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The Minoan and Mycenean civilizations are renown for their beautiful artworks, namely for their excessively detailed jewelry and for their beautiful vase and wall-painting (frescoes). These civilizations are inter-related artistically because they influenced one another as trading partners and they are believed to have had similar cultures. Both peace-loving (particularly the Minoans) and aspiring to the beauty and wisdom of nature itself. It is believed that the Minoan civilization may have been a matriarchal society governed by women.
Their most notable artistic depictions are the Minotaur and the sport of bull-jumping, dolphins in every form, the bees of Malia, sacred snakes and snake goddesses, double-headed axes, the beautiful lily frescoes of Knossos. An important artifact that continues to offer sensation through its mystique, is the famous disc of Phaistos.
Most of the information about these cultures is received through their art-forms as actually very few texts from these civilizations have been discovered. The Minoan civilization, although centered on today's island of Crete, is thought to have extended culturally through trade relations to the island of Thira (Santorini) - the location which according to the detailed descriptions of Homer, stands a great chance of being the very home of the lost and destroyed city of Atlantis.