Crete, Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Excited to visit Knossos which is between 3000 and 4000 years old. It was discovered by a Brit archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in 1900 (using his own money) and he dug all this up (no doubt with some help from his friends) in four years. In those days they didn’t just preserve they also restored using modern materials – this would not be done these days. As a result some areas look much better than they were when found but equally some are a bit fanciful in respect of how he designed them and what he thought they were for. With the exception of the word Knossos which has definitely existed since the start all other names and references (even “Minoan”) reflect words that Arthur Evans chose to use. It takes about 90 minutes to walk around and strongly recommend you hire a guide for an in-depth understanding of what you are seeing.

Exteriors

Interiors including the throne Room and the Queen’s chambers (dolphins of course!). She also had the first ever flushing toilet system

Then on to the Archeological Museum where we kept the same guide. This is where you see more of the originals and it gives more context to what you’ve seen at Knossos. The museum was refurbed and reopened two years ago so is modern, well lit and easy to understand. The Minoans were very into bulls so I took some pics of different bull antiquities especially for my Taurean birthday pal Barbara – she said she was grateful for the bullocks!

I was very impressed with their ability to make trinkets that are so realistic. They were so creative in a time when you have to wonder how they knew how to make these kinds of jewellery and pots and sculptures. They are lovely.

Then we saw an original fresco of the bull jumping sport that existed then – a male leaps over the bull in a somersault from its head to its tail. What the??? And also a squished skeleton because they put the in jars before rigor mortis set in!

Finally some original frescoes including “La Parisienne” so named by Arthur Evans because she looked like the French ladies of his time. Of course she is not French!

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