Twenty seven years have elapsed since the first edition went to press. Since then, recent discoveries and fresh research have yielded much new information concerning the Early Iron Age of Greece. The very concept of a 'Dark Age' has been a stimulating challenge to archaeologists to illumine the obscurities, not least through the excavation of Early Iron Age sites with few or no later remains of any significance.
This second edition includes a substantial Supplement to bring up to date the original text, to which it is linked in two ways. Wherever new finds can enlarge our understanding of any particular topic, references to the original pages are given in the Supplement. Conversely, wherever an inference made in 1975 is no longer tenable in the light of new evidence, or receives some clarification from new finds, forward page references are placed in the margins of the original text.
As in its first edition, this book is designed as a survey of the archaeological record for the Geometric period of the ninth and eighth centuries BC, with some general conclusions drawn from that record. We cannot deal here with theoretical reconstructions of Early Greek society, often based on anthropological analogies far removed in space and time. Full reports of recent excavations supply much of the matter for the Supplement; gaps in the full publication of recent finds are filled to some extent by preliminary notices, and especially by papers given at international conferences, listed in the Bibliography.
This Supplement follows the structure of the original text, organized in three parts: I, the passing of the Dark Ages, c. 900-770; II, the Greek Renaissance, c. 770-700, regional survey; and III, Life in eighth-century Greece. Detailed notes and bibliographies are supplied on the same model as in the first edition; also, some illustrations of the more remarkable recent discoveries.
For reading through the entire Supplement in typescript and saving me from many inaccuracies, I thank George and Davina Huxley. Irene Lemos has kindly advised me on Lefkandi, and Alan Johnston on alphabetic inscriptions. Finally, my sincere thanks are due to Richard Stoneman and his colleagues at Routledge for their patience and care in seeing this revised edition through to publication.