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Late Bronze Age (1500 BC-1100 BC)

fresco acrotiriThe peak of Minoan power was around 1550 BC, with outpost in the Cyclades, most notably on the island of Thira (later called Santorini), in the village of Akrotiri, on Milos (at Phylakopi), on Kythira (at Kastri), on Rhodes (Triandha), and in Miletus in Asia Minor.

Minoan goods were exported to Cyprus, Syria and Egypt, with depictions of Minoan emissaries appearing in Egyptian tomb paintings of the 18th dynasty, bearing precious gifts to the Pharaohs.

On the mainland of Greece, Minoan influence wa sseen in the art work, especially jewelry, gold vessels, and weapons found in the shaft graves at Mycenae.

wall fresco acrotiriThe destruction of the Minoan civilization is often attributed to the eruption of the volcano on the island of Thira, which is believed to have devastated not only its own Minoan outpost of Akrotiri, but all of the centers of Minoan civilization in Crete, with the exception of Knossos, due to enormous tidal waves and lingering volcanic ash fallout following the eruption.

Knossos too was destroyed, around 1380 BC , though the circumstances are unknown, b ut even before its destruction, the appearance of the new Linear B script in the archives of this city, indicated the Mycenaean influence, with takeover of the overseas outposts of Minoan trade by that rising power by the end of the 15th century BC.