2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

The Rose Among the Thorns: Issues of a Minoan Utopia Amidst Third and Second Millennium Aggressors
Laura S. Ursprung
Prof. Martha L. Rose, Dr. Julia DeLancey, and Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentors

The Mediterranean world and the Near East in the third and second millennia B.C.E. was characterized by military interactions. War dominated the myth, art, and architecture of mainland Greece, Anatolia, and the Mesopotamian region. This paper examines Minoan culture in relation to its contemporaries, and in contrast with Sir Arthur Evans’ interpretation of Minoan society as a lost utopia. Minoan wealth and foreign connections, in conjunction with the evidence of naval power, contradicts Evans’ view of an Atlantean society immune from the surrounding areas’ military networks. An examination of Evans’ Victorian life, including his distaste for Classical Greece, shows that Evans’ biased reconstructions of Minoan art and architecture shaped the mirage of a pacifist Minoan paradise. However, the ideology surrounding third and second millennium culture is not consistent with pacifism. The Minoans thrived amidst the chaos of the Bronze Age because of their navy and their corresponding thalassocratic ideology.

Keywords: Minoan, Thalassocracy, Arthur Evans, Ancient Mesopotamia, Art, Myth, Utopia, Architecture

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 31-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 2:15

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