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Lecture 3: Mycaneans

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Spencer Pope

Sept. 24, 2013 Lecture 3 – Mycaneans Mycenae  On a hill-top  Most famous site  Fortification wall  Acitadel  Greeks thought it was impossible that it was built by humans o Hypothesized that it was made by Cyclopes (giants); “Cyclopean Masonry”  Discussed in Greek literatue o Mythical home to Agamemnon, son ofAtreus, married to Clytemnestra Mycenae Lion Gate  Lion Gate and fortification wall built c. 1250 BC o Life began centuries before  Post and Lintel construction o 5m wide o 20 tons  Monumental scale: designed to impress/awe; welcoming/foreboding o Larger than it logically needs to be  Lions in Heraldic Pose (heads in wood) = engage viewer o Heads are lost  Must have been made w/ a different material o Inviting or foreboding o 2 lions on a column  Architectural symbolism: lions guarding the column o Lions increase monumental element  Architecture and sculpture first brought together  Ashler, limestone blocks Corbelled Vault  They feared that heavy blocks at the front/on top of the lintel would cause it to crack  Relieving triangle; gap avoids the weight of the blocks Palace of Nestor at Pylos  Occupied c.1300-1200 BC  Name given by Homer  Megaron – “the big room” o Heart of the palace o Office for ruler o Business/administrative stuff o Close to the ruler  Difficult to get in the palace o More exclusive; VIP o Allowed the ruler to control access o Reflects culture difference from Minoans  Denies access; rejects gathering  Antis – projecting walls  “In antis” – held up by two columns Megaron  Hearth in Megaron (terracotta) o Circular terracotta disc o Center for sacrifice/religious activities o Shows that the ruler controlled religion  Chose who could/could not worship  Those denied could not prey to the Gods to ask for clemency, acceptance, ect.  Demonstrates that the ruler determined who was in the community & who was not o Could marginalize/enfranchise people as they saw fit o Ancient equivalent of the 99% and 1 % Mycenaean Architecture  Megaron – Large reception hall, focus of the palaces  Anta (pl. antae) – Projecting spur walls in the front of a porch or room  Distyle in antis – Two columns placed between antae Tiryns: Mycenaean Citadel  Cyclopean masonry  Active 1300 – 1200 BC  Vaulted walkways  Corbelled vault  Fortification wall (at almost all Mycanean sites) Athens  Mycanean wall runs the same course as modern retaining wall Acropolis Mycenaean Vase  Three-handled piriform jar o Large on top, narrow at the base  Pattern Style o Repeated patterns (tendrils), quickly painted  Regularized, flattened, ordered  Now wildness  Close Style o Compact design o Off-shoot of Pattern Style o Entire vessel covered w/embellishment  Vines – incorporation of the natural world  Artist makes a deliberate choice to use realism but also artistic formality o More formal than realistic o Mute, geometric forms Mycenaean Kylix  Drinking cup for wine  Pattern Style  Wide-mouthed so wine can breathe  Hook(s) for thumb(s) Pictorial Style  LH IIB 1300-1200  Story telling narrative  Human forms; no more geometric forms  Scene of departure depicted o House & chariot indicate warrior status (but also aristocratic) o Wealth & physical strength  2 women are watching the departure o Mourning & grieving – ululation o Confirms hero status The Warriors Vase Mycenae  LHIIB-LHIIC c. 1200 BC  Pictorial Style  Warriors departing, women to the left o Women tearing out hair in grief o Represent community that is left behind  Figures are stylized o No personality; uniform; one pose; same face Mycenaean Larnax  Type of coffin  Could be wood, terracotta, or stone From Tanagra (near Thebes)  1400-1300 BC  Above is a scene of ululation; bottom is a scene of warriors  Deceased is being remembered as a hero  Helps bond the decedents o Family is united and status is strengthened Knossos (Minoan) vs. Pylos (Mycenaean)  Served similar functions: o Storage o Production of goods o Economic centers  No central gathering place in Mycenaean palaces Linear B Tablets: Mycenaean Scripts  Clay tablets with writing engraved o Shows they had a system of writi
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