Material sources for greek history archaeological evidence inscriptions
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Material sources for Greek history: archaeological evidence: inscriptions. Epigraphy: inscriptions on stone, metal, terracotta – durable materials typically contemporary often fragmentary nearly useless if not dated Genres poetry, laws, decrees, votes treaties, dedications, honors.

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Material sources for Greek history: archaeological evidence: inscriptions

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Material sources for greek history archaeological evidence inscriptions

Material sources for Greek history:archaeological evidence: inscriptions

  • Epigraphy: inscriptions on stone,

    metal, terracotta – durable materials

    • typically contemporary

    • often fragmentary

    • nearly useless if not dated

  • Genres

    • poetry, laws, decrees, votes

    • treaties, dedications, honors


Material sources for greek history archaeological evidence papyri

Material sources for Greek history:archaeological evidence: papyri

  • Primary medium for …

    day-to-day activities

    • correspondence

    • petitions

    • edicts

    • receipts

  • Limited survival of texts

    • Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution

    • Oxyrhynchos Historian

    • many fragments of (un)known works


Material sources for greek history other archaeological evidence coins

Material sources for Greek history:other archaeological evidence: coins

  • Field of numismatics (<νομίζειν, to use according to νόμος – “law” or “custom”)

    • post 550 BCE, so not applicable earlier

    • limited use as propaganda, so little internal evidence

    • long periods of usage, so broad range of dates


Material sources for greek history archaeological evidence inscriptions

Material sources for Greek history:other archaeological evidence: architecture, sculpture, vase painting

  • Architecture

    • often can be dated

    • internal ideologies

    • evidence of wealth

    • evidence of skill

  • Sculpture, vase painting

    • -can be dated stylistically

    • reveals social customs

    • high level of sophistication


Material sources for greek history other archaeological evidence field data

Material sources for Greek history:other archaeological evidence: field data

  • Pollen analysis, petrology, animal bones

    • trade

    • economics

    • social customs

    • settlement patterns

    • public vs. private space

    • diet

    • environmental conditions


All sources for greek history literary and material

All sources for Greek history:literary and material

  • Context is key

  • Congruence is rare

  • Historians must draw upon all sources to complete the picture

  • Next: datingschemes, climatetopography and demography


Dating schemes caveat emptor

Dating schemes: caveat emptor

  • Each polis used different systems (& calendars)

    • Athens: eponymous archon lists: 683/2, reliable p.425/4

  • Panhellenic festivals

    • Olympiads: 766

    • reliable post 600

  • Religious offices

    • priestess of Hera at Argos


Dating schemes putting it all together

Dating schemes: putting it all together

  • Synchronisms between

    • Olympiads and Biblicalevents

    • Olympiads and Romanemperors

    • Squaring with the Gregorian calendar

  • Archaeological evidence

    • pottery, architecture, sculpture

      • often based on stylistics – development varies widely

    • Thucydides’ colonial foundations in Sicily, southern Italy

      • dates are relative; are they reliable?

    • destruction level of 480 in Athens: all material predates 480

    • confirmation from other cultures: Near Eastern destruction levels, Egyptian Pharoaonic dates


Periodization of greek history

Periodization of Greek history


Greece topography resources

Greece: topography & resources


Material sources for greek history archaeological evidence inscriptions

Pontus =

Black Sea

Asia Minor

Propontis

Pontus

Thrace

Chalkidike

Macedonia

PindosMtns

Thrace

Macedonia

P

I

N

D

O

S

Propontis

Chalkidike

Thessaly

Epirus

Altitude

High

Low

Asia Minor

Boeotia

Attica

Peloponnese

Epirus

Thessaly

Boeotia

Attica

Peloponnese

Cyclades

Crete

(Arcadia, Laconia,Messenia, Argolid, Corinthia)

Cyclades

Crete


Blackboard questions

Blackboard questions

  • Matt, Ian, Lucy, Emily: What impact did the natural environment (e.g., climate and agriculture) have on Greek history?

    • unpredictability & inconsistency diversification

    • self-sufficiency & autonomy hard collaboration

  • Alex, Teddy, Sarah N.: What role did the demographic profile of ancient Greece play in its history?

    • demography affects & is affected by environment

    • mortality rate limited growth, fostering need for slaves

    • population growth slow & steady, averting epidemics


Greece topography resources1

Greece: topography & resources

Topography

  • mountains, rocky soil, jagged coasts, few large fluvial plains; Aegean Sea; islands. Result regarding communities and communication?

  • result: relative isolation; communication by sea

    Climate

  • hot, dry summers; mild, rainy winters. Result regarding agriculture?

  • result: agriculture difficult, unpredictable, necessitating diversification

    Resources: food

  • flocks: goats, sheep, pigs; cattle rare, horses (expensive, used for warfare, travel)

  • crop diversification: oil (cooking), grapes (wine), some vegetables, barley (primary foodstuff). Result regarding diet?

  • result: proteins: fish; beans; other goods (e.g., wheat) imported

    Resources: minerals, timber

  • durable: bronze: copper (plentiful), tin (non-existent); iron (plentiful)

  • luxury: gold (rare), silver (mines in Attica south of Athens)

  • stone: limestone (plentiful), marble (Paros, Attica)

  • timber: northern Aegean / Thrace (structures, shipbuilding)

  • obsidian (volcanic glass): islands – e.g., Melos. Result regarding access?

  • result: control of sea for food, travel, commerce


Natural resources in archaic greece

Natural resources in archaic Greece


Earliest occupation 200 000 bce to franchthi cave 18 000 beyond

Earliest occupation, 200,000 BCE to Franchthi Cave, 18,000 & beyond

  • Hunters / gatherers

  • Subsistence level

  • Self-sufficiency until interest in other goods

  • Embryonic trade

  • Franchthi in Argolid, Peloponnese


Neolithic greece 6000 3000 bce early bronze age 3000 2200 bce

Neolithic Greece, 6000-3000 BCEEarly Bronze Age, 3000-2200 BCE

Sesklo(6000-4400)

Dimini

(4800-3000)

Lerna(2600-2200)

FranchthiCave

(18,000-3000)


Sesklo 6000 4400 bce dimini 4800 3000 bce

Sesklo, 6000-4400 BCEDimini, 4800-3000 BCE


Lerna house of tiles ca 2500 bce

Lerna, House of Tiles, ca. 2500 BCE


Lerna house of tiles ca 2500 bce1

Lerna, House of Tiles, ca. 2500 BCE


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