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The Minoans were a remarkable early civilisation. But what happened to them? For centuries historians knew almost nothing about them, but could their story be the basis of the myth of Atlantis?
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Episode InformationThe Minoans were a remarkable early civilisation. Sophisticated art and remain in Crete 3,500 years later. Modern archaeologists believe that they built solar temples, aligned to catch the rising sun on important dates in the calendar. They were remembered by the Ancient Greeks who succeeded them, in the myth of the Minotaur. So what happened to them? What caused destruction so complete that for centuries historians knew almost nothing about them? And is their story the basis of the myth of Atlantis, as recorded by Plato two thousand years later? In summer 2006 a team of archaeologists, soil scientists and tsunami experts gathered on Crete to begin an island-wide hunt to find out. They discover strange, jumbled deposits of sea shells, animal bones and building rubble, five metres above sea level and collapsed Minoan walls. The damage bore an eerie similarity to that left by the Asian tsunami in 2004. Could that be the missing clue to the destruction of Atlantis?