Sunday, November 15, 2009

They thought Minoan art was cool!

Not an unusual feeling, but this still evokes in me a "well, wow!" reaction:

The remains of a Minoan-style wall painting, recognizable by a blue background, the first of its kind to be found in Israel, was discovered in the course of the recent excavation season at Tel Kabri. This fresco joins others of Aegean style that have been uncovered during earlier seasons at the Canaanite palace in Kabri. "It was, without doubt, a conscious decision made by the city's rulers who wished to associate with Mediterranean culture and not adopt Syrian and Mesopotamian styles of art like other cities in Canaan did. The Canaanites were living in the Levant and wanted to feel European," explains Dr. Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa, who directed the excavations.


Thanks to David Meadows at Explorator for the heads-up.

3 comments:

  1. The find is definitely 'Wow' but this report's slant is doubly wrong. First, I can't believe that Dr. Yasur-Landau said that the inhabitants wanted to feel "European" -- a ghastly anachronism. Secondly, I doubt they even wanted to feel "Minoan". What we have, I think, is good evidence for Aegean itinerant artisans in Canaan in the late MBA (but we knew that already), with later offshoots still active in Egypt in the early LBA at Tel el-Daba and which left signs of their presence in Egypt even a bit later.

    Not good journalism, I'm afraid.

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  2. It sounds like an interesting site and the general conclusion seems sound. I do want to quibble with the phrasing "wanted to feel European". It is only our contemporary conceptualization that Minoans are (sort of) Greeks and thus Europeans that allows this sort of interpretation. And then there are the obvious political implications of the statement.

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  3. I wonder if this archaeologist is one of those people who think Israelis are descendents of the Canaanitees. They exist.

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