Ancient Greek civilization began with the Minoans. Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans were a prosperous and peaceful people who flourished on the Mediterranean island of Crete from about 3000 to 1450 B.C. The Minoans built structures from stone, plaster, and timbers; painted walls with brilliant frescoes; made pottery; wove and dyed cloth; cultivated the land (they are believed to be the first people to produce an agricultural surplus, which they exported); constructed stone roads and bridges; and built highly advanced drainage systems and aqueducts. (At Knossos, the royal family had a system for showers and even had toilets that could be flushed.) Minoans were a sophisticated people who loved music and dance, games and entertainment.