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Lecture 4

CLA230H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Cyclopean Masonry, Animal Husbandry, Lion Gate

Course Code
Dimitri Nakassis

of 3
Mycenaean Centres
Crete, Pylos, Mycenae, Midea, Tiryns, Athens (?), Thebes,
Linear B
o Tablets are fired clay not fired intentionally
(accidental fires)
o Only still exist where fire occurred
Exclusively associated with the palaces (administrative
Palaces similar form
o Throne room = center (hearth flanked by four columns)
o Same order of rooms building around throne rooms
Minoan palaces focused on group activities
Mycenaean palaces focused on king
Lion Gate at Mycenae
1250 BCE
Much of structure meant to impress cyclopean masonry
The lyre player
Animal sacrifice (same way as later Greeks)
Probably not quasi-divine
o Identified with religion but did not act like pharaoh
Linear B
Script used to write Mycenaean Greek
Three types of signs
o Syllabograms (syllables)
o Logograms (word, idea, thing)
o Numerals (decimal system)
Purely administrative and economic (no law, letters, religious
texts, private texts, etc.)
Temporary documents
o Taxation, land-holding (Measure land in terms of
productive capacity rather than size), labour
recruitment, payment of rations, animal husbandry
(records of large amounts of animals at Pylos and
Knossos), craft production (numbers of teams (i.e.
spinning-women), sons of captive women, ethnic
demographics (brought based on need for workers)),
palace inventories, religious festivals and offerings
Mycenaean titles:
Wanax King
Iawagetas Leader of the host (military commander or lead
of the people second in command?)
Hequetas Follower (Military followers of the king.
Basileus Chief (local, hereditary, village chieftains who
interface with the palace)
Hiereus Priest
Hiereia Priestess
Doulos Slave
2 Damokoros (for 2 provinces)
9 districts in one and 7 in the other
Each district has a governor and vice-governor
Help the palace collect taxes
Key-bearers women, religious officials (keys to temple
Fully-dependant labour (rely on palace for food supported
by rations for labour)
“Royal” craftsmen (supported by land grants
Other craftsmen (unknown means of support
o Bronze-smiths, ship-makers, masons, etc. do not
pay taxes
Religious Offerings at Chania
“To the precinct of Zeus to Zeus Amphora of honey 1”
“To Dionysos Amphora of honey 2”
Olympian Gods in Linear B
Zeus yes
Hera yes
Athena probably (mistress of Athens?)
Apollo probably
Artemis yes
Demeter no
Dionysos yes
Hermes yes
Poseidon yes
Ares yes
Hephaistos no (but there is a man called Hephaistios (Mr.
Hephaistos - tribute to the god?))
Hestia no
Most Common Gods
Potnia (the mistress may morph into Demeter. Potnia
becomes a title i.e. „Queen‟) – 4 sites
Hermes, Zeus, Diwia (mrs. Zeus) 3 sites
Hera, Poseidon, Dionysos 2 sites
Feasting Ceremonies
Tablets indicating the collection of food to be used in a feast
at Sarapeda