The mysterious island of Crete has always loomed large in imagination, as the home of the Minotaur that monstrous creature, half-man half-bull imprisoned in Daedalus' labyrinth. Before Crete collapsed in fire and violence, it gave birth to Europe's first civilization nearly 5,000 years ago, and boasted an advanced, prosperous Mediterranean civilization with hinged doors, flush toilets, and magnificent palaces.