The Ancient Minoans and Mycenaeans
The Greeks trace their culture back to two earlier cultures known as the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. The Minoans were named after the legendary King Minos. A large palace had been discovered at Krossos on the island of Crete. It is believed to have been built around 2000 B.C. The Minoans grew grapes, grain, and olives and traded with the Greeks, Egyptians, and others in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The Mycenaeans were from the Peloponnesian Peninsula. They invaded and conquered the Minoans on Crete. The most famous of the Mycenaean kings was named Agamemnon. He was a key figure in the Trojan War, as retold in Homer’s poem the Iliad. The Mycenaeans were then conquered by the Dorians. This began the period in Greek history known as the Dark Ages.