officiating.[38] The frescos include many depictions of people, with the genders distinguished by colour: the men's skin is reddish-brown, the women's white.[39]

The earliest dated writing found on Crete is the Cretan hieroglyphs. It is not known whether this language is Minoan or not and its origin is still a topic of debate. These hieroglyphs are often associated with the Egyptians, but they also show relation to several other writings from the region of Mesopotamia.[41] The hieroglyphs came into use from MMI; they were used at the same time as the emerging Linear A from the 18th century BC (MM II). The hieroglyphs disappeared at some point during the 17th century BC (MM III).

Evidence of human sacrifice by the Minoans has been found at three sites: (1) Anemospilia, in a MMII building near Mt. Juktas, interpreted as a temple, (2) an EMII sanctuary complex at Fournou Korifi in south central Crete, and (3) Knossos, in an LMIB building known as the "North House." (explanation of abbreviations)

Similar to archaeological finds of the Bronze Age, burial remains constitute much of the material and archaeological evidence for the period. By the end of the Second Palace Period, Minoan burial practice was dominated by two broad forms: 'Circular Tombs', or Tholoi, (located in South Crete) and 'House Tombs', (located in the north and the east). Many trends and patterns within Minoan mortuary practice do not conform to this simple breakdown. Overall, inhumation was the most popular form of burial; cremation does not seem to have been as popular.[47] Throughout this period the trend was towards individual burials, with some distinguished exceptions. These include the much-debated Chrysolakkos complex, Mallia, consisting of a number of buildings forming a complex. This is located in the centre of Mallia's burial area and may have been the focus for burial rituals, or the 'crypt' for a notable family.

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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Factional symbols from there:

The Minoan horn-topped altars, conventionally called "Horns of Consecration" ever since Evans coined the term, are represented in seal impressions, and survive in examples as far afield as Cyprus. Minoan sacred symbols include the bull and its horns of consecration, the labrys (double-headed axe), the pillar, the serpent, the sun-disk, and the tree.

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I save the images here

From Knossos some wall paintings dated about LM II and LM IIIA1 (about 1500-1350 BC) which have been restored by Arthur Evans show colourful shields in figure-of eight. Similar example of body-shield used as decorative motif have been also discovered in Tiryns, Mycenae and Thebes

From Knossos comes this interesting pendant dated LM IIIA (about 1370 BC) representing a shield in figure-of-eight. In this specimen a recurrent Achaean decorative motif is present on the external surface of the shield.

In this pottery fragment always from Knossos dated about at the end of the second palace period (about 1380 BC) a shield in figure-of-eight hanging from a wood lintel is depicted. On the right a warrior with an interesting helmet is also shown (see the page dedicated to the middle helmets) .

The better-preserved and restored shield fresco, of which over two hundred fragments were found, is from the Inner Forecourt of the Old Palace at Tiryns.The painting shows the seam line and the central elongate boss which in the real shields could have been made in bronze, tin or wood.

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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Tower Shield


One of the most common type of Achaean early body-shield was the as called "tower shield". It is represented mainly on wall-paintings and rings and so far in only one late pottery as defence weapon.This shield was probably composed by an internal wood structure fastened to form a cross. Several layers of toughened bull's hide were glued and stitched to a wicker structure. In a couple of "Warriors' graves" from Haghios Joannis and Knossos dated around the middle of 15th century BC several fragments of copper wire shaped as staples have been found. These wires could have been used to joint together the several layers of hide of a body-shield and it is more likely the only survived element of a perishable material body-shield used in that time. A rim probably made of leather or bronze was normally placed around the shield. Based on some representations we can't exclude that externally this shield was in some case covered with a thin embossed or decorated bronze plate. Internal grip and baldric were used by the warrior to properly handle the shield.

The earliest evidence of the large rectangular shield "tower shield" is from a fresco from Akrotiri in the Thera island. This fresco was clearly painted before the destruction of the Island by an earthquake followed by the volcano's eruption which based on the most recent analysis seems occurred not later of 1600 BC. In this fresco a row of warriors with long spears, swords, boar tusk helmets (see also the page dedicated to the early helmets) and rectangular body shields are depicted.

These kind of shields were probably made of hide, in this case must have consisted of goat-hide as the skin of some goats shown in the same fresco depicted with the same colour-pattern of the shields' surface.

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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About warfare.

