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The Destruction of the Palace at Pylos Reconsidered1

  • P.A. Mountjoy (a1)

Abstract

The date of the destruction of the palace at Pylos is re-examined in the light of our increased knowledge of regional Mycenaean pottery, and a fresh phase of LH III pottery defined.

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2 Pylos I, 421.

3 Warren, P., The Aegean Civilizations (Oxford, 1975), 134.

4 Hood, S., The Arts in Prehistoric Greece (London, 1978), 25.

5 Simpson, R. Hope and Dickinson, O., A Gazetteer of Aegean Civilisation, i; The Mainland and the Islands (SIMA 52; Göteborg, 1979), 127.

6 Hiller, S., ‘Pylos and the end of the Mycenaean period’, First International Mycenaeological Congress ‘Premycenaean and Mycenaean PylosAthens811 December 1980. Proceedings never published.

7 OJA 10 (1991), 315–24.

8 Ibid. 316–17, 322. He suggests the darkground deep bowl is early Iron Age (ibid. 316 fig. 1), but then refers to the vases found with it in Room 46 as advanced LH III C (ibid. 322) and then wonders whether, if there was a reoccupation level, it was advanced LH III C or early Iron Age.

9 AR (1992–3), 31–4, especially 33 Phase 7.

10 OJA 10 (1991), 321–2.

11 Nichoria II 508–17.

12 Rutter, 308 fig. 10, 544 Trench P Phase 4.

13 LH III C Pottery, 1–2 Phase 1.

14 Tiryns VI, 192.

15 AAA 3 (1970), 326, Thebes Tablets II, 55.

16 Symeonoglou, S., The Topography of Thebes (Princeton, 1985). 291 Site 196.

17 Kadmeia I 19–22.

18 Hope Simpson and Dickinson (n. 5), 206.

19 Mountjoy, P. A., Mycenaean Athens (SIMA Pocket Book 127; Jonsered, 1995), 45–6.

20 See Orchomenos V, 81 for discussion.

21 MDP 134–54.

22 AA 1981, 204–5.

23 MDP Group B deep bowl fig. 161, rosette deep bowl fig 162.

24 Ibid. LH III B2 fig. 160, LH III C Early fig. 189.

25 Ibid. fig. 189. 1, 2, 11.

26 74–5 have been assigned to Type 2 and 76 to Type 3 RMDP Laconia nos. 161, 160, Messenia no. 110, since I had not isolated Type 4 at the time of writing RMDP.

27 MDP fig. 112. 1. Care must be taken with sherds out of context decorated with wavy line which have the knobbed rim of the stemmed bowl, since they could belong to LH III A2 stemmed bowls or Transitional LH III B2/LH III C Early deep bowls. The same applies to the truncated stemmed bowl; the example ibid. fig. 113 should be LH III A2 since its wide and shallow body is completely dissimilar to the deep body of the transitional vases.

28 I thank K. Wardle and B. Hänsel for information on the Assiros and Kastanas pottery.

29 Ibid, cup fig. 183. 2, deep bowl fig. 193. 2; the vases figs. 183. 1 and 193. 1 from Eutresis and Thorikos respectively can now be assigned to the transitional phase.

30 A large selection of unpainted vases is published from the palace at Pylos Pylos I, passim and from Thorikos, Mine No. 3, BSA 90 (1995), 195227.

31 Since Furumark dated the Athens and Eutresis vessels to LH III C Early, he automatically assigned them to FS 174 (MP 612–13 FS 174. 5, 11).

32 BSA 66 (1971), 338.

33 MDP. fig. 197.

34 Tiryns VI, pl. 65. 5.

35 Ibid. pl. 68. 1–2.

36 Ibid. pl. 73. 5.

37 Ibid. pl. 73. 6.

38 Ibid. H18 pl. 68. 6.

39 Ibid. pl. 62. 1.

40 AA (1981), 201 fig. 54. 10–11.

41 Ibid. 202 and fig. 54. 9. Goblets are not found after LH III Al; moreover, the rim of this sherd is not long enough for the goblet, as a comparison with a LH III AI goblet illustrated ibid. fig. 54. 3 shows. See MDP fig. 75 for LH III AI goblets.

42 AD 20A (1965), 144 fig. 4. 2.

43 Assignation to Types 1–4 must await the full publication of this material.

44 I thank Dr K. Demakopoulou for showing me photographs of the material from her recent excavations.

45 Rutter, 134–316 Phase 4, LH III C Pottery, Phase 1 1–2.

46 The material assigned to Perati Phase I belongs to this phase and to LH III C Early.

47 See Rutter, 306–7 for the suggestion that the deposit is not closed.

48 BSA 90 (1995), FS 171 202 fig. 3. 28, 32, FS 180 203 fig. 4. 47.

49 For this LH III B2 feature see MDP fig. 154. 6–7.

50 Hesp. 2 (1933), 370 fig. 43 c.

51 BSA 90 (1995), 202 fig. 3. 23. The neck is missing; it could be that the vase is FS 120, but the joint of the neck to the shoulder, which is present, seems rather wide for that shape and the body of the vessel not large enough.

