Neolithic Greece is an archaeological term used to refer to the Neolithic phase of Greek history beginning with the spread of farming to Greece in 7000–6500 BC. During this period, many developments occurred such as the establishment and expansion of a mixed farming and stock-rearing economy, architectural innovations (i.e. "megaron-type" and "Tsangli-type" houses), as well as elaborate art and tool manufacturing. Neolithic Greece is part of the Prehistory of Southeastern Europe.
|Dates||c. 7000 – c. 3200 BC|
|Major sites||Nea Nikomedeia, Sesklo, Dimini, Franchthi Cave, Athens|
|Preceded by||Balkan Mesolithic, Pre-Pottery Neolithic B|
|Followed by||Sesklo culture, Cycladic culture, Minoan civilization, Helladic period, Cardium Pottery, Starčevo culture|
The Neolithic Revolution reached Europe beginning in 7000–6500 BC, during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period, when agriculturalists from the Near East entered the Greek peninsula from Anatolia mainly by island-hopping through the Aegean Sea. Modern archaeologists have divided the Neolithic period of Greek history into six phases: Pre-Pottery, Early Neolithic, Middle Neolithic, Late Neolithic I, Late Neolithic II and Final Neolithic (or Chalcolithic).
|Pre-Pottery (or Aceramic)||6800–6500 BC|
|Early Neolithic||6500–5800 BC|
|Middle Neolithic||5800–5300 BC|
|Late Neolithic I||5300–4800 BC|
|Late Neolithic II||4800–4500 BC|
|Final Neolithic (or Chalcolithic)||4500–3200 BC|
These are the estimated populations of hamlets, villages, and towns of Neolithic Greece over time. Note that there are several problems with estimating the sizes of individual settlements, and the highest estimates for a given settlements, in a given period, may be several times the lowest.
|Town||7000 BC||6000 BC||5000 BC||4000 BC||3800 BC||3700 BC|
The Pre-Ceramic (or Aceramic) period of Neolithic Greece is characterized by the absence of baked clay pots and an economy based on farming and stock-rearing. Settlements consisted of subterranean huts partially dug into the ground with communities inhabited by 50 to 100 people in places such as Argissa (Thessaly), Dendra (Argolid) and Franchthi. The inhabitants cultivated various crops (i.e. einkorn, emmer wheat, barley, lentils and peas), engaged in fishing, hunting, animal husbandry (i.e. raising cattle, pigs, sheep, dogs and goats), developed tools (i.e. blades made from flint and obsidian) and produced jewellery from clay, seashells, bone and stone.
The Pre-Ceramic period of Neolithic Greece was succeeded by the Early Neolithic period (or EN) where the economy was still based on farming and stock-rearing and settlements still consisted of independent one-room huts with each community inhabited by 50 to 100 people (the basic social unit was the clan or extended family). Hearths and ovens were constructed in open spaces between the huts and were commonly used. During the Early Neolithic period, pottery technology involving the successful firing of vases was developed and burial customs consisted of inhumation in rudimentary pits, cremation of the dead, bone collection, and cemetery interment.
The Middle Neolithic period (or MN) is characterized by new architectural developments such as houses constructed with stone foundations and the development of megaron-type dwellings (rectangular one-roomed houses with open or closed porches). Furthermore, the "Tsangli-type" house, named after the settlement of Tsangli, was first developed during the Middle Neolithic period; the "Tsangli-type" dwelling has two interior buttresses on each side (designed to support the roof of the house and divide the dwelling space into separate rooms for distinct functions such as storage, food preparation and sleep quarters) with a row of posts in the center of the square room. In the realm of art, the meander-labyrinth motif was found on seals and jewellery of the Early Neolithic period and, to a lesser extent, of the Middle Neolithic period. The Middle Neolithic period ended with the devastation of certain settlements by fire; communities such as Sesklo were abandoned whereas communities such as Tsangli-Larisa were immediately re-inhabited.
