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Hands Up for the Individual! The Role of Attribution Studies in Aegean Prehistory

  • Christine Morris


Attribution studies, the identification of the work of individual artists, are a familiar aspect of art history, and have also been used to isolate individuals and workshops of the Aegean Bronze Age. This paper examines the methodological issues involved and argues that attribution is feasible for prehistoric material, albeit in only a limited way in comparison, for example, with Classical vase painting. It is further suggested that attribution should be viewed not as an isolated aesthetic pursuit, but be approached contextually, as an integral part of artefact analysis. In this way attribution studies can contribute towards the better understanding of the formation and development of style, the definition of closely contemporary groups of material, and the spatial distribution (and its significance) of the products of individuals. Two case studies are presented to illustrate this approach: Mycenaean pictorial pottery of the fourteenth-thirteenth centuries BC, and a contrasting group of material, clay figurines from the Minoan peak sanctuary of Atsipadhes.



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Hands Up for the Individual! The Role of Attribution Studies in Aegean Prehistory

  • Christine Morris


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