52 Ibid. 207 fig. 6. 63–4.

53 On the kylix BSA 66 (1971), 336.

54 BSA 90 (1995), 205 fig. 5. 52–3.

55 e.g. ibid. 210 fig. 8. 81.

56 Ibid. 219 fig. 14. 145, 146, Hesp. 2 (1933), 371 fig. 44 c.

57 MDP. fig. 138.

58 Tiryns VI, pl. 64. 6, Pylos I, fig. 363 Type 20.

59 Ay. Kosmas, fig. 139. 61.

60 Ibid, deep bowl fig. 139. 9, dipper fig. 139. 7.

61 Orchomenos V, fig. 39. 165.

62 Ibid. fig. 39. 148.

63 Thebes Tablets II, Phs. 83. 90.

64 Ibid. Phs. 60, 69.

65 Kadmeia I, pl. 22 fig. 33. 6.

66 Ibid. pl. 22 fig. 33. 7.

67 MP 594–5.

68 Pelopidou-Antigonis AD 30B (1975), 133, Pelopidou 38 AAA 7 (1974), 165–6, Pindarou 29 AD 29B (1973–4), 430–31 and pl. 284 γ, Oidipodos 1 AD 36B (1981), 191 pl. 120 δ, ε, στ.

69 PAE (1965), Pl. 169 α centre row, centre sherd.

70 Ibid. pl. 164 β top row right and below, centre row left and bottom row left, pl. 165 α top row left, pl. 169 α top row left, right and second from right, centre row left and right.

71 Ibid, cups 132 P787, carinated cup pl. 171 γ left, deep bowls 131.

72 It may be that much more of the material assigned to LH III C Early belongs to this phase, but without good stratigraphy it is impossible to be certain.

73 AD 10 (1926), Παρἁρτημα 41–4.

74 AD 23A (1968), 145–96.

75 I thank H. W. Catling for this information.

76 Nichoria II, fig. 9. 66 P3842.

77 The motif was in use on Crete from LM III Al. See R. Bosanquet and R. Dawkins, The Unpublished Objects from the Palaikastro Excavations 1902–6 (BSA supp. vol. 1; London, 1923), fig. 63. 2 for a LM III Al example and Popham, M. R., The Last Days of the Palace at Knossos (SIMA 5; Lund, 1964), pls. 6 a–d, 7a for late LM III B vessels.

78 Pylos I fig. 331 bottom right and fig. 379. 612.

79 Nichoria II 509 and pl. 9. 74 P3812.

80 Ibid. fig. 9. 61 P3814.

81 Ibid. fig. 9. 61 P3811.

82 Ibid. fig. 9. 62 P3813.

83 Ibid. fig. 9. 62 P3816.

84 Ibid. fig. 9. 62 P3819 with stemmed bowl rim banding, fig. 9. 63 P3821 with deeper rim band.

85 Ibid. fig. 9. 62 P3815. See ibid. 513 for discussion. The stemmed bowls referred to ibid. 512 ‘a return to popularity of coated stemmed bowls’ may in fact be Type 2 deep bowls, since this type has the everted rim of the stemmed bowl and would be difficult to separate from that shape in sherd material.

86 Ibid. fig. 9. 66 P3842.

87 Ibid. 546 and pl. 9. 75 P3843.

88 Ibid. 515 and fig. 9. 67 P3853.

89 Ibid. 516 fn. 9 and fig. 6. 69 P3866.

90 Pylos I, figs. 351 no. 548, 352 no. 507, Thebes Tablets II, Ph. 54.

91 Pylos I, fig. 331 bottom right.

92 Ibid. fig. 331 bottom right.

93 BSA 65 (1970), 200 fig. 3. 31–3.

94 For example PoDI A 1 (1995), 24 fig. 4 c–d.

95 OJA 10 (1991), 316–17.

96 BSA 65 (1970), 198 fig. 2. 18–19.

97 Added to the drawing from the back of the vase.

98 Popham (n. 77), pl. 8 c–d.

99 Pylos I, fig. 387.

100 For example ibid. fig. 357. 257, 86.

101 Ibid. fig. 365. 336, 234.

102 Ibid. FS 105 fig. 367. 676, FS 69 fig. 371. 1175, 1138, 806.

103 Ibid. fig. 196. 1, Dickinson, O., The Origins of Mycenaean Civilisation (SIMA 49; Göteborg, 1977), 23.

104 Tiryns VI, B16 pl. 65. 4.

105 MP 602.

106 Kanta, figs. 75. 5, 76. 1, 3–4.

107 Pylos III, fig. 273. 9.

108 Pylos I, figs. 377–8.

109 Ibid. fig. 378. 403, 409.

110 Kanta, fig. 73. 9 octopus, Betancourt, P., The History of Minoan Pottery (Princeton, 1985), pl. 27 A stylized argonauts.

111 Most recently a larnax of bath type decorated with octopus on the exterior and large fish on the interior has been found in a tomb in Achaea.

112 Betancourt (n. 110), pl. 27 B.

113 Kanta, 292 and figs. 65. 3, 73. 9.

114 Pylos I, fig. 377. 406–7.

115 MDP figs. 58–61, 80. 1.

116 RMDP Elis nos. 64, 67.

117 Pylos I, fig. 391. 412 FS 182.

118 BSA 89 (1994), pl. 29 b left, pl. 32a right, b and on a jug pl. 34 b.

119 Pylos I, fig. 348. 1–4.

120 Thebes Tablets II, Ph. 81.

121 Pylos I, fig. 383. 599, 607.

122 Ibid. fig. 373. 597, 598.

123 Ibid. fig. 379.

124 Ibid. fig. 369. 404, 405.

125 Ibid. fig. 369. 245.

126 Ibid. 594–5.

127 Tiryns VI, pl. 62. 1.

128 AD 29B (1973–4), Pl. 284 α Pindarou 29, ibid. 36B (1981), pl. 120 οτ Oidipodos 1.

129 Kanta, 29 pl. 13. 8, Rosa, V. La, ‘Spigolature vecchie e nuove da Haghia Triada’, Ειλαπινή Τόμος τιμητιϰός για τόν ϰαθηγητή Πλάτωνα, Ν. (Heraklion, 1987), 387 pl. I. 1–2.

130 AD 20A (1965), 142 fig. 3–1.

131 PAE (1965), pl. 164 β centre row, second from left.

132 RMDP Phocis nos. 171–2, 218–19.

133 Nichoria II, fig. 9. 63 P3826.

134 OJA 10 (1991), 315–24.

135 Ibid. 321.

136 Pylos I, fig. 331.

137 Ibid. 321–2 fig. 332.

138 OJA 10 (1991), 321.

139 Pylos I, fig. 329.

140 RMDP Phocis nos. 53–7 (but with ring or torus base), Ithaka no. 1.

141 It is not painted as Popham OJA 10 (1991), 317.

142 Pylos I, fig. 371.

143 Ibid. fig. 373. 597, 598.

144 OJA 10 (1991), 317. Not Court 4 as Popham ibid. 321, 323–34.

145 Pylos I, fig. 345. 4.

146 AE 1973, pl. 22 c no. 573, RMDP Messenia no. 80.

147 Pylos I, fig. 345. 3.

148 Ibid. 65.

149 AR 1992–3, 31–4.

150 OJA 10 (1991), 322.

151 Ibid. 322.

152 Pylos I, 421.

1 Acknowledgements: this study is part of a larger work (RMDP, in press) financed by the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, the British Academy, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. I thank H. W. Catling for allowing me to include unpublished vases from his excavations at the Menelaion, G. Steinhauer for material from his excavations at Sykea, the American School of Classical Studies for permission to draw the Pylos material, the Corinth Excavations for the Korakou material, and the Agora Excavations for the North Slope vases. I am very grateful to Dr H. Catling for reading and commenting on the manuscript.

Abbreviations:

AS = Ayios Stephanos (BSA supp. vol., ed. R. Janko; in preparation)

Ay. Kosmas = G. Mylonas, Ay. Kosmas (Princeton, 1959)

Eutresis = H. Goldman, Excavations at Eutresis in Boeotia (Harvard, 1931)

FS = Furumark Shape

Kadmeia I = S. Symeonoglou, Kadmeia I (SIMA 35; Göteborg, 1973)

Kanta = A. Kanta, The LM III Period in Crete (SIMA 58; Göteborg, 1980)

LH III C Pottery = J. B. Rutter, ‘LH III C Pottery and some historical implications’, in E. N. Davis (ed.), Symposium on the Dark Ages in Greece (New York, 1977), 1–20

MDP = P. A. Mountjoy, Mycenaean Decorated Pottery: a Guide to Identification (SIMA 73; Göteborg, 1986)

MP = A. Furumark, Mycenaean Pottery: Analysis and Classification (Stockholm, 1941)

RMDP = P. A. Mountjoy, Regional Mycenaean Decorated Pottery (in press)

Rutter = J. B. Rutter, The LH III B and III C Periods at Korakou and Gonia (Ann Arbor, 1981)

Thebes Tablets II = T. Spyropoulos and J. Chadwick, The Thebes Tablets II (Minos Suppl. 4; Salamanca, 1975)

Tiryns VI = H. Döhl, ‘Iria: Die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabung 1939’, Tiryns VI (Mainz, 1973)

The Destruction of the Palace at Pylos Reconsidered1

  • P.A. Mountjoy (a1)

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