Although I am planning to continue the Will Rees mystery series, I also want to begin a new and very different series. These mysteries will be set in Ancient Bronze Age Crete.
Needless to say, the research has been intense!
I have learned so much. (There is still a lot more to learn, not just for me but for the archeologists too. All that we know now is from the archeological record, myths and various interpretations.)
But I digress.
These ancient Minoans were a civilized society with indoor toilets, beautiful art, and some very intriguing cultural differences. For one thing, they worshipped a Goddess and appear to be matrilineal as well as matrilocal. (That means inheritance went through the mother and when she married the man lived with her.) They worshipped snakes and apparently snake handling was part of the ceremonies.
Like most of the Goddesses then, she was the deity of fertility. Women enjoyed a high rank, something that many of the early archeologists found hard to believe.
The bull was revered. A symbol of the male principle, the bull was sacrificed at important ceremonies. Yes, this is the culture with bull-leaping. Probably most people know of this from the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur in the labyrinth. It turns out that the people who became the Classical Greeks interpreted the Minoan culture through the lens of their own beliefs.
More on this next week.