Introduction to Aegean Art

Introduction to Aegean Art

Philip P. Betancourt
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: INSTAP Academic Press
Pages: 2
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  • Book Info
    Introduction to Aegean Art
    Book Description:

    This textbook is a compilation of the author's more than 35 years of teaching and excavation experience in the field of Aegean Bronze Age art history and archaeology. It is geared toward an audience of undergraduate and graduate students as an introduction to the Bronze Age art objects and architecture that have been uncovered on Crete, the Greek peninsula, and the Cycladic Islands.

    eISBN: 978-1-62303-084-1
    Subjects: History, Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  4. List of Color Plates
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xix-xxi)
    • 1 Introduction to Aegean Bronze Age Art
      (pp. 1-8)

      The art of the Aegean Bronze Age is an important chapter in the early expression of ideas through visual metaphors. The development of complex urban societies, which increased in intensity in the southeast parts of Europe during the third and second millennia B.C., resulted in a major expansion of the visual aspects of human interaction and communication. The arts flourished, and the examples that survive into modern times present us with images in many media—monumental wall paintings, stone architecture at large scale, elite objects of gold, silver, and other metals, interesting sculptures, and thousands of fine small pieces in...

    • 2 The Aegean Islands: The Early Bronze Age
      (pp. 9-27)

      The Aegean Islands have often been regarded as stepping-stones because they are close enough together to act as easy points of reference for seafarers traveling across this part of the Mediterranean Sea (Fig. 1.1). They vary considerably in both size and character. Some of them, like Naxos and Melos, are large enough to support several towns and nearby farmland and pastures. At the other extreme, some small rocky islets have few resources of any type. One group of islands in the Aegean, located north of Crete, is called the Cyclades. The Cycladic culture is named after this group.

      These waters...

    • 3 Early Minoan Crete: EM I to EM III/MM IA
      (pp. 29-53)

      Crete has the isolation and protection that only an island can offer, but it is large enough to support many towns and cities as well as smaller places (Fig. 3.1). With a distance of about 260 kilometers (ca. 160 miles) from east to west, it is the largest island in the Aegean. Countless fertile areas, including many low hills and grassy valleys, provide enough arable land for a substantial population. Although Crete is less than 325 km (ca. 200 miles) north of the Sahara Desert, its high hills and rugged landscape create several different climates: wetter in the west and...

    • 4 The Greek Peninsula in the Early Bronze Age: EH I to EH III
      (pp. 55-66)

      People were already living in Greece during the Paleolithic period, and small groups of settlers probably arrived in the peninsula repeatedly during most periods of antiquity. Many of these people would have been quickly assimilated into the existing cultures while others would have brought new ways of doing things that fundamentally altered the status quo. By the end of the Neolithic period, the Greek peninsula already had hundreds of settlements, both large and small. Greece’s domestic economy, like that of its neighbors, was based on growing grains and other crops and on raising livestock. Metals were already being used, and...

    • 5 The Minoan Palatial Periods: MM IB to LM IB
      (pp. 67-108)

      During the long period of stability between Middle Minoan I and the first stage of the Late Bronze Age, the people of Crete developed a palatial civilization with written records, monumental stone buildings, and an organized bureaucracy. The people in charge of the palaces were patrons of the finest art, encouraging the development of monumental wall paintings, fine sealstones, and a long series of beautiful creations in many media. These developments took several centuries, and the finest pieces come from the end of this long period. The stability was periodically punctuated by destructions (either from earthquakes or from war or...

    • 6 The Aegean Islands: MC to LC IA
      (pp. 109-132)

      The population of the Cycladic Islands gradually increased during the Middle Bronze Age. Substantial towns like Phylakopi on Melos, Acrotiri on Thera, and Hagia Eirene on Keos were busy stopping points for the ships that passed regularly between islands and carried a wide variety of goods. Metals continued to be important commodities, and the mines on the islands of Kythnos and Seriphos joined the mainland region of Lavrion in providing copper, lead, and silver for Aegean as well as a few eastern consumers.

      As the population of the whole Aegean area grew in size, new towns were founded, urbanization increased...

    • 7 The Greek Peninsula: MH to LH IIA
      (pp. 133-154)

      The Middle Helladic period had a long, smooth development. As it did in the Early Bronze Age, the population continued to support itself through agriculture and animal husbandry. Stability gradually returned after the disruptions that had occurred in the second half of the third millennium B.C., and small towns prospered. Trade never died out completely, and both pottery and other commodities were distributed widely. Burial was mostly in small cist graves cut into the soil or soft bedrock.

      Although some minority views suggest that the Greeks arrived at the end of the Middle Helladic period or that they were already...

    • 8 Mycenaean Greece: LH IIB to LH III
      (pp. 155-184)

      Many scholars believe that the destructions in Crete and several Aegean islands at the end of LM IB/LC IB resulted from the conquest of the Aegean by Mycenaean Greeks. The Linear B tablets found in Crete in LM III show that people who spoke Greek were in charge of the Minoan palaces by then, and the change from the Minoan language of the Linear A documents to the early Greek language of Linear B may have happened at the time of the LM IB destructions. Certainly, the artistic changes visible throughout the Aegean after LM IB indicate that a historical...

    • 9 The Mycenaean Period in the Cyclades and Crete: LC II to III and LM II to III
      (pp. 185-200)

      At the end of the Bronze Age, considerable mainland Mycenaean influence can be recognized in many of the Cycladic islands and in Crete as well as at Miletus in western Anatolia, on the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese, and at other eastern locations where Minoan features had existed for some time. This influence begins in earnest after LM IB/LC IB and reaches a peak in the 13th century B.C. It is present in architecture, pottery, and several other aspects of the material culture. Especially important for the interpretation of this change in affiliation is the fact that the new...

  10. Credits for Illustrations
    (pp. 201-202)
  11. Index
    (pp. 203-212)
  12. Color Plates
    (pp. None)