Archive | Aegean Culture RSS feed for this section

Octopus.

23 Feb

Mycenaen Octopus Styrup Jar

A large, wide-eyed octopus stretches its tentacles across the curved body of this jar. The motif on the jar is naturalistic and there is a great sense of movement. These kind of stirrup jars, designed not to spill and easy to carry, transported oil and wine throughout the Mediterranean during Mycenaean period. Control of the sea was essential for keeping power over their vast domain. The shape of this stirrup jar and its octopus decoration show the importance of the sea as a way of communication and as a source of food and wealth. This terracotta jar can be admired at Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Advertisements

Agamemnon, King of Mycenae.

22 Feb

17MaskOfAgamemnon

Agamemnon is a figure from Greek mythology: he was King of Mycenae and leader of the surrounding seas. One day when he came back from war (1250 BC), he brought with him princess Kassandra from Trojan, as war asset. His wife, Klytaimnestra, killed him for this reason. This dead mask, was found in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann in a grave circle. There has been much controversy about this discovery and it is proven that the mask is in fact much older than Agamemnon’s time. The name, ‘Mask of Agamemnon’, was never changed. The golden mask indicates a belief in afterlife by the Mycenaean and their skill in forging gold.

La Parisienne.

21 Feb
Reproduction by Emile Gilliéro

Reproduction by Emile Gilliéro

This fresco of a young woman is one of the most celebrated images of Minoan art. It dates from ca 1400 BC. She is a striking natural figure with large eyes, red-painted lips and curly hair falling playfully over her forehead. The woman belonged to a larger composition, where she was seated on a folding seat receiving, along with other male and female figures, a sacred drink. Found in 1903, the lady was named La Parisienne by Arthur Evans, as she was considered a reference of feminine beauty of that time.

The Thinker.

20 Feb

3CycladicThinkerStatue

Is Rodin your only reference to ‘The thinker’? Think again. Between 3200 and 2000 B.C. the small Cycladic islands in the Aegean sea became home to a flourishing culture. The most prominent craft was stone-cutting, especially marble sculptures. There was an abundance of high quality, white marble of which small figurines were made. The majority of them show women, nude with the arms folded over the belly. It is not known why these figurines were very popular, they probably symbolized a form of worshiping.

Happy dolphins at Knossos Palace.

20 Feb

Dolphin Fresco in Knossos

This work might look quite contemporary, it actually is a fresco dating back to the Minoan culture, a Bronze Age civilization. Knossos was one of the largest cities for this civilization, dated back to 2000 BC, and the Palace of Knossos was one of the largest structures within that city-state until an earthquake wreaked the land. A second palace was rebuilt in 1700 BC and was decorated with lively frescoes, of which this Dolphin Fresco in the Queen’s Apartment.

How Heinrich Schliemann discovered Troy.

19 Feb

Schliemann at the Lion Gate in Mycene

Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) , a German archaeologist, became famous for his discovery of Troy. After hearing the many tales about this mythical place, that existed only in the people’s mind, he decided to go and discover the truth about it. What was thought to be a sort of myth, became reality when he found fortifications that confirmed to be Troy. This discovery brought along the acknowledgement that the styles of earthenware formed the key to historical chronology. Heinrich Schliemann also discovered Mycenae, where you see him posing here at the Lions Gate.

%d bloggers like this: