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T HE B RONZE A GE (2). H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – 1.600 BC) Most important archaeological points: Manica, Argos, Thebe, Lerna, Toumba (Thessaloniki)

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Presentation on theme: "T HE B RONZE A GE (2). H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – 1.600 BC) Most important archaeological points: Manica, Argos, Thebe, Lerna, Toumba (Thessaloniki)"— Presentation transcript:

1 T HE B RONZE A GE (2)

2 H ELLADIC C IVILIZATION (3.200 – BC) Most important archaeological points: Manica, Argos, Thebe, Lerna, Toumba (Thessaloniki) Remaining place-names in –ssos, -ttos & -nthos Population movements 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 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 in order to have more land for cultivation

3 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

4 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 (  Trepanned skulls)

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

6 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”

7 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 little hills, close to fertile valleys and springs or in coastal sites and ports Mycenae: the most powerful kingdom of all

8 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Citadels: Administrative bases & treasuries (  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

9 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 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

10 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

11 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.

12 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Frescos depicting religious scenes, favorite habits of the higher class (e.g. hunting) 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

13 M YCENAEAN C IVILIZATION (1.600 – BC) Main worship of the Minoan goddess of fertility, sometimes also as goddess of war or “Potnia Theron” (= goddess of hunting), in addition to other Indo-European gods Worship outdoors or in special rooms in the palaces Offers of agrarian goods, textiles, figurines & animals Depiction of “sphinx” & donkey- headed demons Religious symbols: o Sacral knot o Figure-eight shield o Horns of consecration

14 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, almost completely covered with soil after the burial Precious burial gifts BUT no protection of the dead body  No belief in life after death Burial ceremonies, sometimes accompanied by athletic games


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