The Late Neolithic I period (or LNI) is characterized by settlement expansion and the intensification of the farming economy where shrubs and wooded areas were cleared in order to secure grazing fields and arable lands. During this period, new crops were cultivated such as bread wheat, rye, millet and oat (food was prepared in hearths and ovens usually found inside houses). Animals such as sheep and goats were raised for their wool, which was used to weave garments. Communities were inhabited by 100–300 individuals socially organized into nuclear families and settlements consisted of large megaron-type rectangular structures with timber-post frames and stone foundations. Many settlements were surrounded by ditches 1.5–3.5 meters deep and 4–6 meters wide, which were constructed probably to defend against wild animals and to protect goods by establishing the borders of the settlements themselves.
The Late Neolithic I period was succeeded by the Late Neolithic II period (or LNII) where economic and social life in existing settlements continued uninterruptedly.
The Final Neolithic (or Chalcolithic) period entails the transition from the Neolithic farming and stock-rearing economy to the metal-based economy of the Early Bronze Age. This transition occurred gradually when Greece's agricultural population began to import bronze and copper and used basic bronze-working techniques first developed in Asia Minor with which they had cultural contacts.
According to Gareth Alun Owens, the Neolithic period saw the development of Minoan and Greek as distinct Indo-European languages in Crete and mainland Greece respectively. In archaeogenetic studies, Greco-Armenian speakers diverged from the Proto-Indo-European language family around 5300–5000 BC coinciding with the Neolithic spread of agriculture from Asia Minor to Greece with Greek developing into a separate language before 4000 BC.
The Achaeans (; Greek: Ἀχαιοί, Akhaioi) were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians). According to the foundation myth formalized by Hesiod, their name comes from Achaeus, the mythical founder of the Achaean tribe, who was supposedly one of the sons of Xuthus, and brother of Ion, the founder of the Ionian tribe. Xuthus was in turn the son of Hellen, the mythical patriarch of the Greek (Hellenic) nation.Historically, the members of the Achaean tribe inhabited the region of Achaea in the northern Peloponnese. The Achaeans played an active role in the Greek colonization of southern Italy, founding the city of Kroton (Κρότων) in 710 BC. The city was to gain fame later as the place where the Pythagorean School was founded. Unlike the other major tribes (Ionians, Dorians and Aeolians), the Achaeans did not have a separate dialect in the Classical period, instead using a form of Doric.Adamantios Sampson
Adamantios Sampson (Greek: Αδαμάντιος Σάμψων) is a Greek archaeologist. He worked as an Inspector of Antiquities for the Greek Administration of Antiquity. He is specialised in research on prehistoric Neolithic and Mesolithic sites in southern Greece. Among the sites he has studied are the "Cave of Cyclope" on the islet of Youra near Alonissos in the Νοrthern Sporades; the islet of Υali near Nisyros; the site Maroulas on Kythnos island; the site Kerame on Ikaria island; Sarakenos Cave on Boeotia; the cave "Skoteini" in Euboea; the "Cave of the Lakes" near Kalavryta in the Peloponnese and many other sites in Euboea and Dodecanese. Among his best-known finds are the so-called Youra Potsherds, prehistoric pottery fragments incised with markings that some people believe resemble letters of the Greek alphabet. Since 1999 professor in the University of the Aegean, Department of Mediterranean Studies, Rhodes.Aegean art
Aegean art, which effectively means Greek Bronze Age art (2800–1100 BC), refers to art that was created in the Grecian lands surrounding, and the islands within, the Aegean Sea before the start of Ancient Greek art, which is normally dated around the 11th century BC. Greek Bronze Age art follows the art of Neolithic Greece. Included in the category Aegean art is Mycenaean art, with lavish metalwork in gold, imagery of combat and massively-constructed citadels and tombs, Cycladic art, famous for its simple "Venus" figurines carved in white marble, and the Minoan art of the Minoan civilization, which is famous for its palace complexes with frescos, imagery of bulls and bull-leaping, and sophisticated pottery. These are very differenrt arts, reflecting very different cultures. Taking all this into account, the term "Aegean Art" is thought of as contrived among many art historians because it includes the widely varying art of very different cultures that happened to be in the same area around the same period.
