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Minoan culture and archaeology

(5,147 words)

Author(s): Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
A. Definition [German version] 1. History of scholarship When Crete became autonomous in 1898, its archaeological exploration became possible. Arthur Evans, who excavated the palace of Knossos, called the Bronze Age culture of the island ‘Minoan’ (after the mythological Cretan king Minos), in contrast to ‘Mycenaean’ which at that time was the usual term for the Bronze Age culture of the whole of Greece. At the beginning of the Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), MC was limited to Crete. Until its height ( c. 1700-1400 BC) its sphere of influence extended to include the southern A…

Weapons

(2,508 words)

Author(s): Hausleiter, Arnulf (Berlin) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Blech, Michael (Madrid) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt Weapons were among the earliest artefacts fashioned by humans and their ancestors. Stone arrowheads and blades were the first recognizable weapons in the ancient Near East into the Neolithic Period ( c. 10000 BC). From the 4th millennium BC, weapons were depicted on roll seals and stelae in scenes of warfare or hunting. Of maces suitable for close combat, generally only the heads (of stone or metal) survive. One exception is the deposit at the Chalcolithic find site of Naḥal Mišmār in P…

Tumulus

(4,351 words)

Author(s): Steimle, Christopher (Erfurt) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Jung, Reinhard (Berlin) | Hülden, Oliver (Tübingen) | Naso, Alessandro (Udine) | Et al.
(Latin 'hill', 'funerary mound', pl. tumuli; Greek τύμβος/ týmbos, σῆμα/ sêma; χῶμα/ chôma). I. Definition, distribution, function [German version] A. Definition Tumulusis a general term for a mound, as a rule artificial and usually round or oval in plan, associated with a burial ('burial mounds', as opposed, e.g., to prehistoric settlement mounds). Tumulus burial (‘mound burial’) describes all burials that have been covered by a mound. Tumulus is also used in archaeology as a technical term for burial mounds outsid…

Phaestus

(984 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Fornaro, Sotera (Sassari) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
(Φαῖστος; Phaȋstos). [German version] [1] Mythical king of Sicyon Mythical king of Sicyon, son Rhopalus the son of Heracles [1]; establishes divine worship of Heracles; because of an oracle emigrates to Crete, where the city of P. [4] is named after him (Paus. 2,6,6f.). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [German version] [2] Ally of the Trojans in the Trojan War Ally of the Trojans in the Trojan War, son of Borus from Tarne in Lydia, killed by  Idomeneus [1] (Hom. Il. 5,43). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [German version] [3] Epicist, Hellenistic period Hellenistic epic poet, mentioned twice in the scholia o…

Mycenaean culture and archaeology

(4,491 words)

Author(s): Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
A. Definition [German version] 1. History of research The culture of the Late Bronze Age (16th-11th cents. BC) on the Greek mainland is called Mycenaean culture (MC);  it is also the continuation of Minoan palace culture (Minoan culture and archaeology) in the whole area of the Aegean. It was first called thus by H. Schliemann, who rediscovered the lost material culture of early Greece in his excavations at Mycenae in 1876 and at Tiryns. The tripartite chronological system, which was developed by A. Eva…

Wall paintings

(3,970 words)

Author(s): A.NU. | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Numerous Ancient Oriental temples, palaces and private residences were painted inside, but due to the a secco-technique, only traces of the paintings still remain. Each colour has its own symbolism. Red, the colour of life and strength, was used as early as the 10th millennium BC for painting the walls and floors of houses (e.g. Ain Mallaha, Israel). Clay or lime plaster served as the base [1; 2]. The oldest and best-preserved figural wall paintings (WP) are found in the houses of…

Pylos

(1,818 words)

Author(s): Scherf, Johannes (Tübingen) | Lafond, Yves (Bochum) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
(Πύλος/ Pýlos). [German version] [1] Homeric P. Kingdom of Nestor In Homer, P. can designate both the domain and residence of Nestor [1] [3. 119-126]. The geographic information on the location of the palace - however concretely verifiable in the actual topography - given in Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey each lead to different locations. In the tale of Nestor, the so-called Nestorís in the 11th book of the Iliad (cf. [2. 296-298] on Hom. Il. 11,670-762), the information clearly points to a place south of the Alpheius [1]. In the Odyssey, on the other h…

Necropoleis

(7,045 words)

Author(s): Tsochos, Charalampos (Erfurt) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Genz, Hermann (Istanbul) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Et al.
[German version] I. Introduction The Greek word νεκρόπολις/ nekrópolis, ‘city of the dead’, is attested in Antiquity only in Strabo (17,1,10,14) as the name of a suburb of Alexandria [1] (Necropolis). Modern scholarship transfers the term necropolis to cemeteries of various cultures and time periods. General definitions as to shape and size do not exist. In this article, necropolis refers only to sites of a certain size and usually lying outside the settlements themselves. The size of a necropolis, the …

Tiryns

(929 words)

Author(s): Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Doric Migration | Dark Ages | Linear B | Mycenaean culture and archaeology | Persian Wars | Aegean Koine | Aegean Koine | Mineral Resources (Τίρυνς; Tíryns). Significant Bronze Age settlement on and around a steep rock outcrop on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Argolis. Settled by the late Neolithic, in the 3rd millennium BC T. had developed into a centre of early Bronze Age culture with dense building on the whole hill, including apsis-buildings on the Lower Citadel …

Mycenae

(810 words)

Author(s): Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Lafond, Yves (Bochum)
This item can be found on the following maps: Theatre | Doric Migration | Dark Ages | Linear B | Mycenaean culture and archaeology | Persian Wars | Aegean Koine | Aegean Koine | Education / Culture | Mineral Resources (Μυκῆναι/ M ukênai, Μυκήνη/ Mykḗnē; Lat. Mycena; Mycenae). [German version] I. Mycenaean period Settlement on a steep spur in the northern foothills of the Argolid. The oldest traces of settlement date from the early Bronze Age (2900-2500 BC). M. is the most important centre of Mycenaean culture. Excavations were carried out by H. S…

Dimini

(309 words)

Author(s): Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Mycenaean culture and archaeology Neolithic hilltop settlement about 5 km to the east of Volos/ Iolcus (Thessaly), half way to  Sesklo, whose key ranking in this region it assumed in the late Neolithic (1st half of the 5th millennium BC). The excavation by V. Stais in 1901 conformed to the expectations of the time: a fortification surrounded by several walls with a  megaron in the centre. The publication of the excavation by Ch. Tsountas [4] created a paradigm that placed fortifica…