Minoans and Myceneans – Maggy Simms

What was not to like on our Friday Evening talk – November 18th? Maggy Simms enthralled us with images of fabulous artefacts and made ancient history come to life. The discovery of Mycenae and Knossos by Schlieman and Arthur Evans respectively was unpicked, stunning wall paintings from Tiryns exhibited and new ideas exposed. The elite of these two civilisations were fabulously wealthy and as they traded and hung on to the coat tails of the three major powers of Babylon, Egypt and Hattusa they must have been the first people to experience globalization. Wealth led to the copying of cultural traditions, golden funereal face masks, the creation of palaces, the development of writing amongst other practices. Although strangely enough the writing encompassed lists of ‘stuff’ rather than ideas!
It is difficult as Maggy said, to avoid a comparison with the globalization that we have experienced over the past few decades and when one looks at todays superpowers and wealthy global elites, waves of immigrants seeking shelter and possible climate change which may have been factors in their demise, there are clear and worrying echoes that reflect back to those ancient tribes and times. However, this detracted not a jot from a very enjoyable and informative evening.