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Greek World Lecture 2.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Alexis Young

Greek World Lecture 2 Ancient Thera  During the MBA the Minoans exerted economics, cultural and religious influence on the islands of the Aegean  Akrotiri is an ancient site on the island of Thera (modern Santorini)  Found a lot of Minoan pottery Plan of Akrotiri  Houses are the best preserved parts (west house and court) Springtime Fresco, West House  Because religious was to a great extent – focused on fertility, flowers were an important theme Boxing Children  Earliest depiction of boxing in Greece o Blue head = bald Conclusion  Akrotiri: only well-preserved settlement of Bronze Age  C. 1450 BCE o All places destroyed on Crete except Knossos  Mycenaean’s take over Knossos  C. 1400/1375 BCE o Knossos also destroyed The Mycenaean Greeks  Arrived in the Middle Bronze Age ca. 2100 BCE o May have been much earlier  Great engineers  The first Greeks o Spoke an Indo-European language o Early form of Greek o Korinthos, hyakinthos, Melissa (honeybee) The Mycenaean Period  Late Bronze Age ca. 1600-1200 BCE  War-like people  Named after the palace of Mycenae  Known through myth o Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey Heinrich Schlieman  Used Homer to locate Bronze Age site  Troy = 1870  Mycenae = 1874 Mycenaean Palaces  Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Athens  Gla a fortified centre  All small separate kingdoms  Main rivals Hitlites Grave Circle A  6 shaft graves, 1600-1500 BCE, faience, lapis lazuli  Royalty Grave Circle B  1600-1500 BCE  24 graves – royalty Gold Seal  Hunting motif, lion bones found at Tiryns Acquiring Wealth 1. Raiding expeditions 2. Mercenaries for the Minoans 3. Gained control of trade routes eg. Tin Tholas Tombs  ca. 1500 BCE  highest achievement of Mycenaean engineering  beehive shape  “treasury of Atreus” – father of Agamemnon o ca. 1250 o dromas 36m long, 6m wide (entranceway), lintel and relieving triangle over the door, corbelled arch (13.5m high) Mycenaean Palaces ca. 1400 BCE  located on hills – the acropolis (high place)  massive fortification walls o Cyclopean masonry (except Pylos) Mycenaean vs. Minoan Palaces 1. Massive fortification walls (except Pylos) 2. Postern gates; defence 3. Underground water supply 4. Central focus: the megaron a. 3 parts: porch w/ columns; front room; main room w/ central hearth 5. Palace an administrative and redistribution centre a. Storage areas w/ Pithoi found here at Pylos 6. Frescoes in a Minoan style a. Minoan motif: prominence of women Linear B Tablets  Found at Knossos, Pylos, etc  Translated by Michael Ventris 1. Palace records/inventory lists a. Distribution of materials 2. Stratified Society a. Wanax = king; lawagetas: leader of the army
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