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Architectural Space and Social Communication on the Upper Citadel of Tiryns (23rd Annual Pritchett Lecture)

Lecture: Other UCB Archaeology | November 5 | 8-9 p.m. |  Alumni House

Joseph Maran

Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology


The GRADUATE GROUP IN ANCIENT HISTORY AND MEDITERRANEAN ARCHAEOLOGY is pleased to announce the 23rd Annual W. Kendrick Pritchett Lecture, 2012:

          Professor Joseph Maran, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

                    "Architectural Space and Social Communication on the Upper Citadel of Tiryns: The Transformation from the Palatial Period to the Early 'Dark Ages'"

In using the upper citadel of Tiryns as a case example this lecture aims at comprehending
aspects of the interplay of architecture, imagery and social practice during the final Mycenaean
palatial period and at understanding and interpreting the changes in the configuration of political
space in the aftermath of the palace’s destruction. Arguments are presented that for the first time
allow an attribution of the great women’s procession fresco to the central part of the palace, i. e. the
area of the great court and the great megaron. Even if at first sight the centre of power remained the
same before and after 1200 B.C., the intention of the usage of the upper citadel must have changed
significantly. While ritual practices of the palatial period had a centripetal direction and culminated, in
increasingly greater exclusivity of the participants and screened by high walls, in the great megaron
and its court, the post-palatial reorganization abandoned the emphasis on centripetality as well as
the use of decorative imagery. Instead, it was attempted to ensure the visibility of social practices,
in order to draw on the integrative power of rituals.

All are welcome.