Lecture Week 2 Sept. 17-21

Figurines hint at religion suggest earth goddesses

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Unformatted text preview: l is an important source of information How people treated the dead is informative • Cremation vs. inhumation • Grave goods o These often suggest hierarchical society o Arts and crafts are established Ex. Ceramics, woodwork, textiles o Evidence for farming communities • • Middle Minoan (ca. 2000 BCE) o Palaces (= large complex structures) established Knossos, Phaestus, Mallia, and others Big questions: • Who lived there? Monarch? • What was their function? Administrative? Religious? o Complex society Needed administration o Evidence of a system of writing Called Linear A Hieroglyph writing system Has not been deciphered There is an assumption that the texts using this writing were administrative in function • This was the use of Linear B writing system of the Mycenaeans • This is not definitive since we cannot read them Probably tied to the rise of bureaucracy o Evidence of trade o Art: Can provide evidence for social life Many marine images Goddess figurines hint at religion • Suggest earth goddesses • Exposed breasts suggest fertility • Snakes readily handled o Snakes – strong association with the earth Suggestion of stylized gymnastics • Bull leaping • Acrobatics Ritual knives Phaistos disk • Found on Crete • Minoan • Covered with hieroglyphic type markings • We don’t know what it says or means o Ca. 1700 BCE damage from earthquakes is evidenced However, quick rebuilding is apparent at this time Shows that the society was healthy; they had the time and resources to rebuild o Ca. 1600 – 1500 BCE High point for Minoan society Thalassocracy Evidence of warfare – military and weapons Some influence throughout the Aegean world Evidence for violent sports • Bull leaping o Some believe that these had a religious component Decline of Minoan Society (after 1500 BCE): o Settlements were destroyed (often by force) and not immediately rebuilt Shows lost ability to respond • Lack of interest or resources? It might have been difficult for them to manage their growth from one (or a few) central locations o Minoan society ess...
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