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Minoans and Myceneans Minoans: Geography & Culture Myceneans: Geography & Culture.

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1 Minoans and Myceneans Minoans: Geography & Culture Myceneans: Geography & Culture

2 Minoans: Island of Crete

3 Minoans The story of European civilization really begins on the island of Crete with a civilization that probably thought of itself as Asian (in fact, Crete is closer to Asia than it is to Europe). The story of European civilization really begins on the island of Crete with a civilization that probably thought of itself as Asian (in fact, Crete is closer to Asia than it is to Europe). Around 1700 BC, a highly sophisticated culture grew up around palace centers on Crete: the Minoans. Around 1700 BC, a highly sophisticated culture grew up around palace centers on Crete: the Minoans. The Minoans produced a civilization oriented around trade and bureaucracy with little or no evidence of a military state. The Minoans produced a civilization oriented around trade and bureaucracy with little or no evidence of a military state. They built perhaps the single most efficient bureaucracy in antiquity. They built perhaps the single most efficient bureaucracy in antiquity. This unique culture, of course, lasted only a few centuries, and European civilization shifts to Europe itself with the foundation of the military city-states on the mainland of Greece. This unique culture, of course, lasted only a few centuries, and European civilization shifts to Europe itself with the foundation of the military city-states on the mainland of Greece.

4 Crete On the island, the climate is comfortable and the soil fertile; as an island, it was isolated from the mainland of Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Egypt. On the island, the climate is comfortable and the soil fertile; as an island, it was isolated from the mainland of Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Egypt. Being an island, resources were limited. As the population began to thrive, it also began to increase, and it is evident that the resources of the island became increasingly insufficient to handle the increased population. So the Cretans improvised. Being an island, resources were limited. As the population began to thrive, it also began to increase, and it is evident that the resources of the island became increasingly insufficient to handle the increased population. So the Cretans improvised. Some migrated, populating other islands in the Aegean Sea. Some migrated, populating other islands in the Aegean Sea.

5 Migration and Trade In doing so, they took their growing civilization with them and spread Minoan culture, religion, and government all over the Aegean Sea. For this reason, the Minoan culture is also called the "Aegean Palace civilization." In doing so, they took their growing civilization with them and spread Minoan culture, religion, and government all over the Aegean Sea. For this reason, the Minoan culture is also called the "Aegean Palace civilization." But the Cretans who remained turned to other economic pursuits to support the growing population; in particular, they turned to trade. But the Cretans who remained turned to other economic pursuits to support the growing population; in particular, they turned to trade. Crete became the central exporter of wine, oil, jewelry, and highly crafted works; in turn, they became importers of raw materials and food. In the process they built the first major navy in the world; its primary purpose, however, was mercantile. Crete became the central exporter of wine, oil, jewelry, and highly crafted works; in turn, they became importers of raw materials and food. In the process they built the first major navy in the world; its primary purpose, however, was mercantile.

6 Minoan Time Line: First Palace period BC Power began to be centered around kings. The first large palace centers came into being. Power began to be centered around kings. The first large palace centers came into being. Excavation has revealed four large palaces at Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, and Zakros so far. Excavation has revealed four large palaces at Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, and Zakros so far. The buildings are arranged around a central court and have fine facades of closely fitted stone blocks with monumental entrances. Inside, they are multi-storied and have workshops, storage magazines and sacred rooms. The buildings are arranged around a central court and have fine facades of closely fitted stone blocks with monumental entrances. Inside, they are multi-storied and have workshops, storage magazines and sacred rooms. The finest example was uncovered in the west palace section at Phaestos. The palaces workshops are also producing fine wares already. The finest example was uncovered in the west palace section at Phaestos. The palaces workshops are also producing fine wares already.

