2017 AAIA Visiting Professor - Public Lecture: "Becoming Mycenean: the Emergence of Mycenean Civilisation in Greece"

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Forum Theatre, North Wing, Arts West, University of Melbourne Parkville

2017 AAIA Visiting Professor - Public Lecture: "Becoming Mycenean: the Emergence of Mycenean Civilisation in Greece"

Professor James C. Wright, Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens
(2012-2017), will be the 2017 AAIA Visiting Professor. Professor Wright was previously based at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 1978. From 1981 until today he has been Director of the Nemea Project, which focuses on the diachronic history and archaeology of the region surrounding the Sanctuary of Zeus in the north-east Peloponnese. He has excavated widely, including at Kommos on Crete and at Corinth, and is a specialist in the Greek Bronze Age, with a particular interest in the Mycenaeans in the Peloponnese. He is well known for his edited volume The Mycenaean Feast. Wright’s primary research is in the evolution of complex societies in the Aegean. This grew out of interests in architecture and urbanism, and led him to explore the social aspects of community formation and maintenance - subjects such as prestige display, mortuary customs and feasting. He has had a long interest in ancient Greek architecture, especially as it informed the development of ancient communities and their sanctuaries, the regional character of ancient Greece, and the spread of Hellenic culture.

This lecture is a survey of evidence from the Middle Bronze Age through the early phases of the Late Bronze (c. 1700-1330 BCE) and explains how Mycenaean civilization developed in relation to its predecessors. It is intended for general audiences but will introduce them to latest thinking about the rise of Mycenaean civilization during the Late Bronze Age in Greece. It will explore how mainlanders interacted with people in the Aegean Islands and with the inhabitants of the palaces of Crete, especially Knossos. Special emphasis is placed in the rise of small warrior societies at Mycenae and elsewhere on the mainland of Greece.The lecture will end with a consideration of Mycenaean rule at Knossos, the invention of the Mycenaean script, Linear B, and the founding of palaces on the mainland of Greece.

This event is co-hosted by the Classics Association of Victoria, La Trobe University and the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens.

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