Furniture & permanent fittings

  • Created by: Ruthfeath
  • Created on: 28-05-18 20:07
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  • Furniture & Permanent Fittings
    • Techniques
      • Wood was shaped by carving, steam treatment & the lathe
      • Pieces were assembled using mortise-and-tenon joinery, held together with lashings, pegs, metal nails & glue
      • The implements of stone carving involved were the tubular drill, the saw and the chisel
    • Key Examples
      • Wall Painting, Cult Centre, Mycenae
        • Leg resting on rectangular stool
      • Chest shaped coffin, Crete
        • Similar one may have been used in Mycenae - Minoan influence
      • Great hall, Mycenae
        • Backless stools - most common type of furniture
      • 2 priestesses fresco
        • Gold throne
      • Cyclopean walls, Mycenae
        • Circuit walls that measure over 1,100m
      • Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae
        • Relieving triangle
      • Pylos- built benches were used in the archive room and used for stacking andstoring archive tablets
      • Gold cup, Dendra
      • Camp stool fresco, Knossos
      • Cast of a bed, Akrotiri
      • Daemons ring, Tiryns
        • Goddess sitting on a chair.
        • Crossing lines beneath the chair suggest it was a folding chair like a camping chair so was probably used for outside worship
        • The chair also has a footstool
      • Remains of footstools have been found at Dendra and Mycenae
      • Ivory plaques found in Mycenae may have comefrom a furniture shop
      • Inlays for furniture have been found at Thebes along with ivory chair legs.
      • Dendra cooking pan
      • Drinking cups, Pylos
      • One tomb at Attica contained three richly decorated thrones or arm chairs
        • One chair was covered with plates of silver and inlaid ivory with blue glass past &buttons of silver gilt
      • GCA had remains of wooden objects
      • Certain wooden fragments from tomb V at Mycenae are identified as parts of twosmall tripod tables.
      • Knossos- bronze vessels with weapons were typical furniture of chieftains(according to Knossos tablet K)
      • Small tables (wood) were used as offerings- 2 found in Shaft Grave V
      • Painting of a feast from a fragment of a wall painting from the Ramp House-Mycenae -suggests the attendants were sitting on benches
      • Reconstruction of "Mykenaia" and a Seated Woman from Mycenae
    • Evidence from Linear B
      • Ebony chair with ivory back, carved with heifers
      • Footstool inlaid with man, horse, octopus, griffin in ivory
      • Tablet 642 - 3 identical tables
      • Tablet 713 - 3 more tables
        • One the same as those on tablet 642
        • Other made of ivory
      • Array of table shapes - semi-circular, rounded
      • References to nine-foot & six-foot tables
        • Foot was likely used as a unit of measurement
      • Similarity in furniture listed suggests furniture may have been made by a small number of people due to the technicality and skills involved in it
      • Tablets from Pylos proves that the Mycenaean'shad chairs, stools and tables
    • Problems
      • Majority of furniture made of wood, so there is little evidence left
      • Other furnishing that are not mentioned in the tablets can only be presumed
      • The surviving objects were owned by the wealthy, items made of ivory, gold& bronze
      • Many objects were destroyed in fires
      • Furniture and permanent fittings were often robbed from tombs
      • Schliemann rearranged the throne room at Knossos so its not accurate toassume the furniture was arranged in this way.
      • Linear B is likely to record only what the wealthy had and not everyday itemswhich the poor had
    • Purpose of materials & goods
      • Depictions of the megaron often include classical style throne, often depicted as being in gold
      • Most common form of seat was the backless stool - must have been found in every home
        • Apparently known as diphroi and were easily portable and are able to show the everyday furniture of the civilisation
      • Plastered bench - feature of palaces and rich homes. These benches were located in receptions or waiting rooms which indicated that the Mycenaean's were a bureaucratic society
      • Minoan- benches used as alters (religion)
      • Metal objects in the tombs of the wealthy show what metal objects were used ineveryday life
      • Footstools were common
      • Cupboards and chests existed for storage
      • Utensils used for cooking and serving included pots, cauldrons, jugs and amphora e (clay for ordinary people and bronze for wealthier people)
      • Wooden biers- transport bodies to tombs and burials
    • Decoration
      • Furniture known to be decorated with ivory, stone, rock crystal, tortoise shell, glass, gold, other precious metals
      • Pylos tablet - ivory decorations
      • Treasury of Atreus- permanent fittings such as half columns for decoration
    • Origins, Trade & Production
      • Pylos tablet - 12 masons (wall-builders)going to build at 4 different sites including Pylos
        • No indication of what they were going to build - since the number of masons was so small it is unlikely to be for defensive purposes so it is presumed to be for ordinary building operations
      • Wood mainly used includes oak, willow, beech, yew
      • Could also be made of stone, or metals like bronze, iron, gold, silver
      • Ivory traded from Syria
      • One timber is called ‘kutisos’ a kind of laburnum wood and box wood
      • Top tables- stone or marble
      • Tables had 3 legs because they were more stable on unequal floors
    • Furniture at sites
      • Knossos
        • Against the north wall is the alabaster throne withbenches on each side
        • Benches around 3 walls
        • A basin on the floor - used for cleansing
        • Room used as a high court, due to amount of seating
        • Sacred area
        • Was previously believed to be a shrine as the door inthe west wall led to the inner sanctuary.
      • Tiryns
        • There only remains a floor which is a slab with drilled dowel holes along the edges for the fixing of wooden walls, these would have been plastered.
        • The floor is tilted to assist waste water go to the drains
        • It had long colonnades- lent to its dignity (theme of power)
      • Mycenae
        • Ivories from The House Of Shields and in The House Of Sphinxes.
        • The house of shields consisted of a large number of vases made from serpentine, limestone, pudding stone and a dark mottled stone.
        • Idols from Mycenae at The Temple had religious purposes
        • Tables, according to the tablets could be of stone, ivory, ebony and theyare described as being inlaid with pastes of ivory and gold
        • Craftsmen carved with superb skills for the adornment of caskets andfurniture
        • Ivory plaque of confronted sphinxes from the house of sphinxes
        • Ivory group Triad- goddesses
        • Ivory inlays, rosettes, ivy leaf, lily,murex shell, dolphin
      • Pylos
        • Thirteen tablets records an inventory of furnishing for a majorevent
          • Michael Ventris and John Chadwick believed the event was the investiture of Damoklos, governor of Hither Province. And the room with the furniture was where the investiture was to take place
          • Palmer believed the event was the funeral which the king officiated.
          • List of furniture includes: ‘one chair of ebony with gold birds on the back, a footstool inlaid with ivory rosettes. This shows  the wealth and extravagance of the most privileged- (elite items).
        • The bathroom next to the Queens megaron was made from terracotta , clay and white plaster. It had a broad step for assistance into the bath. Once someone was comfortable there was a ledge at the waist centre that provided a resting place(equivalent of a sponge rack)
        • Description of valuable furniture recorded at Pylos tablets
        • At the honoured guest house, there was a white stuccoed bench filling the corner of the room, the vertical face of which was painted with a pattern.
        • There was a large pithoi for wine
        • A pantry with drinking cups
        • A lot of woodwork- the pantry had shelves and cupboards
        • The porch was adorned with frescoes and the favoured guest would be offered to rest for the night
        • The fresco with the bard was an important piece of furniture since the king would enjoy listening to the bard whilst enjoying his feast
        • Behind the throne, there was 2 griffins facing each other , behind the griffins was a lion. The lion is thought to be representing the arms of the house, therefore the furniture here is very important. (The theme of power)
        • Two Seated Women (on abench) Pylospainting of two seated womenfacing each other.

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