Angela Marzia Catania
Supervisors: Professor John Bennet, Dr. Susan Sherratt
My research interests focus on iconography, Late Bronze Age in Crete, Minoan culture, burial customs and social identities.
“A contextual study of LM III larnakes: their manufacture, use and decoration”.
The final aim of my research project is to understand if larnakes can be considered a meaningful Minoan category and, if so, what was their social significance.
Larnakes are burial receptacles usually made of clay used in Crete and mainland Greece at the end of the 3rd and in the 2nd millennium B.C. They constitute one of several different types of coffin adopted for burial purpose in these two areas of the Aegean. Their use is attested in the EM/MM period and during the LMII-LM III/LH III period and they vary in terms of dimension, shape and decoration.
My project focuses on clay larnakes from Crete and dating to the LM III period. I will assess the social significance of larnakes through the study of their regional and temporal distribution, their iconography (where decoration is still visible) and the contextual association between data on larnakes (presence /absence of decoration; shape-dimension; motives) and on other burial contexts (e.g. type of tomb; coexistence with other burial context; skeletal remains; grave goods). The analysis of the relation between larnakes and other containers will allow to clarify the function of larnakes in terms of social relations and, more generally, how larnakes were used.