Homeric archaeology long dominated the study of early Greece, but new approaches have recently revolutionized the field. Drawing from these approaches, I offer a regional and diachronic analysis of Homeric stories about Crete, an assessment of the reception of these stories by the island's inhabitants throughout antiquity and an account of their impact on medieval to modern literature and art. I find that Cretan interest in Homer peaks in the Hellenistic period, but also argue for the much earlier familiarity of some Cretans with stories that underlie the Homeric epics. This argument relies on an analysis of the archaeological assemblage of a Knossian tomb of the 11th century BC, which includes a range of arms that is exceptional for both Aegean archaeology and the Homeric epics. In the epics, this equipment is carried by the Knossian hero Meriones, whose poetic persona can be traced back to the Late Bronze Age on philological and linguistic grounds. Based on this, and on current understandings of performance at death, I argue that the Knossian burial assemblage was staged to reference the persona of Meriones, therefore suggesting the familiarity of some Cretans with early stories that eventually filtered into the Homeric epics.