There is an exaggerated difference in size between bull and humans – the bull is very large and the humans much smaller - perhaps indicating the difficulty in controlling these animals.

minoan dating-90

So, a shipwreck gives us an insight into elements of trade that are lost in the terrestrial archaeological record.

In addition there is also a wealth of manufactured goods, including bronze and gold statuettes, beads, tools and weapons.

Instead images of the staged performances with cattle demonstrated the metaphorical control of the palaces over these animals.

Fantastic bulls, such as the famous Minotaur, were to become a central part of the later mythology surrounding Crete.

Shipwrecks show just how connected the different cultures of the Bronze Age Mediterranean were and, most importantly, were connected by sea.

Before humans settled on Crete in about 7000 BC, there were no bulls on the island.In Greek myth, Crete was the home of the labyrinth and the fearsome Minotaur - half bull and half man. The Minoan people of Crete built magnificent palaces, developed systems of writing and were able to make tools and sculptures from bronze.Crete had no natural sources of copper or tin to make bronze however, and relied on an extensive maritime trade network to obtain these materials.However, the first known representation of something similar to bull-leaping is a clay vessel dating to before 2000 BC, now in the Heraklion Museum in Crete.It shows a bull with small clay figurines of humans hanging on to its horns.Bulls were the largest animals on Crete and were of great social significance.