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ancient history – Was the Minoan civilization warlike?
The wiki subsection on the Minoan Peace is worth a read – it presents the arguments for and against the Minoans as warlike, and is well cited. The crux of it is this:
About Minoan warfare, Branigan concludes that “The quantity of
weaponry, the impressive fortifications, and the aggressive looking
long-boats all suggested an era of intensified hostilities. But on
closer inspection there are grounds for thinking that all three key
elements are bound up as much with status statements, display, and
fashion as with aggression…. Warfare such as there was in the
southern Aegean EBA early Bronze Age was either personalized and
perhaps ritualized (in Crete) or small-scale, intermittent and
essentially an economic activity (in the Cyclades and the
Argolid/Attica) ” (1999, p. 92). Archaeologist Krzyszkowska concurs:
“The stark fact is that for the prehistoric Aegean we have no direct
evidence for war and warfare per se” (Krzyszkowska, 1999).
The Live Science article in question appears to reflect a minority viewpoint not well supported by archaeological or historical evidence – if the Egyptians or Hittites tangled with a major thalassocracy like the Minoans, they didn’t document it, and they documented pretty much everything else going on. This supports the idea that the Minoan defenses were impressive enough to make the other regional powers keep their distance, but they were not aggressive or “warlike”.
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