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amphorae and amphora stamps, Greek  

Alan Johnston and Virginia Randolph Grace

The amphora is one of the most versatile and long-lived pot shapes. A two-handled jar (amphi-phoreus, ‘carried on both sides’), it can vary enormously in size, detail of shape, and manner of decoration. Broad-mouthed jars, plain or decorated, were generally known as kadoi or stamnoi in antiquity. Plain or part-decorated jars, more often termed amphoreus, were used widely for storage and transport; we see them often in vase scenes, and literary and epigraphic texts fill out the picture. The average capacity of Classical and Hellenistic jars is 20–25 lt. (4½–5½ gal.); earlier types are regularly larger (up to 95 lt. (21 gal.)), betraying their derivation from the static storage pithos. Early transport amphorae (late 8th cent., esp. Attic and Corinthian) probably contained oil; later, wine becomes the major commodity; jars supplement, then supplant skins. Other commodities which we know to have been transported in amphorae include pitch and dried fish. Stoppers were of various material, though few survive; clay is best attested, both as basic material and sealer, though resin was also used for the latter purpose.



D. Graham J. Shipley

Antissa, small coastal *polis in NW *Lesbos; birthplace of the poet *Terpander. A bronze age site has been explored; the Classical town originated in the early geometric period. Three apsidal buildings (possibly temples), stretches of a probable city wall, and remains of a harbour mole have been identified. The Mytileneans strengthened the defences during their revolt of 428 bce (see mytilene). *Thrasybulus captured the town c.389; later it joined the *Second Athenian Confederacy. The Romans destroyed it in 166 bce because of its links with *Antiochus (4) IV, and its territory was given to *Methymna. In medieval times it moved inland.


archaeology, underwater  

A. J. Parker

The potential richness of the sea for salvage or accidental finding of sunken valuables was recognized from earliest times, but the possibility of defining meaningful groups of wrecked material or of interpreting submerged sites scarcely predates the widespread adoption of underwater breathing-apparatus in the 20th cent. Standard apparatus, supplied with compressed air from the surface, as used by sponge divers, enabled the discovery and partial excavation of rich 1st-cent. bce cargoes at Antikythera (1900–1) and Mahdia (1908–13), but the unwieldy equipment, reliance on untrained working divers, and exclusion of archaeological direction from involvement under water remained serious limitations on progress. Self-contained breathing-apparatus (the aqualung) came into widespread use after 1945, and resulted in the growth of diving for sport and pleasure; many ancient wrecks were discovered, especially in southern France, and the importance of this resource was recognized by F. Benoit. However, he did not direct operations under water, and his main underwater project, the excavation at the islet of Le Grand Congloué (1952–7), has subsequently been shown to have confused two superimposed Roman wrecks.


archives, Greek  

Rosalind Thomas

(τὰ δεμόσια γράμματα and variations; ἀρχεῖον is mainly Hellenistic). In Archaic Greece, documentation was minimal, laws being the most important public documents; lists of officials and agonistic victors (see agōnes) were evidently recorded (and later published), but the public inscriptions themselves were probably the ‘stone archives’ (see records and record-keeping). Temples were safe deposits from early on (e.g. *Heraclitus (1) deposited in a temple a copy of his own book), and might contain public inscriptions: hence they often came to house the archives of the city: e.g. the Athenian Metroon, also a shrine; archives of 2nd-cent bce*Paros. Documents were also kept separately by the officials concerned, or in their offices (on wooden tablets (pinakes), or whitened boards (leukōmata), or papyri), e.g. the Athenian cavalry archive (see hippeis § 2), the records of the *pōlētai (Ath.


arms and armour, Greek  

Matthew A. Sears

Evidence for Greek arms and armour is found throughout literature and art, and from archaeological excavation and historical reenactment. Mycenaean and Homeric warriors fought with spears and swords, protecting themselves with figure-eight shields and sometimes body armour. Hoplites wielded large round shields with double grips and attacked their enemies with thrusting spears backed up by swords. This basic kit could be supplemented by helmets, breastplates (including linen options as well as bronze), and greaves. Light-armed troops, with virtually no armour, attacking with arrows, slings, and stones were always a part of armies, and peltasts throwing javelins became increasingly popular. The Macedonians modified the phalanx by giving it longer spears and smaller shields, and coordinated this infantry in a combined arms force with cavalry of various types, particularly heavy cavalry with lances, and light-armed troops. Arms and armour were often key to a soldier’s identity and could feature in competitive display.


