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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
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
slide4
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
slide12

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
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)

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