7 Pottery and Workshops The gorgeous Kamaresware pottery dates to this period and the style is named after the cave of Kamares where it was first discovered. Kamaresware is pottery with polychrome motifs of rosettes, spirals and hatching vibrantly painted on a shiny black background, and was produced in a variety of vase shapes. The gorgeous Kamaresware pottery dates to this period and the style is named after the cave of Kamares where it was first discovered. Kamaresware is pottery with polychrome motifs of rosettes, spirals and hatching vibrantly painted on a shiny black background, and was produced in a variety of vase shapes. The workshops also produced fine vases and vessels of stone and faience; seal stones of precious or semi- precious stones, with hieroglyphics and dynamic natural scenes; elegant weapons and tools; vessels of bronze or silver; jewellery of marvellous technique ("the Bee Pendant" from Malia); and miniature sculpture. The workshops also produced fine vases and vessels of stone and faience; seal stones of precious or semi- precious stones, with hieroglyphics and dynamic natural scenes; elegant weapons and tools; vessels of bronze or silver; jewellery of marvellous technique ("the Bee Pendant" from Malia); and miniature sculpture. The first palace centers and the settlements of Crete were reduced to ruins possibly by earthquakes. The first palace centers and the settlements of Crete were reduced to ruins possibly by earthquakes.

8 Kamaresware Pottery

9 Second Palace period BC Magnificent new palaces were built upon the ruins of the old ones. The cities around them expanded. Many lords in rural villas controlled areas in the same way as the feudal lords of the Middle Ages. Magnificent new palaces were built upon the ruins of the old ones. The cities around them expanded. Many lords in rural villas controlled areas in the same way as the feudal lords of the Middle Ages. Their ships carried both the products of Minoan and other societies throughout the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean to trade. Their ships carried both the products of Minoan and other societies throughout the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean to trade. The new palaces were multi-storeyed and complex. They had great courtyards with grand porticoes, broad staircases, processional paths and monumental entrances. Many rooms could be opened for air circulation and sunlight to enter via pier and door partitions making the rooms quite bright and pleasant in the summer. Benches and thrones were found in royal rooms. The new palaces were multi-storeyed and complex. They had great courtyards with grand porticoes, broad staircases, processional paths and monumental entrances. Many rooms could be opened for air circulation and sunlight to enter via pier and door partitions making the rooms quite bright and pleasant in the summer. Benches and thrones were found in royal rooms.

10 Second Palace con’d There were many interior light wells to allow light in through all levels of the palace via the roof. There were many interior light wells to allow light in through all levels of the palace via the roof. –Bathrooms and water supply and drainage systems allowed for a easier style of life. Sections of the palaces were royal quarters, sacred areas (pillar crypts, tripartite shrines), audience and banquet halls. –Bathrooms and water supply and drainage systems allowed for a easier style of life. Sections of the palaces were royal quarters, sacred areas (pillar crypts, tripartite shrines), audience and banquet halls. –Large areas of these palaces were set aside as storage areas (magazines), and workshops also existed within the palaces. –Wonderful fresco painting decorating the walls with fresh, lively scenes in an array of colors. –Wonderful fresco painting decorating the walls with fresh, lively scenes in an array of colors. –Gypsum was a common building material used for wall siding and floors. The marine style of pottery developed with flowing elements including stylized octopuses and seaweed. The marine style of pottery developed with flowing elements including stylized octopuses and seaweed.

11 Second Palace period BC (Continued) The floral style also developed inventive plants and open flowers. Frescos depicted landscapes with animals along with scenes from religious and social life. Bull jumping and other festivities were shown on the frescos. Faience work, decorative plaques, figurines such as the snake goddesses, royal gaming boards, detailed gold and silver jewellery and vessels were produced in the workshops of the day. Some very fine bronze work was achieved during this period. The floral style also developed inventive plants and open flowers. Frescos depicted landscapes with animals along with scenes from religious and social life. Bull jumping and other festivities were shown on the frescos. Faience work, decorative plaques, figurines such as the snake goddesses, royal gaming boards, detailed gold and silver jewellery and vessels were produced in the workshops of the day. Some very fine bronze work was achieved during this period. The still undeciphered Linear A is now in use. There are about 200 surviving texts on clay tablets apparently deal with accounting and inventory information. The tablets come from the archives of palaces such as Knossos or villas and were preserved by firing in the fires that destroyed the palaces. The Phaestos Disk, with its unique hieroglyphic text, belongs to the first phase of the second palace period. The still undeciphered Linear A is now in use. There are about 200 surviving texts on clay tablets apparently deal with accounting and inventory information. The tablets come from the archives of palaces such as Knossos or villas and were preserved by firing in the fires that destroyed the palaces. The Phaestos Disk, with its unique hieroglyphic text, belongs to the first phase of the second palace period.

