Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2008

1 June 2010

The Role of the Religious Sector in the Economy of Late Bronze Age Mycenaean Greece

Susan M. Lupack

The Role of the Religious Sector in the Economy of Late Bronze Age Mycenaean Greece

City: Oxford

Year: 2008

Publisher: Archaeopress

Series: BAR International Series 1858

Description: Paperback, 181 p., 5 b/w ill., 29,7x21 cm

From the Introduction

There is a great deal of evidence within the Linear B tablets that the administrations of the Mycenaean palaces took an interest in the religious aspect of their communities. Many tablets record the offerings that the palace sent to various deities and their shrines, and it is clear that there were numerous religious festivals in which the communities of the Mycenaean palaces, presumably with the wanax at their head, took part. However, the exact nature of the relationship between the palace and the religious sector is more difficult to discern, and has recently become a matter for debate among some Mycenologists. One of the key questions that has been raised is, how independent from the palatial administration were the sanctuaries? Were they governed entirely by the palace, and did the religious sphere amount to nothing more than a subsidiary branch of the palatial administration to be used and directed as the wanax saw fit? Or, were they run more autonomously by the religious personnel of each sanctuary? The answers to these questions depend to a large extent on whether we see the shrines as financially independent. For this reason I have been examining both the Linear B and the archaeological evidence to see what can be deduced concerning the role of the religious sector, meaning the sanctuaries and the personnel that made up the communities of those sanctuaries, played in the Late Bronze Age Mycenaean economy. This investigation has also shed light on the social standing that religious personnel might have held within their communities as well as on the relative amounts of power, both economic and political, that the palatial and religious sectors wielded in respect to each other.


Acknowledgments [iii]

List of Figures [v]


CHAPTER I: Introduction

Linear B literature review and discussion of the Mycenaean Economy [1]


CHAPTER II: Discussion of terminology

The identification of a workshop [11]

Sanctuary, shrine, and cult building [14]


CHAPTER III: The workshop-shrine association in the Aegean Bronze Age

Archaeological literature review [19]

Summary [33]

The involvement of the religious sphere in the Cypriot copper industry [34]


CHAPTER IV: Land tenure at Pa-ki-ja-ne

Pa-ki-ja-ne and its relationship with the Wanax of Pylos [44]

The land tenure series of Pa-ki-ja-ne; Who owns the land? [50]


CHAPTER V: The linear B evidence for the economic involvement of the religious sector in Mycenaean society

Introduction [86]

Deities as “collectors” [86]

The Theban Of Series [103]

Potnian workers in the Jn Bronze Series [114]

General summary [118]

Other Religious workers associated with the palaces [119]

An 1281 and the Northeast Building/Workshop of Pylos [120]

Conclusions [129]


CHAPTER VI: Archaeological evidence for the involvement of the religious sector in industrial activities in Late Bronze Age Mycenaean Greece

Introduction [131]

Pylos and the Northeast Building [131]

The cult center of Mycenae [138]

The sanctuary of Ayios Konstantinos at Methana [150]

Phylakopi and the production of obsidian blades [151]

The Potter’s Workshop at Berbati [156]

Conclusions [160]


CHAPTER VII: Conclusions [162]


Bibliography [168]


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