The Mediterranean World

By James, N. | Antiquity, December 2002 | Go to article overview
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The Mediterranean World

James, N., Antiquity

JOHN C. MCENROE with COSTIS DAVARAS & PHILIP P. BETANCOURT (ed. Philip P. Betancourt & Costis Davaras). The architecture of Pseira (Pseira V). xiii+139 pages, 51 figures, 69 photographs. 2001. Philadelphia (PA): University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology; 0-924171-86-3 hardback $49.95.

ELIZABETH FRENCH. Mycenae, Agamemnon's capital: the site in its setting. 160 pages, 74 figures, 24 colour illustrations. 2002. Stroud & Charleston (SC): Tempus; 0-7524-1951-X paperback 16.99 [pounds sterling] & $27.99.

Clinging to steep slopes, Pseira was a Minoan village. Pottery and stratigraphy have revealed its development up to the time when it was destroyed in Late Minoan Period IB. The new book analyses the buildings, their architecture, materials, forms and functions. MCENROE et al. describe results of research in 1986-91 and present new interpretations with special attention to the houses best preserved, and to the square and the large but enigmatic building--governmental and/or religious--dominating it on one side. Dr FRENCH's very approachable book out-lines Mycenae's history as revealed mainly by archaeology, including discoveries elsewhere in the Aegean. It concludes with a brief preview of the site museum.

JOANNA S. SMITH (ed.). Script and seal use on Cyprus in the Bronze and Iron Ages. xviii+248 pages, 80 figures, 11 tables. 2002. Boston (MA): Archaeological Institute of America; 0-9609042-7-1 paperback 29.95 [pounds sterling] & $35.

Dr SMITH introduces six detailed technical chapters. The three longer ones in the middle consider purposes and contexts of use. G. Bonny Bazemore points to evidence that `absence of inscriptions does not indicate a loss of literate practices' (p. 199; cf. Narrative threads in `Americas', above).

ANNA PESERICO. Die offenen Formen der Red Slip Ware aus Karthago: Untersuchungen zur phonizischen Keramik im westlichen Mittelmeerraum (Hamburger Werkstattreihe zur Archaologie 5). xi+124 pages, 30 figures, 3 tables. 2002. Munster: Lit; 3-8258-5947-9 paperback 24.90 [euro].

Dr PESERICO's detailed appraisal of Red Slip dishes and bowls at Carthage leads on to a study of the distribution and chronology of the repertoire in Sardinia and Andalucia. She anticipates further research on the fabrics and the social and cultural contexts in which the pottery was introduced to the western Mediterranean. See too A Roman bath, below.

JOHN CAMP & ELIZABETH FISHER. Exploring the world of the ancient Greeks. 224 pages, 269 b&w figures, 107 colour illustrations. 2002. London: Thames & Hudson; 0-500-05112-7 hardback 17.95 [pounds sterling].

MARIA JOSE GARCIA SOLER. El arte de comer en la antigua Grecia. 462 pages, figures. 2001. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva; 84-7030-922-6 paperback.

Exploring introduces the prehistory of Greece before tracing developments from the Archaic period to the Romans, with an epilogue on the Middle Ages. The text is comprehensive and concise. `Exploring', however, is apt for the arresting but almost jumbled presentation of little `boxes' on special topics and variously framed pictures which would overwhelm the text but for the pages' chunky format--an instance of this publisher's notion of a feverish readership.

With detailed attention to lexicon, Prof. GARCIA presents the results of surveying the ancient Greek literature on plant foods, fish & meat, drink, condiments, herbs & spices, honey & sweets, and how they were prepared for consumption (human or animal). She appends `some recipes' from her sources.

LUCY T. SHOE MERITT & INGRID E. M. EDLUND-BERRY. Etruscan and Republican Roman mouldings: a reissue of the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 28, 1965 (University Museum Monograph 107). xxxv+233 pages, 42 figures, 76 plates (2 vols.). 2000. Philadelphia (PA): University of Pennsylvania Museum; 0-9242171-77-4 hardback.

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