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The name Minoan comes after a legendary king Minos, who supposedly founded their civilization. The Minoans became rich through trade. They used the wealth created through trade to develop towns and ports.

They also built palaces of great beauty. The most famous palace was at Knossos. It was almost like a small town. It had a series of courtyards, with workshops for craftspeople and residential quarters. A lot of fine artifacts were made in this palace. English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans unearthed and partially restored the palace in 1894. Remains of the colossal building with hundreds of rooms amazed the world.

By 2000 B.C., the Minoan glory spread overseas to eastern Mediterranean. Over the next 300 years, they produced fine pottery and metalwork from gold and bronze. They upgraded their writing system to replace previous picture-based scripts.

Around 1700 B.C., their civilization reached its highest point, but in about 200 years, it collapsed. It is believed that a major earthquake on a nearby island of Thera caused a tidal wave, and wiped out the island. Most Minoan ships were destroyed, palaces and cities damaged.

Sources:

Fry, Plantagenet Somerset. The Dorling Kindersley History of the World. London: D. Kindersley, 1994. Print.



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