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Title: The octopus style : a study of octopus-painted Aegean pottery of 12th-11th centuries B.C.E., its regional styles, development and social significance
Author: Doi, Michimasa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 2104
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis deals with a distinct group of Aegean pottery from the Late Bronze Age known as the Octopus Style, and in particular the Octopus Style stirrup jar, which constitutes the overwhelming majority of the group. Richly and variously decorated, they were produced widely across the Aegean. Sometimes exported or imitated, large and decorative, their presumed function as an object of display and their prestigious character accord with their find contexts. These vases are thus an important source of evidence for understanding the new circumstances in the region after the collapse of the Mycenaean palace system, particularly in relation to Crete, from where they largely owed their inspiration. Aiming first to define the predecessor of the Octopus Style, Late Minoan IIIB octopus- painted vases are examined stylistically and contextually. The study proposes a clearer idea about the painted designs of the Octopus Style produced in each region through a rigorous comparison of the material in order to construct a more concrete picture of regional characteristics and stylistic relationships between each regional group. Design elements on the Octopus Style stirrup jars are systematically described and compared and the relevant stratigraphical and contextual evidence examined to establish the sequence of stylistic development. By taking this approach, it was possible to discern several stylistic groups within each regional group and six phases of development in the Octopus Style stirrup jar, which started and virtually ended with the Late Minoan IIIC period. Through these phases, the stylistic relationships between the regional groups are not constant. A strong influence from Crete is evident on the earliest Rhodian and Naxian Octopus Style, whereas during later phases, mainland stylistic features are more visible than before. On this basis, important changing local power relationships and competing fashions between Aegean societies may be inferred from this decorative pottery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available