The "Minoans" were the first European high culture. The first European throne was found here. They lived among other in a kind of palaces, for example, the palace of Knossos with over 1400 rooms on 3-4 storeys. There was a even a central sewer system, toilets and a type of hot water heating, etc.
Their Scripture - Linear A - has not yet been deciphered. Many well-preserved frescoes have been found that give an insight into the culture. The majority of the people depicted are women, it appears obvious that women had the important social functions.
when? 3300 BCE until 1400 BCE ...... where? Crete
The Crete of the Minoans as a link between ancient Europe and the Ancient Near East
In the Minoan civilization many elements of Old Europe appear, such as female figurines, the snake goddess, the bull and the ancestor cult.
The Minoan Crete establishes a connection between the Neolithic cultures of Europe and the ancient Near Eastern cultures.
In the club of the Great Powers - (which was a network of diplomatic and trade relations between the major powers in the Middle East by the Amarna (Echnaton) letters) were the Minoans, the most important sea power. In this "club" were Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Mitanni, the Hittites, Canaan Alaschia (Cyprus), Mycenae and Crete.
Communication was by means of a written, international language - a kind of Akkadian. The members of the "club of great powers" behaved as if they were one big family.
One may speak of common cultural forms and ideologies. e.g. theocracies were the norm. The rulers, male or female, King or Queen or Goddess and God were at the same time. Inheritance is matrilineal, that is, for example, in Egypt a man could become pharao only by marrying a "divine daughter" .
The Minoan civilization on Crete 3300-1400 BCE
The Minoan culture is an example of an urban civilization which was highly likely ruled by women. The illustrations of important social and organizational issues are almost exclusively women.
The palaces were great architectural achievements. The Palace of Knossos is 5 times the size of Buckingham Palace, with 3-4 floors lots of red colored columns, floors and walls covered with white alabaster. Remains of a sewerage system, intact flush toilets and a type of hot water heater have been found.
Four, in size and features similar palaces have been discovered. Those palaces were built on top of mountains/hills, with exceptional panoramic views of sacred mountains and sacred caves. Each of them has at least one central place for major cultural events. There are huge storage plants in which up to 2-meter high clay jars (Pitoi) were found, resistant enough that some of them are still today after 4000 years, standing in the open air among the ruins.
None of them had any defensive system. The inhabitants seem to have been feeling secure that there would be no violent attack.
In a kind of initiation ritual "jumping over the bull" the (Taurokapsia) we see young men and women . Everything radiates a cheerful, colorful, joyful mood, enriched by sensuality and spirituality.
Among the finds there are also gold signet rings and stamps. There one can see naked women having ecstatic visions or goddesses with their symbols, such as the sun, the star Venus, the omega sign, the double ax, snakes, lions, mountain goats, a dove or the town they protect.
Murals, ceramic bowls, rings and other typical Minoan artifacts where found in Egypt in the grave of Hatshepsut and Senenmut , in the Egyptian city of Avaris and in the Syrian palace of Qatna.
The egyptians called them the "KEFTIU" which is probably their correct name.
Natural disasters brought a lot of destruction. There were a number of earthquakes and the most devastating volcanic eruption in human history, in which a third / half of today's island Santorini sank below sea level. The impact of the outbreak - for example the darkening of the sun and therefore no more crops growing can be demonstrated up to China, Egypt, even in Ireland. After that various tsunami wave with a heights of up to 20 meters annihilated entire villages in Crete. A great many people were killed.