The new Minoan Theater and Culture Center outside Heraklion, the brainchild of a Cretan woman named Anna Bastakis, presents the ancient history of the island using theater, food, and art, bringing to life what is known about these most ancient and yet little-understood people, notes Phil Butler, Editor of Argophilia Travel News in a recent report.
The origin and history of the Minoans, who once inhabited the Greek island of Crete, are two of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. What we have in place of the known history of that amazing culture are scattered relics and spectacular examples of their unique arts and trades.
Very little is known about their language, their religion, or the intricate customs they must have practiced. Crete was at the center of a huge maritime network which stretched from famous palace complexes such as Knossos and Phaistos to the far reaches of the Mediterranean Sea since before the third millennium BC.
The archaeological evidence indicates that Minoan Crete was central to an extensive trading network in copper and tin from the Cyclades and Asia Minor. The bronze, and the complex metallurgy this commodity made possible, first gave the Minoans power and prestige.
Nevertheless, it was not until British archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered extensive ruins on Crete in the early 1900s that the modern world began to understand their significance. Evans was actually the first to name these ancient Cretans “Minoan” for the legendary King Minos, one of the sons of the god Zeus.
But this new Minoan Theater and Cultural Center venture is about something far more ethereal, and more significant, from Minoan times.
From the moment the theater’s performers commence the reenactment of the spring ritual, when the priestess Phaedra, the daughter of King Minos, welcomes them, the spirits of those ancient people come alive.
Visitors to the island can now experience this spirit at the new theater and cultural center in Karteros, which is situated only 800 meters from the famous Cave of Elefthyia. The area around the estate where the theater is located is a historic treasury of this and other sites from thousands of years ago.
Read more at greekreporter.com