The Much Wider Minoan Presence

James Thomas
Aug 5, 2011 · 10 min read

As can be seen in figures.24b., .25., .27., 28 and .29. we have a clear similarity to the patterns shown on The Medinet-Habu Friezes (figures 8 Through to 11) of the Sea Peoples warrior body armour and the two warriors, though it must be added that the lines depicted on the two warriors from figures, 24b., .25. and .28. could also represent the ribs of a bear-chested warrior, the question is would, not just from a purely artistic stand point of view , a warrior when battling real or mythical creatures go into battle without body armour of sorts, as represented by the way that culture perceived its heroes. The possible answer is that if figures depicting Lion hunts from daggers found at Mycenae, (see figure.24a), do then is it plausible to assume, I use the word assume lightly here, that the figures from Cyprus did also.

Here again arises the daunting prospect of having to analyse a specific item and class it as having been fully understood, it is one thing to suggest at the possibility of segmented body armour, bronze, stiffened-leather or otherwise and another to say it was conclusively so. All are possible and plausible and may very well be so, but , airing on the side of caution here will help prevent falling into the pitfalls of assuming or wanting to believe it so because we need a definitive set of answers that satisfies everyone.

The warriors in figures 24b,25 and 28 do show striking similarities with the warriors from the Land and Sea Battle Friezes and within the context of this narrative are quite likely to been displaying some manner of body armour albeit stylized, but to say that the inverted V-bands are a verification of the use of segmented body armour without first considering the possibility that it is not is what I and the reader should attempt to keep in mind not being a very logical and common sense approach to analysing ancient artefacts.

How we interpret images from artefacts and what the images really show should be considered here with the utmost care, as with the example of Huxley’s Cimmerians in mind, a single misinterpretation can lead to a whopping great disparity from perceived to actual and lead us down completely the wrong path, and all that this implies, in Huxley’s Cimmerians case about 3000 years of going down the wrong road!”

Figure.24a. Dagger depicting Lion Hunting Scenes from Mycenae, Greece.

Figure.24b.Another Ivory Mirror-Handle scene depicting a Warrior attacking a lion, Kouklia (Palaepaphos) Cyprus.

Figure.25.Close-up of Warrior attacking a Phoenix, scene from a pair of Ivory Mirror-Handles, Enkomi, Cyprus.

Figure.26.Close-up of a Lion Attacking a bull, scene from the pair of Ivory Mirror-Handles, Enkomi, Cyprus.

Figure.27a.Close-up of the Warrior from Figure.25.

This now leads us to Figure.28. (another Ivory handle warrior from Enkomi) Which clearly shows very close proximity with the Sea Peoples warrior helmet from Medinet-Habu, with neck guard, chin strap, possible horizontal bronze decorated band and vertical strips representing bands of stiffened leather and the familiar inverted V-band design across the chest possibly representing segmented body armour. Figure.27a shows us on closer inspection just how close the representation of the inverted V-bands are to those of Medinet Habu, both warriors in figures 27a and 28 being clean shaven, another clear indication of likelihood and plausibility of their connection with the warriors from the land and sea battle friezes at Medinet Habu.

It is interesting to note that in figure 30, which shows the collection of ivory pieces that are described here, that both clean shaven and bearded warriors are included from the same collection, this could represent two distinct factions one possibility is that the bearded warriors represent Mycenaeans and the clean-shaven representing Minoans both Allied during the period traditionally given over to the Trojan War and showing a possible adoption by Mycenaeans from Greece and Cyprus of Minoan military equipment.

The idea that both bearded and clean-shaven warriors adorned with the same arms and armour both originating from Crete seems rather counter intuitive, especially when there are no artistic images of regularity or repeated similarity of Minoans as anything other than clean-shaven and with a very distinctive appearance.

Figure.27b. A general map indicating the extent of the Luwian Language across southern and central Asia Minor.

Figure.27c.The Trojan Royal Family Lineage, Scamander as The progenitor of the Royal Lineage is Clearly evident. From ‘Age of Bronze Volume 1 : A thousand Ships’, By Eric Shanower.

Of course the Lineage of the Trojan Family is well documented but what is not shown and well known is the origins of Scamander, on closer inspection it clearly shows where Troy clearly took its most common titles from, firstly Troy from Tros son of Erichthonius and Astyoche and Then Sacred Ilios from the son of Tros and Callirhoe– Ilus.

Here I must draw delibrate attention to the real name of Priam — Podarkes, Priam being a title given to mean captive.

It is also the Name of the brother of the first Mycenaean Warrior to fall at Troy-Iolaus.

Strange to think that Trojans and Myceneans both shared the same names, since we are given to believe that the Minoans and the Myceneans were’diferent’ peoples,that’s unless Mycenaeans and Trojans, (Cretans), did share some common lineage that has been obviously overlooked. The fact that the Minoan Linear-B script when deciphered was found to be written in an archaic yet abrupt form of Greek would be conclusion enough.

An interesting point that has to be mentioned and that has not been dealt with is the ethnicity of the Trojans. There has been much hype about the language of the Trojans as Luwian, a predominant Anatolian dialect spoken by such Peoples as the Hittites. This conclusion has been derived from the find of a single seal with Luwian inscriptions Located at Troy but could to all intense and purposes be a seal from Hittite trade goods or such as a single seal does not make for the identification of a bygone peoples language alone and should not be inferred as such.