12 Volcanic Eruption 1450 B.C. All of the centers of the second palace period were destroyed around All of the centers of the second palace period were destroyed around The terrible volcanic eruption of Santorini had large impacts on Crete depending on how the ash fell, but did not have enough effects to destroy the palaces or the Minoan way of life. The terrible volcanic eruption of Santorini had large impacts on Crete depending on how the ash fell, but did not have enough effects to destroy the palaces or the Minoan way of life. The eruption of Santorini may have destroyed some coastal towns and shipping, and would have depressed the economies of the eastern Mediterranean though. Terrible palace destructions did happen though (probably through earthquake again). The eruption of Santorini may have destroyed some coastal towns and shipping, and would have depressed the economies of the eastern Mediterranean though. Terrible palace destructions did happen though (probably through earthquake again). Life resumed only at the palace at Knossos, which was reconstructed and served as the residence of a new Mycanaean (Achaean) rulers from the mainland. Life resumed only at the palace at Knossos, which was reconstructed and served as the residence of a new Mycanaean (Achaean) rulers from the mainland. Their presence is inferred by the appearance of the very archaic written Greek language of Linear B and by the appearance of Palace Style pottery. Changes were made in the arrangement of the palaces, and the Knossos Throne Room and many surviving frescoes (such as the Corridor of the Procession also at Knossos) date from this period. Their presence is inferred by the appearance of the very archaic written Greek language of Linear B and by the appearance of Palace Style pottery. Changes were made in the arrangement of the palaces, and the Knossos Throne Room and many surviving frescoes (such as the Corridor of the Procession also at Knossos) date from this period.

13 Minoan Timeline Continued Third Palace period BC Third Palace period BC –After the final destruction of about 1380, none of the Minoan palaces were rebuilt. Even the palace at Knossos was not rebuilt, although the city around it stayed alive. –After the final destruction of about 1380, none of the Minoan palaces were rebuilt. Even the palace at Knossos was not rebuilt, although the city around it stayed alive. Post-palace period 1200 – 1050 Post-palace period 1200 – 1050 –The last phase of this period was a time of decline and disorder caused by the movement of many peoples in the East Mediterranean. The forerunners of the Dorians may have begun to arrive in Crete. Sub-Minoan Period BC Sub-Minoan Period BC –Crete entered upon the purely Greek period of its history with the arrival of massive waves of Dorians at about 1100 BC. The Protogeometric period that followed ( BC) unfolded alongside the Sub-Minoan, as the earlier Minoan cultural traditions continued on especially in the mountain areas of central and eastern Crete. Many mountain top settlements existed due to their defensive locations. The use of iron, and cremation of the dead became general.

14 Chronology of Minoan Crete 2600 BCEEM IPre-Palace period EM II EM III MM Ia 2000 BCEMM IbOld Palace period MM IIa MM IIb 1700 BCEMM IIIaNew Palace period MM IIIb LM Ia LM Ib LM II 1400 BCELM IIIaPost Palace period LM IIIb LM IIIc 1100 BCESub-Minoan

15 Writing Three types of picture writing have been discovered in ancient Crete. Unfortunately, the writings have told us very little about the Minoan way of life. Three types of picture writing have been discovered in ancient Crete. Unfortunately, the writings have told us very little about the Minoan way of life. Linear A: This type of writing has been found in many places in Crete. Most examples are scratched on clay tablets but there are some samples engraved on metal. In order to be able to translate Linear A we will probably have to find a bilingual text. This means a text with the same words written in Linear A and in a language we already know. Linear A: This type of writing has been found in many places in Crete. Most examples are scratched on clay tablets but there are some samples engraved on metal. In order to be able to translate Linear A we will probably have to find a bilingual text. This means a text with the same words written in Linear A and in a language we already know. Linear B: Linear B has been found at one site only in Crete. This was at the palace at Knossos. It has been found in many sites in Greece, however, including Mycenae. It is now known to be an early form of Greek. Linear B: Linear B has been found at one site only in Crete. This was at the palace at Knossos. It has been found in many sites in Greece, however, including Mycenae. It is now known to be an early form of Greek. Phaestos Disc: Only one example of the third type of writing has ever been found. It is on a decorative disc found at the palace at Phaestos. It may not be Cretan. It may have come from Anatolia. Phaestos Disc: Only one example of the third type of writing has ever been found. It is on a decorative disc found at the palace at Phaestos. It may not be Cretan. It may have come from Anatolia.

