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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Minoan too; Unearthing Atlantis (book review)

Update 8/29: More for Minoans -- Love of the Goddess blog just posted a recommendation of Ode to Minoa by Theresa C. Dintino, a work of fiction set in ancient Crete. It looks good! Synchronicity at work, so I wanted to add the link to that review here. 
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Update 4/12: Here's a great blog post on Minoan art that has much to say about the culture.
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Thanks to the ever-witty Emily of  poesy galore for posting this great video by historyteachers (and look! many more there, by this artist), which in turn I share here. I've always felt a special connection with ancient Crete. I think I made a living as a sponge diver back then. That's always struck me as a wonderful way to earn a living, though I suppose many sponge divers might actually have been slaves in those days. Who knows. Anyway, enjoy the YouTube (link here in case this doesn't load for you) and Like it there.



A great civilization sitting on a volcano. Hmmmm... this has a familiar ring, a mythic power: Titanic, anyone? Ozymandias? Climate change?

I'll take this opportunity to recommend Unearthing Atlantis, by one of my all-time favorite authors, Charles Pellegrino. He argues very persuasively that Atlantis was the Minoan civilization. I reviewed it back in 1992 for SLJ (what appears below is adapted from that). I absolutely adored this book.

Unearthing Atlantis: An Archaeological Odyssey by Charles Pellegrino (1992) The legend of Atlantis has fired imaginations for thousands of years. The story was already old when Plato told his ``tale which, though strange, is certainly true.''
 Now readers have the good fortune to experience a thoroughly convincing solution to the ancient riddle. Pellegrino is a gifted storyteller who conveys the sense of wonder this tale demands, for the facts are as compelling as any fantasy. He is equally at home in a number of disciplines including geology, space science, archaeology, vulcanology, history, mythology, and Biblical exegesis, and all these perspectives are used to lead readers on a dazzling odyssey through time and thought as the clues are revealed.

As it turns out, Plato was surprisingly accurate, but I'll leave it to the reader to see how; Pellegrino has written an outstanding detective thriller here, and I don't want to spoil the suspense.

women from palace at Knossos (from Wikipedia)

1 comment:

Love of the Goddess said...

I've always been fascinated with Ancient Crete as well. Great video, and thanks for the book review. I've had that book on my wishlist on Amazon for quite some time. I'll definitely have to order it now! I agree that Ancient Crete was "Atlantis" too. Thanks for the link to the review on my blog :)

Blessings