EAR607 Mycenean Archaeology
The course focuses on the Archaeology of the Mycenaean civilization. There is a historical retrospection of the progenitors and contemporary followers of Mycenaean archeology. A historical retrospection of Mycenean archaeology considers the pioneer figures and their contemporary successors. The origins of social complexity in continental Greece is presented through the settlements and cemeteries of the period, emphasizing the shaft graves of Mycenae.
A special focus is placed on the appearance of the Mycenaean palaces and fortified citadels. The archaeological material is related to the content of Linear B tablets and attempts to reconstruct the state structures, the administration, the economy, the religious organization and the network of exchanges of the Mycenaean centers. The presence of cultural material in the wider Mediterranean and the Balkans is demonstrated and associated with the Mycenaean role within the wider political system of the Eastern Mediterranean. The process of collapse of the palatial system is described and the broader causes are sought. The cultural features of the post-palatial period are presented and the elements that indicate cultural interruption and continuity are identified into the centuries following the end of the Late Bronze Age.
Finally, reference is made to Mycenaean heritage both in the context of later developments (e.g. Homeric epics) and in relation to modern research and the public view.
The structure of the course comprises of:
- Mycenaean archeology: Pioneer figures and subsequent research
- The origins: Early & Middle Bronze Age in Mainland Greece
- Cultural continuity and interruption: The tombs of Mycenae
- The emergence of the palaces
- Society, administration and power in the Mycenaean centers
- Material culture and artistic creation
- Mycenaean cult and religion
- Mycenaean language and writing
- Mycenaean trade and international relations
- Collapse: the end of Mycenaean civilization
- Mycenaean heritage