How did an iconography originate and crystallize in the society we call Mycenaean? Jim Wright (Director of ASCSA; Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College) will address the topic “Iconography and Agency in the Mycenaean Era” on May 20, at the Netherlands Institute at Athens. This is the fourth seminar in the series ‘Greek Iconographies’, organized by the NIA and the Belgische School te Athene/Ecole Belge d’Athènes.
This paper focuses on the social processes of the development and display of objects and art in the early “palace” states, primarily on the mainland of Greece, and then continued to persist in modified form after the collapse of the palace state centers. The approach is evolutionary and agent oriented. It seeks to explain the manner by which aggrandizing individuals and groups utilized image and symbol to differentiate themselves and advance their leadership positions within their communities and regions. It shows how these practices of representation were adapted for a state ideology in the Mycenaean palaces and how those systems of elite representation were memorialized by post-palatial centers on the Mainland.