UGC 111 notes

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UGC 111
Professor David Buell
Lecture 8: Ancient Greece
Part 1: Minoans and Mycenaeans
Hellas – Greece
Greece controlled parts of the Mediterranean
Dictaean Mounatins – Crete
Plains and valleys separated
Communication was poor
Greece was politically fragmented
Mountainous; Suitable land and tree crops
Olive, vines
Suitable land for pastoral activities (herding of sheep and goat) Mediterranean Sea
Situated within a close distance of the sea
Sea faring people; trade network with Italy and the Eastern in particular Natural resources: fish
Paleolithic axes from Crete
Homo Erectus (upright human) – 1.8million – 300,000 years ago Came to island of Crete through sea faring
The Minoans and the Mycenaeans
Homo sapiens sapiens (ie. Modern humans) – 100,000 years ago 7000-6500 BC agricultural farming communities
3500 BC – Bronze weapons and tools
Trade with the Near East
The Greek Bronze Age: Minoans and Mycenaeans
Minoans is the prehistoric of Crete
Mycenaens is the prehistoric of the mainland
Development of cities on the island of Crete, then on main land Thescus slaying the Minotaur
Minos = King of Crete; tyrant and rules with an iron fist
The Labyrinth = maze that Minos own
The Minotaur = beast
Half human, half bull
Minos feed the Minotaur Athenians
He sends a number of boys and girls
Theseus
Outsmarts Minos in the Labyrinth
Assisted by Minos’s daughter
She gave him a string to help him through the maze
Kills the Minotaur
Later broke up with Minos’s daughter
Arthur Evans = archaeologist
Knossos
Minoans trading outposts throughout the Mediterranean
The Island of Santorini (location of one of the outposts) – Eruption ca 1470 BC Thera – Minoan colony
Eruption sent a massive tsunami to Crete (evidence of destruction on the sea-coast) Volcanic ash preserved a lot of the Minoan artifacts (houses, objects etc.) Minoan houses; rain led to collapse of the rooftops

The Palace of Knossos or… The Palace of Minos (ca. 1900-1100 BC) Social hierarchies develop which led to extravagant palaces
The palace had places for ceremonial functions, manufacturing of products (metals); served as the political capital for these small states; had storage spaces (palace collected tax from surrounding country side) – comes in form of agricultural stuff The Central Courtyard at Knossos

Bull leaping took place in these courtyards (ceremonial event (?)) Bulls = important in a religious context (connection to religion) Emphasized on the community
Frescoes = painting on walls (individuals sitting watching people dance within these large places) Could be meeting places for events like dancing
Lavish building: well-cut stones; well-constructed buildings; highly decorated The Minoans like to depict scenes of nature in art; (marine fresco = dolphin fresco) In storage spaces: grain, wine, olive oil

Mount Juktas- A Minoan Peak Sanctuary
Minoans didn’t worship in temples but in shrines on high mountain peaks (Peak Sactuaries) Communicated with Gods (the peaks are higher to the Gods)
Large, open-air, high spaces
Each palace have a peak sanctuary and can be seen from the courtyard Minoan Writing
1) Pictographs- pictures representing various things (ex. The Phaistos Disk – in spirals) 2) Hieroglyphs- 1700-1600 BC- Minoans somehow adopted Egyptian idea 3) Linear A (syllabic + ideograms)- consists of various inscriptions all made by a line Undeciphered; therefore we have no idea what language they spoke Documented from what were in the storages

Ex. Linear A tablets – wrote on them, then erase
Massive destructions on Crete – massive fires that destroyed the palaces The olive oil in storage spaces fueled the fires and explosions The Mycenaeans
These people might have invaded Crete (1400-1300 BC)
Illiad and the Odyssey = epic poems written about the Mycenaens Two cultures interact between the Mycenaens and the Minoans
Mycenaean Greece (1800-1180 BC)
Mycenae
Excavated by famous archaeologist called Heinrich...
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