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The Minoan House of the Frescoes at Knossos: the life and afterlife of an excavation

October 24, 2019 @ 7:30 pm EDT

University of Oklahoma, 122 Dale Hall
441 W Lindsey Street
Norman, OK 73019 United States

AIA Society: Oklahoma City

Lecturer: Emilia Oddo

The House of the Frescoes is an enigmatic Minoan building of Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700-1500 BC) Crete, located only a few steps away from the famous Palace of Minos at Knossos. Discovered in 1923 by Sir Arthur Evans, the excavator of the Palace itself, the building included a rich assemblage of finds. Elaborate and colorful frescoes, which gave the building its name, decorated its walls and are regarded as some of the finest ones at Knossos; finely decorated pots, stone vases, seal stones, and inscribed objects suggested that the House of the Frescoes was much more than just a house. Indeed, scholars have pointed out how different, even quirky, the building looks, compared to other houses at the site. Evans only published a small account on this promising find which, despite his best efforts, left many questions unanswered. What was the House of the Frescoes for? What happened to it? Did anybody ever live there?

In this talk, Emilia Oddo presents her new project on the House of the Frescoes, almost a century after its discovery. She discusses her adventures in taking a modern look at an old excavation, sharing her clues to connect the dots and determine the significance of the House of the Frescoes at Knossos.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Cameron, M.A.S. 1968. “The Painted Signs on Fresco Fragments from the ‘House of the Frescoes’.” Kadmos 4: 170-171.

————-. 1965a. “Four Fragments of Wall Paintings with Linear A Inscriptions.” Kadmos 4: 7-15.

————-. 1965b. “The Wall Paintings with Linear Signs from the ‘House of the Frescoes’.” Kadmos 4: 170-171.

Chapin, A.P. and M.C. Shaw. 2006. “The Frescoes from the House of the Frescoes at Knossos: A Reconsideration of Their Architectural Context and a New Reconstruction of the Crocus Panel.” BSA 101: 57-88.

Evans, A.J. 1928. “The House of the Frescoes.” In The Palace of Minos. A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos. Vol. 2.2. London: Macmillan and co.: 431-467.

Fotou, V. 2013. Architecture Néopalatiale en Crète. Les bâtiments en dehors des Palais et leurs functions, Doctorat d’État, Paris 1, vol. 1: 104-113.

This lecture is also listed with the Oklahoma Public Archaeology Network, for their Oklahoma Archaeology Month.  Visit their website to find out more.

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October 24, 2019
7:30 pm EDT
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Farland Stanley


University of Oklahoma, 122 Dale Hall
441 W Lindsey Street
Norman, OK 73019 United States
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