Though the vision created by Arthur Evans of a Pax Minoica, a "Minoan peace", has been criticised in recent years,[48] it is generally assumed there was little internal armed conflict in Minoan Crete itself, until the following Mycenaean period.[49] As with much of Minoan Crete, however, it is hard to draw any obvious conclusions from the evidence. New excavations sustain scholarly interest and document the culture's influence around the Aegean.[50]

Despite having found ruined watchtowers and fortification walls,[51] Evans argued that there was little evidence for ancient Minoan fortifications. But as S. Alexiou has pointed out (in Kretologia 8), a number of sites, especially Early and Middle Minoan sites such as Aghia Photia, are built on hilltops or are otherwise fortified. As Lucia Nixon said, "...we may have been over-influenced by the lack of what we might think of as solid fortifications to assess the archaeological evidence properly. As in so many other instances, we may not have been looking for evidence in the right places, and therefore we may not end with a correct assessment of the Minoans and their ability to avoid war."[52]

Chester Starr points out in "Minoan Flower Lovers" (Hagg-Marinatos eds. Minoan Thalassocracy) that Shang China and the Maya both had unfortified centers and yet engaged in frontier struggles, so the lack of fortifications alone cannot be enough to conclude that the Minoans were a peaceful civilization unparalleled in history.

In 1998, however, when Minoan archaeologists met in a conference in Belgium to discuss the possibility that the idea of Pax Minoica was outdated, the evidence for Minoan war still proved to be scanty. Archaeologist Jan Driessen, for example, said the Minoans frequently show 'weapons' in their art, but only in ritual contexts. He said,

"The construction of fortified sites is often assumed to reflect a threat of warfare, but such fortified centres were multifunctional; they were also often the embodiment or material expression of the central places of the territories at the same time as being monuments glorifying and merging leading power" (Driessen 1999, p. 16).

On the other hand, Stella Chryssoulaki's work on the small outposts or 'guard-houses' in the east of the island represent possible elements of a defensive system. Claims that they produced no weapons are erroneous; type A Minoan swords (as found in palaces of Mallia and Zarkos) were the finest in all of the Aegean (See Sanders, AJA 65, 67, Hoeckmann, JRGZM 27, or Rehak and Younger, AJA 102).

Keith Branigan claimed that 95% of so-called Minoan weapons possessed hafting (hilts, handles) that would have prevented their use as weapons (Branigan, 1999). But, recent experimental testing of accurate replicas has shown this to be incorrect; these weapons were capable of cutting flesh down to the bone (and scoring the bone's surface) without any damage to the weapons themselves.[53] Archaeologist Paul Rehak maintains that Minoan figure-eight shields could not have been used for fighting or hunting, since they were too cumbersome (Rehak, 1999). And archaeologist Jan Driessen says the Minoans frequently show 'weapons' in their art, but only in ritual contexts (Driessen 1999). Finally, archaeologist Cheryl Floyd concludes that Minoan "weapons" were tools used for mundane tasks such as meat-processing (Floyd, 1999). But, this theory is questionable given the evidence of "rapiers nearly three feet in length"[54] dated to the Middle Minoan period.

About Minoan warfare, Branigan concludes that "The quantity of weaponry, the impressive fortifications, and the aggressive looking long-boats all suggested an era of intensified hostilities. But on closer inspection there are grounds for thinking that all three key elements are bound up as much with status statements, display, and fashion as with aggression.... Warfare such as there was in the southern Aegean EBA early Bronze Age was either personalized and perhaps ritualized (in Crete) or small-scale, intermittent and essentially an economic activity (in the Cyclades and the Argolid/Attica) " (1999, p. 92). Archaeologist Krzyszkowska concurs: "The stark fact is that for the prehistoric Aegean we have no direct evidence for war and warfare per se" (Krzyszkowska, 1999).

No evidence has been found of a Minoan army, or for Minoan domination of peoples outside Crete. Few signs of warfare appear in Minoan art. "Although a few archaeologists see war scenes in a few pieces of Minoan art, others interpret even these scenes as festivals, sacred dance, or sports events" (Studebaker, 2004, p. 27). Although armed warriors are depicted being stabbed in the throat with swords, violence may occur in the context of ritual or blood sport.

On the Mainland of Greece at the time of the Shaft Graves at Mycenae, there is little evidence for major fortifications among the Mycenaeans there. (The famous citadels post-date the destruction of almost all Neopalatial Cretan sites.) The constant warmongering of other contemporaries of the ancient Minoans – the Egyptians and Hittites, for example – is well documented.

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Minoans haven't cavalry army, only some chariots, but there aren't evidence of mounted sole horseman.

So we must suppose they can ride a horse without a chariot?





