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Ritual and Archaic States$
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Joanne M.A. Murphy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062785

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062785.001.0001

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Same, Same, but Different

Same, Same, but Different

Ritual in the Archaic States of Pylos and Mycenae

Chapter:
(p.50) 3 Same, Same, but Different
Source:
Ritual and Archaic States
Author(s):

Joanne M. A. Murphy

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062785.003.0003

This chapter explores how two contemporary and culturally related archaic states, Pylos and Mycenae, manipulated ritual to communicate and create status. By exploring the evidence for rituals in these two Greek Bronze Age states, I illustrate that although each was using ritual to express and confirm the elevated status and identities of their elites, both states used different types of ritual to achieve this. In the final periods of the palace’s use, Pylos’s architectural similarity to Mycenae increased, yet it began to differ in its use and location of ritual. As the state of Pylos grew in size, status, and power, it deemphasized burial rituals in favor of palace-based rituals, such as feasting and the making of sacrifices in the palace’s most elaborately decorated room. By contrast, Mycenae continued to invest significant labor and wealth in its burials while also reserving areas such as the cult center for ritual use and for conducting large-scale feasts. Chapter 3 highlights the need for and value of detailed contextual analysis of individual states in any society in order to clarify the reasons behind their similarities and differences.

Keywords:   Mycenae, Pylos, archaic states, Greek Bronze Age, ritual, burials, sacrifice, feast, palace, cult center

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