#Minoan #Astronomy Winter Constellations #BronzeAge

Bronze age Crete is a tantalizing period for historians and archeologists. So much is known from the archeological record since the discovery of Knossos by Arthur Evans starting in 1900, but the written record is sparse and indecipherable. This mysterious language, Linear A, leaves opportunity for both academics and authors to imagine different scenarios. I belong to the latter group and this series of posts is best classified as historical fiction and in preparation for a historical fiction novel.


These are the three constellations that the Minoans would have seen rising at dawn in the winter, the period between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The first constellation (Zodiac name: Aquarius) is the Bull Jumper (above) from the Bull Leaping fresco in the Knossos Palace (or as some believe, Temple) on Crete. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull-leaping. Note: the constellations appear are different times of the year than currently due to 3,500 years of precession.


For the next constellation of winter, I’ve chosen Papyrus Fresco from Akrotiri. This constellation is based on the current Pisces constellation. Akrotiri is the source of much of this artwork, as, like Pompeii about 1,500 years later, much of the city was well preserved under a thick layer of volcanic ash.


For the final winter constellation (Aries), we have the Bee. The Minoans kept bees and Mycenaeans likely learned the skill from Crete and brought it to Greece. The Greek goddess of bees Melissa likely came from a similar Minoan god.

Those are the imagined Winter constellations for Crete at the time of the Thera explosion.

Categories: Bronze Age, Crete | Tags: | Leave a comment

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