So You Survived the Mycenaean Collapse – Now What?
Evolving Ways of Life and Death in the Post-palatial Aegean
Sarah Murray, University of Toronto
One of the great mysteries of prehistory concerns the circumstances surrounding the famous collapse of complex states in the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age. In this lecture, the question of what caused the collapse is set aside, and instead considers what life was like for those who survived to dwell in its aftermath. As catastrophic as were the disruptions that swept the region around 1200 BCE, it is clear that life did go on in their wake.
This lecture focuses on developments in the archaeological record of Greece, where the twelfth and eleventh centuries are known as the Post-palatial period. The presentation reviews a range of material evidence, from settlement patterns to mortuary behavior, and reconstructs some of the realities, strategies, and coping mechanisms that characterized life for the survivors of collapse in this dramatic, tumultuous period of the Mediterranean past.
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