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Prehistoric Aegean and <br />Minoan Civilizations<br />
Europe<br />Mesopotamia<br />Egypt<br />
Europe<br />Mesopotamia<br />Egypt<br />
Cycladic Art:<br />3000-2000 BC<br />
Ancient marble quarry on island of Paros, Cyclades islands<br />
Modern quarry, island of Naxos, Cyclades islands<br />
Excavated prehistoric Cycladic burial site<br />
Figurine of a woman, from Syros (Cyclades islands), 2500-2300 BC<br />
Figurine of a woman, from Syros (Cyclades islands), 2500-2300 BC<br />Figurine of a man playing a lyre, from Keros (Cyclad...
Musicians and dancers from the tomb of Nebamun, Egyptian New Kingdom, 1400-1350 BC<br />Figurine of a man playing a lyre, ...
Cycladic Art:<br />3000-2000 BC<br />Minoan Art: 1700-1200 BC<br />
Knossos, Crete. Excavation site of Minoan palace (1700-1400 BC) and reconstruction model.<br />Palace of King Minos. Legen...
Examples of the Minoan sacred double-ax (labrys) motif found at Knossos.<br />
Masonry terms:<br />Fieldstones: unworked natural stones used in building.<br />Ashlar: carefully cut, regularly shaped bl...
Bull-leaping scene, fresco from the palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1450 BC (restored)<br />
Snake Goddess, from palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1600 BC. Material: faience<br />
Palace at Knossos, Crete: Throne room (left) and queen’s private chamber (megaron) (below). <br />Ca. 1450 BC.<br />
Minoan vases from Crete, 1800-1500 BC<br />
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2011 survey aegean

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  • Cycladic islands – means cycleSlide 6 – islands used to be filled with forest, important for harvest, trade, ship building, one of the major commodities from prehistoric times, up until the 19th century, when steel was used insteadThis is why the islands are largely deforestedThe islands have a plethora of marble stonesQuarries throughout the islandQuarrying marble goes back to prehistoric times
  • Marble was traded throughout the area (slide 7)Ancient marble quarry on island of Paros, Cyclades islandsMarble from this area still has very high value
  • Modern quarry, island of Naxos, Cyclades islands (slide 8)Still extremely important for the economy of the area
  • There are not many written documents that tell us about the civilizationLots of the evidence comes from excavation sites, burial sitesVery common to bury with the deceased small statues that were made of the white marble found on the islandExcavated prehistoric Cycladic burial site (slide 9)They were usually no more than a foot in height
  • Statues are usually very characteristic, easily identifiable, have an abstract quality about themMostly women forms: Figurine of a woman, from Syros (Cyclades islands), 2500-2300 BC (slide 10)Usually would have been paintedThese statues were very prized to collectors, which lead to lots of forgeries
  • We do not know the exact purpose, it is though to be some sort of ritualistic purposeVery common was figures of musicians, usually maleFigurine of a man playing a lyre, from Keros (Cyclades iislands), 2700-2500 BC (slide 11)
  • Placement of these within the tomb suggest some kind of burial or funerary ritual that contained musicCompared with music in Egyptian paintings for funerary ceremonies and the banquetsSimilar ideas of music in the afterlife (slide 12)
  • The idea of an abstract form often goes beyond human existence into the afterlife realmClear that some of the figurines were meant to be lying downSome suggest sexual or fertility characteristics (slide 13)
  • First evidence of historic documents of this area comes from the island of Crete, right below the Cycladic islands, today part of GreeceWhat we know about Crete comes from sites of large royal palacesWell excavated and well documentedSites of Knossos – known as the location of King Minos, contained the Labyrinth where people would be sent as yearly sacrifices to the creature the Minotaur (who resided in the Labyrinth) – slide 14
  • Knossos, Crete. Excavation site of Minoan palace (1700-1400 BC) and reconstruction model.Palace of King Minos. Legend of the Minotaur kept in the labyrinthThe palace has maze-like qualities – thought to have derived from the legend of the Minotaur (slide 15)
  • The word labyrinth comes from the words meaning Double-AxesThe people are called the Minoan Civilization in reference to King MinosAxes had a ceremonial purpose, highly ornamental, not used in battleExamples of the Minoan sacred double-ax (labrys) motif found at Knossos (slide 16)
  • Why the palace was not so well preserved is unknown – what is known is that the Minoan Civilization came to an abrupt end (slide 17)There was no more civilization in this areaThought to have been caused by some type of natural disaster (tsunami, earthquake, volcano, etc.)
