The 12th Annual Platsis Symposium on the Greek Legacy, September 29, 2013


Inventing the Minoans by Dr. Kenneth Lapatin, Associate Curator of Antiquities, The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Even if Arthur Evans (1851–1941) was not the first to discover the Minoans, it might still be argued that he invented them.  Others had explored the prehistoric civilizations of the Aegean before him and much knowledge has been gained since his death but his synthetic vision of ancient Crete remains pervasive: a peaceable island kingdom spreading civilization across the Mediterranean through extensive mercantile networks. Is this a convincing reading of the ancient evidence or the imposition of preconceived notions, many of them formed at the height of the British Empire?

Minoan Monotheism: was Sir Arthur Evans Right by Nanno Marinatos, Professor and Head, Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago.  

In the period between the two great European wars, the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans produced a revolutionary theory: Minoan religion was monotheistic. What exactly did he mean by this word? Was he right or wrong? The majority of scholars are skeptical about Evans’ theories but the excavations at Akrotiri, on Thera (Santorini) have fully justified his model of monotheism. Recently restored paintings of murals show that one goddess is the dominant deity and she is most definitely a Minoan one.