This course offers an in-depth interpretative exploration within a chronological framework of the Late Bronze Age (i.e. ‘Mycenaean’) Aegean in its broader Mediterranean context, and follows on from ARCL3074 on the emergence of Aegean complex societies.
It will focus primarily on the formation (during the Shaft Grave period) and nature of Mycenaean palace-centred polities. Social structures, economic organisation, and ritual and ideological dimensions are analysed through material culture, art and deciphered Linear B text. It will also consider interaction between the Aegean and societies in the east and central Mediterranean, with a specific emphasis on Cyprus, the Levant, Anatolia and Italy. The final part of the course covers the collapse of these Aegean polities, the transition to the world of the Iron Age, and the generation of Homeric epic.