  • Interior of palace contained many paintings, characteristic was the red and black painted columns (slide 18)
  • They were known for their palace painting (20)Painting of the living, not of the deadIn the palace, there were primarily frescosMost of the imagery was of ritualistic aspects of life
  • The image of a bull was one of the primary ritualistic figuresAssociated with the MinotaurBull-leaping scene, fresco from the palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1450 BC (restored) – slide 20What is unique about the Minoan society is that the rituals were directed by women priestessesThey controlled the religious activitiesOne was a ritualistic game featuring the bullsYoung men were encouraged to spring over the bulls, in an acrobatic way, and the bulls were kept under control by the womenDistinction between genders, women – light skinned, men – dark skinnedCharacteristic of human figures – pinched waists 
  • Many sculptures have been found that depict women in ritualistic stancesSnake Goddess, from palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1600 BC. Material: faience (slide 21)Represents a priestess rather than a goddess, shown in a traditional type of dressBare breasted – reference to fertility or sexuality in the ritualsFaience = baked clay
  • All of the major rooms in the palace were painted in colors and motifs that were never seen beforeAssociated with the living rather than the deadScenery, pleasant images, dolphinsNaturalistic and also fantastical beastsPalace at Knossos, Crete: Throne room (left) and queen’s private chamber (megaron) (below). Ca. 1450 BC (slide 22)
  • Minoans were well known for objects that they painted that were tradedThey were painted and shipped to other areas, shipped images as wellMeant more as trade objects rather than for displayDistinct curvature – stylized forms to symbolize the oceanIn particular the octopusMinoan vases from Crete, 1800-1500 BC (slide 23)Minoans = famous for painting throughout the regionTheir civilization also came to an abrupt end
  • Transcript of "2011 survey aegean"

    1. 1. Prehistoric Aegean and <br />Minoan Civilizations<br />
    2. 2. Europe<br />Mesopotamia<br />Egypt<br />
    3. 3. Europe<br />Mesopotamia<br />Egypt<br />
    4. 4.
    5. 5. Cycladic Art:<br />3000-2000 BC<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Ancient marble quarry on island of Paros, Cyclades islands<br />
    8. 8. Modern quarry, island of Naxos, Cyclades islands<br />
    9. 9. Excavated prehistoric Cycladic burial site<br />
    10. 10. Figurine of a woman, from Syros (Cyclades islands), 2500-2300 BC<br />
    11. 11. Figurine of a woman, from Syros (Cyclades islands), 2500-2300 BC<br />Figurine of a man playing a lyre, from Keros (Cyclades islands), 2700-2500 BC<br />
    12. 12. Musicians and dancers from the tomb of Nebamun, Egyptian New Kingdom, 1400-1350 BC<br />Figurine of a man playing a lyre, from Keros (Cyclades islands), 2700-2500 BC<br />
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Cycladic Art:<br />3000-2000 BC<br />Minoan Art: 1700-1200 BC<br />
    15. 15. Knossos, Crete. Excavation site of Minoan palace (1700-1400 BC) and reconstruction model.<br />Palace of King Minos. Legend of the Minotaur kept in the labyrinth<br />
    16. 16. Examples of the Minoan sacred double-ax (labrys) motif found at Knossos.<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Masonry terms:<br />Fieldstones: unworked natural stones used in building.<br />Ashlar: carefully cut, regularly shaped blocks of stone fit together without mortar.<br />Dressed masonry: stone blocks shaped to the exact dimensions required, with smooth faces for a perfect fit. Ashlar is a component of dressed masonry.<br />Porch at the palace at Knossos, Crete, 1700-1400 BC<br />
    20. 20. Bull-leaping scene, fresco from the palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1450 BC (restored)<br />
    21. 21. Snake Goddess, from palace at Knossos, Crete, ca. 1600 BC. Material: faience<br />
    22. 22. Palace at Knossos, Crete: Throne room (left) and queen’s private chamber (megaron) (below). <br />Ca. 1450 BC.<br />
    23. 23. Minoan vases from Crete, 1800-1500 BC<br />
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