Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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War and the Minoans

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

MarsyasSHEFFIELD, ENGLAND—Scholars have been revising the long-held thought that the Bronze Age Minoans of Crete were a peaceful people, but new research by Barry Molloy of the University of Sheffield suggests that Minoan society was actually defined by war. His survey shows that weapons and daggers have been found in sanctuaries, graves, and homes, and that images of weapons are common in Minoan art. The sports of boxing, hunting, archery, and bull-leaping kept men battle-ready. “Ideologies of war are shown to have permeated religion, art, industry, politics and trade, and the social practices surrounding martial traditions were demonstrably a structural part of how this society evolved and how they saw themselves,” he said.