I've had Great Civilisations - Crete on my bookshelf for a little while now. My husband brought it back after a visit home once, at the time little did I realise it was just a hint of the wonders to be found in his Ladybird book collection.
The Ladybird book Great Civilisations - Crete is a part of series 561 - Adventures from History. There are a lot of books in this series, mainly focusing on historical figures but also featuring several other great civilisations including Greece and Rome. There are 50 books in the series in total and it is the biggest series that Ladybird produced between 1940 and 1981. I also have some of the older books in the series that still have their original dust covers. Great Civilisations - Crete was published in 1976.
There is a lot of detail in this little book. It begins with an introduction to the island of Crete, and how we can know about the people that lived in ancient Crete from two different sources - the old legends and the archaeological findings. The book begins with a look at some of the most famous Greek legends about Crete, including the well known stories of King Minos and the Minotaur, and Icarus who flew too close to the sun with his wax wings.
The Greeks remembered these stories and handed them down over the years as true events. They were passed down in the form of stories and songs. But even though a hundred years ago no-one believed these old stories, modern archaeologists have found evidence for some of the places referenced in the stories such as Troy. The book then turns to looking at actual archaeological finds which enable a more accurate history of ancient Crete and the people who lived there to be written, even though there is still plenty that we don't know.
I found this book a really fascinating read, once again Ladybird manage to produce a non-fiction book that reads beautifully and really brings history to life.
I'm joining in with Ladybird Tuesday at Being Mrs C. You can see all my previous Ladybird Tuesday posts here.