University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Author: Philip P. Betancourt

The Age of Homer

An Exhibition of Geometric and Orientalizing Greek Art

By: Philip P. Betancourt

The Greek Bronze Age ended in violent disarray. Most of the Mycenaean fortresses were burned or abandoned within the space of a single generation; others declined more slowly, but by the beginning of the twelfth century B.C., the Aegean civilization was in eclipse. Exactly what precipitated this general upheaval is not yet com­pletely understood, and […]

The Stone Vessels of Pseira

By: Philip P. Betancourt

“Never…have I seen so many stone vases in so short a time.” Richard Seager, letter to Edith Hall from Pseira, 24 May 1907 Like a great many islands in other periods of history, the small Minoan islet of Pseira seems to have depended on its harbor and trade relations to com­pensate for poor land, few […]

Ceramic Stands

A Group of Domestic and Ritual Objects from Crete and the Near East

By: Philip P. Betancourt and Mary G. Ciaccio and Brigit Crowell and Jean M. Donohoe and R. Curtis Green

Cylindrical stands for pottery were used by several ancient cultures in the eastern Mediter­ranean, but their development among the Minoan of Bronze Age Crete was especially elaborate and interesting. By the latter part of the Late Bronze Age, Minoan stands were ornamented with snakes, horns, birds, multiple handles, and other attributes, going well beyond the […]

Aegean Dyes

photo of painting
Unearthing the Colors of Ancient Minoan Textiles

By: Marie Nicole Pareja and Philip P. Betancourt and Vili Apostolakou and Thomas M. Brogan and Andrew J. Koh

Bronze Age Clothing in Minoan Crete was multicolored and made from intricately woven textiles. Until now, our only evidence related to the colors in the textiles came from the study of costume in wall paintings. Fortunately, recent research has revealed that several different dyes were produced in Minoan Crete. Clothing is depicted in frescoes and […]