[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Workshop: February 25, 2011

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Fri Feb 18 10:05:54 PST 2011


Program in Hellenic Studies


Death, Ritual, and Collective Memory

in Early Mycenaean Greece

Nikolas Papadimitriou

mpapadim at princeton.edu<mailto:mpapadim at princeton.edu>

Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens

Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Joanna Smith, Department of Art and Archaeology

The talk will explore how new theoretical trends in archaeology can enhance our understanding of Early Mycenaean funerary practices, notably the observed shift from poor inhumations in individual cist-graves to multiple wealthy interments in elaborate chamber- and tholos-tombs. So far, this change has been interpreted solely in terms of spiraling social complexity and elite competition. Alternative explanations can derive by focusing on the ritual dynamics of the change diachronically. It will be argued that developments in tomb-design and funerary representation suggest increasing emphasis on group identities, and the emergence of distinct collective memories and, possibly, ancestral traditions, in a scale that exceeds by far the limits of 'social elites.' The talk will also address the problem posed by the lack of written evidence and whether anthropological theory and archaeological comparanda can help to overcome it.

Nikolas Papadimitriou is a Curator at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens. He graduated from the University of Athens (1993) and received his Ph.D. in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Birmingham (1999). He taught courses on Aegean prehistory at the University of Birmingham (2000) and worked as a consultant on cultural affairs at the Ministry of the Aegean (2001-02). At the Museum of Cycladic Art since 2003, he has curated several archaeological exhibitions, organized the museum website (www.cycladic.gr<http://www.cycladic.gr>), and published a Brief Guide to the collections. His research interests include Mycenaean state-formation, theoretical approaches to funerary customs, the prehistory of Attica, Mediterranean interconnections in the 2nd millennium B.C. and Bronze Age technologies. He has participated in excavations in Greece, England and Ireland. In 2000 he received the Michael Ventris Award for Mycenaean Studies by the Institute of Classical Studies, London. Currently he is exploring the importance of funeral rites for the creation of collective memories and the shaping of group identities in prehistoric Aegean societies.
Friday, February 25, 2011
1:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
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