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GreeceCultureMemories of Greece: Minoan Jewelry of Knossos Empire

Memories of Greece: Minoan Jewelry of Knossos Empire

Hellenic News of America
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By Catherine Tsounis

What Greek jewelry reproductions of 4,500 years ago mis sold on Amazon in 2023? Believe it or not, Minoan jewelry reproductions of the Knossos Empire of 2,000 B.C. are sold for $20-S60. Minoan bees’ earrings, pin and Minoan double axe earrings and pendant, Phaistos disc, Minoan snake goddess shaking snakes, pendant, and necklace are featured.1 On a 5-day tour of Crete with Kapogiannis Travel agency Tripolis for under 400 euros a person, we saw this astonishing gold collection at the Heraklion Museum with guide Maria M. Kaplagkiozi. She pinpointed the finest gold collection in the Greek world.

The jewelry of the Minoan civilization based on Bronze Age Crete demonstrates a technological and designs of nature. Gold was most probably imported from Egypt, Anatolia or even Romania. It was a rare and precious commodity, restricted to a higher economic status. It was used in many forms: beaten, engraved, embossed, molded, and punched, sometimes with stamps. Jewelry took the form of diadems, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, beads, and numerous decorations. Minoan jewelry manufacture, however, reached its zenith from 1700 to 1500 BCE. I saw the bee pendant. It was found at Malia, Crete.

The Bee pendant. Heraklion Museum, Crete. Photo by Catherine Tsounis

What is the Minoan jewelry legacy? Minoan jewelers would have a strong influence not only on surrounding contemporary Aegean communities such as in the Cycladic islands but also on the successive civilizations which superseded the Minoans, in particular the Mycenaeans from mainland Greece. Mycenaean jewelry closely followed the styles and conventions of Cretan jewellers.2 Jewelry of Heraklion Museum makes an impression on all who visit.

References:

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1. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=minoan+jewelry&adgrpid=1343603779492380&hvadid=83975308125523&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=59372&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvtargid=kwd-83975592202937%3Aloc-190&hydadcr=24661_10680528&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_619pmdlpvg_e

2. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/449/minoan-jewellery/

Minoan jewelry, Heraklion Museum, Crete. Photo by Catherine Tsounis

 

Minoan jewelry, Heraklion Museum, Crete. Photo by Catherine Tsounis

 

Minoan jewelry, Heraklion Museum, Crete. Photo by Catherine Tsounis

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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