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"The Secret of Crete" - the ancient world's strangest mystery solved?

by Hans Georg Wunderlich.

Paperback, 1976, 320 pages, includes bibliography, index, and photographs on glossy paper pages.

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The Palace of Minos at Knossos, with its 1200 rooms and gorgeous murals, has perplexed the archaeological world ever since its discovery in 1900.

Is this the mysterious labyrinth where Theseus slew the legendary Minotaur? Or could it be the heart of the fabled Atlantis, destroyed by volcanic eruption and tidal waves nearly 4,000 years ago?

Fascinated by what he saw on a visit to Crete in 1970, Professor Wunderlich set out to solve the mystery of the Minoan civilisation.

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Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europe's oldest city. In its peak the Palace and the surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1700 BC. The excavations in Knossos began in AD 1900 by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851–1941) and his team, and they continued for 35 years. The palace was excavated and partially restored under the direction of Arthur Evans in the earliest years of the 20th century. Its size far exceeded his original expectations, as did the discovery of two ancient scripts, which he termed Linear A and Linear B, to distinguish their writing from the pictographs also present. Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet by several centuries. The oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1450 BC. It was deciphered, by English architect and self-taught linguist Michael Ventris in 1951-53.

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