About 5,000 years ago, the islands and the coast of the Aegean Sea began to develop distinctive culture, which by name called Aegean Sea or name the major centers, Mycenaean. It existed for nearly 2,000 years, until it was supplanted in the 12th century BC, Greeks came from the north. Striking beauty and subtlety of flavor monuments left us this culture.
When the Englishman Arthur Evans and his assistants began in 1900 excavations on the island of Crete, he was expected here interesting discoveries. They confirmed the accuracy of the stories told in ancient myths and poems of Homer the Greek singer. They were celebrated the magnificence of Cretan palaces and the power of King Minos.
The biggest palace – Knossos survived only partially. It consisted of hundreds of different buildings, grouped around a large front yard. Among them were the throne room, columned halls, viewing terraces, even the bathrooms. Their aqueducts and baths have survived. The walls are decorated with bathrooms so suitable for this place murals depicting dolphins and flying fish. Palace had a very confusing plan. Passages and corridors suddenly turn, become the ups and downs of stairs, to the same building was multi-storey. It is not surprising that later arose the myth of the Cretan labyrinth, where he lived and the monstrous chelovekobyk where it was impossible to find a way out. Labyrinth associated with the bull, because he was considered a sacred animal in Crete, and now and then catches the eye – both in life and in art. As most of the rooms did not have external walls – only internal partitions, – they could not cut through the window. The premises were illuminated through the holes in the ceiling, in some places it was “light wells”, passes through several floors. Original columns extending up and were painted in festive red, black and yellow. Murals pleasing to the eye cheerful colorful harmonies. The remaining part of the murals are important events, boys and girls during the sacred bull games, goddesses, priestesses, plants and animals. The walls are decorated with reliefs and painted. Images of people resemble ancient Egyptian: the face and legs – side and shoulders and eyes – in the front, but their movements are more free and more natural than on the Egyptian reliefs.
In Crete, found a lot of small sculptures, especially statuettes of goddesses with snakes: a snake considered homemaker. Goddess in skirts with ruffles, narrow and tall open lifami hairstyles look very coquettish. Cretans were great masters of ceramics: pottery beautifully painted, especially those where a large lively depicted marine animals such as octopus, its tentacles covering the torso rounded vase.
In the 15th century BC to the Peloponnese came the Achaeans, formerly the former subordinate to the Cretans, and destroyed the palace of Knossos. Since that time, the authorities in the Aegean was taken over by the Achaeans, until they conquered the other Greek tribes – the Dorians.
In the Peloponnese, the Achaeans erected a powerful fortress of Mycenae and Tiryns. On the mainland, the danger of enemy attack was much greater than on the island, so the two settlements have been built on the hills and surrounded by walls made of huge stones. It is hard to imagine that a man of such forces to cope with the stone whopper, so future generations have created the myth of the giants – cyclops, helps people build these walls. There were also found wall paintings and art made by everyday objects. However, compared with the cheerful and close to nature Cretan art Achaean art looks different: it is more severe and courageously, glorifies war and hunting.
Entrance to the destruction of the Mycenaean fortress long ago is still guarded by two lions carved in stone above the famous Lion Gate. Nearby are located the tombs of rulers who first studied German merchant and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890). Since childhood he dreamed to find and unearth the city of Troy; war with the Trojans and Achaeans destruction of the city (12th century BC) described in his poem “The Iliad” Homer Greek singer. Indeed Schliemann was able to find on the northern tip of Asia Minor (now Turkey in) the ruins of the city, which is considered the ancient Troy. Unfortunately, because of undue haste and lack of special education, he destroyed much of what he sought. Nevertheless, he made many valuable discoveries and enriched the knowledge of his time on this distant and exciting era.
More 3000 BC. e. the islands of the Aegean Sea and its coast began to form a unique culture, which became known as the Aegean, Mycenaean culture. It lasted about two thousand years. In the 12th century. BC. e. it destroyed the Greeks came from the north.
The center of this culture found a German businessman, amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and the British archaeologist Arthur Evans. Using Homer they were looking for traces of a mythological past. In 1870, Schliemann found Troy and Evans in 1900 began excavations on the island of Crete. He found the most famous architectural monument – quarters of Knossos.
Retaining only part of the larger chambers of Knossos. They make hundreds of different rooms, each had its own large front yard. Among them – the main hall, skilled columns, balconies, lots of rooms. Light and air enters the room through a hole in the ceiling. Was held water, sewerage, had glass doors, elevators, staircases and even the bath of the same shape as modern. Several floors are built on the endless vicious plan. At the entrance corridors are constantly turning, up and down. This is reminiscent of the description of the Labyrinth Greeks, who belonged to the ruler of Crete, Minos. The Labyrinth Minotaur lived – polubyk, poluchelovek. Minos had to bring tribute – every year are a few young men and women who ate the Minotaur. The Athenian hero Theseus killed the Minotaur and the Labyrinth came out with the help of the coil, which gave him the daughter of Minos Ariadne.
Knossos before the House had a lot of colored frescoes and reliefs. The best-preserved – “The King of Knowledge”, easy going through a flowering field young man. The image recalls the Mesopotamian and Egyptian figures (face and feet – from the side, and his shoulders and eyes – front), but it is more freely and naturally. On the remaining walls of a fragment depicting gods, witches, girls, boys, plants and animals. Images of women in the painting and sculpture monotonous: wide waist, naked and curved arms, wide nose, but small, aquiline, his mouth almost neulybayuschiysya, haircut pretentious – with a pearl comb, dress dark blue with dark blue accents. Depicted women can be witches or goddesses.
Virtually nothing is known about the faith of Crete. People not build churches, as We are praying in the caves in the woods, in the mountains. Found only many small sculptures depicting gods. It is believed that the supreme god was female.
The inhabitants of Crete – good masters of ceramics. They knew pottery wheel and color glaze. We found a lot of clay carved furniture. In the paintings of vases used marine motifs. Known vase with octopus well it fits the definition of Aegean pottery.
At the end of the 15th century. BC. e. the island was an accident. Perhaps the whole island is covered with a volcanic eruption. The island took the Achaean tribes, and all the indigenous population moved to the mainland.
When the Cretan civilization faded, cultural center of the Aegean, too postponed the mainland. There arose the city of Mycenae. The government fought a lot, one of the war – the war against Troy. Ahei built cities in the high mountains. Later, these cities became known as the Acropolis. Facilities Mycenaean acropolis have not survived, they were built on the simple clear plan. Around the central building – megaron – space occupied by other buildings in front – portico. His plan was borrowed from the Greeks. In the 13th century. Dorian tribes occupied the Achaean city. Pala Mycenaean civilization, the early stage of the ethnic, a prelude rich culture of the ancient Greeks.