Similarities and Disparities Between the Mycenaean Palaces Sites: A Comparative Analysis of the Layout, Content and Diversities of the Palace-Citadels of Ancient Pylos and Mycenae During the Late Helladic IIIB Period
This research essay is a comparative analysis of the Mycenaean palace-citadels of Mycenae and Ancient Pylos, examining the artefacts, architecture and layouts of certain buildings and contexts within both sites to determine how influential Mycenaean culture may have been over their occupants. Which will be examined by classifying certain elements from their remains according to a set of behavioural characteristics in-relation to Mycenaean culture: cultural behavioural adaptations, elements that are different between both sites, and cultural behaviours regularities, which include detailed characteristics that are consistent between both sites. Mycenae and Ancient Pylos are among the most heavily examined and referenced sites in Mycenaean scholarship. Mycenae was the first palace to be excavated and has over the previous century occupied an “archetypal” role among Late Helladic sites, with a longer habitation period than most of its contemporaries. Ancient Pylos lacks some iconic characteristics shared between Midea, Mycenae and Tiryns, yet it does have the most intact palatial megaron ever found alongside crucial textual and archaeological evidence for the society, economy and beliefs of the Mycenaean people. The parameters of this report will be confined solely to the LHIIIB period, as both sites contained multiple periods of occupation and to examine each one in-tern would be too large and complicated for a 50-page research paper. Additionally, only the remains inside the different hilltops of Mycenae and Ano Englianos will be addressed in this report, within the Cyclopean walls at Mycenae and the LHII ashlar walls at Ancient Pylos. This will include the relative layouts of the palaces, surrounding palace-complex ,and additional houses within the sites, examining their proximity and roles towards each other, followed by the contexts and functions of certain rooms, to identify the different activities, procedures, techniques and methods that were shared or diverse between both sites, such as security, economic, open spaces, cult-associations, etc. Moving on to the methods of analysis for this report, it was initially meant to apply Cognitive Archaeology, since according to Marc Ambramluk, it can be possible to study certain behaviours and remains evidenced in the archaeological record to hypothesize the cognitive capabilities and intentions that were involved in their creation. However, after examining the principals and analytical techniques of this paradigm in-depth, it proved to lack compatibility with the limits of this report or would result in too much speculation. Instead, a new approach related to Behavioural Archaeology was utilized for this study, distinguishing between certain behavioural characteristics present at both Mycenae and Ancient Pylos. Cultural behaviours encompasses certain activities or traits that are prevalent throughout an entire culture, marked by their repetition and transmission across geographical and temporary spaces. Such behaviours were the results of human decisions and activities, and created certain products, artefacts, or contexts that can be studied by archaeologists. However, intricate and surprising characteristics exist in the differences and similarities between their layouts, artwork and the artefacts assemblages of both palaces. These remains can be classified either as cultural behavioural regularities, or cultural behavioural adaptations. Recognizing these different behaviours can allow archaeologists examine how encompassing or influential the cultural identities and characteristics of a particular civilization were.