Cyrene was founded in 630 BC as a colony of the Greek island town Thera, which had perceived the idea of expansion on the advice of the oracle of Delphi.
The first colonists settled at an island called Platea in front of the Libyan coast. Later, they occupied a coastal strip called Aziris, and finally, after concluding a treaty with the native Libyans, they founded the town Cyrene.
The leader of the settlers was Aristoteles, but he was called Battus (stammerer), but is probably a Libyan royal title. In the following centuries, Battus' descendants ruled Cyrene.
One of the remarkable religious developments in Cyrene was the introduction of a new god, Amun, the oracle god of the Siwa oasis. The Greeks identified this Libyan-Egyptian divinity with their own supreme god Zeus, and rendered his name as Ammon.
During the reign of Battus II, (583-560) new settlers arrived from Thera, Peloponnese and Crete and received Libyan land, which caused great resentment. The Libyans requested the Egyptian king Apries (Ho-Phra) to assist them in a war against the Greeks, but the pharaoh was defeated (570).
"Men wearing Minoan clothes are next depicted in the tomb of User-Amon, a vizier to Tuthmosis III about twenty years after the death of Semut. One of the Minoans is carrying a rhyton (an ornamented scoop) shaped into a bull's head. A ceramic scoop very much like this has been recovered from the ruins of Thera. An inscription in the Egyptian tomb refers to 'gifts from the islands of the Great Green'.
It seems likely that the vizier sailed personally to at least one of the islands, as the ruins of Knossos bear a broken statue inscribed, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, with User's name."
The date for the eruption of Thera established by archaeologists, has recently received dramatic confirmation in M. Bietak's discovery of pumice within a stratified context at Tell ed-Daba (Ezbet Helmi) which spans the period from Ahmose to Thutmose III.
For many years archaeologists had tied Minoan LM 1A into the early 18th Dynasty on the basis of their ceramic chronology, which is directly tied to Sothic dating (Sirius the dog-star). The net result of this type of dating is a loose-loose operation.
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