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prepalatial period in Crete

Prepalatial period in Crete
7000 B.C.E to 1900 B.C.E

Prepalatial period in Crete, also called Pre-Palace, Protominoan Age, Copper Age or Early Bronze Age,  7000 B.C.E. to 1900 B.C.E. Egypt seems too distant to exercise a big influence at that time. On the contrary, it is the Anatolia which plays a convincing role in the initiation of Crete the arts of metals. The distribution of the use of bronze at sea Aegean Sea is bound to wide movements of population since the coast of Asia Minor towards Crete, Cyclades and the South of Greece.These regions enter a phase of social and cultural development, marked mainly by the development of the business connections with Asia Minor and Cyprus. However the civilization remains Neolithic, in particular in the first part of prepalatial period. So, we can note, in the beginning, changes more from the point of view of the organization and of the improvement of the living conditions than from a technological point of view. Due to its navy, Crete occupies a dominant place in Aegean Sea. The use of metals multiplies deals with the producing countries: the Cretans fetch the copper in Cyprus, the gold in Egypt, the silver and the obsidian in the Cyclades. Ports develop under the influence of this increasing activity: Zakros and Palaiokastro on the oriental coast, the islands of Mochlos and Pseira on the northern coast become the main centers of exchange with Asia Minor. The importance of this one for Crete explains the ascendancy of the oriental part of the island which establishes the most active home. While Knossos still knows only a sub-Neolithic civilization, without metal, Malia looked like metropolis. It is at that time that communities of farmers and breeders develop in the plain of Messara.

It seems that from the prepalatial old minoan period, villages and towns become the standard and the isolated farms much more become scarce in prepalatial. The generalization of the use of bronze moves the center of gravity of the island towards its center, cities of which begin to compete with those of the oriental part. Furthermore, new raw materials divert the attention of the Cretans of Asia Minor.

For example, the tin of Spain, Gaul or Cornwall arrives on the Sicilian coast and from the Adriatic and certain cities focus their trading routes to these regions. This is the way, in the mouth of Kairatos, Amnisos develops a road which crosses Crete in its middle, with Knossos and Phaistos as main stages. As regards the agriculture, we know with  the excavations that almost all the species known for cereal and for legumes are cultivated and that all the known farm produces even nowadays as oil, olives, wine and grapes are already produced in prepalatial period.

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