The chariot, probably invented in the Near East, became one of the most innovative weaponry in Bronze Age warfare. It seems that the Achaeans adopt the chariot for use in warfare in the late 16th century BC as attested in some gravestones as well as seal and ring. The use of the chariot was more likely diffused in the Greek mainland from the Near East after the Middle Bronze Age (about 1950-1550 BC) as a result of the Central and East Europe migration flows and Achaeans' trade contacts with that regions. It seems in fact that the chariot does not seem to have come to the mainland via Crete, but the other way around. It was not until the mid 15th century BC that the chariot appears on the Crete island, as attested by a seal engraving and the linear B tablets. The Achaean chariots can be conventionaly divided into five main design which can be identify as "box-chariot", "quadrant-chariot", "dual-chariot", "rail-chariot", and "four-wheeled chariot". The first two and the "four-wheeled chariot", in different variants, are attested since the early period of the Late Helladic time. The "dual-chariot" is attested since the middle of the 15th century BC and"rail-chariot" seems appeared only around the LH IIIB (about 1300 BC) when this horse-drawn weaponry was not only used as mobile fighting vehicle but also as battlefield transport. Both these utilizations are in fact also mentioned in the Iliad (*1). Despite the general opinion horse-mounted warriors were also used during the Late Helladic time even if the main utilization of the horse was as chariots drawer.

No complete Achaeans chariots survived even if some metallic parts and horse-bites have been found in some graves and settlements furthermore chariots bodies, wheels and horses are inventoried in several Linear B tablets.


On a gravestone from the royal Shaft-grave V in Mycenae dated LH II (about 1500 BC) there is one of the earliest depiction of the chariot in Achaean art. This sculpture shows a single man driving a two-wheeled small box chariot. The man on the chariot holds in his left hand a sword which is still in the sheath. In his right he holds a long object, which ends at the horse's mouth, and which being at first thick and becoming gradually thinner, resembles much more a lance than the reins; and it is difficult to say which of the two the artist intended to represent.A man on foot stands placidly in front of him holding a large club, stick or sword. This representation it has usually been understood as an Achaian warrior running down his opponent, nevetheless it has been also argue that the scene could instead represent an aristocrats at funeral game, where chariot races were later the highest entertainment for trained men at death of King.

In another gravestone from Mycenae dated from the same period another small box-chariot is represented, in this case the reins hold by the singol charioteer are well indicated by one broad band. The chariot-box is here exceedingly low, and very small when compared with that of the chariot on the other tombstone, but it is not less remarkable, because it is surrounded by a band or fillet. The adversary on foot assaults the man on the chariot with a long lance , on which can be seen an object of a peculiar form, which much resembles one of the plain Trojan idols (*2), and must have served to attach the lance to the shoulder.

A stele with a possible hunting scene is also from the royal-shaft grave circle in Myceane. Also in this case a single man is driving a two-wheeled small box chariot. A dagger or short sword is probably hang on the man right side at waist level. As for the other similar chariots also in this one the four-spoked wheels are positioned near the centre of the cab, and a shaft running horizontally from the yoke to the front of the cab further strengthened the vehicle.

######################## faction symbol###########

Ok we need a symbol I will make a ceramic fake plate as symbol or maybe a disc painted...


Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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Yes I was wondering the same :)

Check out egyptian play test topic and need props for this civ. Helmet, chariots head props and moded egyptian ship.

Can make an install option: All Age and Mature. 0 A.d. could have this too (All Age disable blood, nudity,etc.)

Talking about features ! Would be nice some "Delenda Est" features in Aristeia

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  • 1 year later...

I find this topic very interesting, and the information you are gathering about the Minoan culture are fascinating. I would be pleased to be able to play with such faction you are building. But I have a general comment about these posts:

On 03/03/2015 at 7:49 AM, Lion.Kanzen said:

the only thing that I'm not sure is about show breats


On 03/03/2015 at 8:10 AM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Can make an install option: All Age and Mature.

I am always surprised by what might be shocking people or not. You are just talking about some breasts, and more specifically, some breast on a very little 3D model, hypothesizing it might shock some people. Let's talk about war, murders, factions of people killing other people. Well it is not so shocking, actually, we could even make a game from this and have lots of fun by killing people, taking soldiers to murder villagers. We can see it from a distant sight and still have fun by playing. But some breasts ? Well we might add some install option to block this content... Even if you remove blood, the game is still about war and murder. In my point of view it is much more shocking than a little model of woman with traditional clothes from the age bronze revealing her breast. Especially for a game with such an ambitious objective, trying to fit the historical reality as close as possible (from what we know). You can have men half nude, but not women with breasts out, too shocking. We are all humans, there is nothing shocking in some nudity, especially if it is a traditional outfit from ancient ages. Talking about children or young people, I find much more shocking that they could be exposed in a continuous flow of violence in games (not specifically this one), movies etc., than they might *barely see* some breast. Even if the model is really realistic, and you can zoom, etc.. In the end there is absolutely nothing sexual in this kind of content. It is just nature and history.

I understand cultures are different among people, and what might shock somebody might be totally meaningless and not even noticeable for others, depending on traditions, etc. I don't say I hold the truth, but I just wanted to share my point of view, to make you have a more relative point of view about this specific question. And in the end, if we can respect other cultures and tradition, we could also respect some ancient bronze-age way of clothing ^_^

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