Trade and economy is an essential part to all countries and especially for governments, even if they are mucking it up. The concept of trading is not new. Before currency was invented, people bartered. The problem with bartering was getting something of equal value. That was a skill that required making a person believe they really wanted the object or livestock. Does this ring any bells? The early forms of sales and marketing. The Minoans, like other ancient civilisations, were industrious and traded various goods.
One of the Minoans major exports was timber, hard to believe today if you’ve seen the current landscape of Crete. Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, the Aegean islands and mainland Greece were their biggest importers of harvested timber. They also exported food, wine, grapes, olive oil, cloth, herbs and purple dye.
As big as their exporting was, they also imported goods, such as: precious stones, copper, ivory, silver, and gold. The trading business was extensive, all the way to Spain, Britain, central Europe and Iran, where tin was mined.
The location of Crete enabled the rulers take advantage of the trade routes between civilisations from the Middle East, and Asia Minor to the western provinces. This strategic vantage allowed the Minoans to become a sea power, central to international maritime trade. The constant traffic between the trade networks fostered industrialisation, where taxes were imposed and goods manufactured. Specialised items such as bronze weapons and armour were forged due to access to raw materials—bronze and tin.
The trade of goods saw an expansion in the Minoan culture and the rise of palaces, and the construction of two and three storey homes. It appeared the Minoans found fortune with the export and import business. The development of bronze workers, wall painters, potters, and other artisans flourished in the burgeoning palace workshops; a centralised governing body who regulated the manufacturing and sales of goods produced. It would seem the proverb “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is never truer.
The impact of Minoan culture spread across the Mediterranean, along the coast of Asia Minor, to Italy and Sicily and on the Canaanites. However, significant impact was on the Mycenaean culture. Evidence of their influence can be seen in the wall friezes, pottery, dress and most notably, the palaces. A great documentary on Pavlopetri, a sunken city, was a coastal town on the southern fringes of the Peloponnese, shows how much the Minoans shaped the development of the township and of the artistry of the pottery, and goods.
It was a pity that an amazing and powerful civilisation such as the Minoans, did not endure, for I believe western civilisation would be very different today.
What do you think? If the Minoans hadn’t declined in power, how would you envision the West today?
Thank you for stopping by and reading. Your comments are always welcomed and read.
Geography and Economy of Crete, Ancient Greece.org http://ancient-greece.org/history/minoan.html
The Minoans were the first Europeans to have literate civilization, Time Maps http://www.timemaps.com/civilization/Minoan-civilization
The Minoans: International Trade, Colonies, and Shipping, The Stream of Time http://antiquatedantiquarian.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/the-minoans-international-trade.html
Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet. Subscribe and receive free PDFs and more http://eepurl.com/brIbFf