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Minoans and Mycenaeans

Minoans and Mycenaeans
The mixture of two civilizations

In the period of middle bronze age (1900-1600 B.C.) the Minoan influence was felt throughout the Aegean. This was a very determining factor for the creation of Mycenaean culture. The Mycenaeans adopted many elements of Minoan art and religion, which they used creatively to produce their own, equally brilliant, civilization (imposing acropolis, urban organization, splendid pieces of art.)



Religion: – Worship of trees and sacred columns. – Libations , processions. – Holy ecstatic dances for the Mother Goddess-Nature. – Sacred Knot, figure-of-eight shields, sacred horns, countryside sanctuaries, altars. Art: – Inspiration by Neopalatial motives. – Delicate creations. – Method and techniques of frescos and ceramics.



Religion: – Conversion of Mother Goddess aspects to the Mycenaean way of faith. (For example the aspect of Mother Goddess as protector of wild animals was converted to Artemis,the goddess of hunting.) – In Linear B script we find Mycenaean references to gods: Poseidon, Hera, Zeus, Hermes, Artemis, some of whom took the place of relative Minoan deities. Architecture: Emphasis on commanding presence, for all types of buildings (big defensive “CYCLOPEAN” walls , tombs of warriors with armour, (in Minoan tombs no armour has been found), throne room of Knossos.)

Art:Frescos: New choices of subjects (Hunting , chariots, fighting.) Pottery: A. New styles of decoration:

  1. “Palatial style” (more stylized motifs, decoration in zones.) 2. “Mycenaean Koine” (Common Mycenaean style): -“Pictorial style” (from Argolid) Figures of animals, chariots and human beings, often arranged as scenes (like hunting and fighting scenes.) – “Octopus style”(from Cyclades Dodecanese.) Octopus depictions with various filling ornaments, such as fish, birds, rosettes, triangles. 3. “Close style” (from Argolid): Thick decoration covers the whole body of the ceramic. 4. “Grannary style” (from Argolid): Very simple linear decoration, used just before the collapse of the Bronze Age.

B. New shapes of ceramics

– Goblet – Squat alabastron, Piriform jar – Stemmed and Ephyraean kylix – Spouted cup – Feeding bottle

C. Improvement of the techniques of pottery Both ceramic bodies and decoration reached the highest level For the entire period of the Aegean Bronze Age.

Society: More militaristic and more bureaucratic way of life.