Greek Art Essay
The Palace of Pylos was a short lived but impressive structure which stood during the Mycenean Palace period between 1300 and 1200 BC. Like many palaces of the time it was unfortified. This lack of fortification eventually led to the palace’s demise around 1200 BC. It’s a real shame that the palace no longer stands. With its large megaron, plaster floors and eccentric throne room, the Palace at Pylos would have been a great spectacle indeed.
One of the best finds in the Place of Nestor, as it is also called, are the linear b tablets. The information contained on the tablets gave confirmation to what the palace functioned as. It was the main political center of Mycenae. Findings of chariot parts also infer that the palace had its own repair depot and armory. The floors of the megaron were of painted plaster and the main hall was meticulously decorated with griffens, lions, and deer painted on the walls.
From the art recovered from the site, it can be clearly seen that the artists drew inspiration from the Minoan palaces. The fresco paintings contained depictions of people talking, warriors with their dark skin, and musicians. The figures were as well following those of the Minoan culture at the time, found with more detail and more rigid in depiction. The layout of the palace itself also bears resemblance to the Minoan palaces at the time, with the larger rooms occupying the center of the structure and the smaller rooms encompassing the perimeter.
The Palace of Nestor was quite a bit smaller than the Minoan palaces of the day. It dwarfs in comparison to the Palace of Knossos, which had a multitude of levels that we built around the landscape. The Palace of Nestor may have only had two stories to it. Like a lot of palaces during the period, the Place had very little in the way of fortifications to it, which ultimately led to its downfall.
The fact that so many palaces at the time were lacking fortifications could be very telling of the political situation of the period. During the time that the Place of Nestor was being constructed was likely to have been a peaceful era for a building of such importance to be left vulnerable. The destruction of the palace and ensuing change in art and architecture suggest a shift in political organization and attitudes for reasons uncertain. What is certain is that the Palace of Nestor would have been a great spectacle to behold and it is a great shame that this piece of art does not stand today.