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All the Megaron's a Stage: Actors and Audience in Nestor's Palace

Wed May 18, 2016, 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Porter D Building, Room 245

The History of Art and Visual Culture Department is pleased to present a talk by Emily Egan. Please join us for the spring quarter HAVC Pizza Talk on Wednesday May 18th at 12:30PM.


The Palace of Nestor at Pylos, located in southwestern Messenia, Greece, is widely recognized as one of the best-preserved examples of a Myenaean palace. This talk examines life at Bronze Age Pylos through the lens of its core suite known as a palatial "megaron," a term familiar from Homer's Odyssey. Current theories about this suite, and particularly its central “Throne Room,” imagine that it was used for feasting, that it served as a royal reception hall, and that it was a setting for religious rituals. Until now it has not been possible to evaluate these proposals because of evidential lacunae in the original study and publication of the megaron's artifacts, built features, and decoration in the 1950s and 60s. Here, I redress this issue by examining the excavated material culture in toto, and by employing archaeological and art historical methods to produce more nuanced, and in some cases fully novel, interpretations of the megaron's use.