In the Bronze Age, about 2800–1100 BC, despite cultural interchange by way of trade with the contemporaneous civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Aegean cultures developed their own highly distinctive styles. After the Greek Bronze Age civilizations collapsed, the early part of the Greek Dark Ages saw minimal artistic production until the Protogeometric style in pottery emerged about 1050 BC, which is taken as the first phase of "Ancient Greek art". This traditional disjunction was to some extent a result of the uncertainty as to whether the Mycenaean Linear B script recorded a form of Greek or not. This was settled when the script was decoded in the 1950s, confirming it was Greek. The same uncertainty remains as to the Minoan Linear A.
The elegant art of the Aegean daidala figurines has recently been used at the 2004 Summer Olympics,held at Athens; specifically, during the opening ceremony and as the original idea behind the games mascots: Athina and Fivos.
. This type of figurines are furthermore particularly intriguing, because of the high resemblance they have with modern sculptures (e.g. Henry Moore's works).Cycladic art
The ancient Cycladic culture flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from c. 3300 to 1100 BCE. Along with the Minoan civilization and Mycenaean Greece, the Cycladic people are counted among the three major Aegean cultures. Cycladic art therefore comprises one of the three main branches of Aegean art.
The best known type of artwork that has survived is the marble figurine, most commonly a single full-length female figure with arms folded across the front. The type is known to archaeologists as a "FAF" for "folded-arm figure(ine)". Apart from a sharply-defined nose, the faces are a smooth blank, although there is evidence on some that they were originally painted. Considerable numbers of these are known, though unfortunately most were removed illicitly from their unrecorded archaeological context, which seems usually to be a burial.Cycladic culture
Cycladic culture (also known as Cycladic civilisation or, chronologically, as Cycladic chronology) was a Bronze Age culture (c. 3200–c. 1050 BC) found throughout the islands of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. In chronological terms, it is a relative dating system for artefacts which broadly complements Helladic chronology (mainland Greece) and Minoan chronology (Crete) during the same period of time.Dymaean Wall
The Dymaean Wall (Greek: Τείχος Δυμαίων, Teichos Dymaiōn) or Kalogria Castle is a prehistoric acropolis in western Achaea, Greece. The fortress stands in a strategic position on a rocky hilltop, north of the Prokopos lagoon, near the village of Araxos. It was built in the Mycenaean period, probably around 1300 BC, but human occupation of the site started already around 3500 BC. It was deserted in the 18th century AD. During World War II it was used by occupying Italian forces, who built a number of military installations on the site and damaged the prehistoric fortifications.It was named the Dymaean Wall after the nearby ancient city of Dyme. During the war between the Achaean and the Aetolian Leagues (220–217 BC) it was seized by king Philip V of Macedon.Frying pans
For the modern utensil, see frying pan. For the flower, see Eschscholzia lobbii.
Frying pans is the descriptive name for Early Cycladic II artifacts from the Aegean Islands, flat scillets with a "handle", usually made from earthenware but sometimes stone (Frying pan (Karlsruhe 75/11) is an example). They are found especially during the Cycladic Grotta-Pelos and Keros-Syros cultures. Their purpose remains unknown, although they are usually interpreted as prestige goods.
Their backsides are typically highly decorated and were apparently carefully crafted. They have been found at sites throughout the Aegean but are not common: around 200 have been unearthed to date, all but a handful in pottery. They are usually found in graves, although they are very uncommon grave goods; the rarity of these objects has contributed to the difficulty in identifying their true purpose.George Hourmouziadis
George Hourmouziadis (Greek: Γιώργος Χουρμουζιάδης; 26 November 1932 – 16 October 2013) was a Greek archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of prehistoric archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He led excavations in many prehistoric settlements in Thessaly and Macedonia (such as Dimini, Arkadikos Dramas etc.) and in 1992 he started the excavation of the neolithic lakeside settlement of Dispilio in Kastoria, Northwestern Greece. A myriad of items were discovered, which included ceramics, structural elements, seeds, bones, figurines, personal ornaments, three flutes (considered the oldest in Europe) and the Dispilio Tablet. He died on 16 October 2013 in Thessaloniki.The discovery of the wooden tablet was announced at a symposium in February 1994 at the University of Thessaloniki. The site's paleoenvironment, botany, fishing techniques, tools and ceramics were published informally in the June 2000 issue of Επτάκυκλος, a Greek archaeology magazine and in Hourmouziadis (2002).Greece (disambiguation)
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in south-east Europe.
