Lecture4 minoansmycenaensedited

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Lecture4 minoansmycenaensedited

  1. 1. Lecture 4: Minoans and Mycenaeans: The International Bronze Age
  2. 2. International Bronze Age 1500-1100 BCE <ul><li>Overview: </li></ul><ul><li>International trading networks - Copper + tin </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic + cultural exchange </li></ul><ul><li>5 Zones of Power </li></ul><ul><li>New Kingdom of Egypt </li></ul><ul><li>Hittite Empire of Anatolia </li></ul><ul><li>Assyrian and Babylonian Empires </li></ul><ul><li>Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece </li></ul><ul><li>Small Kingdoms along coast of Syria-Canaan </li></ul>
  3. 3. Hittite Kingdom: Overview <ul><li>1650 BCE: Hittites in Anatolia </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial Expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Monarch: chief priest of all gods (“land of a thousand gods”) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission of ancient Mesopotamian ideas to Greeks </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of history </li></ul>
  4. 4. Kassite Babylon: Overview <ul><li>1400 BCE: Kassites conquer S. Mesopotamia. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Highly centralized administration </li></ul><ul><li>Monarchy: generous land grants, extensive system of temples, public building, + canals </li></ul><ul><li>Center of literature + learning </li></ul><ul><li>1200’s BCE: Assyria conquers Babylon under Tukulti-Nurta I (1244-1208 BCE) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Minoan Crete: Overview <ul><li>2600 BCE: Emergence of Minoan Civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Trade with Egypt + Eastern Mediterranean </li></ul><ul><li>1700-1400 BCE: Height of Minoan Civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of knowledge: from art + architecture, not texts </li></ul>
  6. 6. Chronology <ul><li>Prepalatial Minoan Crete </li></ul><ul><li>(2300-1900 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Protopalatial Minoan Crete (1900-1700 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>Neopalatial Minoan Crete </li></ul><ul><li>(1700-1400 BCE) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Prepalatial Minoan Crete 2300-1900 BCE <ul><li>Farmsteads + small villages </li></ul><ul><li>Early urbanization: building complexes of Myrtos + Mochlos </li></ul><ul><li>Trade networks, 2000 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign trade + urbanization = shift from decentralized culture to social + ruling classes </li></ul><ul><li>Major architectural structure: circular tholos tombs </li></ul>
  8. 8. Protopalatial Minoan Crete (1900-1700 BCE) <ul><li>4 Major palaces: Knossos, Phaistos, Mallia, Zakros </li></ul><ul><li>New political system: king + bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Social hierarchy: nobles, peasants, slaves </li></ul><ul><li>Trade continues </li></ul><ul><li>Paved road network </li></ul><ul><li>End of tholos tombs </li></ul>
  9. 9. Neopalatial Minoan Crete (1700-1400 BCE) <ul><li>Height of Minoan civilization: Palace-centered, economic prosperity </li></ul><ul><li>Villas in rural landscape, modeled after large palaces </li></ul><ul><li>Militaristic lifestyle emerges: weapons in royal tombs. Mycenaean threat? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Minoan Palaces <ul><li>General Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Economic activity, political power + religious rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Rooms of varying sizes + functions: residential quarters, workshops, storerooms </li></ul><ul><li>Maze of rooms, no apparent design </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of city walls + fortifications: security? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Political Structure and Social Class </li></ul><ul><li>Elite </li></ul><ul><li>Royal nobility: luxury </li></ul><ul><li>King: control over palaces + allocation/use of surrounding land </li></ul><ul><li>Villas outside palace: lower tier of elite families </li></ul><ul><li>Free Peasant Class </li></ul><ul><li>Small, sparsely furnished houses around palaces </li></ul><ul><li>Accepting as exploited subjects – King as representative of land + people to gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Large economic gap between elite + non-elite </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Slaves </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly war captives: widespread with urbanization </li></ul><ul><li>Most belonged to palaces </li></ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul><ul><li>Occupations mostly unknown. Weavers: employed by palaces as professionals or slaves </li></ul><ul><li>Minoan iconography: women participating in + attending social events </li></ul>
  13. 13. Palace of Knossos <ul><li>2000 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>1899: English archaeologist Arthur Evans. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Minoan”: mythical king of Crete, Minos (Homer) </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>3 acres, courtyard center, 100’s of rooms. Housed 25,000 people. </li></ul><ul><li>Residences for elite, administrative headquarters, shrines for religious worship, warehouses for storing crops </li></ul><ul><li>Cretan craftsmen: precious jewelry, ceremonial vessels, pottery, tools </li></ul><ul><li>Colorful paintings of plant/animal life + scenes of human activity (often rituals) </li></ul><ul><li>3000-4000 tablets, Linear B script </li></ul>
  15. 15. Minoan Religion <ul><li>Principal recipient of worship: a goddess </li></ul><ul><li>Fertility functions </li></ul><ul><li>Religious symbols in art: snakes, birds, bulls, stylized bullhorns, axes with double heads </li></ul><ul><li>Processions, music + dance, gifts + sacrifices </li></ul><ul><li>Slaughtering of animals on outdoor altars </li></ul><ul><li>Kings: lacked temple complexes of Near East. Palaces as religious centers. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Cultural Achievements <ul><li>1. Architecture: elaborate palace constructions </li></ul><ul><li>2. Trade: great wealth </li></ul><ul><li>3. Engineering, in particular water + sanitation. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Road network connecting major palaces + towns </li></ul><ul><li>5. Art: aesthetic pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>6. Leisure and recreation: boxing, backgammon, bull-jumping </li></ul><ul><li>7. Ancient writing: Linear A tablets, earliest form of Minoan script. 1900 BCE - economic records in palaces. