Archaeology & History
Minoan civilization originated in Europe
By T.K. Randall
May 18, 2013 · 47 comments
Image Credit: CC 2.0 George Groutas
New DNA evidence has suggested that the ancient Minoans may not have originated in Egypt at all.
When Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Palace of Minos on Crete in 1900, he determined that the artifacts left behind by the Minoans seemed to set them apart from the Bronze-Age Greeks and were likely to have instead originated in Northern Egypt. New research has now cast doubt on this hypothesis however because DNA recovered from caves on Crete suggests that the Minoans had descended from early farmers who settled on the island thousands of years earlier.
"For the last 30, 40 years there’s been a growing sense that Minoan Crete was created by people indigenous to the island," said archaeologist Cyprian Broodbank. "It’s good to have some of the old assumptions that Minoans migrated from some other high culture scotched."
The Minoans flourished on Crete for as many as 12 centuries until about 1,500 bc, when it is thought to have been devastated by a catastrophic eruption of the Mediterranean island volcano Santorini, and a subsequent tsunami.
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