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The Mediterranean World Part I Mediterranean Europe and Realms of the Aegean.

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Presentation on theme: "The Mediterranean World Part I Mediterranean Europe and Realms of the Aegean."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Mediterranean World Part I Mediterranean Europe and Realms of the Aegean

2 Atlantis The roots of the legendary lost civilization examined. The pseudoscience associated with the search.

3 Varna, Bulgaria ► Ancient site discovered in 1972 on Black Sea coast. Elaborate and rich burials dated to 7000 BC suggest late Neolithic/Chalcolithic period was more complex than previously imagined. ► (see pdf reading on course website)


5 Burial at Varna necropolis. See link age_groups/11 age_groups/11 From such burials it is often possible to reconstruct social structure of lost societies, such as ideologies of status, rank, and religion.


7 Obsidian from Milos found in Franchiti cave, mainland Greece, dated to 10,000 years ago. Even with lower sea levels, this provides evidence for early seafaring.


9 Early Bronze Age 3500-2000 BC ► Crete and the Cyclades develop independent of Egypt. Some influence can be traced to Mesopotamia. ► Trade and tribute underscore the relationship between Aegean sites and Egypt.

10 ► East of the Levant, Mesopotamia cities have emerged between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Literacy begins with script impressed into clay tablets in Ugarit and Uruk. ► ► Greece at this time is home to only small petty kingdoms or lesser tribes.

11 ► In the Cycaldic islands seafaring is dominant. Art is highly refined, and international exchange is far reaching into Anatolia and beyond. ► After 2000 BC, settlements are destroyed. New forms of art, pottery, architecture and burial customs, and a new language that follow strongly suggest invasion and cultural replacement. But by whom?

12 ► Cycaldic culture is mainly a mystery, known principally through their art and fortified towns. ► Late Cycladic artistic motifs are shared with culture on Crete.


14 Cycladic artistic styles



17 Motifs shared with Crete. Refined pottery styles.


19 ► New people to the region are of Indo- European “stock” and introduce cultural elements found in Europe and shared in SW Asia. ► Peoples migrating from the north establish themselves at Mycenae.

20 2000-1700 BC ► Greek mainland suffers cultural decline until Mycenaean times. ► Rise of city-based kingdoms in Greek speaking regions, including Anatolia. ► Principal power in Mediterranean is Minoan civilization, its capitol on Crete at Knossos.

21 The Mediterranean Legend and Myth

22 Parthenon. Athens 5 th century BC Most Greek legends predate the period of Classical Greece by at least 1000 years.


24 Theseus and the minotaur Plato Trojan War

25 Plato and Atlantis ► In one of the philosopher’s teaching stories Plato describes a lost civilization a 1000 years before his time. ► Although the story is embellished, it is intended to recall a glorious time before the corruption of his own time. Much like Homer’s Illiad, it is from the time of Heroes. ► The story is related as a commentary of the politics of his own time more than as a history lesson. ► We need to remember that Plato is the only source of the legend and nowhere else in Greek mythology does it appear.

26 The Minoans ► Crete and nearby colony of Thera (today Santorini) ► Refined art, advanced technologies, trade based on seafaring. ► Urban life, sophisticated, merchant class. ► Development of script apparently for bureaucratic purposes. Linear A and B (A remains undeciphered)

27 ► Small city-states of Greece paid tribute to the Minoans. The Egyptians tell of Minoan power in their papyrus scrolls dated to this period. ► On Crete, the cult of the Bull was all powerful--expressed in art and ritual.




31 Excavations at Akroteri by Spiridon Marinotos



34 From fresco.

35 Atlantis? ► Compelling evidence for Thera as an island kingdom source of the legend of Atlantis. Several important parallels between the archaeology and the “legend.” ► Advanced, sophisticated, naval power ► Destroyed in a major natural disaster ► Described by Egyptian scribes ► Worshipped bulls ► Labyrinth in the palace

36 Early Period Greece from 1050-750 BC ► Fall of the Mycenaean occurs around 1050 and leads to what has been called the “dark ages of Greece,” but really means we have little information about these times. Literate traditions faded and few records exist. ► This is the leading edge of the Iron Age. ► Literacy will not emerge again until 800 (borrowed script from Phoenicians adapted to Greek language) and recording of oral traditions.

37 War and military arts dominated male life at Mycenae.

38 Stylistic elements of Mycenae have militaristic character.

39 Late Bronze Age ► Fall (or destruction) of Minoans opened up opportunities for the Mycenaean civilization on mainland Greece and the eastern Mediterranean ► The period from 1600-1000 BC is often referred to as the “Age of Heroes” in Greek mythology. It is the time of the Trojan war, and heroes such as Hercules.


41 Linear A

42 House model; fired clay.

43 Reconstructed Palace at Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans. Part science, part fantasy.


45 Stylized bull horn motif. “Throne room”

46 As it might have looked.

47 1200 rooms.

48 Frescos from the palace interior.


50 Minoan priestesses.

51 Chronology ► Thera destroyed around 1600 BC ► Total collapse of Minoans a few centuries later ► Akhenaton in Egypt ► Trojan war around 1550 BC ► Movement of the Sea Peoples into eastern Mediterranean (who they were remains a puzzle) ► Mycenaean decline after 1000 BC


53 Political and economic power ► Controlled by sea power  Minoans had strong merchant navy  Phoenicians had merchant fleets and fast galleys  Greeks had merchant fleets and city-state controlled naval fleets with powerful triremes.

54 The trireme was state of the art sea power. This design is closer to 5 th century than the time of Trojan war. Based on multiple secondary sources.

55 Greek Trireme Trust replica.

56 Your view as you are about to be rammed…

57 TROY AND MYCENAE The Trojan War of Homer’s Illiad

58 Homer Trojan War Next time: The Age of Heroes

59 Current excavations at Mycenae ► See Mochlos/settlement.html

60 The citadel of Mycenae


62 Golden death mask recovered by Heinrich Schliemann, royal tomb II at Mycenae. He proclaimed he had “gazed on the face of Agamemnon” who had led the Greeks in the Trojan War. The graves, however, predate the Trojan War.

63 Mycenaean women



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