Abstract: Women in Prehistoric Greece


This talk presents an overview of what we know (or think we know) about the lives of women in the Minoan-Mycenaean world. From images in fresco, on seals and finger rings, and in pottery, and from information recorded in Linear B, we will examine their production of textiles and cooking pottery, their work-groups, their participation in cult, their administration of sanctuaries, and their coming of age ceremonies. We can say only a little about their sexuality and family life since Aegean art rarely portrays intimacy, sex, or children. Occasionally it is their absence that reveals information; for instance, women are not portrayed on stone relief vessels and they are not depicted playing musical instruments; in both cases, however, we can infer their presence as too powerful to represent.

This is new territory. There is no general treatment of this subject, either in book or in article form, and the websites that exist are generally misleading.

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