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T HE B RONZE A GE (2). M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – 1.450 BC) Import of metals, gemstones & ivory – Export of Cretan agricultural products, such as.

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Presentation on theme: "T HE B RONZE A GE (2). M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – 1.450 BC) Import of metals, gemstones & ivory – Export of Cretan agricultural products, such as."— Presentation transcript:


2 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Import of metals, gemstones & ivory – Export of Cretan agricultural products, such as oil & wine, or textile International transit trade Use of identical seals on the commercial goods, as a form of protection against theft Bureaucratic system of recording Use of script

3 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Settlements usually in fertile valleys or mountainsides Complicated architectural forms, which satisfied functional & aesthetical needs No fortification Urban settlements, with wide central streets, squares & houses with windows only on the 1 st floor & a little room in the roof OR

4 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Minoan palace or villa, which: o included large reception & gathering halls, rooms specially formed for ritual ceremonies, workshops, storage rooms & luxurious apartments (for the king & the priests) o all located around a big yard, connected by a labyrinthine system of corridors, stairs, wells & terraces o & decorated with wall paintings, which depicted scenes of nature or ritual acts

5 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Social stratification: o King of the palace, master of the wider area, possessing wide areas of land & representing God on Earth o Higher class of the members of the royal family & the priests o Significant social position of the specialized craftsmen & writers o Farmers, artisans & merchants, living usually in towns Women equality special position in the religion – taking equal part in hunting & bull- leaping (taurokathapsia) BUT ALSO wearing elaborate & provocative clothing & make-up

6 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Worship of a goddess like the eastern Astarte - Myth of her love affair with a young god, who died & was born again every year ( natures revival) Absence of built sanctuaries – Worship in shrines in the palaces, mountain peaks or sacred caves Ritual processions with gifts for the goddess & ritual objects Ceremonies aiming to the appearance of the goddess, usually by using special hymns & ecstatic dances Ritual sacrifice of a bull Sacred symbols, the double axe & the bull horns

7 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Use of triton shells or likely formed vases, in order to strengthen the human voice Mostly female priests or sometimes male ones, wearing a long cloth with fringed ends, wrapped several times around the body & tied at different points into sacred knots, over a dress with short sleeves Family circular or triangular graves with burial gifts – Ritual ceremonies for the dead

8 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Textile with multi-colored forms or colored woven bands, fringes and jewels Golden jewels & other items, sometimes decorated with gemstones Items (e.g. seals, etc) of ivory or faience Pottery with elaborate decoration Vases of stone (e.g. alabaster, etc.) Metal items, sometimes manufactured by using moulds

9 M INOAN C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Use of some kind of weights & measures with engraved values o Three types of Minoan script, all used to record produced goods : o Hieroglyphic script (NOT readable) o Linear script A (NOT readable) o Linear script B (in the latest Minoan period Mycenaeans) Phaistos Disc: disc of fired clay, with an inscription on both sides, integrated into continuous parts of a spiraling band, which should be read starting from the outside & moving towards the centre

10 H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Most important archaeological points: Manica, Argos, Thebe, Lerna, Toumba (Thessaloniki) Remaining place-names in –ssos, -ttos & -nthos Movements of the population Pre-urban status Unequal distribution of wealth – Significant social status of the craftsmen & wealthy land owners Settlements without any specific urban plan Buildings built in small groups with space for small narrow roads and little squares among them or building zones of unequal levels in a radiating arrangement on hill tops and slopes Fortification finds only in some cases Earthworks in swampy areas for more land fit for cultivation

11 H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Economy based on agriculture, animal-breeding & trade, which was limited to the first two after BC Systematic use of metals (especially bronze), which was limited after BC Domestic economy after BC Agricultural innovations, such as the saw-toothed blades of sickles mainly made of chert & earthworks in swampy areas Woven textiles, mainly made of flax (rarely of wool) Development of local style in pottery

