COLLOQUIUM: Nick Blackwell, NC State University, "Agamemnon’s Masons: Understanding Technological Links across the Argolid, Boeotia, and the Land of Hatti"

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

402 Cohen Hall

During the 13th century BC, masons at Mycenae utilized several different cutting techniques to fashion architectural blocks and sculpture. This talk highlights the importance of saw and drill use on key sections of that citadel and its monuments, namely: the famous Lion Gate relief, the post-and-lintel gateways, the Treasury of Atreus, and the Treasury of Klytemnestra. Masonry from nearby Tiryns reveals cutting methods similar to those at Mycenae, indicating a shared technology between the two Mycenaean sites, not surprising given their proximity. It is more challenging to account for stone-cutting similarities between the Argolid and Boeotia as well as between the Argolid and central Anatolia. This talk provides evidence for and explains a relationship between craftsmen from the Argolid and the construction of the Treasury of Minyas at Orchomenos in central Greece. Likewise, the similar use of tools and cutting methods between Mycenae and the Hittites is assessed and a new theory is proposed explaining the technological links between the two distant regions.