The cypress trees, now and in the Minoan age.

Nederlands talige teksten

There are two types of cypress trees; the one is tall, slim and majestic, the other one is wilder and broader. The branches, leaves and needles are the same on both types. It is said that the two different trees are male and female. Fact is that they are two different types of cypress trees. To prevent the trunks of cypress trees from getting corroded by bacteria and vermin, it is usually painted white.

In the Minoan age the cypress trees were used in the construction of palaces. The pillars in the palace of Knossos used to be from wood from this tree. The trunks were put upside down, so the broader part supported the roof construction. Like they use concrete nowadays, to prevent buildings from collapsing during an earthquake, they used wooden frames for this in the past. In between the wooden frames the spaces were filled with stones. These extremely tall cypress trees you will find nowadays only in the region of the Samaria gorge.

In the past Crete used to have a lot of forest. Nowadays it is said only 10% is left. Cause for this is the usage of wood to build the palaces, but also for the construction of ships. Also wood was a very important export product. In the past wood was used as a trade for gold and ivory with countries like Egypt and Syria. A lot of this gold and ivory has been discovered in the palaces, although it is not to be found on Crete itself.

Also from the poems of Homerus we can conclude that Crete was in fact an island with lots of forest.