Contemporary Music and Minoan Mythology

LOL – We previously posted about “closing the gap with humor” as a way to connect a larger audience to the relevancy of the Kommos site and its Minoan era artifacts. By using contemporary media we can reach out to people outside the interest groups of archaeology and conservation. Similar to the podcast in the Zits comic strip this video utilizes a popular web based medium but with added contemporary music (Radiohead), to make accessible artifact images and humor, introducing the pre-Greek culture with its associated mythology of the man-bull minotaur.

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4 comments on “Contemporary Music and Minoan Mythology
  1. We spoke about humor and music as a means by which we can spread knowledge about a historic/prehistoric, interpreted place, dare we say “educational” content, about Kommos and the cultures that occupied the site in the past. The compromised authenticity of the second most visited archaeological site in Greece*, a cultural heritage site on Crete has led to a significant lessening of the global formal recognition of the Minoan capitol of Knossos. Lessons from both tourism and edutainment perspectives is discussed in editors Walker & Carr’s book “Tourism and Archaeology: Sustainable Meeting Grounds”. At the conclusion of 2013, we came across this edutainment park on Crete, but without data collection/ survey and analysis, it is impossible to know the answer to: Does visitation to this Minoan theme park add or subtract from alternative means or best practices by which cultural heritage is presented to the lay public?
    A sensory enhanced learning experience will probably reach a larger audience with diverse learning styles at the Kato Archanes Cretan Theme Park. Perhaps the last paragraph of Chapter 3’s Visitor’s Experiences by Hughes, Little & Ballantyne is worth repeating here in regards to this question. “Although interpretive experiences enable us to illustrate aspects of other times and locations, they rarely provide total simulation (Robertshaw N.D.). Nevertheless, with careful planning and attention to detail, these experiences can provide visitors with an unparallelled insight into the topic, site, or event being interpreted. Whether these experiences are authentic is a related and hotly debated issue.” We await a visit to Minoan World and further conversations about heritage tourism, economic development and the educational upload before judgment and relevancy for the Kommos Archaeological Park can be determined.

  2. Not just Minoan but the whole panoply of Greek mythology at risk of inappropriate Disnification at archaeological sites. That seems to be a significant concern here. Any subcontracting privatization would surely have to be overseen appropriately by the Ministry of Culture, including the interpretive program. Private for profit schemes like the Kato Archanes Cretan Theme Park, may stretch archaeological facts for the sake of drama and visitor appeal.

    The other issue here seems to be patrimony. Whose job is it to take care and manage national heritage. The government through direct management of employees, personnel under rigorous performance standards.

    This is an issue that has been examined and considered in other countries too. What are some of the outcomes of those objective studies?

    This article from Η ΑΥΓΗ in Greek can be easily, if not fully accurately, translated by Google Chrome into other languages.

    I have copied that rough translation in English here below.

    But there is something deeper that our messy …
    Koutsouba Despina|01/26/2014

    omitted original accompanying image

    From the exhortations of the German newspaper Bild Zeitung to sell some islands and the Acropolis until asking yourself magazine Time whether privatization can save Greek monuments, it took until three Memoranda and a … willing archaeologist! Others stood in the banner of the latest issue of Time . Others in outrageous proposal of an American archaeologist Steven Miller to pass the management of archaeological sites on private companies’ will operate better. ” Others in the deafening silence of the Greek government. And others, fortunately, in direct response to the Association of Greek Archaeologists.

    What is sold as “new” idea is very very old. As old as colonialism: the core of the concept is the ‘natives’

    In a few, however, struck two small details which, if magnified, show nude that point where the future (we are preparing) meets with the past (even one that is not lived).

    The first detail is the category of “nationalism” for anyone who insists on something … antiquated notions of public management and protection of cultural heritage, as she describes that dusty book entitled Constitution of the country. Why, according to Time, «any proposal would allow the vast cultural wealth for Greece to leave the hands of the government raises deeply rooted nationalist sentiment in a country marked by repeated looting of foreign countries.” To reverse the argument, therefore, the Bild Zeitung, the Time and the company AppleBaum, presented a proposal to the NYSE for an “investment” in the antiquities of Athens Lavrion as Plato’s Academy, is-to say- preachers of cosmopolitanism. Indeed, as cosmopolitans were the colonialists in India or U.S. companies ravaged Latin America.

