Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday, May 2nd, Knossos


Knossos is unlike any other ancient ruin in the world.  Like other great cities, it was a ceremonial, administrative, and commercial hub. But it contains structural elements which are both far earlier than any others, and which support a civic design open to the general populace to a greater degree.  The four-story structure uses wooden columns to accommodate earthquakes.  It preceded by a thousand years the extensive use of sewer drainage, rainwater cisterns, an aqueduct, and clay drinking water pipes.  The architectural placement of its leadership residences, courtyards, sporting arenas, and theaters furthered civic integration and accessibility.

The power of nature, fertility, dance, and goddesses can't be over-stated.  Absent are the images and designs favoring warrior sacrifice, military campaigns, territorial conquest, and blood-letting.  The Minoans did not build fortifications around their cities.  They did not store weapons, nor maintain standing armies.  They built ships for commercial trading, and were the most dominant sea-faring force in the Mediterranean.

The clearest example of contrast is the veneration of bull-vaulting by women and men in elegant gymnastic exhibitions in the central courtyard.  The feeling I get from visiting the ruin is that this is the closest civilization to one that fits Sonoma County's lifestyles.  The wine-loving, peace-aspiring, freedom-fighting matriachal society I love would find a good home four thousand years ago on Crete.

To see the rest of the photo taken today, click on Tuesday, May 2nd, Knossos.


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