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Even the basic chronology of the region during this time has been heatedly debated.Now, a resolution has finally emerged -- initiated, quite literally, by an olive branch.The new results suggest that the sophisticated and powerful Minoan civilization (featured in the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur) and several other pre-Homeric civilizations arose about a century earlier and lasted for longer than previously thought.The new timeframe also downplays Egypt’s role in the region, suggesting that the cultures of the Levant, the stretch of land that includes Syria, Israel and Palestine, may have been a more important outside influence.
Excavations yield no human remains, and few personal belongings. The people on Thera saw disaster coming and they cleared out in time. Our eyes naturally turn to Minoan civilization on Crete. The Minoans vanished not long after, and were replaced by Greek Mycenaeans. The sun had to've been blotted out for days, and great tsunamis swept the Eastern Mediterranean. The Akrotiri peninsula (top left) was an area of major Bronze Age settlement that was destroyed but preserved by a massive volcanic eruption, which has now been dated to the 17th century B.C., a century earlier than previously thought., the civilizations that flourished in the eastern Mediterranean just before Homer’s time are still cloaked in mystery.