• Fresh Water Scenes in Minoan Art

      Betancourt, Philip P., 1936-; Evans, Jane DeRose, 1956-; Bolman, Elizabeth S., 1960-; Myer, George H. (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      The goal of this dissertation is to provide a comprehensive study of scenes of fresh water in Minoan art from the Middle Minoan II (MM II) through the Late Minoan I (LM I) periods. This dissertation addresses and fills the gap in the scholarship regarding the depiction of riparian environments and the special place of these depictions in Aegean art. It also attempts to clarify the use and function of riverscapes across chronological periods. Rivers, marshes, streams, and springs, appear on a variety of media and fulfil multiple functions from MM II onward. Images of fresh water were used as topographical markers, ornamentation and decoration, and for religious purposes. Moreover, several images suggest that the Minoans may have believed that the realm for the goddess (or one of the goddesses) was a lush, riverscape. A second goal of this dissertation is to clarify and dispose of the term “Nilotic” as a label for images of fresh water in the Aegean. Since its introduction into the literature of Aegean studies in the beginning of the 20th century, the term “Nilotic” has been used inconsistently to describe Aegean scenes of fresh water that may or may not contain Egyptian elements. This assumption has led some scholars to state that Aegean riverscapes are ultimately derived from Egyptian scenes of fishing and fowling because they share similar iconographic elements. Unfortunately, the process of synthesis is important to the understanding of Aegean riverscapes, and iconographic similarities are somewhat superficial. Furthermore, the term has been used without regard for a long-standing tradition of the depiction of riparian environments in Bronze Age Aegean art. To fully address both goals of this project, the origin of individual iconographic elements has been traced through various media, including glyptic art, pottery, and wall painting. Wall paintings from the Cyclades and some Late Helladic IA scenes have been included when appropriate. Whenever possible, categories of riverscapes have been grouped together, but each wall painting, has been examined and interpreted individually. Some unique, highly pictorial, and detailed images in other media have also been addressed separately. Parallels in Egyptian and, in some cases, Near Eastern art have been sought to determine the validity of the term “Nilotic,” and a special study of Egyptian scenes of hunting in the marshes has been conducted in comparison to Aegean scenes. Iconography, synthesis, and context have all been taken into consideration.