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Introduction - Sept. 13 2010

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Dimitri Nakassis

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Ancient Greece – An Introduction – Sept. 13 Chronology 1 • History: has written texts describing events and people; begins in Greece in 776BC or in their terms, the First Olympiad. • Prehistory: before said texts – there are no good historical references before 776BC – only few Linear B tablets used as receipts of property Chronology 2 • Stone Age (55,000-3,000BC) = Prehistory • Bronze Age (3,000-1,200BC) = Prehistory • Iron Age (1,200BC - ) = History Chronology 3 Stone Age (300,000-3,000BC) = Prehistory • Palaeolithic • Mesolithic • Neolithic Bronze Age (3,000- 1,200BC) = Prehistory • Early • Middle • Late Iron Age (1,200BC - ) = Protohistory • Early Iron • (Dark Age) Archaic (776-480BC) = History Classical (480-323BC) Hellenistic (323-30BC) The Stone Age Palaeolithic: “human” activity started circa 300,000BC in Greece with hunting, gathering, and travelling. Tools have been found on the island of Crete which was always an island, indicating that some form of colonization or migration to it occurred by boat. Mesolithic: “humans” hunting deepwater fish, and making tools of Obsidan (volcanic glass from Melos that is very sharp if made properly) Neolithic: domesticated animals are observed suddenly – brought over as a package with domesticated grains. From Turkey and Lebanon most likely. They were now primarily farmers. Geography • focused around the Aegean Basin (modern Greece, Crete, and western Turkey • colonization from 750BC onwards with dispersal into modern Italy, Northern Africa, Black Sea, and had links to India and Afghanistan through Alexander the Great • dry hot summers, cold wet winters • mostly valleys, hills and mountains • snows on occasion, maybe once a year • agriculture is rain-fed (West wetter than East) with much variation throughout region • water travel within and beyond Greece vital • rarel
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