History of perfumes (part 2): Minoans in Egypt

Minoa and Ancient Egypt. Two cultures in Mediterranean Sea that they liked the perfumes.

For some 30 years an Austrian team from the University of Vienna headed by Prof. M. Bietak has been conducting excavations at the Eastern Nile Delta in Egypt. They discovered a large city containing palaces, cemeteries and ordinary houses. It was founded in the Middle Kingdom c. 2000 BC but it continued to flourish for at least another 1000 years. Some scholars identify this city with the ancient city of Avaris and the Biblical site of Piramese. Since Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt from this city, the site has attracted great interest. Yet the excavations did not reveal traces of Israelites in the Egyptian city but Minoans from the island of Crete. The palaces of Avaris were decorated with paintings that were clearly executed by Minoan Cretan artists. What were Minoans doing there? The answer to the riddle is still uncertain. The speaker will address the problem of the Minoans in Egypt, and show slides of the paintings they executed. Professor Marinatos will discuss the difficulties of restoration, and explore the Minoan ideology expressed through these paintings. She will also reflect on the historical links between Minoan Crete and Egypt around 1500BC. Nanno Marinatos is one of the world's foremost experts in Minoan culture. Nanno studied in the U.S. and Germany, and has made significant contributions in the study of Minoan and Greek religion through her books and articles. She has appeared on television, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, and Norwegian and German Television programs. She is currently a full professor of Classics and Mediterranean Studies at UIC.

Fragment of a Minoan fresco found in Avaris, Egypt.
This fresco is very similar to another fresco from Knossos, Crete.

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