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Discuss the palace of Knossos as an architectural embodiment of Minoan cosmology and culture, focusing particularly on the relat - Essay Example

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The Knossos Name: Institution: Introduction The Minoan Palace known at Knossos is a marvel of architecture that was build in the Neolithic period. These structures were built near the present day modern town of Herakleion. Knossos was the seat of power for the King Minos and the capital city of Crete…
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Discuss the palace of Knossos as an architectural embodiment of Minoan cosmology and culture, focusing particularly on the relat
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"Discuss the palace of Knossos as an architectural embodiment of Minoan cosmology and culture, focusing particularly on the relat"

Download file to see previous pages The Palaces were built on the Kephala hill where it had easy access to the sea as well as the Cretan interior. The first palace was destroyed in 1700BC but it was rebuilt again. However, the second palace was destroyed by fire in 1350 never to be rebuilt again.1 The area around the palace was transformed into a sacred region with and it was not inhabited. The Palace of Knossos was magnificent and was a symbol of the civilization of the people of Minos. Its construction was massive and no other known architectural piece rivaled it in size during those times. The palace was architectural plans were equally sophisticated and there was remarkable use of luxurious materials. Advance techniques were used in building the Palaces which made them stand out in the entire Crete. The Minoans demonstrated their technological advancements in the design of the Palaces by incorporating features such as light wells, complex drainage and water systems. The Palace of Knossos was built to serve religious as well as administrative functions. Hence, its design was elaborate and it comprised of several sections to suit various functionalities. This paper aims to discuss the palace of Knossos as an architectural embodiment of Minoan cosmology and culture. Specifically, the relationship of the palace to nature as topography, orientation and temporality is evaluated. Also, the use of ornament and role of ritual are discussed in detail. Role of Ritual The extensive palaces of Knossos were concerned with practical pleasures and celebrations for the people. The palaces were designed to allow for social interactions and communicated the underlying social ideologies and order. It has been argued that the Palace of Knossos was designed as an architectural expression of the social concepts of the time.2 The West Wing was dedicated to public ceremonies and performances. The elaborate walkways in the West Wing create an impression that this was the focal point of movement. They served as procession ways leading to the inner parts of the palace. The elevation of the walkways indicates that there was a separation of the performers and the audience. One of the processional ways in the palace, known as the Royal Road, led to a large elevated area that was probably used for the theatrical performances.3 On the south side there was a square paved bastion built against it equipped with a platform. The platform was positioned in such a way that people could actually observe actual performances from there. It is evident that the theatrical area was arranged in such way that it could allow viewing in three levels. Arguably, the Knossos palace architectural environment created social hierarchy which had been translated into spatial order. If the paved bastion was indeed sectioned for the most prominent figures in Minoan society, then the two flights of steps could have functioned, as they stand, for the elite closest to the representatives of the community. However, the hierarchical positioning of people according to status could also function to realign the socio-political fabric of the Neo-palatial period during ceremonies ideological in nature. Hence, the theatrical area could be able to function in two ways depending on the occasion. The architecture of the palace was dynamic making it capable to serve various social functions. The other evidence that the palace of Knossos served as a ritual centre is its interior ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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