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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Destruction and Afterlife of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos: The Making of a Forgotten Landmark
by LaFayette, Shannon, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2011, 738; 3469825
Abstract (Summary)

This project, a new examination of the construction, life, destruction, and afterlife of the Bronze Age Palace of Nestor at Pylos based on careful study of Blegen’s excavation archives, is testimony to the value of reinvestigating old excavations and long-forgotten material. Through detailed analysis of the stratigraphic records I offer a new reconstruction for the upper floor of the palace and demonstrate that parts of the palace’s second floor remained standing for some time following the final destructive fire. The destruction is also reconsidered using modern forensic fire analysis and it is concluded that the severity of the fire varied throughout the structure leaving some rooms intact. I present evidence that the interior of the palace was thereafter accessible for looting and small-scale, domestic reuse in the Iron Age. No archaeological evidence is found to support the suggestion that a historical cult was founded over the remains of the Palace of Nestor; the oral tradition of wise King Nestor’s “echoing colonnade” and “lofty house” was fixed (Od. 3.445, 449), but the location of the site was lost. The Palace of Nestor is contextualized in the history of Messenia as a landmark forgotten during the years of enslavement by Sparta, but whose legacy was preserved in the region’s collective memory.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davis, Jack
Commitee: Hatzaki, Eleni, Lynch, Kathleen, Stocker, Sharon
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Classics
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Classical Studies
Keywords: Architecture, Greece, Mycenae, Palace of Nestor, Pylos
Publication Number: 3469825
ISBN: 978-1-124-86208-8
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