The Minoan Civilization

OVERVIEW

Join us on a route to unveil the vibrant and mysterious Minoan society through art, archaeology, architecture, mythology, religion, and material culture. The Minoans established the first advanced civilization on European soil and ever since the discovery of Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans in the early 20th century, their world and culture has shaped western culture in myriad ways. Our intriguing voyage will offer us valuable insights into the major Minoan urban centers that developed around the famous palaces (or where they temple complexes?) of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Zakros. Discover the prominent role palaces played in the administration, religion, and trade of Minoan Crete.

OVERVIEW

Join us on a route to unveil the vibrant and mysterious Minoan society through art, archaeology, architecture, mythology, religion, and material culture. The Minoans established the first advanced civilization on European soil and ever since the discovery of Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans in the early 20th century, their world and culture has shaped western culture in myriad ways. Our intriguing voyage will offer us valuable insights into the major Minoan urban centers that developed around the famous palaces (or where they temple complexes?) of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Zakros. Discover the prominent role palaces played in the administration, religion, and trade of Minoan Crete.

THE SYLLABUS

Introduction to the Minoan Civilization

This module covers the archaeology of prehistoric Crete, a fascinating period that witnessed the emergence of a complex society with elaborate socio-political hierarchies. Particular emphasis is given to the Minoan palaces of the 2nd millennium BCE. The palace of Knossos impressed later generations and formed the background for some of ancient Greece’s most memorable and popular myths (King Minos, the Labyrinth, Daedalus and Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur). But there is far more to these confusing ruins than stories of monsters and heroic deeds. We will discover the Minoan material culture, architecture, arts and crafts. Additionally, we will discuss how material remains provide insights into Minoan society belief systems, rituals, and their relation to the culture and history of the eastern Mediterranean.

Ancient Greek Religion & Mythology

This module offers an introduction to all the main features of ancient Greek religion, mythology, and the classical world. Students are introduced to myths, gods, heroes, the origins and nature of the universe as they developed in the Greek and Roman worlds. We will consider the nature, function, and theoretical approaches to myth in society, and how myths were adapted by Greek and Roman authors to fit a particular literary or historical context. Time will also be devoted to comparing mythological systems. We will also examine how the gods intervene in human life, how to consult the gods regarding death and the future, how to enlist the services of the divine healer, and much more.

Aegean Art & Archaeology

This module explores the art and architecture of the Aegean region in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE with particular attention to archaeological perspectives. The islands of the Aegean Sea, despite severe limitations placed upon them by the facts of geography, climate, and the dearth of fertile land, witnessed the evolution of elaborate societies whose material culture and art remain a source of fascination for artists, archaeologists, and the public at large. Gradually, a complex network of trade, colonization, war, and cultural exchanges brought these disparate insular societies closer together. The Cyclades and Crete nurtured their own distinct civilizations, while southern Greece was eventually dominated by the Mycenaeans.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

• Uncover the legendary seafaring culture of the Minoans, builders of the first advanced civilization to appear on European soil (they even had flushing toilets)

• Explore the magnificent labyrinthine palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros, and marvel at their sophisticated, colourful frescoes

• Visit the fascinating cave associated with the birth and childhood of the father of Gods, Zeus; the Dictaean Cave

• Immerse yourself in legendary myths about Zeus and Europa, Theseus and the Labyrinth, as well as of Daedalus and Icarus

• Discover the award-winning Archaeological Museum of Heracleion, home to truly impressive exhibits, such as the striking black stone Bull’s Head rhyton and the bare-breasted snake goddess statuette from Knossos, or the acclaimed Phaistos Disc.

PERKS & OPTIONS

What is included in our programs?

  • 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
  • Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
  • Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
  • All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
  • Information material
  • Local taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the airport in Greece

Optional

  • Airfares to and from Greece
  • Any custom request


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