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Lecture 4

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Carl Knappett

FAH423H1 - Minoan Palaces Lecture 4 Knossos Part II. The Private Palace • Last week - we looked at the public palace - courts (central, west), facades, entrance (north entrance passage) • This week we’ll examine the so called “domestic area” and the magazines • First Image - One of Evan’s commissioned water colors featuring the “Hall of Double Axes” - depicts the priest king holding a spears (also spears hanging on the wall) - iconography is quite militaristic and Mycenaean. • Interesting as Evan’s wanted to set the Minoans apart from the militaristic Myce- naeans • Domestic area - located in the eastern part of the palace • Concrete roof now covers the “double axes hall” • Terracing provides stratigraphy for East Slope • Evan’s envisioned a great hall on the same level as the central court - no evidence re- mains of it • Evan’s attributes the private staircase at the center of this quarter with domestic archi- tecture • Accessing the ‘Domestic Quarter’ from the central court: the Grand Staircase • Rather complex staircase arrangement in place just to get down to the rooms - gets more private as you go down • It was like an ‘engineering puzzle’ puzzle to but the Grand Staircase together - col- umns are the only fabrication which were taken from fresco imagery - everything else was there as is • Staircase build around a ‘light well’ - a defining feature of Minoan architecture • Limits how dark the lower levels are • Well fitted together ashlar masonry present all the way up • What are the wooden beams doing between layers of ashlar’s? • Used to secure the upper part of the wall • Wooden framework of beams thus hold together the structure • Stone masonry not very resistant to seismic activity • Apparently a development/innovation of the 2nd palace period • Present throughout the palace - Evan’s replaced it with concrete • Original ashlar masonry still present at the Grand Staircase - Gypsum • East West Corridor - two stories - we only have the lower one • Leads to the entrance of the ‘Hall of the Double Axes’ • Pier and door partition - typical Minoan architecture figure FAH423H1 - Minoan Palaces Lecture 4 • Allows you to have a very open arrangement of space - you can either leave it open or close it up (doors) - thus function could be private/public • Two tiered - could still allow light in while doors were closed •This hall serves as the archetype of ‘Minoan Halls’ in the 2nd Palace period throughout Crete •Hall of the Double Axes (Example of a ‘Minoan Hall’) •Fine ashlar masonry on walls •Lots of open spaces which don’t have any decoration - doors illustrated in Evan’s water color • Evan’s identifies this hall as the ‘Men’s Hall’ - b/c it is bigger than the adja- cent ‘Female Hall/Queen’s Megron‘ next door - yet their is no evidence for this • Called the ‘Hall of the Double Axes’ b/c of the mason’s marks which depict two double axis • Next door to the colonnaded area (located past the H of D Axes) was the Queen’s Megaron (had female function) •A little more private than the ‘Hall of the Double Axes’ •Has these low benches which Evan’s attributed to women liking to sit down •‘Light wells’ provide light - located behind the room’s columns •Presumably there was a second level which lead to residences •Regardless of a gendered use of space, the ‘light wells’ are everywhere •Gypsum slabbing makes up the floors of the Queen’s Megaron • Bathroom •Located behind the Queen’s Megaron •Looks to have originally been a lustural basin (used for religious bathing - possi- bly people prepared there and then taken to the Hall of Double Axis for some sort of ceremony) - floor level raised in the 2nd palace period and there was a type of tub there, although the drainage system doesn't go there • Toilette Room (Sometimes called the ‘Room of the Plaster Couch’) •Didn’t have running water as depicted in water color representation • Drainage System •Passes through all light wells in the domestic quarters • ‘Lair’ - known as this because it didn’t have any windows - probably a storeroom of
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