ANTH 3370 / HONR 3304

Archæology of the
Prehistoric Ægean

Prof. Karl Petruso
Spring Semester 2009



     This course deals with the material remains bearing on the origins, development and decline of the first two high civilizations in Europe, namely the Minoans on the island of Crete and the Mycenaeans in mainland Greece. We will survey the Stone Age background in the eastern Mediterranean first, examining the evidence for the earliest human presence in the region and the rise of agriculture; this will be followed by a consideration of Early Bronze Age colonization and seafaring in the Cycladic Islands. The emphasis of the course will be on Late Bronze Age society, economy, and religion, the best evidence for which is to be seen in the architecture and vibrant arts of the Minoan and Mycenaean palaces, burials, and the Linear B clay tablets. The course will end with a survey of evidence and theories for the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. The historicity of the Trojan War and archaeological glosses on the "Homeric Question" will also be considered.
     The course has no prerequisites, but Principles of Archaeology (ANTH 2339) taken previously or concurrently will enhance the student's understanding of the material.

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