Pylos

  • Created by: Ruthfeath
  • Created on: 22-05-18 18:34
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  • Pylos
    • Palace built c1300BC
      • Site destroyed shortly afterwards
      • Destroyed by violent fire in 13thC - possibly before other sites
    • Rich burials in the area from the start of the period suggest it was one of the most prosperous sites in the Peloponnese despite a lack of any natural resources apart from farming
    • Palace is set in sight of the sea in a fertile landscape on a ridge between 2 natural ravines which provided protection
    • Early version of palace on low hilltop was surrounded by a fortification wall
      • Later building on same site seems to have been unprotected
    • Palace was surrounded by other buildings for storage & contained largest group of Linear B tablets (c1000) from mainland Greece
    • Large town located around palace hill
    • Not defended by rocky acropolis
    • Minimal defences
    • Set back from sea to avoid surprise attack - extensive view over coast & plain to mountains in distance
    • Approach to palace was through propylon similar to those of the Classical period - gateway with outer & inner porch each supported by single column
      • Columns made of wood, shaft was fluted
    • On the right as you enter the gateway was a guardroom
      • Low platform immediately to left of door indicates position of sentry's stand
    • Rooms to left of gateway were for archives
      • Contained record of daily transactions
      • Where majority of Linear B was found
    • Entrance to palace was convenient control point for execution of daily business
    • Honoured guests would be taken across court to waiting room immediately to the left of the porticoed entrance to the royal apartments
      • White stuccoed bench filling one corner of the room - painted with a pattern
      • 2 large pithoi, perhaps containing wine - next door was a pantry with drinking cups
      • Washing & libations would have been completed as part of a ritual preparation by visiting guests
    • Favoured guests could have stayed overnight in the porch & vestibule of the palace - decorated with frescoes
    • Megaron
      • Room with 4 tall fluted columns, circular hearth with painted border
      • Floor decorated with geometric designs & octopus in one area of the room
      • Walls decorated with myths - one remaining part is thought to be Orpheus charming animals & birds with his music
      • Behind the throne 2 griffins face each other across the throne with wings outstretched - they wear jewels & have upraised & curled tails
        • Lions also in the scene
    • Near the megaron were rooms that were used as pantries & stores, and a staircase up to the second storey
      • In one of them were 2,853 drinking cups - suggests high consumption on site, or they could have been to send to other sites
    • Double room at the back of the megaron contained vast supplies of olive oil with pithoi arranged around the side of the room
    • Palace has remains of staircase to lower floor
    • Queen's Apartments
      • Smaller megaron with painted hearth without columns, 2 small rooms
      • To NW of megaron was a bathroom - bath is terracotta, room also contained 2 large vessels
    • Central court smaller than Mycenae & Tiryns, plainer, more unusually designed
    • Maze of drains underneath palace - smaller drains emptied into larger drains
      • Primarily used to remove rainfall
    • Cluster of houses around palace complex
    • Terraced buildings common due to terrain - ramps or stepped streets often connected different levels
    • Small chamber has been interpreted as a shrine
      • In front of it in a small courtyard was an altar built of rubble & mud brick, covered with stucco & painted on all surfaces with a geometric design
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