16 Linear A & B Linear A Linear B

17 Phaestos Disc

18 This is an early example of moveable type for printing. Europeans did not use this technique again until the A.D. 1400s. Previously it had been thought that the Chinese had invented moveable type. This is an early example of moveable type for printing. Europeans did not use this technique again until the A.D. 1400s. Previously it had been thought that the Chinese had invented moveable type. The Phaestos Disc is remarkable because the figures are not scratched on but pressed in. A block was made for each pictograph. The same block was pressed into clay whenever that particular sign was needed. The Phaestos Disc is remarkable because the figures are not scratched on but pressed in. A block was made for each pictograph. The same block was pressed into clay whenever that particular sign was needed.

19 Minoan Religion The Goddesses: The Goddesses: –The main deity is still the Mother Goddess, who is portrayed in different forms such as the "goddess with the snakes." The Bull was also worshipped as a powerful symbol of fertility beside her. Deities were worshipped in sanctuaries of the palaces, various dwellings, the peak sanctuaries, and in sacred caves. Many of the features of Minoan religion passed into the cycle of the Greek mystery religions. Most of the tombs were cut into the soft rock and had a square burial chamber and a sloping dromos. Some were still vaulted tombs with a circular or rectangular chamber. –They gave thanks for their beautiful land by worshipping a small number of gods and goddesses. The main ones represented the male and female aspects of life. –They worshipped them on mountains, in temples on the ground and in caves. It was believed that gods and goddesses could live in tress and columns because these linked the earth and the heavens. The Minoans had many sacred objects.

20 Snake Goddess Vessels

21 The bull: The male aspect of life was represented by the bull. The bull figure is found in many pictures of Minoan life. The angry beast which lived in the labyrinth beneath the palace of Knossos, the Minotaur, had the body of a man and the head of a bull. The male aspect of life was represented by the bull. The bull figure is found in many pictures of Minoan life. The angry beast which lived in the labyrinth beneath the palace of Knossos, the Minotaur, had the body of a man and the head of a bull. Bull's horns are found as decorations in many parts of the palace ruins and on vases, seals and ornaments. Little model bulls were placed between the stalactites in caves as offerings to the gods. Many stayed there for over 3000 years before they were discovered. Bull's horns are found as decorations in many parts of the palace ruins and on vases, seals and ornaments. Little model bulls were placed between the stalactites in caves as offerings to the gods. Many stayed there for over 3000 years before they were discovered. Bulls may have been sacrificed in some religious ceremonies. Blood would have been collected in rhytons. In a libation ceremony the blood would have been poured over columns or into caves. This represented a releasing of the bull's energy. Bulls may have been sacrificed in some religious ceremonies. Blood would have been collected in rhytons. In a libation ceremony the blood would have been poured over columns or into caves. This represented a releasing of the bull's energy.

22 Bulls

23 Palaces Knossos Knossos Phaestos Phaestos

24 Knossos

25 Knossos Site On Friday 23 March 1900 at 11 a.m. Arthur Evans began his excavation of Knossos. Although he was not the first to excavate at the site, that honour belongs to a Greek appropriately called Minos Kalokairinos in 1878, it was to be Evans who uncovered the Knossos Palace and brought to light a hitherto unknown civilisation -- possibly the oldest in Europe. On Friday 23 March 1900 at 11 a.m. Arthur Evans began his excavation of Knossos. Although he was not the first to excavate at the site, that honour belongs to a Greek appropriately called Minos Kalokairinos in 1878, it was to be Evans who uncovered the Knossos Palace and brought to light a hitherto unknown civilisation -- possibly the oldest in Europe. The basic excavation of the site took four years and for the rest of his life Evans continued working on the site, reconstructing and building, often in an attempt to preserve the remains from the weather to which they had been exposed for the first time in 3,500 years. The basic excavation of the site took four years and for the rest of his life Evans continued working on the site, reconstructing and building, often in an attempt to preserve the remains from the weather to which they had been exposed for the first time in 3,500 years. Occupation B.C. (earthquake in 1700 B.C., then repaired), reoccupied until around 1400 B.C. Occupation B.C. (earthquake in 1700 B.C., then repaired), reoccupied until around 1400 B.C.

