The glorious rise -- and mysterious fall -- of Europe’s first civilization
Best known for the myth of the Minotaur -- a monstrous half-man, half-bull imprisoned in Daedalus’s labyrinth -- Crete gave birth to Europe’s first civilization nearly 5,000 years ago, more than two millennia before Homer composed The Iliad. Then it collapsed in fire and violence.
Join historian Bettany Hughes as she follows the footsteps of Arthur Evans, Harriet Boyd, and other famed archaeologists to find startling new insights into Minoan culture. How did this ancient people live, worship, and prosper? Why did they build such magnificent palaces, complete with hinged doors, flush toilets, and elaborate warrens of rooms? What role did the daring, acrobatic bull-leapers play in society? And did the civilization finally succumb to natural disasters, foreign invaders, or religious strife? Fresh evidence excavated from sites all over Crete offers tantalizing clues to the everyday life -- and tragic destiny -- of the accomplished artisans and architects who lived at the crossroads of the ancient world.