Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
An 11th century BCE tomb in Knossos, Crete, is one of the richest burials in Greece of the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. Although scholarship has discussed different aspects of this discovery, it has failed to appreciate the range of weapons that accompanied the main tomb occupant, which is highly exceptional for Aegean archaeology, but matches the extraordinary equipment carried by a specific Cretan hero of the Iliad. The lecture reflects on the significance of this rare correspondence between this archaeological assemblage and the epic poem, and, more broadly, it explores the relevance of Homer to the archaeology of Crete. I argue that the Knossian tomb offers rare archaeological support for the circulation of early Cretan stories which eventually filtered into the Homeric epics.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):
Catling, H.W. (1995) “Heroes returned? Subminoan burials from Crete”. In J.B. Carter and S.P. Morris (eds), The Ages of Homer: A Tribute to Emily Townsend Vermeule (Austin) 123-136.
Von Blanckenhagen Lecture