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Image: composite of the Throne Room at Knossos (wikipedia) and the speaker’s photo of a Knossos tablet (KN Lc(1) 525)

BSA Friends’ Lecture

Prof John Bennet (University of Sheffield), “Never the twain shall meet: reflections on text and image in Minoan Crete”

Abstract: The world of Neopalatial Crete was visually rich; it was also a literate world. Yet these two categories, as we define them, never combine in the same field. In this talk, I explore this apparent anomaly and suggest how we might explain it. Any interpretation needs to take account of the specific historical context and so might challenge our modern conceptions of the role of writing and its relation to visual imagery.

Bio: John Bennet is Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield.  After completing his PhD at Cambridge on the Administrative Organisation of Late Minoan II – III Crete based on archaeological and textual evidence, he taught at the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA (1986-98) and Oxford (1998-2004), before taking up his current Chair.  From 2015 to 2022 he was Director of the British School at Athens.

John’s fundamental research interest lies in the combination of material and textual data in understanding the past, which he has pursued in relation to Minoan Crete, the Late Bronze Age Greek mainland, as well as Kythera in the Venetian, Ottoman and British periods and Venetian-Ottoman Messenia.  He has published on Late Bronze Age Crete and mainland Greece, on Linear B, and on historical Greece, and has participated in or directed fieldwork on Crete (Knossos; Phaistos region; Hania region), in mainland Greece (BA Pylos region), and on the islands (Keos; Kythera).


Hybrid lecture, 17:00 (UK) / 19:00 (Greece) 

Please register here to attend in-person in London (Room G35, Senate House) or online via Zoom webinar.

BSA Friends' Lecture
When: 16 January @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm GMT
Where: Room G37 Senate House – London – Malet Street