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Hardcover The Secret of Crete (English and German Edition) Book

ISBN: 0026316005

ISBN13: 9780026316002

The Secret of Crete (English and German Edition)

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Format: Hardcover

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The secret of Crete is Wunderlich's attempt to resolve the paradoxes that have obsessed the archaeological world ever since Evan's spectacular find at the beginning of this century. This description may be from another edition of this product.

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Interpreting the past

"Thus the myth of the Minotaur, with its theme of human sacrifice, remained banished to regions of the unconscious where the spirits of the past await their hour to walk abroad. Then they burst forth, seize upon those who have bottled them up and force them to bloody acts in the name of ideologies, races and religions, urge them to autos-da-fé, show trials and concentration camps. Let us not deceive ourselves. Even in the most enlightened of centuries the heritage of the Stone Age still dwells within men. And it does not help at all to drive this sinister legacy into the abysses of the human psyche." (from Introduction). This is no dryasdust exposition but a passionately argued thesis that overflows its boundaries, as the excerpt above shows. Do we really look at the past blinkered by hidden fears and compulsions rather than calmly and dispassionately evaluate the evidence? Remember the lesson of Thucydides: we read history to deal with the present, not to escape to the past. Seeing the past is so much more helpful in this endeavor than inventing the past. Wunderlich's book does what every scientific book should do: it looks at the evidence and strives to interpret it. In the case of historical evidence, to interpret it in terms of the period under observation. It is obvious anthropology and archaeology are not history - the one studies bones, the other ruins. One cannot derive a history from fragmentary physical remains. Try doing so for a historical period and see - three people will come up with three different interpretations, and they will all be wrong. Yet every account of anthropology and archaeology attempts to create a history of mankind. In the case of Crete, Wunderlich has pointed out that the preponderant one, Evans', falls into a primary error, anachronism: it imagines a coherent picture of the culture (which archaeology itself cannot provide, in Crete as elsewhere) which is derived from Evans' own culture. Wunderlich sets out to compare what is known about Crete with what is known about other Bronze Age cultures, and uses myth, epic, religion, social mores, economics and social history to try and flesh out the evidence of ruined sites. His thesis is that the ruins of Knossos and elsewhere are of funerary temples. The layout and materials used are more in accord with this than is Evans' thesis of a summer palace. Wunderlich's thesis is also in accord with widespread Bronze Age religious practices, which accorded the cult of the dead a very great importance. Wunderlich gives many details, and quotes from many sources, ancient and modern. Much of what he uses has been ignored by other historians. Although a geologist, he commands great learning. The second part of his thesis concerns the place that Cretan culture played in the rise of modern European culture. The school of Evans sees it as a wonderful premonition of a 19th century western European civilisation snuffed out by barbarian invasion (a concept thought out just prior

Splish Splash, Minos Wasn't Takin' A Bath

Wunderlich got bad press for the ideas he promulgates in this book, even before it was published. His basic idea is that the so-called Minoan palaces were actually mausoleums, not dissimilar to saying that, like the Egyptians, Etruscans, and other ancient peoples, the Minoans put a great emphasis on the afterlife and their after death dwellings, and didn't leave behind well-preserved homes and the like.Wunderlich attributes the destruction of the palaces to graverobbing, and notes that at Knossos the bathtub-shaped sarcophagi were identified by Evans et al as bathtubs. Wunderlich sees the entire Knossos complex for what it apparently was -- a place for the embalming and storage of the dead nobility. That the internal architecture of some Etruscan tombs is identical with Minoan tombs which were made by a culture supposedly long gone nearly a thousand years earlier is pointed out by Wunderlich. He is however mystified by the similarity.In 1978 Barry Fell published translations of Etruscan, showing that it belonged to the Anatolian group of languages, including Minoan which is expressed in Linear A. Likewise, he noted the elements of the much later Petrachian sonnet in a surviving pre-Roman Etruscan inscription.Although Immanuel Velikovsky must have been unaware of these two developments, the elimination of the phony "dark age" of Greece in his reconstruction of history is consistent with and supported by both. It's interesting that in "Ramses II and His Time" (p 90, ISBN 1568490240) Velikovsky suggested that the "Hittite" library preserved an extensive library of Etruscan, since the misdating of the archive will have prevented such an identification."Removing the historical scene to where it belongs, namely, to the seventh and sixth centuries before the present era, we wonder which of these languages is Chaldean, which Phrygian, which Lydian, which Median, which perchance Etruscan, spoken by a people who came to Italy from Asia Minor... 'Hittite' was the language most commonly used during the Empire period. Modern scholarship found that Lydian 'seems to be Hittite' -- the Lydian and the 'Hittite' kingdoms were contemporary, and used the same language. Hurrian... is but a mistaken name for Carian."Other books of interest: Barry Fell's "America BC", "Saga America", and "Bronze Age America", and the Epigraphic Society Occasional Publications (vols 1 - 23). Also see my ListMania lists.
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