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alphabet, Greek  

John William Pirie, Lilian Hamilton Jeffery, and Alan Johnston

In early Greece various forms of alphabet were current but all derived from a *Phoenician (Semitic) source, which must have reached the Aegean by the earlier 8th cent. (before our earliest Greek examples of c.760). Recent arguments dating the transfer much earlier are not supported by any material evidence. The alphabet was taken in the order of the Semitic model: ΑΒΓΔΕϝZΗΘΙΚΛΜΝΞΟΠΜΦϘΡΣΤ; not all states used all letters, but all probably retained them in the mechanically repeated order. Certain states found no use for ϝ (‘vau’, ṷ), others for Ξ (properly, perhaps, a more complicated sibilant than is implied by our x), or Ϙ (‘qoppa’, the k before o and u); and for s some used Σ, but others preferred Μ (‘san’, perhaps corresponding to the English pronunciation of z). The most striking feature in the Greek adaptation of the Phoenician model is that by altering (consciously or unconsciously) the original significance of ΑΕΙΟ and adding Υ Greek, unlike Phoenician, achieved an independent representation of vowel-sounds.


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  

Herbert William Parke and Michael Vickers

Most Homeric references to arms and armour are best interpreted in connection with Minoan and Mycenaean armaments, known from such representations as those on the shaft-grave daggers (see mycenae). The characteristic armour here is a figure-of-eight-shaped shield made from a single ox-hide and swung from the neck by a strap. The only other protection was a helmet. The chief weapon was a long rapier-like sword. Towards the end of the bronze age this style was displaced by the use of a much smaller round shield carried on the arm; a change which involved the addition of a breastplate and greaves, while the sword became shorter and was used for cut as well as thrust. In the Homeric poems the champions begin by throwing spears at each other, and when these are gone they proceed to close combat with swords.The standing type of the Archaic and Classical soldier was the *hoplite, ultimately derived from the soldier of the transition to the iron age.


Asia Minor, pre-classical  

D. F. Easton

Palaeolithic and mesolithic occupation was in caves and rock-shelters and has left simple paintings. The neolithic (c.8000–6500 bce) brought settlement in plains and valleys, growth of villages, and the domestication of plants and animals. Vigorous wall-paintings at Çatal Hüyük and clay statuary at Hacılar emphasize hunting, virility, fertility, and childbirth. Painted pottery first appears in the chalcolithic (c.6500–3400 bce). An economic upsurge in the early bronze age (c.3400–2000 bce) was made possible by developments in metallurgy, attested in metalwork from Troy and from royal burials at Alaca Hüyük, and was perhaps stimulated by Mesopotamian demand for native Anatolian metals. Greater wealth led to universal fortification of settlements and the rise of citadels (e.g. *Troy) and of palaces (e.g. Norşun Tepe). By the middle bronze age (c.2000–1700 bce) Assyrians had trading-stations in central Anatolia on which indigenous rulers at (e.g.) Kültepe, Alişar, and Acemhöyük imposed levies. *Cuneiform writing was introduced.


Athens, Prehistory  

O. T. P. K. Dickinson

The more substantial remains of later periods have largely effaced prehistoric settlement evidence, apart from subterranean features like tombs and wells. The distribution of these suggests that there was a nucleus of habitation on and around the Acropolis, particularly to its south, and a wider spread of hamlets and farms. The settlement's earlier history is obscure, but it clearly became one of the more significant Mycenaean centres (see mycenaean civilization), as indicated by wealthy 14th-cent. bce tombs and the later 13th cent. bce fortification and water-supply system on the Acropolis. Twelfth-cent. remains are scanty, but cemetery evidence indicates a wide spread of communities, mostly small, by the Submycenaean phase; overall, the evidence offers no support for the theory that Athens attracted large ‘refugee’ groups.


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.


Biblical Archaeology  

Aren Maeir

Biblical archaeology is defined as the study of the archaeological remains of the peoples, cultures, and periods in which the biblical texts were formed. While in the past biblical archaeology was often seen as an ideologically motivated field of inquiry, currently, a balanced and scientifically advanced approach is common among most practitioners. The large body of research in this field, continuing to the present, provides a broad range of finds, insights, and understanding of the relevant cultures, peoples and periods in which the biblical texts were formed.Biblical archaeology may be defined as the study of the archaeological remains of the regions, cultures, and periods, in which the biblical texts were formed. Modern biblical archaeology does not attempt to prove or disprove the Bible. Rather, archaeological study of the cultures in which the Bible was formed, or which are included in the Bible narratives, can provide a better understanding of the material and intellectual context of the biblical texts. The primary aim, however, is to study the archaeology of these regions, periods, and cultures associated with the Bible, the biblical interface being secondary. Biblical archaeology focuses primary attention on the regions and cultures of the Southern Levant, specifically the region of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and southern Syria. Nearby regions such as Egypt, northern Syria, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Cyprus, and the Aegean are within its scope of interest. The main chronological focus of biblical archaeology are the periods in which the actual biblical texts were formed and written down—the Iron Age, Persian period, and Hellenistic period for the Hebrew Bible, about .



