In the heat of an Aegean
summer little clothing was needed, and people
are generally portrayed as lightly
wore a kind of kilt or loincloth, often with a
Complete nudity was rare
though it can be seen in frescoes of young
fishermen from Thera.
of fashion wore a kind of bolero jacket,
leaving the breasts bare, and a long flounced
skirt with a narrow waist.
costume included tunics and
Fish was an important part of the diet,
as it still is in the Aegean area. Domesticated animals included sheep, goats,
pigs, and oxen, but probably little meat was eaten.
Wheat and barley were the staple grains.
Fruits included figs, apples, pears, and pomegranates, and olives were used both as
fruit and for oil. Wine was made from grapes. Many spices seem to have been grown,
with saffron a special crop, probably used mainly as a dye. Honey was used for
were mainly of wool, though there is evidence of flax production too. In the Greek
period a large textile industry flourished, and some of the elaborate fabrics no
doubt were intended for export.
Metalwork was produced, and the existence
of other crafts can be deduced from the luxury goods found.
Agriculture, however, must have been the major
concern of the people.
existence of large, paved open spaces
surrounded by shallow stepped banks indicates
the Minoan love of watching entertainments, and
one fresco shows rows of spectators.
The main sport
that is known appears to have been a
form of bull-baiting.
Acrobats, both male and female, are
depicted leaping over a charging bull, turning
a somersault in the
acrobats are unarmed, and nothing suggests that
the bull was killed.
The participation of
girls in this sport is eloquent testimony to
the emancipation of