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.

Varna Necropolis has the oldest gold treasures and jewelry in the world dating from 4200 to 4600bc

Internationally considered a significant site for pre-history and metallurgy. Its not only the large and 6000 year old gold treasures (including a penis sheath), but many other treasures from the area.

Discovery and excavation
In October 1972, excavator operator Raycho Marinov accidently discovered one of the greatest archaeological finds from the past 60 years. He contacted the local museum. What they found contained some of the most sophisticated examples of gold and copper metallurgy; pottery; high quality flint and obsidian blades; beads; and, shells from the Neolithic era, and Chalcolithic Varna culture.

Many of the sites graves did not contain a skeleton, but had great gifts. The empty graves actually had the richest gold artifacts. Three thousand gold artifacts were found. At a weight of approximately six kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch. It was initially identified as the grave of a prince, but is now thought to be that of the smith . It is the oldest cemetary where humans were buried with gold. The total gold at Varna Necropolis exceeds the amount found on earth from the period 7000-6000 years ago.

Museum finds
Nearbys Sredna Gora copper mine, and the mediterraneans spondylus shells were currency. Varna culture probably had huge trade relations with distant lands. Vindicated at this site. Chalcolithic Varna culture had some of the earliest sophisticated beliefs about status differences and afterlife.

Museum exhibitions
Since being on television, and touring the world. Many of Varna Necropolises artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum and at the National Historical Museum in Sofia.

Akrotiri (prehistoric city) was destroyed in the Theran eruption, in the 16th century, and buried and preserved in ash

Sleeping volcanos
There is a variety of evidence about the eruption that destroyed Akrotiri. It probably ocured between 1620 and 1530 BC.

Did you know? Records in material cultures, and unusual growth patterns of tree rings actually suggest there could have been multiple eruptions.

A small fishing and farming village. The earliest neolithic evidence in Akrotiri can be traced back as early as the fifth millennium BC.
As evidented by the pottery at the site, by the 3rd century, this community was thriving. Its growth begin neolithically with trade relations, in agriculture, farming, and pottery. And, its strategic position on the primary sailing route between Cyprus and Minoan Crete made it an important point trade route. Proven by the paved streets and extensive drainage system. Akrotiri prospered.

Excavation and location
The Akrotiri site is on the Greek island of Santorini. Paintings, pottery, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site.

F Fouque begain archaeological excavations in 1867. Extensive modern excavation was started in 1967 by Spyridon Marinatos. Akrotiri in the Bronze age was revealed. For the archaeologists (many of whom had no experience with volcaniclly barried cities), life became extremely challenging.

Frescoes (a painting done rapidly with water colour, on a plaster wall or ceiling, so the colours penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries)
The frescoes in Akrotiri are important for the study of art because they are well preserved. Almost of all the other paintings from this age are broken, and in small pieces. Paintings at Akrotiri include white, yellow, red, brown, blue and black. Popular Frescoes found standing included the Fisherman and the Lady from the House of Ladies.

Pottery was significant
Volcanic eruptions happen quick. Because people needed to get out, meant they could only take most valuable possessions. At Akrotiri, a lot of pottery was left behind.
Jars were used as containers. Things like stirrup jars were used for transportation. Archaeologists even found vessels for preparing and cooking food, eating and drinking and many others. It is believed some of the pottery at there included: bathtubs, braziers, oil lamps, bee-hives, and flower pots. The eruption did not spell well for wood.

Akrotiri today
Connecting the neolithic and modern world. There is a a cool mountain bike, and hiking path from the modern settlement to the parking lot of excavations at Akrotiri.

Cyclops Cave (Yioura)

Also called the Cave of the Cyclops, off the coast of Thessaly in Greece is the location of a uninhabited islet of Youra, in the Northern Sporades. Its archaeological site has evidence of human occupation through the mesolithic and late neolithic periods. Later material, such as roman lamps were discovered there.