Frederick Norman Pryce and Michael Vickers

The ancients used the words χαλκός, *aes, indiscriminately for copper and for the harder and more fusible bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Implements of bronze are found in Egypt and *Mesopotamia before 3000 bce. During the third millennium (the early Minoan period of Crete) the general use of bronze and the normal composition of the alloy (one part of tin to nine of copper) were established (see metallurgy). Until the introduction of *iron, bronze was the sole metal for utilitarian purposes, and afterwards it continued in general use to the end of antiquity for sculpture, many domestic objects, and, after the 5th cent. bce, for small-denomination coins. Brass (ὀρείχαλκος, orichalcum, a mixture of copper and zinc) is not found before Roman imperial times, when *lead was also added to bronze in increasing quantities.Copper is widely found in classical lands, where the principal sources of supply were, for Greece, *Chalcis in Euboea and *Cyprus, and for Italy, Bruttium, Etruria (see etruscans), and Elba, while under Roman rule *Spain produced largely.



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.



Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

A port to the east of Itea on the north coast of the gulf of *Corinth, owned tin-mines which were worked in prehistoric times. The site was occupied in the early Helladic period and in the transitional period between the middle Helladic and the late Helladic periods. It flourished in the latter part of the late Helladic period as the port of Mycenaean *Crisa and it was especially prosperous in the 7th cent.


collapse of the Bronze Age Aegean  

Guy D. Middleton

Around 1200 bce, the Mycenaean palace centres of mainland Greece and Crete were destroyed along with, presumably, the states they governed; key aspects of palatial culture that had developed over the preceding two centuries, such as writing and administration, were lost or rejected. Although there was rebuilding at some sites, such as Tiryns, the style was different from the preceding age, which suggests an ideological shift and likely a weakening of central authority. Elsewhere, in Messenia, there was no rebuilding at Pylos palace, and the landscape appears depopulated. Many explanations for the collapse have been proposed, from migration and climate change to plague and shifts in trade; the continued disagreement over what happened and why demonstrates the difficulty of arriving at an unambiguous conclusion from the available evidence. Mycenaean culture continued for more than a century after the collapse, but the features associated with palaces and kings disappeared.The collapse.


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.



Michael F. Lane

Gla (Mod. Gr. Γλας, ancient name unknown) is a Late Helladic fortress and likely administrative centre built on a rocky outcropping (once an island) in the north-east quarter of former Lake Copais in northern Boeotia.Gla—also occasionally “Glas” in archaeological literature—is a fortified site built on an outcropping in the north-east quarter of former Lake Copais, about 1.5 km south-east of the modern village of Kastro, formerly Topolia, Boeotia. While Kastro/Topolia has been identified with the site of Greco-Roman Copae, the ancient name of Gla is unknown, though it has been the subject of much inconclusive speculation. The modern name is derived from Arvanitic goulas (γουλάς), also the name of a locale near Evangelistria above Haliartus on the south side of the Copaic Basin (cf. Albanian kullë from Turkish kulle “tower,” particularly “watchtower”). This appellation is reported to refer particularly to the extant ruins on Gla’s summit. The site has also been called Palaiokastro (“Oldcastle”) in modern times. The nearest village’s Slavic place name Topolia (“Poplar Place”) was officially abolished in the mid-.


Greece, prehistory and history  

Paul Halstead, O. T. P. K. Dickinson, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth

The stone age is divided into the palaeolithic (to c.9000 bce), mesolithic (c.9000–7000 bce) and neolithic (7th–4th millennia bce); *metallurgy began during the neolithic, before the conventional neolithic–bronze age transition.Classical Greece was an essentially agricultural society and as such can trace its origins back to the first farming communities in Greece in the early neolithic (7th millennium bce). Some at least of the domestic livestock and crop species were introduced from the near east, but Greece had long been occupied by palaeolithic and mesolithic gatherer-hunters (e.g. at Franchthi cave, Argolid). It is unclear whether the first farmers were of indigenous, immigrant or mixed stock. Known early farming settlements (e.g. Argissa) are heavily concentrated in the fertile lowlands of the eastern mainland, particularly in *Thessaly. The southern mainland and smaller Aegean islands, the heartland of both bronze age palatial civilization and the Classical *polis, were not widely colonized by farmers until the later neolithic and early bronze age (5th–3rd millennia bce).


Griffin Warrior, grave of  

Sharon R. Stocker and Jack L. Davis

The Grave of the Griffin Warrior is the name that has been attached to the un-looted Mycenaean Warrior burial that was discovered by a team from the University of Cincinnati to the northeast of the Palace of Nestor at Ancient Pylos, Messenia, Greece. The grave contained the remains of a single male individual who was approximately 1.7 m (5′6″) tall and 30–35 years old when he died. The cause of death is unknown. The “Griffin Warrior” was buried with an incredible wealth of objects, including two gold cups, several silver cups, and multiple bronze vessels. The grave also contained items related to warfare, including a boar’s-tusk helmet, a bronze sword with a gold hilt, a bronze dagger with a gold hilt, and a bronze suit of armour. The name derives from the military kit and an ivory plaque with the image of a griffin.The Grave of the Griffin Warrior is nestled between two rows of olive trees in a field close to the later Mycenaean Palace of Nestor at Ancient .