    The second detail is the “outrage” by S. Miller because there are no hotels and taverns that serve visitors next to the site of Nemea. It is not as “innocent” as it sounds! Why worry that the restaurants are located in the modern town of Nemea, a short distance in a wooded area? Put anyway: what would be the way a hotel next to the site could be “connected with the history the ancient games’ and attract visitors The answer, unfortunately, is simple: to be a hotel that promises its tourists that “will live the magical experience of the battle of Hercules with the Nemean lion.” To say it with the language of “investors” of Applebaum, an ‘integrated experience’ that will thrill tourists.

    Because we have … entrepreneurship, it’s hard for us to imagine Persians and Greeks to fight at Marathon, Flute-playing girl wandering in the Ancient Agora and revival of Ecclesia in sandals and togas on the Pnyx to the delight of tourists. Maybe because we have any other images in mind as the Troy-Chrysler or cave in Georgia, where tourists encounter living Medea and Jason. Perhaps because we know the feel of Disneyland. Maybe because we have a memory and remember the corresponding aesthetic junta ceremonies at the Panathenaic.

    Unfortunately, not exaggerate: what is sold as “new” idea is very very old. As old as colonialism: the core of the concept is the ‘natives’. The poor natives who can not draw on the resources of the land, did not even have the cultural capital to ‘appreciate’ history and culture. But it is pretty for decor when colonialists taking photos with their new acquisitions. They have certainly modernized. Now talking in terms of leasing, marketing, fund raising, flow of tourists – do not say anymore neat “mirrors”. In the end, however, the result is exactly equivalent. And it took them suddenly the pain for the monuments of Greece, revenues from “fillets” are put in the eye.

    But there is something deeper that our messy in this debate. There is an upfront placement of what is ‘mass’ (ie what attracts many tourists), and therefore modern. Everything else is elitism or regress. Elitism is the cultural heritage to teach, rather than “selling.” It is regressive to see the monuments as living cells culture in society that gave birth to and not as “gold mines”. It fetched to believe that it is more attractive for the visitor to learn to “read” the same monuments, where you can set it to a whole Cinecita digestible. It is an anachronism in the age of fast-fright everyday, believing that experience visiting a historic place is just this character reflection. And of course, it is unacceptable to insist that scientific knowledge is that which has the first word, when outside waiting impressive discoveries.

    The monuments can not be privatized so soon. But when the Prime Minister’s favorite museum, the new Acropolis Museum, made news last year only on matters relating to the restaurant, it is obvious that this perception has already dirty …
    * Despina Koutsouba is chairman of the Association of Greek Archaeologists

  3. Music and drama can widen the appeal of prehistory, as oral recounting of mythology and legend have done in the past.
    Other contemporary web based media that can be educational if accurate can be an effective teaching tool but… does the fictional narrative script and the special effects compromise the transfer of fact based archaeologically informed prehistory? See for your self in the use of the BBC Atlantis story.
    The amount of prep time is important to make sure there is a quality educational experience. This Pros and Cons listing of Using Movies to teach by may help answer my question above.
    * Can cause students to lose focus
    * May take too much time
    * Really educational part may only be a small portion of the overall
    * May not be completely historically accurate
    * Perception of using movies can be bad.
    * Parents might object to specific content within a movie.

    * Can extend the learning beyond the textbook
    * build interest
    * Provide teachable moments
    * Can be a good thing to do on days where students would be unfocused

    In the end, movies can be an effective tool as you are creating your lesson plans. The key to success is to choose wisely and create lesson plans that involve the information learned in the movie.

  4. This isn’t music and I have not spoken to anyone who has played the game but the medium offers an opportunity to expose gamers to the ancient mythology of Kommos/ Crete/ Greece.

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