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Grave Circle A, Mycenae

Grave Circle A, Mycenae. Photo: Rachel Philips 

Upper House Seminar

Rachel Phillips (University of Cambridge), “Curating the Dead: Body and Matter in Early Mycenaean Burials”

From the start of the Late Bronze Age, people on the Greek mainland were buried with hundreds or even thousands of objects, made from exotic materials and embellished with figurative and abstract motifs. Through the twin representational strategies of figurative imagery and depositional practice, these assemblages effect a transformation from subject to object. This paper examines the nature of this transformation in more detail, focusing on the relations between bodies and objects within specific early Mycenaean burial contexts. It argues that the body (and in some cases, the person) becomes the image, centered around the material associations and relations of the assemblage. The dialectic between the real body (i.e. the corpse) and the represented body (i.e. the burial) therefore becomes an important axis of analysis for studies of the early Mycenaean mortuary sphere, which provides important insights into past concepts of the body and its association with the person.

Hybrid lecture, 4pm (UK) / 6pm (Greece)

Please register to attend IN PERSON in Athens here:

[due to new limits on Eventbrite we are limited to 25 tickets initially – if the event appears to be sold out please check back again here as we will update the link]

Please register to attend ONLINE via Zoom here:


Upper House Seminar
When: 27 November, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EET
Where: British School at Athens, Upper House – Athens – 52 Souedias Street