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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, especially the Heroon at Lefkandi and the Keremeikos at Athens; Greece's cultural reawakening and reconnection with the Near East thanks to their contact with the Phoenicians; the development of the Greek alphabet and its impact on Greek cultural development; the establishment of three trading posts/colonies at El-Mina (in the Levant) and Pithekoussai and Cumae (central Italy); and the evolution of "Geometric" vase painting, especially on kraters and amphoras and their role in the funerary process

ca. 1050 BC - the Phoenicians adopted the linear script rendered in cuneiform in the Ugaritic language to fit the Semitic languages of the Levant
ca. 900-850 BC - the early Geometric period, in which Greek potters added new shapes and motifs to their repertoire, by featuring sharp angles, zigzags, repeating patterns, and what would later be consider the classic Greek meander pattern
ca. 850-750 BC - the middle Geometric period, in which 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 trading post at Pithekoussai on the Italian island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, meaning that there now was a trade route stretching from the Near East to the territory of the Etruscans
ca. 750-700 BC - the late Geometric Period, in which 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 Pithekoussai (Ischia) on the Italian mainland, making it the oldest Greek-only colony in the west and giving them access to the Etruscans

Greek wordsphoinike (the Phoenicians), phoinikeia (phoenician things, i.e. alphabet letters)boustrophedon (type of writing that is alternated between right-to-left and left-to-right lines), byblos (papyrus), emporion (trading port), ekphora (funerary procession)

Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)

Maritime History Podcast Episode 21 Early Iron Age "Balkanization" "We look at how things had settled over the 100 years that followed 1177 BCE. We look at the "Balkanization" of the areas that had once been controlled by powerful empires. In looking at this change, the journey of an Egyptian priest named Wenamun serves as the perfect picture of just how the world had changed by 1050 BCE, and how that change operated to open the door for a new trading power to rise."

Map/Attica and Euboea

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History of Pirates Podcast Episode 03 The Phoenicians and Greek Pirates - "We’ll focus on what happened after the Sea Peoples, The rise of The Phoenicians and the Greek Pirates who also came along for the Ride."

Maritime History Podcast Episode 22 Rise of the Phoenicians - "We look at the Phoenician's place in the post-Bronze Age world, along with the rise of the island city of Tyre. The Phoenicians would create a widespread maritime network, leading to their recognition as the preeminent ancient maritime navigators and sailors. This all fell into place after King Hiram I helped Tyre rise to power through an alliance with Israel, after which they founded the first Phoenician colony at Kition on the island of Cyprus. Join us for the first focused look at the Phoenicians."

Maritime History Podcast Episode 23 Setting Up Shop in the Central Mediterranean - "The Phoenicians are now on the move, pushing the scope of our podcast to the west. While they were mainly concerned with expanding their access to natural resources like copper, iron, and silver, they weren't entering a vacuum. The Nuragic people of Sardinia were active in a regional trade centered on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and soon after the Phoenicians reconnected the Euboeans with the Mediterranean trade networks, both of them had set up colonies on Sardinia and in western Italy. We look at archaeological evidence for all the activity there, but in the end, this episode is a stepping stone to the Phoenician presence in the far west of the Mediterranean, just as Sardinia was for the Iron Age mariners."

Map/Phoenician Trade Network (at its furthest extent)

The History of English Podcast Ep 13 Greece, Phoenicia and the Alphabet - "Mycenaean Greek writing disappears during the Greek Dark Age, but the Greeks encounter the Phoenicians and adopt their alphabet. The Greek alphabet results in the spread of literacy. Modern English words from this period of Greek history are examined."
Photo/Phoenician Alphabet

Phoenician alphabet.svg

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