26 Knossos Layout

27 The Bull Chamber Immediately south of the North Pillar Hall is the Bull Chamber, which was on the same level as the Central Court. It was here that the Bull Relief Fresco was found. Opposite this chamber there would originally have been another, also decorated with a fresco.

28 The great staircase Bull “horns” on palace wall.

29 The Dolphin Sanctuary Near the Hall of the Double Axes is the Dolphin Sanctuary, which Evans assigned as the Queen's Apartment. The area takes its name from a Dolphin Fresco which was found here in pieces, although it probably fell from the floor above during the destruction of the palace. A replica of the fresco now adorns the north wall.

30 The Throne Room On the West Side of the Palace is one of the most famous of rooms unearthed by Evans, the Throne Room. The throne room would have had an oppressive quality about it. With its low ceiling and lack of windows it was separated from the Central Court by an anteroom. The throne is placed along a side wall facing across the room. On either side of the throne there are stone benches and in front of the throne a stone basin.

31 Drainage System

32 Phaestos/Phaistos Phaistos is Minoan palace site situated on a hill with a commanding view of the Mesara Plain to the south and west. Phaistos is Minoan palace site situated on a hill with a commanding view of the Mesara Plain to the south and west. It is about 60 km south of Heraklion in the fertile Messara valley that is surrounded by mountain ranges and the plain extends south to the Libyan sea. Regular public transportation is available from Iraklion and Rethimnon. It is about 60 km south of Heraklion in the fertile Messara valley that is surrounded by mountain ranges and the plain extends south to the Libyan sea. Regular public transportation is available from Iraklion and Rethimnon. During the Minoan times, Phaistos was a very important city-state, being the second largest city after Knossos. Where this great city once stood, there is now the village of Agios Ioannis, buillt next to Phaistos. During the Minoan times, Phaistos was a very important city-state, being the second largest city after Knossos. Where this great city once stood, there is now the village of Agios Ioannis, buillt next to Phaistos.

33 Phaestos in Mythology According to mythology, Phaistos was the seat of king Radamanthis, brother of king Minos. According to mythology, Phaistos was the seat of king Radamanthis, brother of king Minos. It was also the city that gave birth to the great wise man and soothsayer Epimenidis, one of the seven wise men of the ancient world. It was also the city that gave birth to the great wise man and soothsayer Epimenidis, one of the seven wise men of the ancient world. The city also participated in the Trojan war and was an important city-state in the Dorian period. Phaistos continued to flourish during Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic times, but was destroyed by the Gortynians during the 3rd century B.C. The city also participated in the Trojan war and was an important city-state in the Dorian period. Phaistos continued to flourish during Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic times, but was destroyed by the Gortynians during the 3rd century B.C. Still, Phaistos existing even during the Roman period. Phaistos had two ports, Matala and Kommos. Still, Phaistos existing even during the Roman period. Phaistos had two ports, Matala and Kommos.

34 Mesara Plain

35 Old Palace (where Phaestos Disc recovered)

36 Occupation The Old Palace was built on the site at the beginning of the Second Millenium, known as the Protopalatial Period (c BCE). The Old Palace was built on the site at the beginning of the Second Millenium, known as the Protopalatial Period (c BCE). Twice it was severely damaged by earthquakes and rebuilt so three distinct phases are visible to archaeologists. Twice it was severely damaged by earthquakes and rebuilt so three distinct phases are visible to archaeologists. Levi, who excavated here from 1950 to 1971 believed that the first two phases of the Old Palace of Phaistos constitute the oldest Palatial buildings in Crete. Levi, who excavated here from 1950 to 1971 believed that the first two phases of the Old Palace of Phaistos constitute the oldest Palatial buildings in Crete. Other finds at the site include thousands of seal impressions and some tablets containing the Linear A script from Middle Minoan II. Linear A has so far defied all attempts to decipher it. Other finds at the site include thousands of seal impressions and some tablets containing the Linear A script from Middle Minoan II. Linear A has so far defied all attempts to decipher it.

