Lecture notes.docx

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
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Lecture notes
Jan 10th
Minoan and Mycenaean Greece: The Bronze Age
Periodization of Greece
Minoan Civilization
o C. 2700-1600 BCE
Mycenaean Civilization
o C. 1900-1200 BCE
Iron Age or “Dark Age” Greece
o 1100-776 BCE
Archaic Period
o 776-480 BCE
Classical period
o 480-323 BCE
Hellenistic Period
o 323-31 BCE
Sources for Bronze-age Greece
No written Greek sources until at least 7th century BCE-> Homer
o Homer’s Iliad, Odyssey
o For Greeks, all that before that is prehistory Myth and legend
Physical Record (Archaeology)
o Structures, graves
o Wall paintings, scripture, painted pottery, tools and weapons
o Written records on clay tablets (late bronze age)
First “Greek Speakers”
Middle Bronze Age (3000-1600 BCE)?
Indo- European language group
o Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Angelo-Saxon, Russian
o Eurasian Peoples
Aryan Myth
o Invasion into Mediterranean region, domination of local groups
Heinrich Schliemann
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1871 Discovery of Troy at modern Hissarlik (Turkey)
Mycenae
1876 Schliemann discovers shaft graves at Mycenae
Found death mask of Agamenmom
Sir Arthur Evans and Crete
1900
o Discovery of the palace at Knossos
The Minoans
Named after Minos, King of Crete
2100 BCE
o Population boom, development of several urban centers
The Minos Palace at Knossos (1700-1200 BCE)
Residential rooms, storehouses, workshops, central courtyard (unwalled)
“Palace Culture” of Minoans
Palace acted as administrative/economic center
“Redistributive” economy
o Common in Egypt and Near East
o Palace and town integrated
Stratified, complex social order
o Sharp distinctions in wealth and status
Thalassocracy
o Gr. Thalassa (“sea”) and Krtos (“power”)
Colony of Thera (modern Santorini)
Linear A and B
C. 1900 BCE Cretan pictography writing
o Developed later into more advanced linear script
o Preserved on clay tablets in palace at Knossos
Sir Arthur Evans’ Theory
o Tablets represent palace records?
o Evans finds tablets with more advanced script
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Decline of Minoans
1600 BCE Massive earthquakes
o Vulcanic eruption at Thera
1400 BCE wide-spread destruction of palaces on Crete
Mycenaean Civilization
Named after Mycenae
C. 2000 BCE Early Indo-European peoples “move” into Greece
Linear B
o Deciphered in 1953 (Michael Ventris and John Chadwick)
o Identified as early form of Greek
o Alphabet developed from linear A
Tombs and Graves…
Schliemann and later archaeologists find many examples around Mycenae of two types
of graves:
o Shaft Graves
o Tholos Tomb
16000-1400 BCE
o Weapons, armour, jewellery
Mycenaean elite
o Invested in massive tombs and fortification
Mycenaean Power: 1400-1200 BCE
Palace at Mycenae, Pylos, Tiryns, Thebes
o Smaller versions (12?) across mainland Greece
Similarities to palace culture to that of Minoan Crete
o Administrative/economic centres
o Centralized control over resources and population
o Centralized taxation
Differences
Smaller, walled citadels
o Cyclopean stone blocks
Replacement of central courtyard with megaron
Megaron Great rectangular hall, central hearth and throne at end
Martial themes in decoration and painting
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Document Summary

Iron age or dark age greece: 1100-776 bce. No written greek sources until at least 7th century bce-> homer: homer"s iliad, odyssey, for greeks, all that before that is prehistory myth and legend. Physical record (archaeology: structures, graves, wall paintings, scripture, painted pottery, tools and weapons, written records on clay tablets (late bronze age) Indo- european language group: sanskrit, greek, latin, angelo-saxon, russian, eurasian peoples. Invasion into mediterranean region, domination of local groups. 1871 discovery of troy at modern hissarlik (turkey) 1876 schliemann discovers shaft graves at mycenae. 1900: discovery of the palace at knossos. 2100 bce: population boom, development of several urban centers. Residential rooms, storehouses, workshops, central courtyard (unwalled) Redistributive economy: common in egypt and near east, palace and town integrated. Stratified, complex social order: sharp distinctions in wealth and status. C. 1900 bce cretan pictography writing: developed later into more advanced linear script, preserved on clay tablets in palace at knossos.

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