Iraklion, on the island of Crete in Greece is the port with access to the Palace of Knossos. This is the center of the Minoan civilization, pre-Greek, thriving from 2,000 to 1,400 BC. Oh my, that's really ancient, among the oldest in Europe. They were a commerce and trade based culture, having no wars. There are no written records, no one has deciphered the language, but there are extensive trading logs. They had hot and cold running water and sewerage systems. Artistic frescos tell of their culture. Women had a strong role in city life and their religion was based on Mother Earth and many female goddesses. The minotaur legend began here and there are labyrinths under the palace.

This site and the Minoan culture were lost around 1,400 BC, perhaps destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami.