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The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes – The Minoans

In this fascinating feature-length documentary historian Bettany Hughes continues her history of the Ancient World with a visit to Crete to recount one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made. The story of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth is perhaps the most compelling of all Greek myths. Just over 100 years ago, English archaeologist Arthur Evans went to the ‘Minotaur’s Island’ to explore the roots of this myth and discovered instead a sophisticated Bronze Age civilisation that had been lost to history for thousands of years. He called them The Minoans, and the riches of their culture astonished the world, prompting Evans to proclaim them the first civilisation of the Western World. But was this view unduly romantic? In the past decade, new archaeological discoveries have added fascinating layers of complexity to the picture originally painted by Evans.

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