Book Chapter

Curation in the Bronze Age Aegean: Objects as Material Memories

Brent Davis, Emilia Banou, Louise Hitchcock, Anne Chapin

MNHMH / MNEME: Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age | Aegaeum | Peeters Publishers | Published : 2019


The Minoans appear to have placed a special and even ritual premium on curated objects that stimulated memory, such as heirlooms and antiques. Some imported Old and Middle Kingdom Egyptian objects, for example, were curated by the Minoans for centuries before deposition, often in tombs. Minoan stone bull’s-head and relief rhyta – never found intact, and with pieces always missing – appear to have been intentionally smashed, with pieces given to witnesses as mementos of the occasion; some of these pieces were curated for generations before being deposited in ritual contexts. In the same way, antique Minoan objects were sometimes curated into the Mycenaean period, as exemplified by Neopalatial..

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