The Minoans lived in Crete as far back as the Neolithic Period.  They developed an as-yet undeciphered alphabet.  Its palaces were a central aspect of Minoan civilization.  The most important of those palaces was the one at Knossos.  The Minoans were governed by a King and his nobles.  Bronze instruments were used. The Minoans were traders and their ships traversed much of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Minoans were conquered by the Mycenaeans in about 1450 B.C.