Mycenae

  • Created by: Ruthfeath
  • Created on: 17-05-18 20:37
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  • Mycenae
    • Physical Setting
      • Lies in a rocky knoll between two mountains
      • Flash-flooding was well known risk
      • 8 miles from Tiryns
      • Constant water supply from Perseia spring to the east
      • Lay on divide between arable & pasture land
      • Good lines of connection in all directions
      • Farming destroyed much trace of road routes north
      • Sandstone hills provided wood - grazing for animals
      • Lowlands provided farming land
    • Pre-Palatial Period
      • Occupation well known - traces of walls, lots of excellent pottery
      • Walls found on top of acropolis - main residence at highest part of site
      • West slope - remains near Lion Gate, under Ramp House, below Citadel House
      • Most extensive structure found beside Processional Way - burnt remains of basement storeroom filled with pots & provisions
      • Structural remains near GCB & under Ivory Houses
      • Prehistoric Cemetery covered much of lower west slope of acropolis hill - outside main settlemetn
        • Burials are basic small grave
      • Pottery exclusively wheel made - innovation
      • Increase in visible wealth & change in culture near end of period
      • GCB surrounded by wall, included 25 graves (35 burials)
        • 14 shaft graves
        • 1 larger built tomb
        • Earliest are simple cist grave
    • Early Palatial Period
      • Vast increase in wealth & ostentatious display through burials - 3 types
      • GCA is evidence of cultural emergence
        • Graves held 9 women, 8 men, 1 child
        • Grave goods show vast quantity of wealth, craftsmanship & trade
          • Come from wide variety of places - Crete, Egypt
      • Tholoi
        • Tomb of Aegisthus & Lion tomb are two largest from this period
          • Built for members of dominant faction
        • All have been robbed - only small pottery traces remain
        • GCA still in use for one family group - others changed to this grave type
      • Chamber tombs
      • Central building on top of the acropolis
        • Fragments of fresco with plant decoration, very high quality pottery found beneath later structures
      • No plan for early palace
        • Must have followed natural contours of hill
    • Palatial Period
      • 14th & 13th Centuries BC
      • Climax of influence
      • Differences between mainland Greek & Cretan culture became ever more apparent
      • Influence of mainland Greece begins to spread even more widely
      • Fortification walls
      • Treasury of Atreus
        • First of major monuments to be built
        • 2 colour facade
        • Major advance from last phase (Lion Tomb)
      • Palace
        • 2 palaces during this phase - structure built after terrace for citadel wall had been built
        • Built in last quarter of 14thC
          • Plan of three blocks divided by long corridors
            • Northern terrace
              • Basements for storage
              • Upper terrace of rooms
            • Central part of middle terrace
              • Open as a sort of central court
              • Private quarters of ruler
              • Suite of rooms to west of court - guest suite
            • Southern block
              • Large reception rooms
              • Courtyard
              • Megaron with central hearth
                • Throne in middle of south wall
        • Also a more eastern section - later fell
      • Most houses visible today
      • 2 other tholoi
      • Development in building technique
        • Artificial terracing - extended area available for building, strengthened the foundations of major structures
          • Required advances in drainage - water was allowed to seep through to be channelled out by built drains through outer terrace walling
            • In citadel walls, drains were built narrowing at the outlet so the volume of water would keep exit clear
          • Developed because of shortage of space or because of damage to existing structures - earthquake
          • Terraces built in compartments of  strength - filled with small stones mixed with soil & domestic rubbish (largely pottery)
            • Pottery probably brought from rubbish dumps elsewhere - provides detailed chronological sequence
      • Fortifications built in 3 stages
        • 1. 2nd half of 14thC - dated by pottery sherds
          • Entrance through a road from the south-west
          • Another entrance at north-east corner - population could enter and access water source to east
          • Line of wall followed line of rock exactly
        • 2. Mid 13thC
          • Lion Gate
          • Newly aligned ramp leading to summit
          • New west wall to encircle refurbished GCA
        • 3. End of 13thC
          • North Gate
          • North Gate extension - brought entrance to underground water cistern inside walls
      • Most other structures within citadel assigned to this period
        • Many seem to have been burnt at the end of the 13thC
      • West Slope
        • Ramp House
          • Opens onto small open space with South House
        • House of the Warrior Vase
          • Large basements
          • Backs onto South House
        • South House
          • 3 sets of rooms
          • Early 13thC
        • Cult Centre
          • Linked to roads approaching citadel from south west
          • Mid 13thC
            • Several shrine
            • Megaron 10
            • Storage basements
            • Large house
        • Granary
          • Built after GCA - façade planned in relation to it
          • Plant remains found inside, dated to this phase
        • Underground cistern
          • Water running through hills of citadel could be accessed
          • Entrance passage constructed
      • Town
        • Seems to have reached c.80 acres beyond citadel walls
        • Separate cemeteries & settlements
        • Boundaries marked & clearly identified by 14thC - citadel first walled
        • Commercial & smaller establishments found on Pezoulia slope
          • House of the Wine Merchant
        • Only one tomb lies within area of town
      • Tombs
        • Last of 9 tholoi to b constructed was Tomb of Clytemnestra - end of 14thC
        • Tholoi were tombs for highest social group
          • Others  used family chamber tombs
            • Total number of chamber tombs surpasses 300

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