The Concrete Labyrinth, 1914–1935

in Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226289533
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226289557 | DOI:
The Concrete Labyrinth, 1914–1935

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This chapter, which addresses the construction of Arthur Evans's modernist “peace memorial” and the writing of his Palace of Minos, also presents a consideration of the gold “Ring of Nestor.” The relationship between modern movement architecture and Mediterranean archaeology is reported. The ideal of religious unity that Evans had promoted with the annual reenactment of the labyrinth dance at Knossos had given way to a horrible convulsion of Great Power bungling, forced partition, and ethnic cleansing. The “emergence” of a series of figurines that perfectly showed Evans's Minoan theology represented not the failure of his archaeology but rather its final achievement. By rebuilding the Palace of Minos in modern materials, reconstructing the wall-paintings in a modern style, and authenticating absurd forgeries such as the Lady of Sports, Evans contributed much to a pervasive sense that the pre-Christian and the post-Christian worlds had much in common.

Keywords: Arthur Evans; Palace of Minos; modern movement architecture; Mediterranean archaeology; labyrinth dance; Knossos; Minoan theology; Lady of Sports

Chapter.  11514 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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