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The Mycenaean chariot krater : a study in form, design and function

Morris, C E; (1989) The Mycenaean chariot krater : a study in form, design and function. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The focal point of this study is the distinctive group of Mycenaean clay vases known as chariot kraters, that is: amphoroid kraters decorated with scenes of chariot processions, which were produced in tihe 14th and 13th cent. B.C. The chronological discussion considers the available stratigraphic and contextual information, which provides the basis for finer typological subdivisions of the material. The date of the introduction of the chariot krater, and the related questions of when both the amphoroid krater form and pictorial decoration in general first appear, is established. Study of the origin of the vase form indicates that the Mycenaean form was derived from the Minoan clay amphoroid krater, which was itself indebted to a metal prototype. The typological development of the form is discussed and some refinements made to the existing classification. A new method of design classification is proposed for the chariot scenes. The design element analysis provides a standardised descriptive vocabulary, which expresses the complexity, structure and range of variation of the scenes. The design analysis supplies the framework for an examination of two interconnected subjects: the stylistic and chronological development of the decoration, and the identification of individual painters. The find contexts are the primary evidence for the exploration of the function of the amphoroid krater; this is supplemented by analysis of the character of the shape and comparative use of analogous shapes. The functional relationship of form and decoration, and its symbolic significance, is also considered. The controversial issue of the production centres of the chariot kraters is addressed, reviewing both the archaeological and scientific evidence. The two distinct but interwoven aspects of ceramic analysis, form and decoration, are considered in conjunction with the vase's function and the wider issue of provenance. By integrating these separate strands, .it is possible to reach a clearer understanding of how and why this specialised vase form originated and developed within a broader historical context.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Mycenaean chariot krater : a study in form, design and function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546141
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