Figure.27.d. A specific representation as to the geographical distribution of the Bronze Age Languages of Asia Minor.

It must be said that until there is a decipherment of the Linear-A script we won’t know how close Minoan Linear-A is to Luwian , if at all. What is clear from both Fures 27b and 27d is the complete absence of Luwian in the region of Phrygia known as the Troad and as the Location of Troy itself.

Yet if we read in the Historicities about the the Trojan royal family and the inhabitants of Troy itself you will find a rather revealing connection with the Minoans and what is literally staring us in the face, and what the historicities have always told us, though archaeologists to some extent seem to overlook or completely ignore — that as stated that Scamander migrates from Crete, and begins the Kingdom of Troy in around 1546 B.C.!

Even, allowing for a discrepancy in the dating to give us a date of say 1550 B.C, with the fall of Troy now put around 1250 B.C we have some 6 generations from Scamander, Erichthronius, Tros, Ilus, Laomedon and Podarkes occupying a period of 300 years.

That would give a period of some 60 years per generational rule, assuming that there are errors in the dating which are not accounted for of say 50 to 100 years for the sake of argument then we have a 200 to 250 year span of 6 generations of Royal lineage on the throne of Troy of around 33 to42 years duration each, noting that each successor would not have ascend the throne until such time as their fathers’ death or such similar event and how such a Patriarchal society chose the period of leadership amongst its ruling Royal elite.

Scamander was the son of Corybas and Demodice, who brought a colony from Crete into Phrygia, and settled at the foot of mount Ida, where he introduced the festivals of Cybele, and the dances of the Corybantes. He sometime after lost the use of his senses and threw himself into the river Xanthus, which ever after bore his name — the river Scamander. His son-in-law Teucer succeeded him in the government of the colony.

We are now clearly told where the Trojans of the Epic Cycle come from — Crete, which precludes any ambiguity as to their language or Cultural identity. We cannot pick and choose what we include in such material and it is important the Archaeologists don’t either, for I find this to be fatal objection.

To avoid such recorded history because it is wrapped in a mythological shroud does not reduce an event and its peoples credibility of existence, more that those looking at it from an archaeological point of view realise just how significant and vital to understanding such events this kind of recorded history can prove to be, by its very nature you cannot prove or disprove the Origins of Scamander but by doing so you might as well throw doubt at the entire collected and recorded history of mankind just because there is no physical evidence left or available to prove or disprove the argument.

As far as I am aware of this is something you do not hear mentioned, why, I do not know and cannot say, what I do understand is that it is intrinsically tied in with the Iliad and yet the Iliad is analysed and debated about ad infinitum where as,, although you see a great deal of the Trojan Lineage you do not hear of the origins of the founding Royal family and their people.

What dose seem more likely is that the Minoan culture was far more widespread and established on the coast of Asia Minor and the Isles of the Aegean than previously thought and that what we are seeing in terms of the friezes at Medinet Habu are the progress of successive waves, over several generations, of peoples with the same ethnicity but with localised customary differences in facial adornment stemming from the different regions of the Aegean and coastal Anatolia in which they settled, all culminating in the eventual colonizing of the coast of what was later to become Philistia.

Figure.28.Scene depicting an almost identical figure from a similar Ivory from Enkomi, Cyprus.

Figure.29.A close-up of Figure.24. Ivory Mirror-Handle showing a warrior attacking a lion, Kouklia, Cyprus.

Figure.30.The Ivory Draught-Box and two Ivory Mirror-Handles : Enkomi ( the other side and ends are shown separately).

On a closing note for this instalment I think it would be interesting for the biblical sources to make an appearance here this being a extract from Trude Dothan’s book ‘The Philistines and their Material Culture’ 1967.

The biblical sources pertaining to the origin of the philistines are few and often unclear. The earliest appears in the “Table of Nations” in Genesis 10:14: “And Pathrusim and Casluhim ( out of whom came the Philistim), and Caphtorim.”

The meaning of this verse seems to be “and Caphtorim — out of whom came the Philistines.” According to the table, all these peoples (including the Caphtorim and Philistines) originated in Egypt. Even though the biblical Historiographer must have been acquainted with the Philistines and the territory of Philistia, he nonetheless regarded them as having originated in Egypt, probably because the Philistines and other Sea People were first settled in Egypt after their defeat by Ramasses III and served as mercenaries in the Egyptian army.

In other biblical references the Philistines appear as synonymous with or parallel to the Cherethites (that is, Cretans); hence it isi clear that they were thought to have a common ethnic origin. Zephaniah equates the land of the Philistines with the nation of the Cherethites (Zeph, 2:5), and for Ezekiel the two names are also synonymous (Ezek, 25:16).

The most direct biblical references to Philistine origins are found in Amos 9:7 and Jeremiah 47:4, where the Isle of Caphtor is mentioned as their homeland. Various biblical traditions suggest that the Caphtorim are to be identified with the Cherethites , or at least with some of them.

According to one such tradition, the Caphtorim were among the Sea Peoples who settled on the southern Palestinian coast. Thus the biblical sources (with the exception of the “Table of Nations”) identifies Caphtor with Crete and suggested that the Philistines originated in Caphtor-Crete.


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