Led by Adamantios Sampson, beginning in 1992 and continuing into 1996, a team completed a digging project. The more general purpose was to clarify the prehistoric occupation sequence in the area. There was emphasis on the pre-pottery sequences from the Late Pleistocene, mesolithic, and neolithic periods. Ceramic fragments of painted pottery dated to 6000 BC and 5500 BC were found. Other evidence of human occupation, included remains of sheep and goats were found there. Excavation of layers from the Mesolithic period dated ash and charcoal, an abundance of animal, bird, and fish bones, shells, scales, and even a human skull. In this layer were also tools such as millstones and grinders, fish-hooks made from bone and other bone tools. They also found a small number of tools made from obsidian and siliceous rocks.

Time of our lives 2: Boats

Tens of thousands of years ago, the idea of building different types of water transport started. Like log rafts, bundle (or boyant) rafts; and, log, plank, bark, hide, pottery, bundle, or basketry boats. It may have originated in one area. And, from there, ballooned out.

What are prehistoric boats?

The earliest log boat is dated to the eighth millennium BC.
There are only a few hundred log boats worldwide before 1500, though man rebuilt many. Perhaps there are some still at bottoms of bodies of water.

The earliest plank boat went to the five thousand years ago.
There are a hundred well documented plank boat and ship remains from before 1500.

There are no excavated examples of the other five basic types of boat: hide, bark, bundle, basket, or pottery.
No bundle or buoyed rafts; and

Only five documented log rafts. The earliest from Roman times.

How do you think elders got to south, central and southern North America 15, 16, or even 18,000 and more years ago? And what explains the lack of data for some of the most commonly known boats?

Our knowledge is also very much biased towards planked boats and ships.

It is also biased towards Europe. Why is this?

8 general characteristics of the neolithic revolution:

The neolithic revolution, was also called the pottery, agricultural, farming, ranching, art, tool making and building revolution. It was amazing. Scientists believed the earth entered a warming trend around 14,000 years ago. And, wild grains begin to grow more rapidly. Neolithic humans, who used stone tools like earlier ancestors. Were then able to farm, produce food, and eat better. And, during this, develop new techniques. Like pottery kilns, ovens; artwork; and, build proper houses with foundations. It marked a great transition in human history from small, nomadic bands to larger, more powerful agricultural settlements. It was when early human civilizations got better.
Believed to start out around 12,000 years ago, in the Fertile Crescent. This area was a boomerang-shaped region of the Middle East. Humans found the grains, harvested them, and built the more advanced ovens and pottery. To first progress farming. Shortly after these dates and periods. Humans in other parts of the world, were practicing agriculture. The neolithic age was one of the greatest stages of the planet. As, civilizations grew, places grew, and out of it came some of the greatest innovations, people and cultural practices. Here are 8:

The ‘fertile crescent’ by 9500 years ago

1 Possible beginnings: To begin with, the influx of wild grains, as well as, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, allowed easments in agriculture. According to researcher Gordon Childe, the Fertile Crescent, was evidence of one, or one of the main starting points of the neolithic revolution. In 1935, he claimed, that around 12,000 years ago, humans changed. We begin cultivating plants, breeding animals (and ranching), for food and permanent settlements. History tells us too. We went from small, nomadic groups to larger, agricultural settlements that formed early civilizations. Around 10,000 BC in the Fertile Crescent, a boomerang-shaped region of the Middle East. Humans started a new era. This region covered a area of Egypt from the Nile Valley (Africa) to Mesopotamia. Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Asia). Between the periods of 12000 and 10000 years ago. (pic) The ‘fertile crescent’, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the east by the Persian Gulf. Was where wild wheat and barley began to grow. And, pre-Neolithic people called Natufians begin taking what they could from the region, and building permanent homes.

