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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

009 - Greek Resurgence

In this episode, we discuss the archaeological evidence for the late "Dark Age" during the 9th and early 8th centuries BC; Greece's cultural reawakening thanks to their contact with the Phoenicians; the development of the Greek alphabet; and the evolution of early "Geometric" vase painting

ca. 900-850 BC - in the early Geometric period, Greek potters added new shapes and motifs to their repertoire, featuring sharp angles, zigzags, repeating patterns, and the classic Greek meander pattern
ca. 850-750 BC - in the middle Geometric period, Greek potters gradually fill the entire surface of the vase, and they become larger and more ambitious
ca. 825 BC - evidence of early Greek-Phoenician-Cypriot cooperation can be seen in the establishment of a trading post at Al-Mina in northern Syria
ca. 800 BC - the economic recovery of Greece was in full effect; the Greeks adapted the Phoenician script into the first alphabetic script with vowels
ca. 775-750 BC - a group of colonists from Chalcis and Eretria in Euboea and from Cyme in Aeolus, together with the Phoenicians, established a colony at Pithekoussai on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples
ca. 750-700 BC - in the late Geometric Period, Greek vase painters began to depict living creatures once again in group scenes that told a kind of story
ca. 740 BC - the Euboeans established a colony at Cumae, directly adjacent of Ischia on the Italian mainland, making it the oldest Greek-only colony in the west and giving them access to the Etruscans

File:Nestor Cup Pithekoussai.svg

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

008 - The "Dark Age" and Homer

In this episode, we discuss the archaeological evidence for the early "Dark Age" during the 11th and 10th centuries BC; the emigration of Greeks to Anatolia; and the first great author of ancient Greece, a man named Homer, who gives us insight into the society and culture of the early Dark Age through his two great epic poems---the Iliad and the Odyssey

ca. 1200-1000 BC - following the collapse of the Mycenaean palace economy, famine and emigration set the stage for a massive population drop in Greece 
ca. 1125-1050 BC - the period following the aftermath of the palace destructions, is known as Sub-Mycenaean, since the pottery is still recognizably Mycenaean but much inferior in quality
ca. 1050-900 BC - renewed artistic vigor can be seen in the pottery of the proto-Geometric style, so called because the designs are simple abstract geometric shapes like horizontal and wavy lines, circles, and semicircles within bands around the neck and belly
ca. 1050-900 BC - waves of emigration began eastward to the western coast of Anatolia and the Aegean islands 
ca. 900 BC - weapons and tools were made with iron, populations began to inch upwards at a steady pace