Archaeological Institute of America Lecture: Dr. Nicholas Blackwell

Sunday, February 11 2018 3:00 pm

UWM Sabin Hall G90
3413 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Monumental Construction at Mycenae: Implications of Late Bronze Age Stone Working

Dr. Nicholas Blackwell, Indiana University
Sabin Hall Room G90, 3413 N. Downer Ave., UW-Milwaukee Campus

February 11, 2018, 3:00pm

Description: This presentation highlights the technology and tool types that masons and sculptors employed at Mycenae to produce some of the most well-known monuments in the Aegean Bronze Age. Analysis of preserved tool marks on the Lion Gate relief, Treasury of Atreus, and the Tomb of Klytemnestra reveal phases of construction, specific artisan choices, and variable stone-cutting techniques. My analysis of Mycenaean tool patterns reveals that palatial centers managed metal resources at the end of the Bronze Age, including finished products like tools. A natural question stemming from this observation is whether or not masons at Mycenae experienced some autonomy. Or did the state micromanage them and their projects—as the disbursement of work implements might imply?

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Nicholas Blackwell is the Schrader Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. With a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College, he has been a research fellow at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, the Assistant Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), and a Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar in the Department of History at NC State University.

His research addresses the archaeology and material culture of Greece and Cyprus, particularly during the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Dr. Blackwell’s doctoral and postdoctoral focus on metal tools, technology, craftsmanship, stone-cutting techniques, and metallurgy highlight his desire to better understand intercultural relations and connections across the Aegean, eastern Mediterranean and Near East during the latter half of the second millennium BC. Dr. Blackwell’s articles and book reviews have appeared in Antiquity, the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, and the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. He is currently working on a book project entitled: Before Daedalus: Tools and Elite Stone Working in the Mycenaean World.