37 Rebuilding When the Old Palace was finally destroyed, almost certainly by an earthquake, a new palace was built on the site. When the Old Palace was finally destroyed, almost certainly by an earthquake, a new palace was built on the site. Fortunately for us, the builders of the new palace did not destroy all traces of the old. Fortunately for us, the builders of the new palace did not destroy all traces of the old. In fact much of the old palace was covered over at the time of the building of the new palace in order to level the ground. In fact much of the old palace was covered over at the time of the building of the new palace in order to level the ground. Some of the old palace can still be seen, especially in the north-east corner, but much of the Old Palace remains are accessible only to the experts. Some of the old palace can still be seen, especially in the north-east corner, but much of the Old Palace remains are accessible only to the experts.

38 Magazine-storage area At Phaistos, the magazine consisted of ten rooms, five on each side, opening onto an east-west corridor, which at its east end opened out into a two-columned hall with a portico facing the Central Court. One storage room remains in tact with a number of pithoi inside.

39 Courtyard

40 King’s Megaron

41 Queen’s Megaron

42 Theatre Area From the Upper West Court a staircase leads to the theatre area, with its eight rows of seats, each one 22 meters long and the Lower West Court. On the north side of the theatre there is a retaining wall for the Upper Court and below this, the tiered seats overlooking the Lower West Court. The court is traversed diagonally by a raised causeway. On the east side of the causeway are six circular pits. These are thought to have been for grain storage similar to those in Knossos and Malia.

43 End of Minoan Civilization At around 1400 B.C., Mycenean civilization began to gain control of Crete. At around 1400 B.C., Mycenean civilization began to gain control of Crete. Increase in warfare and abandonment of palaces in favor of settlements higher in the mountains (protected). Increase in warfare and abandonment of palaces in favor of settlements higher in the mountains (protected). –i.e. Kavousi

44 Myceneans: The Early Helladic Period, ~ BC Somewhere between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, the lands of Greece were settled by a metal-using agricultural people who spoke a language other than Indo-European. Somewhere between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, the lands of Greece were settled by a metal-using agricultural people who spoke a language other than Indo-European. Some of the names they gave their villages were preserved by the Greeks, names, for instance, ending in "-ssos." We know next to nothing of these people, their religion, their cultural memory, their language, or their everyday experience. Some of the names they gave their villages were preserved by the Greeks, names, for instance, ending in "-ssos." We know next to nothing of these people, their religion, their cultural memory, their language, or their everyday experience. The period when they dominated Greece, called the "Early Helladic" period, seemed to be one of comparative quiet and peace. All that ended around 2000 BC; the early Helladic sites and villages were destroyed in fire or abandoned outright. The period when they dominated Greece, called the "Early Helladic" period, seemed to be one of comparative quiet and peace. All that ended around 2000 BC; the early Helladic sites and villages were destroyed in fire or abandoned outright.

45 The Middle Helladic Period, ~2000 BC-1550 BC This period of conquest and settlement by the Greeks makes up the Middle Helladic period. This period of conquest and settlement by the Greeks makes up the Middle Helladic period. These new invaders settled all the parts of Greece, in some instances settling peacefully with the previous inhabitants, and began to dominate Greek culture. These new invaders settled all the parts of Greece, in some instances settling peacefully with the previous inhabitants, and began to dominate Greek culture. They spoke an Indo-European language; in fact, they spoke Greek. They spoke an Indo-European language; in fact, they spoke Greek. Their society was primarily based on warfare; their leaders were essentially war-chiefs. Their society was primarily based on warfare; their leaders were essentially war-chiefs.

46 The Middle Helladic Period, ~2000 BC-1550 BC Con‘d They had settled a difficult land: the Greek mainland is hot, dry and rocky. Agriculture is difficult, but some crops grow extremely well, such as grapes and olives. They had settled a difficult land: the Greek mainland is hot, dry and rocky. Agriculture is difficult, but some crops grow extremely well, such as grapes and olives. The coastal settlers relied heavily on fishing for their diet. In spite of the ruggedness of their life and the harshness of their social organization, these early Greeks traded with a civilization to the south, the Minoans. The coastal settlers relied heavily on fishing for their diet. In spite of the ruggedness of their life and the harshness of their social organization, these early Greeks traded with a civilization to the south, the Minoans. Their contact with the Minoans was instantly fruitful; they began to urbanize somewhere in the Middle Helladic period and translated their culture into a civilization. Their contact with the Minoans was instantly fruitful; they began to urbanize somewhere in the Middle Helladic period and translated their culture into a civilization.

