Lost City of Knossos

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・3 Sources

The Lost City of Knossos is considered the birthplace of Minoan civilization. The city is situated five miles from Crete's coast. It was discovered between 3000 and 1400 BC and used as a representation of Bronze Age civilization. Zeus, the god, had a son named Minos, who became the king of Knossos, according to legend. Many people discussed the presence of the Minoan empire after the city was discovered. The city's economy was fuelled by trade and the city's command of the sea. As a result, Knossos developed into a sophisticated city with paved roads, fine art, running water, metalwork, and pottery. Unfortunately, the Minoan civilization had started to collapse when the Greeks conquered Crete (Hirst). The lost city of Knossos says a lot about the modern civilization and how the culture affected the people. Therefore, it is evident that the lost city gives ideas about the past or what projections of the modern longings that inspire the modern selves.

Factual Information

Many scholars have described the background of the lost city. Homer in his Odyssey sung, “Among their cities is the great city of Cnosus, where Minos reigned when nine years old, he that held converse with great Zeus” (Mark). The “ancient history of Crete”, as the authors call it, was a large architectural complex that was believed to be the living quarters for rulers. The foundation covered 6.5 acres with the ground floor having more than 300 rooms. The Minoans city is known for its strong foundation and thickened walls. Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Knossos city, and he assumed it to be the palace of King Minos; he was also the first one to call the people of the ancient city “Minoans” after their king, “paving the way to future discoveries regarding the city of Knossos” (Mark). The city would have been a necropolis, meaning a city of the dead or a temple complex for gods and goddesses; the author refers to it as a “home of legends” (Karen). Evans assumed that when he discovered the large complex, it would only be a palace. Several archaeological information were recorded with the first being the fresco paintings of fresh plaster. The frescos at Knossos were discovered as tiny broken fragments on the floor. Sir Evans preserved the evidence so as to carry out reconstruction process on the pieces. Evans employed Emile Gillieron, a Swiss, who was specialized in archaeological drawings. It is evident that the repair turned out to conclude that Sir Evans was a less creative man, making many archaeologists apprehensive about his findings. The writer refers to it as a city that was(Michailidou 23).

The existence of the lost city of Knossos is faced with competing theories that explain the civilization of the Minoans that can be linked to the today’s modernization. The city acted as the opening way to the recent trade that is characterized by metalwork, pottery, and improved transportation. However, just like many cultures today, it was influenced by external interference; the Minoans civilization was tempered by the Greeks, thus leading to its fall. For example, the volcanic eruptions in the nearby Santorini Island caused a plume of gases and ashes to fill the sky. The scientists believed that the volcanic forces caused a tsunami that altered the climate. The Minoans roads suffered, and thus, the Knossos civilization was hardly incapable of defending its territory. The Knossos city is sometimes referred to as a palace or a town because of the huge water baths, shrines, workshops, and living quarters (Mark).

Literary Evidence

The information provided about the discovery of the lost city of Knossos records Sir Arthur Evans, as the archaeologist, who excavated sites on Crete. Crete is known as the largest Greek Island. Evans uncovered the remains of the ancient Knossos city. Written literature about the city proves that the city thrived in the second millennium BC and was the home of the Minoans. There is written evidence that the city suffered destruction that affected the prosperous and peaceful civilization. The royal apartments and the throne rooms would suggest that the palace still remains the oldest in Europe. The literary evidence is unique because of the oral and written information about the castle captured by Sir Evans, an English archaeologist, to have been a part of its reconstruction (Karen). Written evidence provides information that the city might have been destroyed by a volcanic eruption that caused devastation in the surrounding locations. However, the artistic evidence collected at other sites on the Crete suggests proof of burning. Oral, written, and artistic evidence suggests that a particular nation would have overpowered the Minoans. For instance, the mainland Greeks would have been exacting revenge on King Minos for sacrificing young maidens and men. Shall be force detain thee” was describing the degree on how the Greeks wanted to devastate the Minoans (Hirst). The archaeologists used the written and oral evidence of the fallen palace to reconstruct evidence on the utilization of the city. The collection of evidence provided the cultural, economic, and political environment of the society.

Literary Legacy

The lost city of Knossos can be remembered for a lot of things. For example, the social, economic, and political legacy that the society can link to the modernization is significant in understanding the today’s culture. The city was a thriving center for trade, as it had good infrastructure and business activities such as pottery and metalwork. Knossos can be linked to the today’s growth in the economic sector that has caused international integration. However, it was not too long that the city fell, and many archaeologists and scientists believe that the center of Crete was destroyed by invading Greeks and natural calamities such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes(Michailidou 34). It is evident that the Mycenaean writing system known as the Linear B remains a legacy even after the Thera volcanic eruption. As evident from Mark’s research, Knossos became an important base of operations and capital of the Mycenaeans”. The city is still considered as a city of legends and trade’s people. The long-standing debate between archaeologists remains the primary concern about the functions of the place. Some believe that it acted as a religious, administrative, or both center. The presence of archeological drawings provides evidence that the place is a legend that symbolizes the Minoans culture and civilization. Although the city was destroyed by the Greeks, it is still a center of civilization to the modern society. Its destruction tells the readers that political and physical forces can rise to bring a thriving city down. However, the reconstruction done by Sir Arthur Evans encourages the rulers to rise and rebuild the broken political regimes so as to preserve the legacy (Mark).


The lost city of Knossos is a significant myth that enables the modern society to reflect and critique our society. Knossos is the ancient civilization of the Minoans’ people. The archaeological site allows the people to evaluate their community and cities based on the written and oral evidence excavated from the site. For example, before the fall of the city, it was a thriving place for trade. It had good infrastructure, running water, thriving businesses such as metal working and pottery. This can be linked to the modern society that is successful in carrying out activities. However, the lost city was destroyed by natural calamities such as volcanoes and earthquakes. Other archeologists believe that wars caused the destruction from invading mainland Greeks (Karen). This can be connected to the today’s society that suffers a lot of loss from natural disasters such as tsunamis and tornadoes. Moreover, the trading systems can be affected by wars and lack of peaceful coexistence between communities that can affect the trade patterns. However, the efforts of Sir Arthur Evans to reconstruct the place suggest that he wanted to revive the once dying culture and civilization of the Minoans. The same actions should be taken by the society including the governments to revive dying economies so as to avoid the collapse of culture. The lost city of Knossos is a good reflection of the modern society that rises and falls with forces that are not within the people’s reach. The city is the real example of the modern modernization; it is a reflection of how the modern cities have grown to be international business centers. Moreover, the lost city reflects how the society today is affected by calamities and wars that interfere with the firm operations. The myth can be referred to as a significant reflection of the current modernization (Karen).

Works Cited

Hirst, Kris. "The Lost Palace Of Knossos." The Palace of Minos The Labyrinth of Minoan Culture (Updated 2015), http://www.themedicalquestions.com/knowledge/the-lost-palace-of-knossos.html. Accessed May 10, 2017.

Karen, Greece. Knossos Archaeological site. (Updated 30 April 2015), https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g189417-d1635165-r201544046-Knossos_Archaeological_Site-Heraklion_Crete.html. Accessed May 10, 2017.

Mark, Joshua J. "Knossos." Ancient History Encylopedia (2010), http://www.ancient.eu/knossos/. Accessed May 10, 2017.

Michailidou, Anna. Knossos - A Complete Guide to the Palace of Minos. (International ed.). Ekdotike Athenon, 2004.

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