Athens, topography  

John McKesson Camp II

The central fortress and principal sanctuary of *Athena, patron goddess of the city. In the later 13th cent. bce the steep hill was enclosed by a massive wall. Within, there are Mycenaean terraces, perhaps once supporting traces of ‘the strong house of *Erechtheus’ (Hom. Od. 7. 81). The first monumental temples and sculptural dedications date to the 6th cent. bce. Two large Doric temples of limestone with marble trim were built, along with a half-dozen small temples or treasuries. Later quarrying has obliterated the foundations of all but one of the peripteral temples (c.510 bce) which stood on the north side of the hill, just south of the later Erechtheum. A marble temple, the Older Parthenon, was under construction on the south half of the hill in 480 bce when the Persians took and sacked the city. The debris from this devastation was buried on the Acropolis and no major construction took place for about a generation. In the 450s a monumental bronze statue of Athena Promachus was set up to celebrate victory over the Persians and in the second half of the 5th cent. four major buildings were constructed at the instigation of *Pericles (1), with *Phidias as general overseer.



David R. Hernandez

Buthrotum (Bouthrotos; modern Butrint in southern Albania) was a seaport occupying a headland on the coast of Epirus in ancient NW Greece. Described as a “little Troy” in Vergil’s Aeneid, the city was said to have been founded by Helenus after the sack of Troy. Established by the end of 7th century bce, Buthrotum served as an emporium and enclave of Corcyra during the Archaic and Classical periods. Occupying a fortified acropolis with a Doric temple, evidently dedicated to Athena Polias, the city was identified as a polis c. 500 bce. An Epirote city of the Chaones during the Hellenistic period, it established a sanctuary of Asclepius with a theatre, inscribed with over 200 manumission decrees, and an agora. After 167 bce, Buthrotum was the capital of the koinon of the Prasaiboi. In the Late Republic, Titus Pomponius Atticus and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa were patrons of the city, the former owning a lucrative and attractive villa praised by Cicero. Colonised by Rome in July 44 bce under a plan devised by Julius Caesar, Buthrotum was refounded by Augustus as colonia Augusta Buthrotum.


dead, disposal of  

Ian Morris

Correct disposal of the dead was always a crucial element in easing the *soul of the deceased into the next world. However, the forms of burial varied enormously. Great significance was attached to the choice of inhumation, cremation, or some other rite (e.g. Herodotus 3. 38; Lucretius 3. 888–93), but there is rarely any reason to see a direct correlation between specific methods and specific racial, class, or religious groups.In prehistory there was enormous variation. An inhumation burial is known from mesolithic times in the Franchthi cave (Argolid), while in Thessaly cremation cemeteries go back to early neolithic. In the early bronze age rich grave goods were sometimes used, particularly in the multiple inhumation tombs of the *Cyclades and *Crete. In the late bronze age, there was for the first time considerable uniformity on the mainland, with multiple inhumations in rock-cut chamber-tombs being the norm. In early .


fortifications, Greek  

Ian Archibald Richmond, Eric William Marsden, and Richard Allan Tomlinson

In the Aegean area small towns with perimeter walls appear early in the bronze age (Khalandriani). More usual is the fortified acropolis, increasingly developed in the troubled times of the late bronze age (*Tiryns, *Mycenae, Athens (see athens, topography)). These are built with large irregular blocks of stone in Cyclopean style. With repairs, they survive as the principal defences of their location into the Classical period.The simple yet robust brick walls of Old Smyrna (900–600 bce, J. M. Cook, BSA1958/9, 35 ff.) illuminate the somewhat obscure position in the Dark Age and Archaic period. Extensive town walls began to develop in the 6th and, especially, 5th cents. bce. These are usually of mud-brick on a stone footing. The Athenian walls at *Pylos were built with stone facings, with rubble and clay packing, an increasingly common form of construction, while the system of *Long Walls shows how large-scale fortifications were used for strategic ends.



