Obituary for Ione M. Shear
Ione Mylonas Shear, 68, an archaeologist who specialized
in the exploration and interpretation of the monuments
of Bronze Age Greece, died January 15 at the University
Medical Center at Princeton. She succumbed to cancer.
Dr. Shear's principal contribution to the knowledge of
Bronze Age civilization was the systematic study of Mycenaean
domestic architecture, which resulted from her excavation
of the remains of private houses at the site of Mycenae
in southern Greece, where she worked for many years in
collaboration with her father, Professor George E. Mylonas.
Her study of Mycenaean houses led to the unexpected discovery
that many aspects of the civilization of the Bronze Age
are accurately recollected in the earliest works of Greek
literature, the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, which purport
to describe the era of the Trojan War and its aftermath.
In another book, published only a few weeks before her
death, Dr. Shear studied the subject of kingship in Mycenaean
Greece as it is reflected in the material remains of archaeology,
in the contemporary documents of the Linear-B tablets,
and in the rich mythological tradition of Greece.
Born in Champaign, Ill., she grew up in St. Louis, Mo.
She was educated at Wellesley College and completed her
graduate studies in archaeology at Bryn Mawr College and
the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Early
in her career, she participated in archaeological excavations
at the sites of Eleusis and lsthmia in Greece, and at Morgantina
From 1972 to 1993, she also worked as an excavation supervisor
uncovering the remains of classical buildings in the Athenian
Agora, the market place of ancient Athens, and taking part
in the excavations conducted by the American School of
Classical Studies. She was a life member of the Archaeological
Institute of America.
She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Prof. T. Leslie
Shear Jr. of Princeton University; two daughters, Julia
Louise Shear of Cambridge, England, and Alexandra Shear
of Montpelier, Vt.; and two sisters, Eunice Hale of Newburyport,
Mass., and Daphne Marsh of Lancaster, Calif.
The funeral was held 19th
Jan. Wednesday, in Princeton at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer
in her memory will
be used to establish a fellowship in her name at the American
School of Classical Studies at Athens. Donations may be sent
to the Trinity
Church and should be earmarked "I. M.
Shear memorial fund".