[MGSA-L] Princeton Hellenic Studies Workshop: November 11, 2011

Dimitri H. Gondicas gondicas at Princeton.EDU
Mon Nov 7 06:05:17 PST 2011


Hellenic Studies


Materiality of Minoan Writing:
Modes of Display and Perception

Georgia Flouda
Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Visiting Fellow, Hellenic Studies

Respondent: Joanna Smith, Art and Archaeology
In traditional narratives of Minoan archaeology, the visual display of writing is usually overlooked. Nonetheless, recent cross-disciplinary studies on the materiality of writing have demonstrated that attention should be directed not only to the written messages of inscriptions-the signified, but also to the physical aspects of their material supports, such as size, shape, material and functional aspects, as these were probably also perceived by past actors as signifiers employed and transmitted within various material and ideological contexts. This presentation seeks to outline a framework for exploring the modes of display and the perception of Minoan writing by focusing on artifact categories bearing Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A inscriptions and their interconnections. Special emphasis will be placed on artifacts that possibly served as symbolic devices, mainly Hieroglyphic seal-stones and their impressions on clay. Semiotic relationships that are grounded in the material and symbolic properties of the artifacts themselves will be particularly examined. For example, how did scale, directionality, alignment and the small scale of writing inform the creation of stone, metal and clay objects inscribed in Cretan Hieroglyphic or Linear A? Were these parameters pertinent to the perception of the inscriptions thereon by elites or by other segments of the population? The combination of script with images that may have constituted a visual code, and its potential for assessing literacy, will also be treated.
Georgia Flouda is a Curator at the Herakleion Archaeological Museum (Hellenic Ministry of Culture), where she contributes to the organization and research for the new exhibition project of the permanent collections. She has conducted numerous excavations on the Greek mainland (Argolid, Cyclades, Thebes, Achaea) and has supervised development projects of various Mycenaean sites (Achaea). She specializes in the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean, with a special focus on Aegean scripts. Her research interests center upon the cognitive aspects of Aegean writing systems, the administrative documents in Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B, as means for illuminating agency and socioeconomic patterns in Bronze Age Crete and the mainland as well as theoretical approaches to funerary practice. Her doctoral dissertation (University of Athens, 2006) was on "The administration of the collection and storage of goods in the mainland Mycenaean palace states." Georgia Flouda is currently working on the publication of the material from the Middle Minoan Apesokari settlement and Tholos Tomb A in south-central Crete and on the politics involved in the excavation of this site during World War II.
Friday, November 11, 2011
1:30 p.m.
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103

The HELLENIC STUDIES WORKSHOP provides an opportunity for post-doctoral fellows, visiting fellows, and graduate students to present their work-in-progress or recently published research. The aim is to encourage exchange of ideas across disciplines among Classical scholars, Byzantinists, and Modern Greek Studies specialists.

DATES:  Most Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., during the term.  Dates, speakers and titles will be announced in advance via e-mail.

PLACE:  Room 103, Scheide Caldwell House, Princeton University

For further information about current events in Hellenic Studies, please refer to the calendar posted on our website:  http://www.princeton.edu/~hellenic/

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