CL 172 / HA 190B - Art & Archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age

Paper Assignment, Due Thursday May 1st

Choose one of the suggested topics below or one of your own (with my approval in advance) for a term research paper. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate how archaeological material is classified by type, material, date and artifact class, and how it can be applied to the study of one or more themes of prehistoric archaeology.

The paper should begin with a short descriptive section on the artifact/s or material being studied (what, where, when, how big/small, etc), followed by a discussion of the topic and its implications.

You should emphasize:

1. the importance of the topic to the archaeological research of the Bronze Age and the Aegean civilizations,
2. the importance and meaning of the material to the culture that produced it,
3. the chronological significance,
4. and the stylistic and/or historical significance.

 Keep in mind the following guidelines:

1. Your paper should be 6-8 pages, typed in a 12pt font, double-spaced, and with no more than 1" margins all-around.

2. You will need to use several sources for your research. These must be clearly cited in the text using the Harvard system: Author's Last Name, Publication Date, Page Numbers (Shelton 2000: 27-30) and in full bibliographic entries at the end of the paper. (Please let me know if you need help locating sources). For bibliography (example): Shelton, K. 2000. "Chamber Tombs from Mycenae," ArchEphemeris, 22-50. 

NB: Information from the WEB is notoriously bad, but can be a good source for references to follow up - so only ONE source may be used (and cited) in the paper - NOT Wikipedia. Websites should be cited by an abbreviation in the text (GMC - "Mycenae") and fully in the bibliography including web address and date of accession.

3. Proofread carefully. With today's computer spell and grammar checks, there is no excuse for sloppy errors.

4. Illustrations are welcomed, but do not count towards the page total.

5. Be sure to hand in your paper on time (by class on Thurs May 1st). Late papers will not be accepted nor with submissions by e-mail.

6. Be very conscious of structure: provide a clear introduction, thesis statement, and conclusion, and arrange your arguments logically and succinctly.

Please come to see me, or Kelsey, at any time if we can provide advice or assistance. You may prepare a rough draft to "pass by me" if it would help in your preparation process, but of course is optional.

Suggested Topics:

  1. Compare and contrast the figurines of the Early Cycladic period with those of the Late Helladic period, giving special attention to their possible uses and meanings.
  2. The "palace" at Gournia in East Crete and the “palace” at Gla in the Copais - how do they compare/contrast architecturally to other Minoan and Mycenaean palaces? Discuss the possible implications for the use of the sites and buildings.
  3. Marine Style pottery in the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures - examine their dates, styles, possible areas of manufacture and market and how they can be used to characterize their respective periods (LMIB and LH IIIC).
  4. Linear B tablet series Aa, Ab, Ad (women and children laborers/slaves) - discuss what information is recorded and what this can tell us about Mycenaean life and the palace administration. Is there archaeological evidence to support this information?
  5. Egyptian faience plaques from Mycenae - discuss what their presence on the Mainland could mean for trade and diplomacy in the Mediterranean.
  6. The miniature "Ship Fresco" from the West House at Akrotiri, Thera - describe the scene and identify what in it might be identified as Minoan, Mycenaean, and other Mediterranean locations with comparison to artifacts/architecture recovered archaeologically.
  7. Aegean Bronze Age chariots, weapons and armor - compare representations in various craft media to actual examples (if any) and discuss theories of use based on the available evidence.
  8. Procession frescoes from the Bronze Age Aegean - discuss their significance to painting, religion, cultural characteristics, and the "koine" of palatial art.
  9. Investigate the form and function of Seals and Sealings in the Aegean Bronze Age economy.
  10. Tholos tombs in the Aegean – discuss origins, use, and possible interconnections.
  11. Minoan versus Mycenaean “palaces”: design, development, function and features.
  12. Aegean Bronze Age shipwrecks and the evidence for shipping, navigation, and the “exchange of goods” and ideas in the Mediterranean.
  13. Metalworking and the development of culture styles and technologies in the Bronze Age Aegean.
  14. The use of visual evidence for reconstructing Aegean Bronze Age architecture – advantages and disadvantages
  15. Types of evidence available for the reconstruction of religious ritual and cult sites in the Aegean Bronze Age, especially evidence of interconnection and influence.

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sheltonk@berkeley.edu 02/19/2014