12 H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) o One-room houses with an additional open or closed porch & a smaller room at the back, used as storage place or family workshop ("megaron-type) o Usually houses with stone foundations and walls from mud-bricks o Built constructions inside the houses, such as hearths and grates for heating and cooking, benches and litter pits New apsidal type of house Personal & family simple shaft or cist graves or pith-burials, mostly outside the settlements, with the dead always in a contracted position Limited knowledge of surgery ( trepanning of the skulls)

13 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) 1876: excavations of Heinrich Schliemann in Mycenae Most important archaeological points: Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, etc. Sources: o the Homeric poems o the tablets of Linear Script B (read in 1952 by M.Ventris & J.Chadwick ) o the archaeological finds

14 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Strong influence of the Minoan Crete, which the Mycenaeans dominated in the end of 15 th c. BC Growing wealth inequality & formation of a wealthy powerful leading social group Marine domination - Development of international trade Development of the arts Formation of a more simple & conservative civilization, with a more military character than the Minoan one Lingual, religious & cultural homogeneity among the Mycenaean centers 12 th c. BC Decline after the invasion of the Tribes of the Sea

15 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Independent Mycenaean kingdoms in small settlements, situated at the foot of the citadels in the nearby regions and in the countryside Settlements built on mountain slopes and hillocks, close to fertile valleys and springs or in coastal sites and ports Mycenae: the most powerful kingdom

16 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Citadel: administrative base & treasury ( Cyclopean walls & imposing gates ), situated in physically fortified locations Palace of the king located on the highest point of the citadel & based on the architectural type of megaron, surrounded by other apartments, rooms for ritual ceremonies, workshops, storage rooms & halls Higher administrators, priests, specialized craftsmen & artists living inside the citadel, while the rest of the population lived at the foot of the hill Stairs, wells & corridors for the inner communication & sewage system

17 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Centralized political system, based on land property Anax (wa-na-ka) on the top of the social pyramid, whose power was inherited & unlimited High social status of laagetes (ra-wa-ke-ta), who were local administrators & military chiefs, epetes (e-qe-ta), who were equestrian warriors, & telestes (te-re-ta), who were administrative officers & priests. Significant social status of the specialized craftsmen Lower class of farmers & lowest class of slaves Military spirit paintings depicting war or hunting scenes – weapons as burial gifts – fortification – expand in the Aegean & the Mediterranean Sea

18 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Import of metals, valuable raw materials (gold, ivory & amber) & tin Export of oil, aromatic oils, wine, pottery, textile, weapons & wood Trade with the East & the West ( Trojan War) Use of sealing, in order to protect the products, & of stirrup jars for liquids Clothes influenced by the Minoans BUT simpler & more conservative – impressive jewels – Care of the hygiene & the beauty of the body – Use of make-up

19 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Athletic games of wrestling & boxing during religious ceremonies Chariot races in the later ages Demonstration of power Music produced by various instruments, even in religious ceremonies, in order to increase the religious feeling Pottery & vases also made of stone (alabaster, rock crystal, etc.) Artistic items made of ivory, metals, etc.

20 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Frescos depicting religious scenes, favorite habits of the higher class or abstract decorative forms Tablets of unfired clay, inscribed with Linear B script (= developed level of the Minoan Linear A script) reports of imported & exported products Indo-European language, closely related to subsequent Greek language

21 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Worship of the Minoan goddess of fertility, sometimes as goddess of war or Potnia Theron (= goddess of hunting), in addition to other Indo- European gods Depiction of sphinx & donkey-headed demons Religious symbols: the sacral knot, the figure-eight shield and the horns of consecration Offers of agrarian goods, textiles, figurines & animals Worship outdoors or in special rooms in the palaces

22 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Cist & shaft graves & chamber tombs (which developed to tholos tombs) Tholos tombs: chamber of a honeycomb form with big entrance with triangular upper ending, which was almost completely covered with soil after the burial Precious burial gifts BUT not any protection of the dead body no belief in life after death Burial ceremonies, sometimes accompanied by athletic games

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