Frederick Norman Pryce, David Edward Eichholz, and Michael Vickers

Precious stones were valued in antiquity as possessing magical and medicinal virtues, as ornaments, and as seals when engraved with a device. Such engravings (intaglios) in soft media like steatite or *ivory are found in early Minoan days; the use of hard stones dates from the middle Minoan age. Late Minoan and Mycenaean gems have a rich repertory of human and animal designs; the favoured shapes are the lenticular (round) and amygdaloid (sling-stone) (see minoan and mycenaean civilization). In sub-Mycenaean and geometric times the art of working hard stones was largely lost. A revival in the 7th cent. bce is usually associated with the island of *Melos, and the commencement of Classical gem-engraving in the 6th cent. is marked by the introduction of the scarab (beetle) form of seal from Egypt. This was soon abandoned in Greece for the scaraboid, which omits the beetle-back. The late 5th and 4th cents. mark the high point of Greek gem engraving. In Hellenistic times the choice of subjects grows restricted, but excellent work was done in portraiture. In Italy the Etruscans used the scarab until the 3rd cent.; gems of the later Roman republic show a wide range of subjects, combined with clumsiness of execution. With Augustus begins the large series of ‘Graeco-Roman’ gems. A period of indifferent work in the middle empire is succeeded by a revival under Constantine I.


Greco-Roman architecture, reception of  

Elizabeth R. Macaulay

Since antiquity Greek and Roman architecture has been subject to diverse and complex receptions. Architectural forms have experienced different and wide-scale transformations across space and time, both in antiquity and in postantique contexts. These adapted forms have emerged because of the complex interactions between building traditions and contemporary needs.

At a fundamental level, architecture must be functional. It must work for the purpose for which it was designed, be it a temple, law court, or residence. Vitruvius endorses this view in De Architectura (I.2.5), the only surviving architectural treatise from Greco-Roman antiquity. At the same time, architecture has a unique ability to concretise ideas. Not only were there political, religious, economic, social, and ideological concepts associated with specific types of ancient buildings, but the architectural forms of the classical world have had a powerful range of resonances that postantique architects, patrons, and regimes have been only too keen to exploit. Classical architectural forms come with a lot of baggage.


horse- and chariot-races  

Sinclair W. Bell, Jean-Paul Thuillier, and Carolyn Willekes

From the Olympian Games to the modern film Ben-Hur , horse- and chariot-races have proven a potent and enduring symbol of the agonistic culture of Classical Antiquity. Similarities did exist between Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures: equestrianism of all forms, due to the expense involved, had aristocratic overtones. But in contrast to the Greeks’ equal passion for mounted horse races and chariot racing, Romans strongly favored the latter, which they developed under the primary influence of the Etruscans and expanded into an empire-wide, professionalized industry.The horse was a significant status symbol in the Greek world, as in the Etruscan and Roman worlds.1 This was due in large part to the cost of purchasing and maintaining equines (see horses), as few regions in the Greek peninsula were suitable for large-scale horse breeding, with regions such as Thessaly and Macedonia being notable exceptions.2 The importance of the horse and horse breeding in Thessaly is evident from the frequent use of equine and equestrian iconography on coinage, including images of mares and foals, as well as horses in naturalistic poses (.



