Aegean Civilization - Describes the similiarities and differences of the Minoan, Cycladic, and Mycenaean cultures, including specific works of art.

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Aegean Civilization

During the Second and Third millennia BC, Aegean civilizations include three related yet diverse cultures. These cultures include the Minoan culture located on the island of Crete, the Cycladic culture located on the Cyclades Islands north of Crete, and the Mycenaean culture located on the mainland of Greece. Although there were many differences, there were many mutual traditions and styles (Janson 92).

Not much is known about the Cycladic civilization except what has been learned from the art they left behind. Around 2800 BC, Cycladic female nudes made of marble are described as "Generally they have a flat, wedge-shaped body; a strong columnar neck; a tilted oval shield of a face; and a long ridge like nose" (Janson 93). The Cycladic sculptors then embraced a new style. The newer sculptures were of nude female figures that lacked the full figure appearance and instead portrayed narrow hips and petite breasts.

This change is believed to be related to a change in religious beliefs (Janson 94).

The Minoan civilization was the most prosperous and extraordinary. There are many stages of their civilization that materialize then vanish suddenly. The theory behind these sudden changes is archaeological disasters and historical forces (Janson 94). The Minoan people were undeterred by these disasters. When earthquakes destroyed the Minoan palaces, which occurred at least three times, the Minoans rebuilt them, each more impressive then the previous palace. One of the more remarkable palaces was the Knossos. The Knossos was covered with beautiful wall paintings of images of nature, showing the Minoans love of nature.

The Minoans were a peaceful people. They had no need for walls or fortresses since their island location provided them with a view of all their surroundings, enabling them to see attackers well in advance.

Minoan statues were very impressive in...