Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Before Mycenae: Middle Helladic Domestic Architecture and the Foundations of Mycenaean Culture

The domestic architecture of the Middle Bronze Age on the Greek mainland has been frequently overlooked in scholarship; where it is acknowledged, it is all too often dismissed because of its absence of monumentality and poor state of preservation, seen as a product of the turbulence that is presumed to have rocked much of Greece in the wake of the fall of the relatively prosperous culture of the Early Bronze Age. However, a close examination of the houses of two important Middle Helladic sites - Lerna and Eutresis - reveals a previously unacknowledged degree of social complexity for the time period. Indeed, the houses seem to have served as the primary means of expressing social identity within the settlements of this era, serving as arenas for articulating kinship affiliation, wealth, and power. In many ways, then, the humble dwellings of the Middle Helladic predict the palaces of later Mycenaean culture.