Charles Brian Rose

The name of Ilion is generally applied to the site of Troy to designate the settlement in existence there following the end of the Bronze Age. After the destruction of Troy (VIIb2) in the mid-11th century bce, probably by an earthquake, a few of the buildings were repaired but the town was not systematically rebuilt as in earlier periods. Some of the Protogeometric pottery uncovered at the site is paralleled in mainland Greece, especially in and around Euboea, Phocis, and Macedonia, so Ilion was clearly still part of an Aegean trade network at this time.1The fortunes of the city began to rise again during the late 9th and early 8th centuries bce, when there was new construction in the West Sanctuary, a complex on the southwest side of the citadel mound. One of the ruined Late Bronze Age structures in the sanctuary was rebuilt with benches inside and out, as well as a stone base that may have supported a cult image (Figures 1 and 2).



Anthony James Whitley

Knossos is an ancient city in North Central Crete. It was an important political community both in the Bronze Age (when it had a large courtyard structure normally called a palace at its centre) and in historical times (when it remained an important polis down to the Roman conquest). Major excavations of the site began in 1878 and have continued to this day. It retains strong associations both with its excavators (principally Arthur Evans), the ancient myths of Minos and the Minotaur and the idea that it was the centre of a lost ‘Minoan’ civilisation. The city was abandoned around 650 ce after which it lay in the shadow of its larger neighbour, Heraklion.Knossos (in Greek Κνώσος, latinized as Cnossus) was an ancient city in North Central Crete occupied continuously from the earliest Neolithic (c. 7000bce) throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages down to Late Antiquity. It was, in legend, the seat of King .


land division, Greek  

Robin Osborne

Traces of regular division of settlement space have been found even in Dark-Age Zagora on *Andros. Some early Greek colonies (see colonization, greek), notably *Megara Hyblaea, show a degree of planning in the organization of urban space in strips along major arterial streets, and in the reservation of an area for a communal *agora. Many Archaic foundations show a grid of rectangular blocks divided by large streets, although in some colonies (e.g. *Selinus, *Himera) the imposition of a regular street plan was subsequent to the initial settlement. In Greece proper, an Archaic (6th cent.) grid is now attested at *Halieis.The more or less ordered subdivisions of urban space in colonial foundations probably had a social and political correlate in the approximately equal status of colonial settlers. This is explicit in inscriptions about the setting up of colonies in the Classical period, where equal division is extended to the countryside also (e.g. Syll.


metallurgy, Greek  

Sandra Blakely

The story of metallurgy in ancient Greece spans five millennia and a geographic range reaching from the Greek colonies in the west to Anatolia and the Levant. An interdisciplinary effort, its study engages archaeological fieldwork, historical texts, and scientific analyses, and has moved from social evolutionary models through Marxist, processual, and post-processual frameworks. Metallurgical innovation and invention are productive loci for the investigation of historical change and emerging complexity. Three case studies—the transition from native ores to smelting, the emergence of bronze, and the spread of iron technology—foreground the entanglement of metallurgy with ecological strategies, maritime and overland mobility, the status of the crafter, and elite and non-elite control of production. Deterministic paradigms and models based on revolutionary innovations are yielding to more nuanced frameworks of gradual change, tempered by insights from ethnoarchaeology and from new excavations which shed fresh light on the cultural meanings of metallurgy among both metalworkers and patrons.


pastoralism, Greek  

Stephen Hodkinson

Although animals were ubiquitous throughout the Greek countryside, animal husbandry has until recently received little systematic attention; hence current interpretations are frequently embryonic. Zooarchaeological studies of animal bone assemblages from the historical period are particularly needed.Evidence of domesticated animals goes back to the 7th millennium bce. In the early neolithic modest flocks of ovicaprines (sheep and goats), kept primarily for meat, were integrated into small-scale gardening, grazing on fallow and stubble and supplying manure. More specialized stock-keeping arose in the late neolithic and bronze age, with increased exploitation of ‘secondary products’, especially ox traction and ovicaprine textile fibres, culminating in the large-scale wool production of the Minoan and Mycenaean palaces (see minoan and mycenaean civilization). Older views of the Dark Age as one of nomadic pastoralism (often associated with the ‘Dorian invasions’; see dorians; heraclidae) are now under challenge. ‘Homeric society’ rested upon arable production, with large herds as a store for surplus wealth. The period of independent poleis (discussed further below) witnessed smaller herd sizes; Hellenistic and Roman Greece a subsequent increase.


