The art of the Aegean world

Aegean civilization one of the ancient civilizations. It has evolved over the two millennia (3000 to 1200 years BC). The territory, which it occupied: the Aegean sea and its Islands, the Cyclades, the Peloponnese Peninsula, the Western coast of Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean. The center of the Aegean culture is the island of Crete.

The first successful archeological excavations date back to 1876-the year in Mycenae and 1899-the year in Crete. Peak archaeological excavations clung to the NINETEENTH century. Then it was excavated several large cities: Poliochne (Lemnos island), Phylakopi (Milos island), Troy, Micena. In Poliochne was investigated wall height of 5 m; in Three of the Royal residence; in Crete the palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Mallia; a in Mycenae Acropolis.

The most important discoveries can be called the conclusion of the English archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early twentieth century. After their amazing discoveries in Crete, he first compared them with the ancient Greek literature, Egyptian and Asian texts, and came to the conclusion that the culture of Crete to be associated with the cultures of Egypt and other countries of the ancient East. After that, he presented his version of the periodization of Aegean civilization and called it Minoan. Its essence is to divide it into three main periods, and each period of three subperiod. The study of the Aegean culture at the moment is complicated,as the script is still not deciphered.

– The early Minoan period (3000 – 2300 years BC). It lasted almost 8 centuries, and during this time the island of Crete didn’t know enemy attacks. This allowed well-to develop the agrarian sector (the island at that time was very fertile), navigation (the tracks lead to Egypt). At the same time started the development of metal, namely copper, which in turn gives impetus to the development of the craft.

– Middle Minoan period (2200 – 1800 years BC). This period of construction the first and the main palaces on the island is Knossos, Mallia, Fest. The transition from primitive to rannegosudarstvennoe forms of civilization, the appearance of the letter.

– Minoan period (1700 – 1200 years BC). Historians say that the period of the peak of prosperity of the Minoan culture, the evidence of the many works of art: the unusual architecture, amazing paintings, amazing ceramics, a kind of small plastic. Cretan art resembles the art in the Eastern countries of that time, but without the monumentality and symmetry. Between 1628 and 1500 years BC eruption of Santorini volcano, which caused the tsunami wave. She reached the island of Crete, covering its Northern coast. This was the main reason for the decline of the Minoan civilization.

The archaeologists that excavated it, found many remains of architecture, the most valuable is the Palace of Knossos. This is a whole set of architectural structures that were created over several centuries. His fate was not easy – he was ruined several times and then it was restored again. We all remember the ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur that lived in the maze, now at the heart of the maze were bizarre buildings of the Palace. When it was built, local residents were not afraid of enemy attacks from the sea, because it is not observed walls around him. The Central part of the Palace – yard, by those standards is very large. Around the perimeter of the yard is a series of buildings of various shapes and heights. Because of the difference between the heights of the buildings were a lot of stairs. The light in the room came through a special light wells, but due to the uneven structures of the lighting of the rooms was different. The Palace walls were covered with plaster and painted designs (murals). The Palace was surrounded by the houses of the citizens, they were often two or three stories with flat roofs. Walls of rich homes were decorated with frescoes. It should be noted that the then kitcheni was very fond of bright, festive decoration of houses. Depicted in the figures all – nature, people, religious scenes, animals and so on.

Local residents were also engaged in ceramics. The most ancient clay vessels are hand made and covered with simple simple patterns. But the vessels of the 17th century BC look very different – they have a graceful round shape, covered with black varnish and painted patterns of foliage shape red and white color. Further plants on vases have gained a realistic view – it could be tulips, lilies, ivy. Then began to appear in paintings with marine motifs. One of the masterpieces is the vase, which depicts an octopus.

During the rise of the Minoan culture develops and figurines (figurines, statuettes). The masterpiece of this direction of art is the statue of the goddess with snakes, which was made of ivory and gold.

Bad weather, which happened in about the 15th century BC was reflected in the art. Shapes became more geometric and schematic. This is evident in the sculptures.

Approximately 1400 years BC town of the island were destroyed by an armed attack of the Achaeans. And the destruction of the Palace of Knossos was the basis of the myth of Thesee – the hero that defeated the Minotaur.

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