Memory and modern receptions of the Aegean Bronze Age

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Instead of focusing on practices of memory (including memorialising and memory keeping) and on the role of social memory during the Aegean Bronze Age, in this paper I illustrate how modern studies and theories about memory have intersected with modern responses and narratives related to the Aegean Bronze Age, with special reference to Minoan Crete. These theories range from Sigmund Freud’s controversial notion of ‘inherited memory’, to other models derived from psychology and cognitive sciences as well as historical disciplines, such as Pierre Nora’s conceptualisation of lieux de mémoire. In particular, I focus on how recent memory studies related to the ‘primacy effect’ and ‘priming’ may partly help to explain the lasting influence of ancient Greek mythology on the perceptions and interpretations of the Aegean Bronze Age. I also discuss some examples of memory malfunctions (cf. D.L. Schacter’s ‘sins of memory’) in Aegean Bronze Age contexts. Besides Freud, I discuss examples of the dynamics between Aegean Bronze Age and memory studies in the works of various archaeologists, such as G.A.S. Snijder and A.J.B. Wace, and authors, such as Marcel Proust, Henry Miller, and Rhea Galanaki, among others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMNHMH / MNEME, Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age
EditorsElisabetta Borgna, Ilaria Caloi, Filippo Maria Carinci, Robert Laffineur
Place of PublicationLeuven-Liege
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Structured keywords

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition


  • Aegean Bronze Age
  • Memory
  • Minoans
  • Marcel Proust
  • Henry Miller


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