47 The Late Helladic Period, ~1550 BC-1150 BC Around 1600 BC, urban centers began to thrive and the Greek settlers entered their first major period of cultural creativity. Around 1600 BC, urban centers began to thrive and the Greek settlers entered their first major period of cultural creativity. Their cities grew larger, their graves more opulent, their art more common, their agriculture more efficient, and the power of these new warlord cities began to be felt around the Aegean. Their cities grew larger, their graves more opulent, their art more common, their agriculture more efficient, and the power of these new warlord cities began to be felt around the Aegean. This period of Greek development and prosperity is called the Late Helladic Period or simply the Mycenean period. The Greeks of this age are the Myceneans proper; for four centuries their culture thrived. This period of Greek development and prosperity is called the Late Helladic Period or simply the Mycenean period. The Greeks of this age are the Myceneans proper; for four centuries their culture thrived.

48 Culture What we can tell from their ruined cities, their art, and their records, is that the Myceneans derived much of their culture from the Minoans, but with some dramatic differences. What we can tell from their ruined cities, their art, and their records, is that the Myceneans derived much of their culture from the Minoans, but with some dramatic differences. Mycenean society was monarchical. The monarch, called a wanax, ruled over a large administration as a kind of head bureaucrat. Mycenean society was monarchical. The monarch, called a wanax, ruled over a large administration as a kind of head bureaucrat. Unlike the Minoans, though, the Mycenean kings accumulated vast wealth in concentrated form; the rest of society did not share in the prosperity as did the Minoans. Unlike the Minoans, though, the Mycenean kings accumulated vast wealth in concentrated form; the rest of society did not share in the prosperity as did the Minoans. The king was also primarily a warlord, and Mycenean society was constantly geared for battle and invasion. The king was also primarily a warlord, and Mycenean society was constantly geared for battle and invasion.

49 Mycenae and Perseus According to the tradition, the city of Mykenae, the main representative of this civilization, was founded by Perseus ( BC), the son of Zeus and Danae, the daughter of king Akrisios of Argos. According to the tradition, the city of Mykenae, the main representative of this civilization, was founded by Perseus ( BC), the son of Zeus and Danae, the daughter of king Akrisios of Argos. Mykenae was build by the mythical Cyclops, the same ones who constructed the enormous walls of the nearby city of Tyrinths, which was governed by his brother Proetos. Mykenae was build by the mythical Cyclops, the same ones who constructed the enormous walls of the nearby city of Tyrinths, which was governed by his brother Proetos. Perseus was succeeded by his son Sthenelos, the father of Eurystheus, who captured Argos and according to the myth, he assigned Herakles to perform the twelve labors. Perseus was succeeded by his son Sthenelos, the father of Eurystheus, who captured Argos and according to the myth, he assigned Herakles to perform the twelve labors. After the death of Eurystheus, the city was governed by Atreus of Elis (1250 BC), the brother of Eurystheus wife and son of Pelops and Hippodameia. After the death of Eurystheus, the city was governed by Atreus of Elis (1250 BC), the brother of Eurystheus wife and son of Pelops and Hippodameia.

50 Mycenean Art-Fresco

51 Mycenean Art-Metallurgy Bronze LionGold Cup

52 Mycenean Art-Ceramics Octapus Jar Horse Jar

53 Myceneans and Linear B With such a non-descriptive name, Linear B proved to be the oldest surviving record of a Greek dialect, known as Mycenaean, named after the great site of Mycenae where the legendary Agamemnon ruled. With such a non-descriptive name, Linear B proved to be the oldest surviving record of a Greek dialect, known as Mycenaean, named after the great site of Mycenae where the legendary Agamemnon ruled. Its usage spanned the time period between 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE approximately, and geographically covered the island of Crete as well as the southern part of the Greek Mainland. Its usage spanned the time period between 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE approximately, and geographically covered the island of Crete as well as the southern part of the Greek Mainland. Its decipherment is attributed to Michael Ventris, an architect who actually liked linguistics and epigraphy more than architecture! The script is mostly syllabic, with a bunch of logograms depicting common items such as man, woman, sheep, etc. Its decipherment is attributed to Michael Ventris, an architect who actually liked linguistics and epigraphy more than architecture! The script is mostly syllabic, with a bunch of logograms depicting common items such as man, woman, sheep, etc. It seems that ancient accounts composed a majority of the clay tablets on which Linear B appears because a lot of them are list of materials and goods. It seems that ancient accounts composed a majority of the clay tablets on which Linear B appears because a lot of them are list of materials and goods.

