Dale Whitmore


Knossos, a Greek archaeological site, is an important remnant of the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete. In part due to its partial reconstruction by excavators in the early 20th century, the site is important tor tourists as well as for archaeologists. This paper examines tourist reactions to the site and its reconstruction, as presented in six examples of mid 20th century travel literature. These reactions are found to be heavily informed by a division of human experience into masculine and feminine values. These gendered ideas, it is argued, are fundamental to the tourist authors' experiences of the site as authentic or unauthentic. Current understandings of discourses of authenticity do not adequately account for the complexity of tourists' experiences of Knossos.