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Biblical Archaeology Review 46:3, Summer 2020

Strata: Worldwide

Discovered by Sir Arthur Evans at the Royal Pottery Stores of Knossos, this mug dates to the Middle Minoan IIA Period (1900โ€“1850 B.C.E). Made of clay and painted with white and colored pigment, the cup has been restored and now stands at a height of 3.3 inches.

As the political center of Minoan civilization, Knossos flourished between c. 2700 and 1450 B.C.E. and boasted a large palace, covering about 150,000 square feet. Well known for their palatial architecture, beautiful painted frescos, and enigmatic dresses, the Minoans were just as culturally and technologically advanced as those of the Near East with whom they cultivated rich trade relations. Unlike the kingdoms of Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia, however, much still remains a mystery as scholars have yet to decipher the Minoans’ written language, known to us as Linear A.

This painted cup can be found at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

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