ancient thebes


Archaeological Museum of Thebes:

Women holding flowers from a large composition found at the Palace of Thebes (14th/13th century B.C)

Silver stater of Thebes, featuring a Boeotian shield on the obverse and the head of Dionysus, crowned with an ivy wreath, on the reverse.  Artist unknown; ca. 405-395 BCE.  Photo credit: Exekias/Wikimedia Commons.


Archaeological Museum of Thebes:

Wall-painting fragments from the mycenaean period, depicting a waterfowl (Thebes, 14th-13th century B.C), and a hound  behind a charriot from the hunting scene of Orchomenos, 13th century B.C

Ancient Egyptian funerary stele for a bowman named Semin.  Artist unknown; ca. 2120-2051 BCE (11th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom).  Found at the Theban necropolis of El-Tarif; now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Photo credit: David Liam Moran/Wikimedia Commons.


Archaeological Museum of Thebes

Offering gifts to the goddess

Main element of the Mycenaean religious ritual was the procession of female worshippers towards the shrine, the temple, or the altar of the seated, sometimes enthroned goddess.The depiction of processions on murals, and gold seal-rings was particularly frequent.

The preserved part of a large mural composition from the palace of Thebes (14th/13th century BC) shows a procession of female adorants in traditional Minoan dress. They advance majestically holding their offerings: lilies, wild roses, a casket with jewellery, a necklace, and a luxury vase perhaps filled with aromatic oil. They move in two opposite directions, perhaps towards a central female deity who receives their offerings.

I think I have finally solved the flounced skirt mystery. In my opinion it’s a large rectangle piece of textile, straight from the loom, perhaps decorated at the top and bottom border with added woven bands. The textile is draped around the hips, then tied with the top toppling down. Multiple layers can be worn, toppling down and giving the look of the flounced skirt. Similarly the vest, could be a tunic, again rectangle pieces of textile can be used, with decorative woven bands binding them together at the seams. 

Ancient Egyptian hippopotamus figurine, made of faience.  Artist unknown; ca. 1650-1550 BCE (17th Dynasty, Second Intermediate Period).  Found at the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga, Thebes; now in the Louvre.  Photo credit: Carole Raddato.


Archaeological Museum of Thebes:

Wall paintings from the palatial building of Orchomenos.

The formal space of the building was adorned with wall-paintings in much smaller scale than life-size. From the host of surviving fragments parts of friezes have been restored depicting subjects common in the art of the Late Bronze Age. 

On one side of the panel the ship with the oarsmen and the standing helmsman, the buildings and the groups of warriors, are possibly parts of a larger composition of a coastal city. On the other side of the panel there is a scene of hunting boar and deer, with the participants reaching the chase in a horse-drawn chariot. In all probability the group of warriors advancing on foot, spear in hand and wearing boar-tusk helmets, belong to the same composition. (13th century B.C)