Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 December 2009

New reconstructions of the “Mykenaia” and a seated woman from Mycenae

Bernice R. Jones American Journal of Archaeology 113 (2009): 309-338.


This study presents evidence for reconstructing two frescoes, including the well-known “Mykenaia”, found at the Southwest Building at Mycenae. It argues that the “Mykenaia” did not depict a seated goddess facing right but a life-sized, standing woman striding to the left and that the other fresco portrays a half-life-sized enthroned woman, likely a goddess, facing right and holding a miniature female figure. The reconstructions are based on detailed examinations, drawings, and photographs taken to scale of the fragments and on comparanda. The argument is based on the innovative use of both experimental costume replications and digital imaging that superimposes details from other well-documented frescoes onto the fragments to test possible poses and details. The reconstructions proposed here are based on costume details depicted by the frescoes and on textual data, including intriguing Linear B ideograms. These reconstructions are then set within the larger spectrum of cult scenes in Aegean art, and some details of the dress worn in these frescoes are connected to Aegean cult.


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