ARCH 221- BRONZE AGE CITIES: THE AEGEAN AND ASIA MINOR

Crete, that is the largest island in Greece and at southern part of the Aegean Sea is a place where sophisticated class lived. They had knowledge about architecture and art. Maybe being a large island is the reason of Crete cultures great power on seamanship. When population got crowded, Cretan people were started to migrate Aegean Sea.

We see that, most of the time ancient people were using art and architecture for policy. However, Minoans produced art more elegant rather than propaganda. The biggest difference from Minoans to other ancient people can be the reason of making art and architecture. Minoans developed a visual art culture which seems that is for their pleasure. Their architecture and visual art looks modern.

Mycenaeans who had palace called Pylos considered as the first Greeks unlike Minoans because of speaking Greek. The plan of Pylos does not exactly matching with megaron. In megaton, you go through the corridor and corridor that increases the privacy. We can say that, there is a hierarchy. In Pylos, you enter from outside to most private part of the structure that was royal couples living area. They were defencing city with cyclopean masonry that changed in time. Pylos has two entrance for common people (afrom north lower town) and palace entrance (at the southwest corner).  Palace entrance also has reinforce security in addition to the natural landscape obstacle. The difference of entrances created while thinking the hierarchical importance. Palace is more important and it should be protected with more strict sense. They also benefit from the natural landscape according to their needs and made obstacles useful.

Mycaene citadel can be assumed similar with Tiryns. It was at between two hills. They covered city with walls, because they have to protect unlike Minoans. Minoans were in island, so there was no threat. That is why they do not covered the city with walls. It also changed their visual architecture. They did not need propaganda. They had a tomb called the Treasury of Atreus and it was located at the center of the city part, where burials were. There were beehive shaped structures that is one of the most significant architecture example of the Bronze Age with long passage, leading up to the circular tomb. These toms are same with the Neolithic passage graves. This is the similarity between Egyptian and Cretan architecture.

Knossos was the major city of Crete. The landscape divides building environment and the natural environment with strong bounds. Mycenaeans had to provide their city, and that also reflected to their architecture. They had central city organization around the rectangular courtyard.  Later, Greeks inspired from Knossos city organization on polis with hilltop placement, and the organization of public spaces,streets… They had an organizational principle, which started at center and getting fragmented and can be improved according to requirements through the outside.

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