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Title: Mycenaean monumentality : an examination of the socio-political significance of monumental architecture in mainland Greece
Author: Jackson, V.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is an examination of monumental architecture on the mainland of Greece during the Mycenaean period. The phenomenon of monumentality has been largely neglected within the Mycenaean context. This thesis has derived inspiration from a variety of other architectural contexts, ranging from the European Neolithic to Mediaeval British Castles, as well as broader theoretical approaches which emphasise the active nature of material culture. Within the Mycenaean world three forms of monumental architecture are discussed: stone built tholos tombs, fortifications, and palatial complexes. These architectural forms occur over a period of several centuries, spanning the period of the growth and apogee of the palatial system. Several key observations were made. A new presentation of the distribution of tholoi led to a reassessment of the current interpretation of this form as a highly charged political symbol. Tholos architecture was instead interpreted as largely of local significance within the burial community, broadly defined. The traditional interpretation of enclosure architecture in overwhelming military terms (as ‘fortifications’) was found to impose a uniformity of form and function on what was in fact a more variable architectural phenomenon. Moreover, while the extreme visibility of circuit walls typically resulted in their significance being seen largely on a regional scale, an emphasis in this study on the process of construction has highlighted their role within the local community also. The architecture of palaces was analysed in terms of its ‘theatricality’, that is its impact on visitors from both within and beyond the local community. In particular the relationship between status and different access to architecture units was explored. In addition, several key themes cross-cut the analysis of specific architectural forms: the process of construction; changes through time in form, which may in turn relate to changes in function; the interplay between visibility and invisibility; differential access to architectural spaces; the relationship between architecture and social structure. This study emphasises the uniqueness of architecture as a form of material culture, and provides a new perspective on the Mycenaean koine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available