By Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy, Irene S. Lemos

This ebook is the main primary reinterpretation of old Greek historical past, tradition, and society in thirty years. The authors refute the conventional view of the Greek darkish Age with facts of a gradual development from Mycenaean kingship to the belief of aristocratic the Aristocracy within the Archaic period.

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Extra info for Ancient Greece: From the Mycanaean Palaces to the Age of Greece (Edinburgh Leventis Studies)

Sample text

The archaeological indications of the appearance of aggrandising elites in different communities shows a process at work that is highly variable from place to place and subject to no rule other than that which produces effective display of prestige within the community that forms the audience. Let us consider the state of affairs from the middle of MH through LH II, a long period of at least three hundred years that covers the transformation from a thinly populated landscape with few signs of central settlements and economic activity to one of dense settlement clustered around central places vitally engaged 5 Mycenae, Grave Circle A, Grave IV: the silver stag of Anatolian origin (Koehl 1995; Vermeule 1975: 15); Vapheio: the bronze ‘Syrian’ axe head (Kilian-Dirlmeier 1987: 203–4); Dendra: the octopus cup (Hurwit 1979) and the wishbone-handled cup with bucrania like that from Enkomi (Matthäus 1985: 120–3; in general see Cline 1991).

At Plati building A is of less interest to us than its successor, building B, which also reflects the corridor house plan (Hayden 1987: 211–13). The date of the construction of the buildings at Ayia Triada is now fixed in LM III A2, and this coincides with the evidence from the new excavations at Khania for the Mycenaean settlement (Hallager 1997: 178–80). At Gournia building He was dated by Furumark to LM IIIB (Hayden 1987: 210, n. 52). These 7 Renfrew 1982: 40–1, fig. 1; interestingly the megaron is almost the same size and plan of the similarly oriented main building of the Phylakopi III period (LBA I–II; Renfrew 1982: 39), thus raising the probability of there being continuity between the two.

Nor was the architectural form of the Mycenaean palaces independent of Mycenaean social structure, for it emerged from the social matrix of an evolving society on the mainland of Greece that was influenced by its contacts with the more highly organised societies of the Minoan palaces and the entrepôts of the Cycladic islands. Principles of social organisation (family structure, kinship, rules of marriage and descent), however, are social rules, not rules for architecture. They only become articulated and visible in architecture through repetition and through the accumulation of social and political value, and these are processes that do not develop uniformly, but vary according to local circumstances and traditions (from a sociological perspective this is the argument of Giddens 1984: 16–40, 83–92, 132–58, 163–206 and Bourdieu 1980: 52–65).

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