Greece may also refer to:
Periods of the history of Greece:
Neolithic Greece, 7000–1100 BC
Mycenaean Greece, c. 1600 – 1100 BC
Ancient Greece, 1100–146 BC
Dark Ages in Greece, c. 1100–800 BC
Archaic Greece, c. 800 – 480 BC
Classical Greece, 5th and 4th centuries BC
Hellenistic Greece, 323–31 BC
Roman Greece, 146 BC – AD 330
Modern Greece, 1828–present
First Hellenic Republic, an unrecognized state 1822–1832
Kingdom of Greece, a monarchy during the periods of 1832–1924, 1935–41 and 1944–74
Second Hellenic Republic, 1924–35
Hellenic State (1941-1944)
Greek military junta, 1967-1974
Third Hellenic Republic, 1974-presentOther:
Greece (European Parliament constituency)
Magna Graecia or Greater Greece, areas of southern Italy settled by Greeks since the 8th century BCE
Greece (town), New York, a town in western New York
Greece (CDP), New York, a suburb of Rochester located within the townHelladic chronology
Helladic chronology is a relative dating system used in archaeology and art history. It complements the Minoan chronology scheme devised by Sir Arthur Evans for the categorisation of Bronze Age artefacts from the Minoan civilization within a historical framework. Whereas Minoan chronology is specific to Crete, the cultural and geographical scope of Helladic chronology is mainland Greece during the same timespan (c.3200–c.1050). Similarly, a Cycladic chronology system is used for artifacts found in the Aegean islands. Archaeological evidence has shown that, broadly, civilisation developed concurrently across the whole region and so the three schemes complement each other chronologically. They are grouped together as "Aegean" in terms such as Aegean civilization.
The systems apply primarily to pottery, which is a benchmark for relative dating of associated artifacts such as tools and weapons. On the basis of style and technique, Evans divided his Cretan Bronze Age pottery finds into three main periods which he called Early, Middle and Late Minoan. These were sub-divided into phases and some of those into sub-phases. The Helladic and Cycladic schemes were devised later and have similar sub-divisions. Evans' system has stood the test of time remarkably well but his labels do not provide firm dates because change is never constant and some styles were retained in use much longer than others. Some pottery can be dated with reasonable precision by reference to Egyptian artifacts whose dates are more certain.
Helladic society and culture have antecedents in Neolithic Greece when most settlements were small villages which subsisted by means of agriculture, farming and hunting. The gradual development of skills such as bronze metallurgy, monumental architecture and construction of fortifications brought about the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Late Helladic (c.1550–c.1050) is sometimes called the Mycenaean Age because Mycenae was then the dominant state in Greece. At the end of the Bronze Age (c.1050 BC), Aegean culture went into a long period of decline, termed a Dark Age by some historians, as a result of invasion and war.Hellenic State (1941–1944)
The Hellenic State (Greek: Ελληνική Πολιτεία, Elliniki Politeia, also translated as Greek State) was the collaborationist government of Greece during the country's occupation by the Axis powers in the Second World War.History of the Hellenic Republic
The history of the Hellenic Republic constitutes three discrete republican periods in the modern history of Greece: from 1822 until 1832; from 1924 until 1935; and from 1974 through to the present. See also the constitutional history of Greece.List of years in Greece
This is a list of years in Greece.Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia (, US: ; Latin meaning "Great Greece", Greek: Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς, Megálē Hellás, Italian: Magna Grecia) was the name given by the Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day regions of Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily; these regions were extensively populated by Greek settlers, particularly the Achaean settlements of Croton, and Sybaris, and to the north, the settlements of Cumae and Neapolis. The settlers who began arriving in the 8th century BC brought with them their Hellenic civilization, which was to leave a lasting imprint on Italy, such as in the culture of ancient Rome. Most notably the Roman poet Ovid referred to the south of Italy as Magna Graecia in his poem Fasti.Military history of Greece
