The Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop


The Ancient Societies Workshop

are pleased to invite everyone to a talk by

Dimitri Nakassis

Assistant Professor of Classics
University of Toronto

Rethinking Mycenaean Society


The social and economic structures of Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean) Greece have been described in terms of strict hierarchy since the decipherment of the Mycenaean script, Linear B, in 1952. Traditional models consider palatial authority to be (nearly) absolute, and so have difficulty accounting for activities outside of direct palatial control and the internal heterogeneity of the socio-political order. I suggest that shifting the focus of study from administrative roles to individuals named in the administrative texts provides an alternative framework for understanding Mycenaean society. This work reveals a large number of individuals who, although they held no office, were important actors in activities monitored by the state as well as outside of it. Rather than seeing the social order as an effect of palatial centralization and hierarchy, then, with an elite composed of a small cadre of palatial officials, we can propose a more fluid model with a broad and heterogeneous elite. The palace in turn seems less of an agent in its own right that bends Mycenaean society to its will, and more of a product of various interactions between individuals and social groups.

Thursday, April 26

4:30 PM, Haskell Hall 315

~ Join us after the talk for a reception at The Pub ~

Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please contact Joe Bonni or Monique Vincent in advance at or

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