Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part A)


Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part A):

Architectural Lexicon Knossos and Mycenae

Since I have been posting scores of photos of the magnificent Third Palace of Knossos, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE), I have decided to compile an Architectural Lexicon in 2 parts. This is the first. The vocabulary is relatively straightforward, with a few minor exceptions:
1 Decorated with spirals. The Minoans at Knossos and the Mycenaeans went crazy decorating many of their lovely frescoes and their walls with spirals.
2 Bathtub. You might be wondering, why on earth would I add this word?... because bathtubs were an integral part of room architecture, i.e. of the bathroom. The people of Knossos in particular were very clean. They even had an advanced hydraulics driven piping and drainage system, the likes of which was never again repeated until ancient Rome. And the Romans, unlike the Minoans at Knossos, made the terrible mistake of constructing their pipes of lead, leading to widespread lead poisoning. The Minoans used ceramics... nice and clean. Clever. No surprise there.
3 Mantles! Isn’t that what people wear? Well, yes, but they could also be used to decorate the top of windows, I imagine. Or maybe it is just my imagination. Correct me if I am wrong.
4 The word erepato, which  is the equivalent of the Homeric Greek elefantos never means ivory either in Mycenaean or in Homeric Greek!
5 Crocus? - of course! ... used all over the place in the lovely frescoes!
6 Circles were likewise universal on the building friezes. And with good reason. They are geometrically perfect, a typically Greek characteristic.

A series of 5 Linear B fragments on vessels (pottery) with 2 beautiful illustrations of amphorae


A series of 5 Linear B fragments on vessels (pottery) with 2 beautiful illustrations of amphorae:

5 Linear B fragments on vessels

There can be no surprise that 4 these 5 fragments follow one another serially, while the last one is in the same numeric series (700s). I do not understand why 708b just shows the number 8 but has no framework in which it is supposed to be set (i.e. no fragment).  Fragment 709 M m 01 appears to have  originally been a longer tablet, since there is text (? na) left-truncated prior to the ideogram and right-truncated (ya) after it. It is impossible to recover the “absent” meaning of the word of which these syllabograms a a part. 776a M f 01 is very peculiar.  The “amphora” at the top is clearly unfinished, and even the one on the bottom is rudimentary. This is uncharacteristic of Linear B scribes. Was he alseep at the switch? Was it the end of the day? Was the tablet started, only to be discarded? If so, why? We shall never know.

Examples of exquisite Minoan amphorae from Knossos:

amphoraa

mycenaean-linear-b-aporowewe-amphora-decorated-with-spirals



Linear B Show & Tell # 4: Amphora Decorated with Spirals


 

Linear B Show & Tell # 4:  Amphora Decorated with Spirals (Click to ENLARGE):

Mycenaean Linear B aporowewe amphora decorated with spirals

Anyone who is at all familiar with Minoan-Mycenaean architectural, fresco and pottery designs knows fully well that the Minoans and Mycenaeans were quite crazy about spirals in their beautiful designs, which proliferate above all else on their exquisite pottery: pithoi (huge storage jars, as seen at Knossos, used to store olive oil and many other commodities), amphorae, vases, jars, bowls, drinking vessels, you name it.

Here is a composite of more exquisite examples + the word for “cup” (Click to ENLARGE):

Kamares Middle Minoan Mycenaean octopus wine cup Minoan Dolphiin Oinos wine cup