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CLAB05H3 (20)

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Classical Studies
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Jody Cundy

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CLAB05H3FGreek History and CultureTextbook NotesIntroductionAs past civilizations go ancient Greece has left us a comparatively rich recordMany aspects of society and culture even in the most welldocumented periods of antiquity cannot be viewedNew discoveries are made that continue to enlarge our fund of information and new ways of looking at the old sources have broadened our perspectivesSources how we know about the ancient GreeksJust about everything preserved from the ancient world is a potential source for the history of antiquitySources are either physical anything material or written by the Greeks or about them remainsThe line between them is often blurred ie words scratched on potteryMost of the primary sources out there are nearly 2 thousand years old and likely require rehabilitation or reconstruction before they can be of useArchaeologists have to excavate classify and interpret most of the material evidence foundPaleographers have to decipher and elucidate text written on papyrus and parchmentEpigraphists and numismatists to interpret inscriptions on stones and coinsArchaeologists create a history of the material culture on the basis of changing patterns that they discern in the physical recordHistorians primarily use documents inscriptions and literary text to construct a narrative of events and the people who were involvedRetrieving the past the material recordExcept for a few stone buildings mostly temples that have survived above ground everything that we have dug up has been dozens of feet below the surfaceArtifacts made up of wood cloth and leather are rarely found since the soil in Greece is not good for preserving thingsMetals such as gold bronze and silver fare better as well as terracottawhich is made from clay baked at very high temperatures but iron is sometimes corroded
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