ANTH 3370/HONR 3304

Archæology of the
Prehistoric Ægean

Prof. Karl Petruso
Spring Semester 2009

SYLLABUS (subject to change)

Key to abbreviations below:
F = Fitton, Minoans
T = Taylour, The Mycenaeans
RP = Readings Packet
Online readings are shown as underlined links

W Jan 21
Introduction to the course. Policies, requirements, resources. Scope of Aegean prehistory. Why study Aegean archaeology?
Assignment: read all four pages on this website
M Jan 26

What is archaeology? Methods and techniques. How do we think we know what we think we know about the prehistoric past?
Assignment: none

W Jan 28
Class canceled
M Feb 2

A brief history of Aegean archaeology. Schliemann and Evans. Palaces, tombs and tablets.
Assignment: RP #1

W Feb 4
Geography, environment and natural resources of the Aegean. Chronology and chronography: terms and conventions (handouts)
Assignment: RP #1; Wikipedia entry on Geography of Greece
M Feb 9

Paleolithic and Mesolithic Greece: Epiros. Environment and industries. Obsidian. Evidence for sailing
Assignment: RP #2 and #3

QUIZ: ÆGEAN GEOGRAPHY AND CHRONOLOGY (study Aegean Chronology and Aegean Geography handouts in advance)

W Feb 11
Neolithic Greece I: Origins of agriculture. Southern Greece: Franchthi Cave
Assignment: RP #4
M Feb 16

Neolithic Greece II: Early village farming in Macedonia and Thesssaly. Settlements. Review of the Neolithic
Assignment: RP

W Feb 18
EXAM no. 1, covering all readings and lectures Jan. 21 through Feb. 16
M Feb 23
Colonization of the Aegean Islands in the Neolithic. The Early Cycladic period and the coming of metallurgy. Frying pans, tweezers and marble idols. Longboats and their significance
Assignment: RP #3; Broodbank article on the Cycladic longboat
W Feb 25
The Early Bronze Age in mainland Greece. Lerna in the Argolid. Dramatic changes in the material culture
Assignment: Rutter course: Eutresis and Korakou Cultures of Early Helladic I-II
M Mar 2

Crete: introduction. First human settlement. Neolithic Knossos. Prepalatial Crete, settlement and architecture. Myrtos, Vasiliki, Chamaizi. Mesara tholoi and theories of social organization
Assignment: F 9-65; Broodbank and Strasser article on the colonization of Crete

W Mar 4
The first Minoan palaces: evidence from Knossos and Phaistos
Assignment: F 66-108
M Mar 9
Neopalatial Crete II : Villas and towns. Daily life outside the palaces
Assignment: F 135-146
W Mar 11
Minoan language and scripts. Cretan hieroglyphics and Linear A: problems of decipherment. The venerable Phaistos Disc
Assignment: F 161-163; handouts
M Mar 16

W Mar 18

M Mar 23
Cretan pottery: conspectus. Minoan economy. The mechanics of trade
Assignment: F 159-161; metrology handouts
W Mar 25
A survey of Minoan major arts, minor arts and industries: fresco, metalworking, glyptic
Assignment: F 146-161
M Mar 30
Minoan religion. Cave sanctuaries, peak sanctuaries, tripartite shrines. Bulls and "bull sports"
Assignment: F 172-205
W Apr 1
Akrotiri. The Thera eruption and its consequences. The curious legend of Atlantis
Assignment: Rutter course: Akrotiri on Thera
M Apr 6
EXAM no. 2, covering all readings and lectures Feb. 23 through Apr. 1
W Apr 8
Return to mainland Greece: the Middle Helladic Period. The Shaft Graves: Discovery, contents, interpretation, significance. Problems
Assignment: T 19-30; Rutter course: The Shaft Graves
M Apr 13
Linear B: Introduction. Decipherment. The nature and function of the script. Accounting. The macroeconomy
Assignment: T 31-42; RP #7; handouts
W Apr 15
Linear B, continued: Evidence for Mycenaean religion and the structure of Mycenaean society. Daily life in Mycenaean Greece
Assignment: T 43-64; handouts
M Apr 20

Death and burial in Mycenaean Greece
Assignment: T 65-84

W Apr 22
Mycenaean citadel architecture and settlements
Assignment: T 85-112
M Apr 27
Mycenaean major and minor arts: fresco, pottery, metalworking
T 113-134
W Apr 29

The Mycenaeans in Crete and further afield. Late Bronze Age internationalism. Warfare. Bronze Age shipwrecks off southern Anatolia
Assignment: T 135-154; Institute of Nautical Archaeology website on Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya

M May 4
Troy and Trojan archaeology, 1871-present. The Trojan War in legend
Assignment: RP #8; Korfmann article on historicity of the Trojan War
W May 6

Collapse of the Mycenaean world and its aftermath. Homer and the tradition of a Heroic Age
Assignment: T 155-163; Betancourt article on the end of the Greek Bronze Age

M May 11

FINAL EXAM, 2:00-4:30 pm (non-cumulative), covering all readings and lectures April 8 through May 6

Conspectus    •    Requirements    •    Research Paper