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Decline of Minoan Crete <ul><li>1400 BCE: Destruction of Minoan Crete </li></ul><ul><li>2 theories: </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign invaders </li></ul><ul><li>A natural disaster: tidal wave linked to eruption of volcano on Thera </li></ul><ul><li>1000 BCE: All Cretan towns and palaces (except Knossos) destroyed </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mycenaean Age 1600-1100 BCE <ul><li>Economic power shifts to mainland Greece </li></ul><ul><li>Grand cities: Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes, Athens </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive trade across Mediterranean </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of Minoan Crete: </li></ul><ul><li>Palace-centered economy </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Linear B script, related to Linear A script. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Mycenaean Culture <ul><li>Linear B Tablets </li></ul><ul><li>More than 5000 inscriptions found. What do they reveal about Mycenaean culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Political Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Wanax (“lord” or “master”), military commander, administrative officials, charioteers, mayors of villages </li></ul><ul><li>Palace: center of religious organization. King: economic + political control of sanctuaries </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers: rural areas, decent living conditions </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Slavery: a central institution. Mostly in palace, some domestic slaves </li></ul><ul><li>2. Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Records of economic matters </li></ul><ul><li>Reveal occupations: goldsmith, shipwright, mason, baker, cook, woodcutter, messenger, armorers, shepherd, doctor, potter, carpenter, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>* No literary record of Mycenaean values or beliefs * </li></ul>
  21. 21. Shaft Graves and Tombs <ul><li>“ Shaft graves”: bodies lowered into deep rectangular pits cut into soft bedrock </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing wealth of shaft graves + emergence of tholos tombs: growing power </li></ul><ul><li>Only most elite could afford tholoi </li></ul><ul><li>What can these burial sites tell us about Mycenaean culture? </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>1. Wealth and Power of Kings </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking vessels, jewelry, etc: luxurious life of rulers </li></ul><ul><li>Superior nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>2. Militaristic society </li></ul><ul><li>Graves of warriors: armor, weapons, chariots. Prestige of military </li></ul><ul><li>Kings: commanders-in-chief </li></ul><ul><li>Well-fortified city walls </li></ul><ul><li>Art: military themes </li></ul><ul><li>International piracy </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Mycenaean Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Overlap with Minoans (gifts, sacrifices, religious symbols, fertility goddess) </li></ul><ul><li>Fusion of Aegean fertility religions (Minoan Crete) + Indo-European sky/weather gods </li></ul><ul><li>Differences: </li></ul><ul><li>Cretan place of worship: caves + sanctuaries on mountains. Mycenae: No shrines outside city centers </li></ul><ul><li>Cretan palaces: more shrines + elaborate designs. Mycenae: Megaron complex center for religious ceremony </li></ul>
  24. 24. Mycenaean Palaces <ul><li>1400-1200 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture + decoration influenced by Minoans </li></ul><ul><li>Major differences: </li></ul><ul><li>On commanding hills fortified by thick walls </li></ul><ul><li>Megaron: ceremonial center of palaces </li></ul>
  25. 25. Decline of Mycenae 1150 BCE <ul><li>Economy destroyed: warfare between Mycenaean Kingdoms </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread migration: population declines by 75% </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural prosperity disappears + drought, famine, + invasion rise </li></ul>
  26. 26. City of Ugarit <ul><li>City-state of Syria + Canaan </li></ul><ul><li>Population of 6000-8000 + 25,000 farmers in 150 villages in countryside </li></ul><ul><li>Fertile plain + rich natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>Center of international trade </li></ul><ul><li>13 th C BCE: Overpowered by Hittite Empire </li></ul>
  27. 27. City of Troy <ul><li>Northwestern Anatolian coast </li></ul><ul><li>Prospered: international bronze age </li></ul><ul><li>Layers of occupation + construction </li></ul><ul><li>950 BCE: Final destruction of Troy </li></ul><ul><li>Possible cause: enemy raids </li></ul><ul><li>City of Troy: immortalized in Homer’s Iliad </li></ul>
  28. 28. 1100-550 BCE: Rise of Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires <ul><li>Neo-Assyrian Empire: Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial expansion, reorganization of army, building projects </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile battering rams, siege towers, cavalry unit </li></ul><ul><li>King Asshurbanipal (668-627 BCE) built library (around 10,000 texts) </li></ul><ul><li>Conquering: reputation for cruelty </li></ul><ul><li>Internal revolts, collapse in 605 BCE </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Neo-Babylonian Empire: Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Strong economy: conquests of terror </li></ul><ul><li>Restored roads/canals + expanded irrigation system </li></ul><ul><li>Center of international trade </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural achievements: Ishtar Gate, temple of Marduk </li></ul><ul><li>Discoveries in astronomy </li></ul><ul><li>King Nabonidus (555-539 BCE): worshipped moon goddess Sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Fall of empire, 539 BCE </li></ul>
  30. 30. “ Dark Age”: 1100-950 BCE <ul><li>Diplomatic, cultural, + economic networks destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Invasions, migrations, collapse of governments </li></ul><ul><li>Possible Causes: </li></ul><ul><li>Invasion of “Sea Peoples” </li></ul><ul><li>Habiru : peasants forced into crime </li></ul>
  31. 31. Lecture 4: What do you need to know? <ul><li>Where were the 5 zones of power during International Bronze Age? How is period characterized? </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural contributions of Hittites, Neo-Babylonian, and Neo-Assyrian Empires </li></ul><ul><li>General characteristics of Minoan religion and social structure; cultural achievements of Minoans </li></ul><ul><li>Know the differences between Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations (in palaces, religion) – and what they indicate </li></ul><ul><li>Possible causes for decline of Minoans and Mycenaeans </li></ul><ul><li>What is Dark Age? Possible causes? </li></ul>

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