polychromy, sculptural, Greek and Roman  

Jan Stubbe Østergaard

The term “polychromy” has been in use since the early 19th century to denote the presence of any element of colour in Greek and Roman sculpture. The evidence for such polychromy is literary, epigraphical, archaeological, and archeometric; research on the subject therefore requires collaboration between the humanities, conservation science, and natural science. Such research should go hand in hand with the investigation of the polychromy of Greek and Roman architecture, since it is symbiotically related to sculpture, technically as well as visually.

Knowledge of Greek and Roman sculptural polychromy is still very uneven. Scholars have focused on stone sculpture, and most research has been directed towards the Archaic, Early Classical, Hellenistic, and Imperial Roman periods. For terracottas, the Hellenistic period has enjoyed the most research, while investigation of the polychromy of bronze sculpture has only recently begun.

The scientific research methodology applied concerns the materials and techniques employed. The main colouring agents are paints, metals, and coloured marbles. Pigments are based on inorganic and organic materials applied with proteins, wax, or plant gums as binding media. Metals used are bronze, copper, silver, and gold. A range of coloured marbles came into use in the Roman Imperial period, but in all periods, assorted materials such as semi-precious stones and metals were used for inlaid details and attached objects like jewelry and weapons.


pottery, Greek  

Karim Arafat and Catherine A. Morgan

Pottery is a primary source of evidence thoughout the Greek period. Pervasive and almost indestructible, its generally predictable development means that it provides a framework to which other arts can be related. The presence of clay in every region fostered local styles, whence trade patterns can be detected. Factors determining origin are clay, shape, and decoration, the latter varying from none (most cookpots, coarsewares, storage amphoras) to the elaborate mythological scenes exemplified by Archaic and Classical Athenian vases (see imagery). Recent advances in clay analysis have further refined provenance studies (see pottery, scientific analysis of). Regular inscriptions give names of potters and painters and clues to workshop organization (see pottery (greek), inscriptions on) as do excavations like those in the Athenian Agora, the area of *Plato (1)'s *Academy, the Potters' Quarter at Corinth, or Figaretto on *Corcyra. Sir John Beazley (1885–1970) adopted Renaissance attribution methods to reconstruct the careers of many Archaic and Classical Athenian vase-painters, and to gauge master–pupil relations and workshop patterns.


shipwrecks, ancient  

Deborah N. Carlson

Underwater archaeology and the excavation of ships and boats inform us about the size, construction, lading, and operation of watercraft in the ancient Mediterranean. Their findspots include shallow coastal waters and rivers, deep waters of the open sea, and silted harbours. The vast majority of ancient shipwrecks that have survived were transporting cargoes of raw materials (metal and glass ingots, stone blocks), finished goods (ceramic tableware, stone sculpture, metal tools, weapons, and containers), as well as comestible (wine, oil, nuts, meat, etc.) or organic (pitch, tar) commodities typically carried inside two-handled clay transport jars called amphoras. Thorough excavation and analysis of ancient shipwrecks contribute to larger dialogues about maritime trade and the economy, construction techniques and technology, travel, and navigation.The archaeological excavation of ancient shipwrecks as a scientific discipline is less than a century old. Its advent is closely tied to the invention of SCUBA in the 1950s and its subsequent development influenced by other underwater technologies. While more than 1,700 ancient wrecks have been identified in the Mediterranean and neighbouring seas, only a small percentage have been scientifically investigated; far fewer have been systematically excavated, conserved, and published. Nonetheless nautical archaeology contributes to meaningful dialogues about economy, trade, technology, travel, and .