Feasting at the Palaces of Mycenae and Pylos: Spatial Considerations and the Manipulation of Ideological Power

by Lauren Alberti

Institution: University of Arizona
Year: 2016
Keywords: Classics
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2069192
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10150/613590


Feasting has always been an important cultural activity in the Aegean Bronze Age; however, it is during the Mycenaean period in the Late Bronze Age when feasting appears to facilitate the elites' hold and manipulation of the social hierarchy. At this time, the palatial centers were the political, economic, and religious seats of the Mycenaean world, used to host particular feasting events tied to religious ritual. The feast was a dynamic event that associated the elite with religious ritual in the form of a procession and sacrifice as the iconography of the Pylian frescoes, textual evidence from the Linear B tablets, and archaeological evidence suggests. These events, for the most part, seem to have been inclusive while certain parts were more selective regarding who could participate. This further distinguished the Mycenaean elites in front of a wider audience of individuals and subjects attending the feast and associated events, working to maintain stability in the social hierarchy. The built environment was particularly important for distinguishing those participating in feasting events as it added to the event's grandeur with the monumentality of the space, and restricted those able to participate with regard to smaller locales that had a low capacity and narrower entryways preventing accessibility. With Mycenae and Pylos as case studies, this research uses spatial analyses to see how inclusive potential feasting locales were. Advisors/Committee Members: Hasaki, Eleni (advisor), Christopherson, Gary (committeemember).