The military history of Greece is the history of the wars and battles of the Greek people in Greece, the Balkans and the Greek colonies in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea since classical antiquity.Neolithic Europe
Neolithic Europe is the period when Neolithic technology was present in Europe, roughly between 7000 BCE (the approximate time of the first farming societies in Greece) and c. 1700 BCE (the beginning of the Bronze Age in Scandinavia). The Neolithic overlaps the Mesolithic and Bronze Age periods in Europe as cultural changes moved from the southeast to northwest at about 1 km/year - this is called Neolithic Expansion.The duration of the Neolithic varies from place to place, its end marked by the introduction of bronze implements: in southeast Europe it is approximately 4,000 years (i.e. 7000 BCE–3000 BCE) while in parts of Northwest Europe it is just under 3,000 years (c. 4500 BCE–1700 BCE), although copper metallurgy was already in use on a small scale from c.2800 BCThe spread of the Neolithic from the Near East Neolithic to Europe was first studied quantitatively in the 1970s, when a sufficient number of 14C age determinations for early Neolithic sites had become available. Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza discovered a linear relationship between the age of an Early Neolithic site and its distance from the conventional source in the Near East (Jericho), thus demonstrating that, on average, the Neolithic spread at a constant speed of about 1 km/yr. More recent studies confirm these results and yield the speed of 0.6–1.3 km/yr at 95% confidence level.Pelasgians
The name Pelasgians (; Ancient Greek: Πελασγοί, Pelasgoí, singular: Πελασγός, Pelasgós) was used by classical Greek writers to either refer to populations that were the ancestors or forerunners of the Greeks, or to signify all pre-classical indigenes of Greece. In general, "Pelasgian" has come to mean more broadly all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures, "a hold-all term for any ancient, primitive and presumably indigenous people in the Greek world".During the classical period, enclaves under that name survived in several locations of mainland Greece, Crete, and other regions of the Aegean. Populations identified as "Pelasgian" spoke a language or languages that at the time Greeks identified as "barbaric", though some ancient writers nonetheless described the Pelasgians as Greeks. A tradition also survived that large parts of Greece had once been Pelasgian before being Hellenized. These parts fell largely, though far from exclusively, within the territory which by the 5th century BC was inhabited by those speakers of ancient Greek who were identified as Ionians and Aeolians.Sesklo
Sesklo (Greek: Σέσκλο) is a village in Greece that is located near Volos, a city located within the municipality of Aisonia. The municipality is located within the regional unit of Magnesia that is located within the administrative region of Thessaly.Youra Potsherds
The Youra Potsherds (or Gioura Potsherds) are ceramic fragments dated to 6000 BC – 5500 BC discovered during systematic explorations in the "Cyclops Cave" at the uninhabited islet of Youra (20 miles from Alonissos) in the northern Sporades, an Aegean archipelago off the coast of Thessaly in Greece. These fragments were discovered in 1992 by Adamantios Sampson, Inspector of Antiquities, during a project whose more general purpose was to clarify the prehistoric occupation sequence in the area, with an emphasis on the pre-pottery sequences from the Late Pleistocene, especially two thick areas of deposits: Late Aegean Neolithic Ib and Early Neolithic II.
Some of the incisions on the potsherds bear some apparent resemblance to letter shapes. Adamantios Sampson notes that the "vase bear[s] incised unidentifiable symbols. It is possible that it echoes evidence on an Aegean Neolithic 'script' or 'proto-script', a very fashionable subject of discussion in Greece, after similar finds in Kastoria lake, East [sic] Macedonia."
Pre-Pottery Neolithic Pottery Neolithic
|10000||Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Tell Abu Hureyra
|8000||Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
|Tell Sabi Abyad
|Pre-Pottery Neolithic C
Tell Sabi Abyad
|Chogha Bonut||Teppe Zagheh||Pottery Neolithic|
|Tepe Muhammad Djafar||Tepe Sialk|
|5200||Linear Pottery culture
Hajji Firuz Tepe
|Kul Tepe Jolfa|
|Ubaid 3||Ubaid 3