Crete’s Archaeological Museum: The awesome artefacts of our ancestors

The Honey Bee pendant- nearly 4000 years old
One of the oldest fertility symbols image of a woman possibly 5000 years old
Knossos Palace – Prince of the Lilies – mural in the museum
Knossos Palace mural of dolphins

This modern museum is a joy to visit and also for my disabled wife Margaret as it is easily accessible and staff extremely helpful.

These artefacts are part of a huge collection of thousands discovered in Crete dating back to 6900 BC of both the early Minoan civilisation and later palace societies housed at Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum.

The wonder of these exhibits is that they were created by people who couldn’t read or write yet perfected some of the most exquisite jewellery and crafted pottery. Most of them were discovered in early tombs because our ancestors believed they would be needed in the afterlife.

The sport section had a dangerous sport that that has died out involving bulls that has died out in ansoort that hasdangerous sport involving

The fertility symbol of a child bearing woman is almost universal to early civilisations.We saw a similar statute in Lima in Peru dating back thousands of years to the civilisation that precede the better known Incas.

The murals come from the Knossos Palace as most of the original ones have been removed or tarted up.The figure was thought to be a prince – originally known as Prince of the Lilies – but now thought to be more likely to be an athlete or a boxer – a sporting hero years before Christ.

Bull leaping as a sport

For a civilisation associated with the Minotaur the sport section had-a fascinating game which has died out. Known as Bull Leaping or Bull Vaulting intrepid athletes would have to grab the horns of a charging bull and leap over it. This rather dangerous sport was open to men and women, showing that sports equality is not a new phenomenon. It existed centuries ago long before the recent prominence given to women’s football and rugby.

An early mysterious board game