The assemblage of artifacts from the Late Helladic IIIC Mycenaean cemetery at Perati includes a considerable quantity of figure-decorated pottery and figural representations in other media, including figurines and seals. Advances in scholarship since these artifacts were discovered and published encourage a reconsideration of their meaning and significance. This study reviews the corpus of figural art from Perati and considers its potential significance for interpreting several aspects of Bronze Age society following the palatial collapse in the central and eastern Aegean regions. Discussion begins with a brief background on the site of Perati and a review of relevant scholarship regarding art and society in the Postpalatial period. It then turns to description of the figural art from Perati and places this material in its contemporary regional and cultural context, emphasizing comparisons and connections with the nearby sites of Lefkandi (Euboea) and Grotta (Naxos). Finally, the article reflects on these discussions to generate new conclusions about the likely mixed nature of all three communities, the logic underpinning their iconographical choices, and the origin of ideas driving some social change in the postpalatial Aegean.
Mountain peaks and rocky outcrops have long been recognized to have been crucial components of the religious beliefs of people in Anatolia during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. Archaeologically, however, sanctuaries that are associated with these features are much less understood. This article considers what is known about Anatolian peak sites textually and archaeologically for the second and first millennia BCE. While Late Bronze Age textual accounts of rituals and built features on peaks are abundant, archaeological data is comparatively scarce. The converse is true during the Iron Age, from which there are several archaeologically attested kinds of monuments associated with rocky outcrops and peaks, including stelae and step monuments, but a limited textual record. Assessing the evidence for continuity and innovation in peak-site usage across the two periods sheds new light on the Bronze to Iron Age transition, contributing additional nuance to what is increasingly recognized to have been a highly variable and localized phenomenon. In particular, the Iron Age peak sanctuaries of Kızıldağ and Karadağ and the associated settlement of Türkmen-Karahöyük serve as a useful case study for the ways in which Late Bronze Age precedents were consciously adapted into new forms in the Iron Age.
The Athenian vase painter Exekias, on his gaming amphora in the Vatican (Musei Vaticani 16757), embellishes the cloaks of Achilles and Ajax with stars, rosettes, swastikas, and other motifs. Although long admired, these historiated textiles have been overlooked by scholars as merely decorative rather than iconographic. But analysis of Exekias’ textile decoration yields new insights on a well-known vase and offers a case study for a poetics of dress in vase painting that transforms our understanding of ornament and storytelling in Greek art. Mapping the place of the cloaks’ adornment within the genealogy and context of such imagery in epic poetry, elite traditions, magical practices, and Near Eastern and Italian art reveals how Exekias’ decorative idiom conveys meaning and enhances his portrait of the two heroes. This article explores how Exekias’ fictive dress ornament evokes epic traditions, appropriates the authority of Near Eastern luxury arts, reflects knowledge of textile traditions in Italy, activates knowledge of the cosmos, and conjures magical associations. Ultimately, Exekias employs the decoration of dress to expound on the characters and fates of Achilles and Ajax and to offer an exegesis on the nature of the hero.
Examining the Roman military settlement at Vindolanda, this article explores the archaeology of the northern frontier of the Roman empire in a glocalization framework, investigating the site during a specific occupation period to understand how the material culture found there operated within its particular local context. The soldiers and the extended military communities of auxiliary settlements that dominated the imperial frontiers make a complicated and intriguing case study because of their origins as subaltern and conquered subjects of imperial rule, followed by incorporation into the Roman army. A close examination of the extramural settlement outside the fort at Vindolanda in the site’s Period 4 (ca. 105–120 CE) allows the opportunity to apply a glocal lens to the architecture, foodways, literacy, and dress preserved in the material record. We are presented with a picture of adoption, adaptation, and retention that ultimately can be understood only as the result of ongoing change and creation in a multilayered imperial context. These spaces and their material culture are fully analyzed here, with careful consideration of the community present at Vindolanda, in order to tease out the unique and novel outcomes that this population created in their local context.
This article examines the role of quality control during the manufacturing process of Roman pottery. The criteria used by ancient potters to determine whether a finished vessel was suitable for sale and use or instead should be discarded as a waster has seen limited attention. Additional focus on this topic provides a means of studying behaviors associated with ancient pottery production and decision-making behind different steps of the process. Of particular interest for addressing the topic is a locally manufactured amphora recovered at the site of Sikyon, Greece, from a late fourth- to early fifth-century CE destruction deposit. This amphora was recovered from a use context but has several evident production defects and an X-shaped graffito incised on one of the handles, and it may have been designated as a second in antiquity. Along with a detailed analysis of the amphora, the discussion examines available archaeological, epigraphic, and paleographic evidence for quality control in Roman pottery production and attempts to shed additional light on potential ancient practices of designating vessels as seconds.