Dr. Alex Knodell (Assistant Professor of Classics, Carleton College), "The Political Landscapes of Mycenaean Central Greece"
This talk examines the organization and territory of Mycenaean polities in the central Greek mainland and Euboea at the end of the Bronze Age, particularly during the Palatial and Postpalatial periods. It draws contrasts between various regions of central Greece, from Thessaly to Attica, highlighting themes of regional diversity and diachronic social change. This diversity should be expected, but has been largely obscured by a tendency to apply Peloponnesian paradigms to central Greek case studies. Archaeological evidence of settlement patterns and territorial organization suggests that palatial territories were actually rather limited in size and scope, and surrounded by various types of non-palatial communities that have been mostly ignored in studies of Mycenaean political organization. A multi-regional study of the formation and collapse of Mycenaean states (including cases where such phenomena do not occur) offers new insights concerning political geography and societal organization in the Late Bronze Age.