greek-museums

greek-museums:

Archaeological Museum of the Stoa of Attalos:

A late geometric pyxis (the round case) with a decoration of terracotta horses (725-700 B.C). Perhaps such decoration denotes the significant social status of the dead woman- perhaps she belonged to the class of “knights”/ιππείς (horse riders).

Terracotta horses from charriots, votives to a shrine (mid-7th century B.C).

Traces of silver have been found on certain vessels from the same period, so these objects might have been more ornate than they are now.

greek-museums
greek-museums:

Nafplion Archaeological Museum:

A bronze box mirror with a scene of two women bathing. (second half of 3rd-2nd century B.C)

Box mirrors are a personal favourite of mine, they usually feature abductions, Aphrodite, or godly pairs, but this everyday scene of women bathing each other is probably my favourite.

Actually, I am going to feature box mirrors extensively here, since they are very important about how love and companionship were perceived in the antiquity.

greek-museums:

Nafplion Archaeological Museum:

A bronze box mirror with a scene of two women bathing. (second half of 3rd-2nd century B.C)

Box mirrors are a personal favourite of mine, they usually feature abductions, Aphrodite, or godly pairs, but this everyday scene of women bathing each other is probably my favourite.

Actually, I am going to feature box mirrors extensively here, since they are very important about how love and companionship were perceived in the antiquity.

I’ve showed some stills from Michalis Cacoyannis’ Iphigenia before (a film adaptation of Euripides’ Iphigenia en Aulidi), but I just wanted to show you how considerate they were with women’s fashion. Although they did take certain elements from the more modern “Tanagraies”, the design was heavily based on the fashion of mycenaean women.

Also the ornament on Cletemnestra’s bust is a design from archaic figurines such as the one below. The image is from mini-girlz (here):

greek-museums

greek-museums:

Archaeological Museum of Mycenae:

This fresco is the largest piece of Mycenaean wall preserved in situ. Although competent, it shows signs of haste. The fresco and the altar in front of it should be viewed as a single unit representing an architectural setting with three female figures on two levels. The upper level includes a doorway framed with rosettes and to the right a cloaked woman holding a sword and facing another woman holding a staff. Between them there are two small naked male figures in mid-air. All these figures are framed in a room between two spiral columns, a brick or tile floor, and a ceiling supported by the columns. The lower level includes on the left a room with two columns within which is standing a female figure with her hands raised, holding sheaves of wheat. The yellow tail and forepaws are all that remain from a griffin accompanying her. On the right is an altar which was probably completely plastered and painted all over. The decoration of “horns” and the painted ends of the beams on the side suggest that it represents the exterior of a building. Two female figures are dressed in the Mycenaean manner, while the third one wears a Minoan skirt.   

This is a reconstruction of the fresco:

national-archaeological-museum

greek-museums:

Archaeological Museum of Mycenae / National Archaeological Museum:

These gold leaf decorations were found in Mycenae and it is argued that they were stitched on clothes and textiles in a pattern as decorations. The flowers from the third image are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Mycenae, while the octopi and other decorations are housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Mycenaean tombs have been raided from the past to the present, and so most of the valuable finds to be found first were taken under the care of the National Archaeological Museum. The Archaeological Museum of Mycenae houses more recent finds.

more on the coquetry of Mycenaean ladies.

greek-museums

greek-museums:

Archaeological Museum of Mycenae:

From the museum:

Women of the Mycenaean world:

The role that women played in the Mycenaean world is suggested through iconography, many precious and household objects as well as Linear B tablets.Specialisation such as the textile industry and corn grinding but also many other skills involved in domestic economy were undertaken by women who were either slaves or tied workers. Women who presumably belonged to the upper class were directly involved in royal activities, while many fine pieces of personal adornment were made to satisfy their female coquetry. The goddesses with their Minoan dress, the venerable priestesses but also the vast number of figures and figurines reveal the important role women played in religious activities and consequently their special social status.

It should be noted that surviving tragedy like Aeschylus’ Suppliants, which we will shortly see, refers directly to the mythological tradition of the minoan and mycenaean world for the most part. And so the disparity between the actuality of the mycenaean women and how they are perceived in classical tragedy is an important factor from the interpretation of women’s roles in athenian drama.

Archaeological Museum of Piraeus:

Bare breasted girls dancing around a censer and playing the kithara, from the base of a nuptial lebes (4th century B.C), (Trachones, from the Geroulanos collection)

Note that the woman might have not been bare-breasted initially. In many cases a whiter pigment used for ribbons and clothes- probably a base for colour- can be seen fading and leaving only a faint impression. Since there are some little details in relief, the nakedness might be a draft to aid a subsequent rendering of the female anatomy in relief as well. Under close inspection the woman rather seems to be wearing a type of vest.

One day we are going to have a special about ancient women partying hard.