The palace of Knossos in Crete, Greece was the central ceremonial and political center of Minoan society. It is not only considered Europe’s oldest city but is also considered the largest archeological site in Crete. This central hub housed places to discuss politics, some trades and was also used as a place to show off the greatness of the Minoans. In summation from the Greek Reporter (Links to an external site.) “It appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square.” In its construction, they used advanced techniques and luxury materials which coupled with the impressive size give the Minoans monumental grandeur.
Example 2: Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut (Egypt)
The mortuary temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt houses the tomb and life story of Egypt’s first female Pharaoh. It is a monument to her accomplishments and highlights her forward-thinking nature. Considered to be the closest architecturally to classical architecture, it takes advantage of its surrounding. It is built beneath the cliff and uses materials found in the vicinity. It tells the story of her divine birth all the way to her rule. It provides places to honor the gods as well as allows for active worshipping something which was not done previously. It encouraged it to be a gathering place for the people to not only see the majesticness of Hatshepsut but to look to a new forward-thinking Egypt
Example 3: Grave Circle A (Mycenae)
Grave Circle A is located in the city of Mycenae and it the first thing you see after coming into the main entrance of the city. It houses 6 graves with multiple bodies in them and is believed to hold some of the most revered or important people of the time. Artistically and Architecturally it stands to say to anyone who visits that these are people who honor their most important rulers and honor must be given to them by all visitors before entering the rest of the city. The site also included a lot of ornate funerary gifts such as jewelry, cups, and death masks. it is the value of these which further presses the importance of the people buried there and how important this place was to the city.
All of these serve to communicate the values of the people at the time, They revered their rulers, the gods, and wanted to capture the politics and culture of their time. Or at the very least that’s what the patrons of these places wanted you to think. Of course, Hatshepsut, the Minoans, and Myceneans would want all who looked upon their temples to see them as divine and as chosen people. The most important thread that connects them is they all valued showing honor of some kind be it to gods, their own people, or in fact themselves. It was a mark of respect in a burgeoning society that was starting to come from its simple beginnings and punching forward to the next thing. They wanted to be rooted in tradition but wholly believed in centralizing and no longer making these dwellings only for certain people but for the general population. The art was used to convey that. This can be seen in the murals depicting Hatshepsut as divine and blessed by the sun god Ra. You can see it in the scale and size of Knossos that ties itself to the myth of the minotaur in its mazelike structure. Furthermore, it is visible when you see grave circle A and its immediacy behind the ornate lion gate protecting the citadel.
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Mar 16, 2021Local: Mar 16 at 9:13pm<br>Course: Mar 16 at 11:13pm
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King and Queen of Punt
In the relief of the King and Queen of Punt, the artist depicts goods that may have been traded between the people of Punt and the people of Egypt from a trip on the river with Queen Hatshepsut. In the relief, the Queen of punt had exaggerated features, large hips, oversized arm, misshapen torso. In a period where people of power and importance were depicted in the fittest and most physically pleasing way, it seems odd that they would depict the Queen of a great African ruler in such a manner. While there is a small possibility that her portrait was depicted in a factual manner, the physique of all the other people in this scene are of toned and muscular form why would they choose this one time to depict someone with a physical deformity to adorn their walls (since physical features were very important to them). This seems like a deliberate attack on the character and reputation of the Queen of Punt.
Death Mask of Tutankhamen
This beautiful mask made for the young Pharaoh of Egypt for his burial idealized the features of power and strength. With a traditional headdress that included a cobra and a false beard, he encapsulated the ideal Pharaoh of Egypt. This mask represents the honor and respect that his people had for him, what a young ruler this man must have been to have been honored in such a way after death. This mask laid in the three layers of coffins, 20 lbs of gold in the mask alone with semi-precious and precious stones. The people who made this mask showed their respect for the deceased by giving him the best they could offer going into his afterlife. What a journey not only in life but in his afterlife that King Tutankhamen must have had in part to the offerings of his people.
In the art of boon frescos, the artist lays fresh plaster on their medium and then used dyes to paint on the still wet canvas. This helps the beautiful color fuse with the plaster instead of just resting on top of it. The portrait of the Bull-leaping depicts two girls on either side of the bull in lighter tones skin and one male in darker skin tone leaping over a bull. The bodies of the character are more cured to show the movement of the story the painter is trying to depict, even the bull is far from traditional in how the ancient Egyptians would depict a bull or even the nomads. The bull and people are depicted in strictly profile views there are no composite views of the torso or the face, the bull only shows one horn. Both legs of the bull are raised off the ground as if to suggest he is running or charging at the girl allowing the young man to leap over. compared to the sculptures and frescos of the Middle Kingdom, Minoan art is full of life and movement that so far we have not seen.