Opinions

Authors, intellectuals, artists, journalists and designers share their opinions on different subjects. A touch of light in this gray moment the world experiences; a world that, more than ever, needs the spirit of creativity and the story tellers.

Doniert Evely

 


Ex-Curator (2003-2012) for the BSA Research Institute, Knossos; Self-employed research archaeologist. President of Minoan Steps.

The President of Minoan Steps, Doniert Evely writes about his experiences about Crete, the Minoan civilisation and the new cultural organization Minoan Steps.

I first came in Crete with my father when about 11 years old, because I read books about the legends of Knossos, and the excavations done there. Then almost every year as a university student to excavate ... and so on. The reconstructed Palace and the breathtaking Heraklion Museum are both informative, and visually have a great and positive impact.

Like with everyone, it was the exuberant (if luxurious) items that first captured my attention, but then I began to realize that the Minoans were quite different from every other advanced culture of this area - in how they represented themselves: they are still an enigma, even after a century of hard work by so many people.

For me, the most amazing excavation experience was revealing the tomb of a man of outstanding importance for what went on to become Greece, who lived at the beginning of the Iron Age, at Lefkandi on Euboea.

The 5 minute - or the 5 hour answer? Well, right now, we are all lucky in Crete (especially when compared with the chaos in England)!  Cretans have a reputation of being both rapidly hospitable to good-intentioned visitors, but very careful in forming their real long-term friendships. Both are - to me - virtues. And so I have found the Cretans broadly to be. Both men and women are full of character. But, it has to be said, that I deliberately steer clear of politics: matters can get swiftly convoluted here. I am not a political animal. Right now, though technically retired, I choose to spend much of my time here .. partly to pursue my interests, and partly to share the life of my nonos-extended family with whom I worked when Curator. They - and others like them - are simply worth it!

I know some of the people who have brought Minoan Steps into being; I respect their characters and intentions. I think it could be a useful organization for sharing resources and assisting individual peoples to collectively raise their profiles - and so create opportunities of quality for them, and for Crete. It is intended as much to help people help themselves, as to pursue any projects of its own. Both would be a good balance.

I think some of our first aims will be to (a) see if existing Cretan niche organizations/companies want to be part of a larger umbrella, by which they can be more visible; (b) establish what is 'on offer' on the island and (c) try to interest other institutions, companies (and ultimately individuals) that there are quality/thematic opportunities on the island alongside the simpler (and nothing wrong with that!) concepts of tourism. This is not obviously a new idea in itself .. but it is the collective aspect that is worth promoting and bringing to the attention of others.

I do not think that my vision of or for Minoan Crete differs from what other people feel when faced with what other earlier cultures - say Egypt - achieved. A desire to learn more and share it with people who are curious. The Past does not 'belong' to any one set of present-day people, but it does need careful representation .. to be as fair as possible to these ancestors. And not play politics.

Let us here on Crete pool our experiences and resources; let companies and individuals alike who wish join in making it obvious to each other and the wider world what amazing and exciting and challenging Stuff goes on here - and in such depth. Raise a profile, and invite people from anywhere to come and choose which parts of it intrigues them to explore. If you've got it, flaunt it. And Crete can - and should!