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Minoan and Mycenaean Greece-The Bronze Age

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York University
HIST 2100

HISTORY 1M03: 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 (Art/Architecture) o 776-480 BCE  Classical Period o 480-323 BCE  Hellenistic Period o 323 (Death of Alexander the Great)-31 BCE Sources for Bronze-age Greece th  No written Greek sources until at least 7 c BCE > Homer o Homer’s Iliad, Odyssey o For Greeks, all before that is prehistory > myth and legend  Physical Record (Archeology) o Structures, graves o Wall painting, sculptures, painted pottery, tools, 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, Anglo-Saxon, Russian o Eurasian peoples  Aryan Myth o Invasion into Mediterranean region, domination of local groups Heinrich Schliemann  1871-Discovery of Troy at modern Hissarlik (Turkey) o Found gold and jewels  German businessman  He believed that the Trojan war was real and not a myth unlike other people  1876-Schliemann discovers shaft graves at Mycenae o Found gold, jewels, weapons and death mask (mold of their face, showing off their ancestry) Sir Arthur Evans and Crete  1900  Named after Minos, King of Crete  2100 BCE o Population boom, development of several urban centres  1700-1200 BCE Minos Palace at Knossos o Residential rooms, storehouses, workshops, central courtyard (unwalled)  Palace culture of Minoans o Palace acted as administrative economic center o Redistribute economy  Common in Egypt and Near East  Palace and town integrated o Satisfied, complex social order  Sharp distinctions in wealth and status o Thalassocracy  Gr. Thalassa (“sea”) and kratos (“power”) o Colony of Thera (modern Santorini) Eastern Mediterranean  Minoan art o Bull Leaping o Papyrus Linear A and B  C 1900 BCE > Cretan pictographic 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 o Record and note keeping o Linear A has not been decoded*  Linear A and Linear B Decline of Minoans 1600 BCE > massive earthquakes Vulcanic eruption at Thera 1400 BCE > widespread destruction of palaces on Crete Mycenaean Ciilvilization  Named after Mycenae  C 2000 BCE > Early Indo-European peples “moves” into Greece  Linear B o Deciphered in 1953 (Michael Ventis and John Chadwick) o Identified as early form of Greece o Alphabet adapted from Linear A Tombs and Graves  Schliemann and later archeologists find many examples around Mycenae of two types of graves: o Shaft Graves o Tholos tomb  1600-1400 BCE o Weapons, armour, jewellery  Mycenaean elite o Invested in massive tombs and fortifications Tomb of Atreus Social Status Mycenaean Power:1400-1200 BCE  Palaces at Mycenae, Pylos, Tiryns, Thebes o Smaller versions (12?) across mainland Greece  Similarities to palace culture to that of Minoan Crete o Administrative/econ
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