Knossos Evans v Wunderlich

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Barry Aitchison

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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I wonder if anyone could help me with a query I have on Knossos.
As an amateur, I have followed the classic tales of Schliemann and Evans
and delighted in their swashbuckling science. I read of Evans digging
Knossos from the earth of ages and formulating this idea of a grand city.
His reconstructions amused the world and set Paris society on fire with the
images of the fashion of a lost world.
Then I discovered a book by Hans Georg Wunderlich, not an archeologist
but a geologist who visited the site of Knossos as a tourist and was struck
by certain anomolies in Evan's theory.
e.g. The floors were made of albaster, a soft stone.
As a geologist, Wunderlich realised that it was not a stone for heavy
duty use, as might be expected in a busy palace. Yet, the stone was largely
unworn... except for the roped off areas where tourists walked.
He listed this and many other anomolies in a book, "The Secret of Crete"
(Macmillan NY 1974) and proposes that Knossos was not a city for the living
but for the dead.
My question is: has has anyone read Wunderlich's book? If so, does he
have any credence in professional circles? Who is right, Evans or
Wunderlich?
Thank you in advance for your attention.

Anopheles
email = tryh...@netdocs.com
For contact remove the try


Chrisso Boulis

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Barry Aitchison (hi...@netdocs.com) wrote:
: I wonder if anyone could help me with a query I have on Knossos.

: As an amateur, I have followed the classic tales of Schliemann and Evans
: and delighted in their swashbuckling science. I read of Evans digging
: Knossos from the earth of ages and formulating this idea of a grand city.
: His reconstructions amused the world and set Paris society on fire with the
: images of the fashion of a lost world.
: Then I discovered a book by Hans Georg Wunderlich, not an archeologist
: but a geologist who visited the site of Knossos as a tourist and was struck
: by certain anomolies in Evan's theory.
: e.g. The floors were made of albaster, a soft stone.

First of all, the floors are not made of albaster, per se. It's a common
misidentification that even a geologist would make if they didn't to
testing of the chemical structural composition (which I seriously doubt
Wunderlich did).

Basically, they used a calcium cabonate stone - range from crappy to
high grade limestone; the "pretty stuff" is generally called alabaster
(term used exclusively for vases by archaeologists), gypsum (local stone
used in architecture) or marble (really nice imported stuff for
architecture). "Gypsum" which is what Wunderlich identified as
"alabaster" is extremely common throughout Greece and is STILL
used for flooring in modern houses where people live and walk today.

From a geological perspective limestone, marble, gypsum are all soft
stone when compared to basalt or granite. But limestone, marble and
gypsum are much harder than plaster or clay which were also used in
the bronze age, classical age, etc. etc. It's kind of relative.

: As a geologist, Wunderlich realised that it was not a stone for heavy


: duty use, as might be expected in a busy palace. Yet, the stone was largely
: unworn... except for the roped off areas where tourists walked.

Yes, but what Wunderlich is NOT taking into consideration is the
difference in volume between modern and ancient "heavy traffic."
Like say - 1000 pairs of feet trampling a floor over a month vs over a
single day. 12,000 feet per year vs 365,000 feet per years, etc. etc.

How much "traffic" did the acropolis get in Classical Athens - simply
"A LOT" but it compares in no way to the amount of traffice the hill
gets in a single day thanks to volume of tourist per day over the last
100 years. Hey - they put down wood flooring to protect the limestone
bedrock hill from eroding away (the bronze age masons marks have all but
vanished in 40 years).

: He listed this and many other anomolies in a book, "The Secret of Crete"


: (Macmillan NY 1974) and proposes that Knossos was not a city for the living
: but for the dead.
: My question is: has has anyone read Wunderlich's book? If so, does he
: have any credence in professional circles? Who is right, Evans or
: Wunderlich?

Funny thing is that I haven't read Wunderlich's book. But I have
gone over Evan's reports (at length) and Colin Renfrew's reanalysis of
the place as a market-place vs a palace and several other recent
discussions.

If his whole discussion is centered on building materials then it's
a little weak since those same building materials have been consistently
used through the entire country for centuries.

I have read some spatial analysis stuff for Knossos but don't recall
any figures on the number of people who actually called it home.
I'm speculating here but I'd guess 100 people lived at Knossos proper
and maybe another 200-300 came and went on regular basis. And
maybe 500 for special events (based on the little theater area).
That is not a lot of people by modern standard but probably heavy
for the Bronze Age.

C.E.S. Boulis
UPMAA

mich...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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I haven't read the book by Wunderlich myself, but from time to time
alternative interpretations like this surface. Knossos has been interpreted
as a necropolis, temple complex or palace of a monarch (see, for example R.
Castleden, Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete, London & New York 1990), beside
the academically prevalent views. Although we do not understand the
function(s) of the minoan palaces completely, some suggestions are more sound
than others. There are several indications that the palaces, at least during
the later Bronze Age (Middle Minoan IIB-Late Minoan IIIA2), functioned
primarily as both administrative (economical and political(?)) and religious
hubs in a socially complex environment.

