Why are the Minoan and the Mycenaean civilizations of Ancient Greece so important?

            The first great civilizations in Europe arose in Greece, around 2600 BC, on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. It was named Minoan after the legendary king Minos of Crete. The Minoans were seafarers. In fact, they were the first naval power in history. They traded with many countries importing copper from Turkey, and ivory and gold from Egypt. They had their own written language. Trade made them immensely wealthy.

            After the disappearance of the Minoans due to natural disasters or losses in wars, the Mycenaeans came to power on the Greek mainland. They are called the first Greeks, as they were the first to speak the Greek language.

            The Mycenaeans built their palaces on hilltop. They were influenced by the Minoans, and their civilization. They developed trade throughout the Mediterranean.