Originally published 07/11/2013
It was one of the most captivating mysteries of the modern age, requiring three detectives and 52 years to solve. Along the way, there was magnificent obsession, bitter disappointment, world-shaking triumph and swift, unexplained death.At the centre of the mystery lay a set of clay tablets from the ancient Aegean, inscribed more than 3,000 years ago and discovered at the dawn of the 20th century amid the ruins of a lavish Bronze Age palace.Written by royal scribes, the tablets teemed with writing like none ever seen: tiny pictograms in the shapes of swords, horses’ heads, pots and pans, plus a set of far more cryptic characters whose meaning is still debated today....
Originally published 04/25/2013
The grand Mycenaens, the first Greeks, inspired the legends of the Trojan Wars, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." Their culture abruptly declined around 1200 B.C., marking the start of a Dark Ages in Greece.The disappearance of the Mycenaens is a Mediterranean mystery. Leading explanations include warfare with invaders or uprising by lower classes. Some scientists also think one of the country's frequent earthquakes could have contributed to the culture's collapse. At the ruins of Tiryns, a fortified palace, geologists hope to find evidence to confirm whether an earthquake was a likely culprit.Tiryns was one of the great Mycenaean cities. Atop a limestone hill, the city-state's king built a palace with walls so thick they were called Cyclopean, because only the one-eyed monster could have carried the massive limestone blocks. The walls were about 30 feet (10 meters) high and 26 feet (8 m) wide, with blocks weighing 13 tons, said Klaus-G. Hinzen, a seismologist at the University of Cologne in Germany and project leader. He presented his team's preliminary results April 19 at the Seismological Society of America's annual meeting in Salt Lake City....
Originally published 03/20/2013
Crete is still pushing for Knossos to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is now preparing a new folder titled Minoan civilization, which will include the most important monuments on the island, such as Phaistos, Zakros and the archaeological site of Malia, with Knossos dominating the list.
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