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This innovation enabled the plant to run continuously, thereby increasing productivity. Olive oil was a hugely important trading commodity throughout antiquity, one which the citizens of Clazomenae successfully exploited. Amphorae with the simple band decoration associated with Clazomenae would have been used in the transportation of these exports.

Catalog Record: Bronze age and Iron age communities in | HathiTrust Digital Library

These amphorae are found throughout the Aegean basin as well as the Black Sea. Such a wide distribution suggests the settlement was one of the more significant players on the ancient trade network. The 6th century BC olive press has now been totally recovered and, thanks to an experimental archaeology project financed by the Komili Olive Oil Co.

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The reconstructed olive press showing the workings of the 6th century BC press. This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue Click here to subscribe. Your Name. Your Email. Your Website. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.

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Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Individual city-states and their colonies prosper, giving rise to centers of political, religious, philosophic and artistic development. Many of the Greek cities in the mainland, Aegean islands, and the Ionian coast are ruled by "tyrants", strong-willed men who rule, not by constitutional authority, but by popular support.

Monumental sculpture, stone temple architecture, and civic building programs are among the achievements of this period. Greek cities in the eastern Aegean and Asia Minor come under the domination of the Persian Empire at the end of the sixth century. An unsuccessful revolt by the Greeks living on the Ionian coast leads to the invasion of mainland Greece by the Persians in B.

In the years after the Persian defeat, Athens takes the lead in a league of Greek states the "Delian League" sworn to pursue the war against the Persians.

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The Classical Period : B. The acme of Greek civilization as viewed by many historians: literature, drama and the arts flourish throughout the Greek world.


Athens enjoyed a period of wealth and power at the beginning of this period, successfully bringing the democratic form of government to the fore. Athens grows rich off its silver mines and the tribute paid by the Delian League which becomes, virtually, the Athenian Empire. Conflict with other Greek cities results in the Peloponnesian War B.

Subsequent decades see the rise of Macedonian power, beginning with Philip II, and culminating with the conquests and death in of Alexander the Great. The Hellenistic Period : 31 B.

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  6. Following the death of Alexander, his empire was divided into three parts: the Seleucids in Asia Minor; the Ptolemies in Egypt and the Macedonian Antigonid dynasty in Greece. The process of rule by kingship, common in the Near East, is established in the eastern area of the Greek world, including the Attalid dynasty in Pergamon.

    What bearing do these two groups of discoveries have on the hypotheses which were listed earlier? The island settlements, inasmuch as they occupy sites which had been deserted at least for the previous years or so, could be held to support the hypothesis of increasing population, and perhaps those of increasing prosperity and increasing skills, at the time, with the corresponding implication of a recession in these fields during the preceding dark age.

    But how have these, and the other, hypotheses fared in the light of further individual discoveries?


    But it seems to me much harder to maintain the converse of this position, that a falling population will not cause economic decline and political fragmentation. Within the general order of ancient populations, the minimum level for the maintenance of economic and political structures must have been more obvious and, especially, more rigid than the maximum. Recent finds have done nothing to weaken the impression that that minimum must have been reached and passed in many areas of Greece ; indeed, in one important respect they have strongly reinforced it.

    While new excavations have added scarcely a single name to the list of major settlements occupied between, say, and B. It may once have been possible to argue that excavators had simply been unlucky or imperceptive in locating sites of the Early Iron Age, but today, for several areas of the Greek world, this option is closed.

    Again and again, surveys have found that the surface traces of the Early Iron Age occur far less commonly than those of the preceding and succeeding periods, or else that they are completely absent. Each year that passes brings new support for the view that, during at least the first two centuries of the Iron Age, there were fewer people, living in fewer settlements, in the Greek world than for many hundreds of years before and after.

    The case of the depopulation hypothesis is more or less repeated in several other categories of evidence. The intervening four and a half centuries remain unremittingly dark in respect of their apparent illiteracy. Something of the same can be said, if less categorically, about most of the representational arts : fresco-painting and gem-carving, to name two conspicuous fields of Bronze Age art, remain unrepresented in the Early Iron Age.

    One or two surprises have emerged, it is true, in such fields as modelled terracottas the centaur figurine from Lefkandi 12 or representational figures on vases the hunting-scenes from Geometric Crete 13 , but otherwise the picture remains as jejune as ever. The mention of the Lefkandi centaur brings us once again to the evidence of this site on Euboea, which by reason mainly of its cemeteries constitutes perhaps the most important single excavation from the Greek Early Iron Age. This will give us two further regional assemblages to set beside the comparable evidence previously available, though in more piecemeal form, from Athens and Argos.

