slowly, but surely, staying on course

I haven’t knit in over a day, but I am seriously catching up with my academic insanity. Don’t even ask the last time I spun something. I’m beginning to have heartache from not spinning. I keep eyeing my wheel and dragging myself away… it’s so sad and pathetic.

Anyway. I submitted my course project for GEOL 306 last night. I hope it’s what Prof M wanted. I think it’s good, and more than acceptable.

I’m nearly caught up with where I’m supposed to be in Historiography. Now all I have to do is reread 6 books of Livy and 5 of Polybius. At least they’re easy reads. I’m starting on those tomorrow. They’re actually really captivating. Normally, Livy and his moralizing bores me to tears. But his history of the Hannibalic War is actually fascinating. I’d recommend it, if you’re interested in the subject.

Aaand. Joy of joys. I don’t have any art history classes until the midterm next week! Bless Prof H and his busy schedule! So, what am I going to do with my extra time? CRAM! A lot. I need to memorize the entire Aegean chronology and the blueprint of Knossos, Phylakopi, and a dozen other places. At least I already remember what Kamares Ware and Troy are ;)

On the subject of art history, I am finding myself more and more drawn to Aegean art. This is problematic, sorta. But, also, quite good. Have you ever seen pictures of the frescoes of the House of the Ladies at Akrotiri? We just looked at 20 minutes worth of slides on them yesterday, and I think I have my ARH course paper topic (woohoo!). Examining the subject matter of this fresco:

The common belief is that the “bowing” woman is presenting a status garment to another woman – a deity, a priestess, whatever. I don’t agree. I think it’s “genre” rather than “ritual”. Marinatos, the head archaeologist of Akrotiri, is determined that every fresco, room, and object found at Akrotiri has some sort of ritual/ religious significance – everything is a “shrine” (no, I am not kidding). Right. Don’t even ask my opinion on that.

To me, as a student of textile and costume history, this fresco looks a little more mundane. Does anyone else see how the same garment she’s picking up – she’s WEARING one? It’s like an apron, that ties around the waist. In bigger copies of the image, you can even see the ties around her waist. Now, seriously, what are the odds that the “bowing” figure is actually picking up a garment the woman in front of her “dropped” (which we’ve all done with shawls, scarves, and sweaters tied around our waists) and trying to hand it back to the woman who dropped it. The figure who is mostly lost is actually (most likely), turned with her back to the figure, and the “bowing” woman is touching her on her back. C’mon. am I crazy?

The angle is completely wrong for a presentation. The “bowing” woman is gazing directly at the “lost” figure. Devotees are not supposed to gaze directly at higher beings. I dunno, the whole concept seems flawed to me.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that out. Leave a comment if you agree, disagree, don’t care, whatever. I love some sort of response. So, now I need to read my art history texts and check my email. If I’m reallyreally good, I’ll let myself knit for an hour today. I have weaving tonight, which should be enough of a treat in itself.

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One thought on “slowly, but surely, staying on course

  1. LauraJ

    Arguing that everything is ritual behavior makes other archaeologists laugh at you behind your back. Any suggestion of ‘ritual use’ in England 30 years ago or NH now is usually followed by giggles because ‘ritual use’ means, “really, I haven’t any idea.” So good for you for thinking of something that makes secular sense. Is this scene connected with the saffron-gathering expedition frescoes? It looks to me like your point that the lost figure is facing the other way is well taken. Knock ’em dead.

    Reply

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