54 Linear B

55 Optional Signs: used to clarify the spelling of a word

56 Mycenae The ancient city of Mycenae was once thought to exist only in ancient Greek legend and the epic poetry of Homer. The ancient city of Mycenae was once thought to exist only in ancient Greek legend and the epic poetry of Homer. It wasn't until 1870 that an amateur archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann found the fabled city. It wasn't until 1870 that an amateur archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann found the fabled city. Many people doubted that he would find such a city, but using only landmarks from the text of Homers Iliad, Schliemann uncovered the remains of a once thriving civilization. Many people doubted that he would find such a city, but using only landmarks from the text of Homers Iliad, Schliemann uncovered the remains of a once thriving civilization.

57 Mycenae con’d The city of Mycenae was the center of a large and powerful Mycenaean Greek civilization, which existed from circa 1900 B.C.E. to circa 1125 B.C.E. The city of Mycenae was the center of a large and powerful Mycenaean Greek civilization, which existed from circa 1900 B.C.E. to circa 1125 B.C.E. It is located in the south central part of what is present day Greece. It is located in the south central part of what is present day Greece. The Mycenaean civilization was at its height between 1400 and 1200 B.C.E. The Mycenaean civilization was at its height between 1400 and 1200 B.C.E. It is believed that the entire civilization consisted of a few loosely joined city-states. It is believed that the entire civilization consisted of a few loosely joined city-states. Possible members of the city-states were Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes, Orchomenos, and of course Mycenae, which was the strongest. Possible members of the city-states were Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes, Orchomenos, and of course Mycenae, which was the strongest.

58 Map of Ancient Greece

59 Map 2

60 The Acropolis

61 Lion’s Gate The Lions Gate at Mycenae. It was the main entrance to the Acropolis and its opening was closed by a double door with sheets of bronze. The relief consists of two confronting lions, their heads made from different material. The structure is dated to 1250 BC.

62 Palace Reconstruction

63 The treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon. It was constructed in 1250 BC.

64 Site Layout

65 End of Mycenae By 1200 BC the power of Mycenae was declining; during the 12th century, Mycenaean dominance collapsed. By 1200 BC the power of Mycenae was declining; during the 12th century, Mycenaean dominance collapsed. Within a short time around 1250 BC, all the palaces of southern Greece were burned, including the one at Mycenae. Within a short time around 1250 BC, all the palaces of southern Greece were burned, including the one at Mycenae. This is traditionally attributed to a Dorian invasion of Greeks from the north, although some historians now doubt that such an invasion took place. This is traditionally attributed to a Dorian invasion of Greeks from the north, although some historians now doubt that such an invasion took place. However, no outsiders speaking Doric Greek entered Greece. Another theory postulates that some of the Mycenaean populace, who later came to speak the Doric dialect, turned on the weakened Mycenaean superstructure and razed it, settling in many regions formerly controlled by it. However, no outsiders speaking Doric Greek entered Greece. Another theory postulates that some of the Mycenaean populace, who later came to speak the Doric dialect, turned on the weakened Mycenaean superstructure and razed it, settling in many regions formerly controlled by it.

66 Revival and end During the early Classical period, Mycenae was once again inhabited, though it never regained its earlier importance. During the early Classical period, Mycenae was once again inhabited, though it never regained its earlier importance. Mycenaeans fought at Thermopylae and Plataea during the Persian Wars. Mycenaeans fought at Thermopylae and Plataea during the Persian Wars. In 462 BC, however, troops from Argos captured Mycenae and expelled the inhabitants. In 462 BC, however, troops from Argos captured Mycenae and expelled the inhabitants. In Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins at Mycenae were a tourist attraction (just as they are now). In Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins at Mycenae were a tourist attraction (just as they are now). A small town grew up to serve the tourist trade. By late Roman times, however, the site had been abandoned. A small town grew up to serve the tourist trade. By late Roman times, however, the site had been abandoned.


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