    But the importance of Lefkandi is not exhausted by its graves and by the portion of the settlement that has been uncovered. More than 40 metres long, apsidal in plan, it is the most impressive structure of its date that we have from the Greek world ; yet its life was a very short one, perhaps a generation only, and its architecture is not distinguished by any striking feature not previously attested.

    It thus does little to alter the picture of the architectural resources of the Early Iron Age ; but inasmuch as it is apparently a building of religious purpose, its evidence may be grouped with that of two other sites which have produced unexpected cult-evidence at this same period. At Kalapodi in Phokis, Dr. Rainer Felsch has been excavating a remarkable sanctuary 17 where the pottery-series is continuous from the Mycenaean period onwards, even if its sacred character is not yet proven for the Bronze Age.

    At Kommos on the south coast of Crete, Professor J. Shaw has unerthed a sequence of temples, buried under the sand 18 , which proved to extend back, equally surprisingly, to before B.

    The Ionian Islands in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age

    Perhaps, but to a lesser degree than would at first appear. Thus, even if Kalapodi does prove to have been a sanctuary site from the Late Bronze Age right through to historical times, it will remain a rare exception to the general picture in which, again and again, Greek sanctuaries can be shown to have been established over the domestic ruins of the Bronze Age, with all the implications of discontinuity that that practice carries. At Kommos, Professor Shaw detects grounds for seeing Phoenician influence in some of the abnormal features of the early temples. In so far as heirlooms are more naturally associated with proverty than with affluence 19 , these discoveries cut both ways in respect of the orthodox account of the dark age.

    Evidence for contemporary contact with the Orient, however, is another matter. All recent writers are agreed that, if the Greeks of the Early Iron Age retained continuous links with any overseas area, they were not with the nearest continental land-masses but with Cyprus ai. These links are, immediately relevant to my final topic, metallurgy. The doctrine that this change was partly brought on by the difficulty of obtaining tin for the bronze alloy 20 must today be somewhat refined. In proposing it, I did not make enough allowance for the melting down and re-use of existing bronze objects.

    Then there has been the disquieting finding, from metal analysis of bronze objects from two Early Iron Age sites 21 , that the objects contained not a deficiency, but an excess of tin. This result may, however, be explained by the choice of artefacts for testing : in the main, these were small, decorative objects for which a high tin content gave an attractively light colouring. The absolute quantities of metal involved are in any case tiny.

    But the view that early Greek iron-working was directly dependent on the advances pioneered in Cyprus, a common feature of Desborouh's and my work, has received strong support from the recent discoveries of Dr. Karageorglris at Kition and in tombs of the Skala cemetery at Kouklia and subsequent years Two critically important iron types, the dagger and the sword, which had hitherto been missing from the.

    Cypriot record at the vital period, are now well represented there, and there are other more detailed resemblances of practice and typology. Furthermore, recent metallurgical analysis on early Cypriot iron, most of it still to be published 23 , will show that the Cypriot smiths were very swift to develop the technology which effectively transforms iron into mild steel ; thus for the first time making it superior to the best bronze in respect of strength and hardness. To date, no other part of the ancient world has produced comparably early evidence for such mastery of the blacksmith's craft.

    It will by now be apparent that the discoveries of the last decade have not only greatly enlarged, but also in some respects modified, our understanding of the Early Iron Age in Greece. It is also true that, Homer notwithstanding and I shall not even raise the spectre of the problems of identifying the historical background of the Homeric poems , they have served to underline the immensity of the barrier that divides the Early Iron Age from the Classical period. The most immediate illustration of this is given by the place-names that have occurred in this paper.

    Agios Andreas, Em- borio, Kalapodi, Kommos, Koukounaries, Lefkandi, Vathy Limenari, Vrou- lia, Xobourgo, Zagora - they all have one thing in common : they are modern names, used because we do not know by what name the major sites of this period were called when indeed they were inhabited at all in later antiquity. In other words, their locations were not found suitable for major settlements of the Classical period. One could hardly have a clearer indication of the distinctness of these two epochs in Greece's past.

    It could of course be argued that it is precisely because they were unimportant later that these sites have produced major Iron Age levels accessible to excavation. But this would be to ignore the fact that, on quite independent evidence, many of these sites seem to have been dominant settlements of their day.

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