Did you know? Some of the earliest evidence of farming comes from the archaeological site of Tell Abu Hureyra, a small village located along the Euphrates River in modern Syria. The village was inhabited from roughly 11,500 to 7,000 BC. Inhabitants of Tell Abu Hureyra initially hunted gazelle and other game. Around 9,700 BC, it was found that they began to harvest wild grains. Several large stone tools for grinding grain have been found at the site.

2 Agriculture: The cultivation of cereals gained relevance, especially rye, wheat and barley. It is believed, however, that they were not the first species to be cultivated. Legumes date to more ancient cultivations, and also fruit trees in Asia, and other continents. The use of ferments and yeasts, responsible for making bread, dairy products and, consequently, alcoholic beverages became popular during the neolithic era. Neolithic farmers selected food and crops that grew and harvested easily. And, when the climate continually kept warming. Around 14,000 years ago, the grains and beverages became more readily available. For example, wild wheat falls to the ground and shatters when it is ripe. Early humans noticed this, begin harvesting making bread and porridge. Shortly after this same time, it is believed Asiatics started to harvest rice and millet more easily too. Even, after this, around 9000 years ago, in Mexico, squash cultivation began, and maize-like crops were emerging. There was no single factor that would have led humans to begin farming plants, grains. Though, climate change probably helped. The causes of the Neolithic revolution and agriculture varied from region to region.

3 Ranching: Along time ago, the first animal to enter the human habitat was the dog. Not long after, the pig occupied a leading place in livestock too. And, the neolithic revolutions domestication of animals continued. Sheep, cattle and goats wee bread. It constituted a fundamental pillar in the natural production of what you see today. In Central Asia, domestication of horses, as well as water buffalo and yak occurred. Poultry and birds were domesticated. Cats. There is information on insects, even being domesticated. For example, as beekeeping, sericulture, and/or as fishing bait(s). When the became too much, and as commercializations and trade increased, draft animals like oxen, donkeys and camels appeared. Though it was later, around 6 or 8000 years ago.

4 Invention of textiles: While being pre-supported by knowledge of animal cultivation, archeologists discovered many garments made from linen, wool and animal fur. It is in the neolithic revolution when looms were created, and the first tools were used to weave and sew.

5 Reduction of lithic elements (stone work): Which allowed greater strength and standardized production methods to create more tools. For example, arrowheads, spears, knives, fishing hooks, axes, cutting and grinding stones, were all perfected during the neolithic revolution.

6 Creation of ceramics: During the Neolithic revolution, the reduction of lime, and blast furnaces were invented. Pottery, artistically decorated pottery and ceramic pottery became widely available.

7 A special relationship with others, and the land began: The cycle of life and death, fertility; including animistics, religion, and writing started and was developed during the neolithic era. Homes, and families begin sharing private living spaces. One example is 9500 years ago in Çatalhöyük, in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). It was when some of the earliest mud brick buildings and villages are found preserved. The homes were clustered in such a small areas, kind of like metropolitans nowadays. Houses were built so close together, they had roof top entries (pic). Almost 10,000 years ago, it is estimated as many as 8000 people lived here. Perhaps being one of the earliest relationships humans, and communities had with the land. See Also: Jericho (link).

8 Emergence of private property: The work of farmers, agriculture; reduction, blast, art and pottery; and, building of homes. Requires a lot of effort and time. It makes sense the premises during these times, private properties and its protection laws begun.

Supported by pottery, agricultural, farming, ranching, art, tool making and building. The neolithic revolution turned the key into establishing permanent settlements. They begin having larger family sizes and a community. Alternatively, though, it secured the way for the innovations such as metallurgy. And, in the copper and bronze age. When metal smithing begin. It wasn’t enough for people. Wars and art swept the way. Though, included with that, through commercializations, trade, and conquests. Was reminiscent of a magnificent revolution. Lets hear it for the neolithic age. Most say, one of the greatest periods Earth will ever see.

The Development of Agriculture; National Geographic.
The Seeds of Civilization; Smithsonian Magazine. Editors