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Material sources for Greek history: archaeological evidence: inscriptions Epigraphy: inscriptions on stone, metal, terracotta – durable materials –typically.

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Presentation on theme: "Material sources for Greek history: archaeological evidence: inscriptions Epigraphy: inscriptions on stone, metal, terracotta – durable materials –typically."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 Material sources for Greek history: archaeological evidence: papyri Primary medium for … day-to-day activities –correspondence –petitions –edicts –receipts Limited survival of texts –Aristotles Athenian Constitution –Oxyrhynchos Historian –many fragments of (un)known works

3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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: dating schemes, climate topography and demography CongruenceLiteratureEpigraphyArchaeology

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8 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

9 Dating schemes: putting it all together Synchronisms between –Olympiads and Biblical events –Olympiads and Roman emperors –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

10 Periodization of Greek history

11 Greece: topography & resources

12 High Low Altitude Thessaly Boeotia Chalkidike Macedonia Thrace Peloponnese Attica Epirus Asia Minor Cyclades Crete Propontis Pontus = Black Sea (Arcadia, Laconia, Messenia, Argolid, Corinthia) P I N D O S Epirus Thessaly Boeotia Attica Peloponnese Cyclades Crete Asia Minor Propontis Pontus Thrace Chalkidike Macedonia Pindos Mtns

13 Blackboard questions 1.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 2.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

14 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

15 Natural resources in archaic Greece

16 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

17 Neolithic Greece, BCE Early Bronze Age, BCE Sesklo ( ) Dimini ( ) Lerna ( ) Franchthi Cave (18, )

18 Sesklo, BCE Dimini, BCE

19 Lerna, House of Tiles, ca BCE

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