In the long history of Minoan civilization two great catastrophes are discernible, of which the famous Cretan palaces themselves provide the chief source of our knowledge. Everywhere the catastrophes are seen to be contemporaneous. We can distinguish a period of the first palaces (MM) and a subsequent period of the second palaces (LM). There is no perceptible break in the development of the civilization as a result of these catastrophes. For this reason, the theories that the palaces were overthrown by invaders from abroad aroused opposition from the first. Usually the Achaeans—and even the Hyksos—were suggested as the destroyers. By this theory, however, it was not possible to explain two facts : the decorative arts continue on their way undisturbed, and the second palaces are built at once on the ruins of the first and are still unfortified. The Cretans would not have been so foolish as gratuitously to provide easy loot for fresh invaders.
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