Cretan Pre-history and History
Finds from excavations indicate that the island was inhabited since the Neolithic Times. During the Bronze Age (3000-1100 B.C.) the Minoan Civilization was developed. Knossos was its centre and it reached its peak of prosperity between 1900 and 1500 B.C.
After 1500 B.C., the Acheans and the Dorians invaded the island. They were followed by the Romans in 67 B.C., and then the Byzantines, who became the rulers of the island by 1252 A.D. There had been a period of Arab rule before that, from 824 to 961 A.D. In 1252 A.D. the Venetian rule began, which lasted until 1645 A.D. Then the Ottomans occupy Crete and maintain their domination until 1897, with a short interval of 10 years, during which the island was ceded to Egypt (1830- 1840). In 1898 the Cretan State was established with capital in Chania. The island remained autonomous until December 1st 1913, which is the date of its official unification with Greece.