Places of Interest nearby
Location address: Greece, Crete, Knossos
Number of texts: 2
The palace complex of Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. It was undoubtedly the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. It appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square. An approximate graphic view of some aspects of Cretan life in the Bronze Age is provided by restorations of the palace’s indoor and outdoor murals, as it is also by the decorative motifs of the pottery and the insignia on the seals and sealings.
In Greek mythology, King Minos dwelled in a palace at Knossos. He had Daedalus construct a labyrinth in which to retain his son, the Minotaur. Daedalus also built a dancing floor for Queen Ariadne. The word labyrinth manifestly contains the word labrys, the double axe, at least in folk etymology. It was subsequently adopted by Arthur Evans because it seemed to fit the archaeology of Knossos. It has never been credibly questioned, mainly because of that archaeology. Western civilization was thus predisposed by legend to associate whatever palace ruin should be found at Knossos with the legends of Minos and the labyrinth.