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Mycenaeans

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A brief slide show explaining the history of the Mycenaeans in art.

A brief slide show explaining the history of the Mycenaeans in art.

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  • 1. The Mycenaeans Mycenaeans occupied mainland Greece about 200 0 BCE, becoming rivals to the Minoans about 1800 BCE, and eventually took over Cretan civilization about 1450 BCE.
  • 2. A Warrior People • The Mycenaeans are a warrior people • They wear armor (like this guy in a boar-tusk helmet), drive chariots, and kill animals & people. • Honor and courage are primary virtues.
  • 3. A Warrior People • The Mycenaeans were Greek. • They came to Greece around 2000 BCE. • They borrowed many local words, including the one for ‘sea’, Θαλασσα (thalassa)
  • 4. Heinrich Schliemann • In the late 1800s, a German millionaire turned treasure hunter. • He dug up the ruins of Mycenae, and other prehistoric Greek sites. • He was the first real archaeologist in Greece.
  • 5. Heinrich Schliemann • Schliemann actually found Troy first, but the Turks expelled him for taking artifacts. • He dressed his wife in the jewelry he found at Troy, calling her a “second Helen.”
  • 6. The Grave Circle at Mycenae
  • 7. Excavations at Mycenae • When Schliemann left Turkey, he came to Greece a hero, and the Greek government allowed him to excavate at Mycenae beginning in 1871. • Schliemann found a Bronze Age Greece no one had really understood before.
  • 8. Mycenae Was Not Unknown People had known about it for centuries, but no one had done a significant search of the fortress of the Sons of
  • 9. It was even a tourist site! Engraving of the Lion Gate of Mycenae from about 1840 CE, about 40 years before Schliemann, shown choked with rubble.
  • 10. Plan of Mycenae
  • 11. Schliemann found ruins...
  • 12. ...that gave us an empire!
  • 13. Mycenae ... • sat at the center of a road network... • traded with Egypt, Spain, Crete, Phoenicia, and maybe even Britain.
  • 14. But the Mycenaeans... • were not peaceful. • Did not place nice. • Fought hard, played hard
  • 15. Phenomenal Builders...
  • 16. ...and Metalworkers
  • 17. The Megaron • The core of a Mycenaean palace was the Megaron. • The Megaron was a 2 1/2 room show- place designed to prove they weren’t barbarians...
  • 18. Every Mycenaean palace • has a courtyard • with a porch • that leads to an anteroom • which precedes the four-pillared room • with a central hearth
  • 19. The Megaron
  • 20. The Inner Hall
  • 21. Linear B...
  • 22. Linear B... • The Mycenaeans conquered Crete and the Minoans eventually. • Then they stole their writing system, • Mycenaeans adapted it to their use. • Same symbols, different sound values.
  • 23. This is ancient Greek. • It just doesn’t look like ancient Greek. • the ‘Greek’ alphabet won’t even be invented for another 800 years. • This is Linear B Greek, not Linear A ‘Minoan’.
  • 24. How do we know? • In 1936, a young boy named Michael Ventris heard Arthur Evans speak on two unknown languages, Linear A and Linear B. • He resolved to translate the tablets.
  • 25. Linear B Deciphered • In 1953, aged 32, Ventris found the key, and proved Linear B was archaic Greek. • Ventris died in 1956, the same year Chadwick convinced everyone Ventris’s decipherment was correct.
  • 26. Ventris was 14 when... • Ventris worked on the Linear B problem for 17 years. • He began as a 14-year- old boarding school student. • He was right.
  • 27. Mycenaean Collapse • c. 1200 BCE, someone starts burning Mycenaean palaces deliberately. • Mycenaean records report posting sentinels and coast-guards. • An invasion was underway... or a civil war... we’re not sure which.
  • 28. Mycenaean Fortresses • Mycenaean Palaces are reinforced with massive, “cyclopean” walls. • Palaces get destroyed anyway. • By 1100 BC, Mycenaeans are gone.
  • 29. The Trojan War Did it Really Happen?
  • 30. Will We Ever Know? • Not sure; evidence is pretty good. • War between Hittites & Mycenaeans? • Probably. • Achi!es? Odysseus? • Maybe... Maybe not

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