If you are really interested, I suggest you start with: The Function of the
Minoan Palaces. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium at the
Swedish Institute in Athens, 10-16 June, 1984. Swedish Institute in Athens, R.
Hägg & N. Marinatos, eds.,Stockholm 1987. There you can also find additional
references to pertinent studies.

Cheers

Michael Lindblom
Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient History
Uppsala University, Sweden

In article <3659d...@news.syd.att.net.au>,


"Barry Aitchison" <hi...@netdocs.com> wrote:
> I wonder if anyone could help me with a query I have on Knossos.
> As an amateur, I have followed the classic tales of Schliemann and Evans
> and delighted in their swashbuckling science. I read of Evans digging
> Knossos from the earth of ages and formulating this idea of a grand city.
> His reconstructions amused the world and set Paris society on fire with the
> images of the fashion of a lost world.
> Then I discovered a book by Hans Georg Wunderlich, not an archeologist
> but a geologist who visited the site of Knossos as a tourist and was struck
> by certain anomolies in Evan's theory.
> e.g. The floors were made of albaster, a soft stone.

> As a geologist, Wunderlich realised that it was not a stone for heavy
> duty use, as might be expected in a busy palace. Yet, the stone was largely
> unworn... except for the roped off areas where tourists walked.

> He listed this and many other anomolies in a book, "The Secret of Crete"
> (Macmillan NY 1974) and proposes that Knossos was not a city for the living
> but for the dead.
> My question is: has has anyone read Wunderlich's book? If so, does he
> have any credence in professional circles? Who is right, Evans or
> Wunderlich?

> Thank you in advance for your attention.
>
> Anopheles
> email = tryh...@netdocs.com
> For contact remove the try
>
>

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akes...@gmail.com

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Dec 20, 2018, 10:13:31 AM12/20/18
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On Monday, November 23, 1998 at 7:00:00 PM UTC+11, Barry Aitchison wrote:
> I wonder if anyone could help me with a query I have on Knossos.
> As an amateur, I have followed the classic tales of Schliemann and Evans
> and delighted in their swashbuckling science. I read of Evans digging
> Knossos from the earth of ages and formulating this idea of a grand city.
> His reconstructions amused the world and set Paris society on fire with the
> images of the fashion of a lost world.
> Then I discovered a book by Hans Georg Wunderlich, not an archeologist
> but a geologist who visited the site of Knossos as a tourist and was struck
> by certain anomolies in Evan's theory.
> e.g. The floors were made of albaster, a soft stone.
> As a geologist, Wunderlich realised that it was not a stone for heavy
> duty use, as might be expected in a busy palace. Yet, the stone was largely
> unworn... except for the roped off areas where tourists walked.
> He listed this and many other anomolies in a book, "The Secret of Crete"
> (Macmillan NY 1974) and proposes that Knossos was not a city for the living
> but for the dead.
> My question is: has has anyone read Wunderlich's book? If so, does he
> have any credence in professional circles? Who is right, Evans or
> Wunderlich?
> Thank you in advance for your attention.
>
> Anopheles
> email = tryh...@netdocs.com
> For contact remove the try

Max Planck said "Knowledge advances one funeral at a time" meaning that, given the tendency to hierarchy and obedience thereof for career advancement, most people are unwilling to risk the loss of entitlement inherent in challenging authority.
Too many people have too much depending on propagating error, whether in politics or academia.
Elaine Morgan's demolition of the Tarzan theory of human evolution is a perfect example - since her death a couple of years ago, her theory is now being quietly inserted into the current dogma which had hardly changed in 150yrs since Piltdown Man.

JTEM

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Dec 20, 2018, 12:06:21 PM12/20/18
to
akes...@gmail.com wrote:

> Max Planck said "Knowledge advances one funeral at a time"

Wonderful quote, and not to take anything away from
you but it's "Science."

> meaning that, given the tendency to hierarchy and
> obedience thereof for career advancement, most people
> are unwilling to risk the loss of entitlement inherent
> in challenging authority.

This was the lesson of Piltdown Man. Which is a shame,
because nobody seems to have learned it. The religious
nutters think the lesson was that science bites and we
should all listen to the authority of the Priest/Minister,
while the status quo think it's an example of science
working well -- because Piltdown man was eventually
rejected. But the real lesson was that authority sucks.
Piltdown man resulted from someone with a title, someone
with status/authority saying something, and many people
accepting that something on the basis of his authority
and NOT science.




-- --

http://jtem.tumblr.com/post/181258604438

lotta monten

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Oct 10, 2021, 2:53:57 PMOct 10
to
I seem to be one of the few to actually have read uwnderlich' book - actually twice, 20 years apart. His theory is based on so much more than mere gypsum/alabaster qualities. I really would like to see how archeologs have refuted his points about cisterns and "oil vats" being very similar in size and form to known burial containers, and the very strange ways to confine commodity containers into "rooms" that makes it very difficult to get access to the storage units for "oils" and "grains". I recommend everyone to read the book, it's very engaging, and whatever conclusion you will get, its a kind of puzzle mystery that is fascinating.
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