Crete is roughly the shape of Long Island; lies half way between Peloponnes and north Africa; and, with steep mountains, became popular in Neolithic times

Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and organic remains, offers some dates on the neolithic history of Crete. It is believed the neolithic period on Crete lasted from about 6800 to 3200BC. About 9000 or 8000 years ago, neolithic people that were farmers, with sheep, goat, and grains arrived on the island and were able to establish small settlements. Using local obsidian, and clay. They farmed, made advanced stone tools and sophisticated pottery.

Cretes early civilization did not know metallurgy yet. Many of the weapons, farming tools and art, were of obsidian, bones or clay and stone. Vindicating statuses, they shared and enjoyed small primitive carvings representing women. Different sculptures and pieces have been found on diverse places all over the island. Sharing an enjoyment, and perhaps even worship of the goddess of fertility. Too many, Crete was an advancement from the other Greek neolithic islands. Probably because it was closer to the eastern regions of Anatolia, Cilicie, and even Palestine. Included with Mochlos and Pseira. Some of the first ports, could have been established on Crete. Because of there location. Trade and commercializations would have been bigger.

Houses and neolithic evolution
Beginning with huts made of wooden pickets and hard pack ground surface. By the middle to late neolithic, stony walls and stronger beams became the commonplace. And, houses were now arranged with several rooms. Techniques of construction evolved, using bricks, stones, cobs; beautiful logs and masonry. Thru the end of the neolithic period, the population had significantly increased, and good looking architecture became an attraction.

Megafauna of Crete: Ice age, the pleistocene, & hunter gathers
Before neolithic times, and during the pleistocene. Native fauna of Crete included many. There was the pygmy hippo, pygmy elephant (paleoloxodon chaniensis), and dwarf deer (praemegaceros cretensis). Giant mouse (kritimys catreus); and insectivores; as well as, badger, beech marten and lutrogale cretensis. A kind of terrestrial otter. Instead of the larger carnivores, there was the almost flightless cretan owl. It was the apex predator. Most of these animals died out at the end of the last ice-age. It is believed hunter/gather humans played a significant part in this extinction. And, there knowledge, stories and location would have attracted others here.

Photo of a giant mouse’s mandibles, only its 1st and 2nd molars are visable

Did you know? In 2008 and 2009, in South Crete, scientists excavated, what they believed to be stone tools at least 130,000 years old. Which was a sensational discovery since most believed the earliest sea crossing was thought to occur around 12,000bc. The stone tools found in this, the Plakias region, included hand axes of the Acheulean type, that were made from quartz. It is now believed pre-homo sapiens or hominids crossed from Africa to Crete on rafts. And, currently, scholars are debating even later dated artifacts.

Undeciphered ‘Linear A’ script; Minoans, metallurgy; post neolithic natural disasters; and, disruption
Neolithic art and cultural influences are believed to originate and influence Crete from Egypt, the Cyclades (Greek islands) and middle east. Records were actually found on the island in a written undeciphered script known as ‘Linear A”. In combination with these scripts, archaeological records indicate Cretes superb palaces, houses, roads, paintings and sculptures. All of which originated in the neolithic period. During this time, main settlements of Knossos and Trapeza became well known. Crete was the center of Europes most ancient civilizations. And, during the late neolithic age, as commercialization and trade kept increasing. Metallurgy became more common. A peoples and culture called the Minoans, begin establishing themselves with even greater pottery, architecture, and style. Unfortunately, it was a earthquake around 1600bc; and, volcanic eruption in 1500bc. Followed by invasion, looting and fires from mainland Greeks, and others. That was there prehistoric downfall. Be sure to check out Crete, and some more neolithic architecture today.

Sources include: the atlantic, made in crete, wikipedia and google.