Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2011

25 October 2011

Well Built Mycenae. Fascicule 16/17: The Post-Palatial Levels

E.B. French with contributions by Gordon Hillman and Susan Sherratt

Well Built Mycenae. Fascicule 16/17: The Post-Palatial Levels

City: Oxford

Year: 2011

Publisher: Oxbow Books

Description: Paperback, 102 p., DVD, 24x17 cm


The post-palatial period – Late Helladic IIIC – is often seen as the twilight years of Mycenean civilisation, a period of economic decline with few achievements in terms of architecture, materials or technology. It has been the subject of many substantial discussions in relation to the causes of the collapse of Mycenaean palace society and the nature of the aftermath (starting with the landmark studies of Alin (1969) and Desborough (1964) but the number of excavations of settlements rather than cemeteries which have been undertaken in Mainland Greece remains small, and the number of full publications such as those of Nichoria, Lefkandi, Agios Stephanos and some areas of the site of Tiryns – to name them in order of publication – is even smaller. The Citadel House Area at Mycenae comprises only a small segment of the Mycenae Acropolis, let alone of the whole settlement, but it offered unique opportunities to excavate deep strata untouched by the excavations of the late 19th Century which included the immediate successors of the palatial period as well as that period itself. The resulting evidence of the early phases of LH IIIC is still unparalleled at any site.

In this fascicule, Dr. Elizabeth French presents her full report on the remains of this period, which, sheltered within the massive 13th century BC walls, allow us to chart something of Mycenae’s history in the final years of the Bronze Age. This fascicule also contains a unique account of LH IIIC pottery, stratum by stratum, incorporating a major study by Dr. Susan Sherratt, together with a wealth of illustration of pottery vessels. The account of the other objects of terracotta, metal, ivory, stone and bone helps us to better understand the cultural materials of the post-palatial period, while Gordon Hillman’s account of the plant remains from the “Granary” is a significant addition to the palaeo-botanical record for the Mycenean period as a whole and one of very few for the LH IIIC period. This book, which includes a DVD containing all the data from previous fascicules and an interactive index, will be an essential reference tool for the study of the period.


Foreword (K. A. Wardle) [vii]
History of excavation and study (E. B. French) [x]

PART I: The LH IIIC structures and associated finds from the Citadel House Area and Adjacent Areas (E. B. French)

1. Chronological Outline [1]
2. The Structures [11]
A.   The Citadel House Area [11]
B. North of the Citadel House Area [24]
C. South of the Citadel House Area [32]
3. Architectural and Other Features [33]
4. The Pottery and Other Materials (by phase and type) [35]
5. Function and Interpretation [56]
6. Conclusion [57]

PART II: Late Helladic IIIC pottery based on the study of the Wash Levels against the Citadel Wall in the Citadel House Area (Susan Sherratt, updated and edited by E.B. French)

1. Introduction [59]
2. Background [59]
3. The Stratigraphy [61]
4. Addendum and Corrigendum [81]


1. Pictorial Pottery in LH IIIC [83]
2. Figurines in LH IIIC [87]
3. The Contexts of the Mycenae C14 Dates [96]

Specialised Bibliography and Additions to the General Bibliography [99]
Text illustrations


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