Geometric Greece: 900-700 BC

By J. N. Coldstream | Go to book overview

12

Towns and Villages

Geometric Greece is rich in graves, but traces of the living are comparatively scarce. Whereas eighth-century burials have been excavated at well over a hundred sites throughout the Greek world, fewer than fifty have produced any evidence of settlement. At most of these places the architectural remains are either negligible or missing altogether, the evidence often being confined to a handful of Geometric sherds found in later contexts. The chief reason for this state of affairs is the flimsy nature of most Geometric houses, especially on the Greek mainland where it was the custom to build in mud brick on a rough stone base. This sort of structure had little chance of surviving the hazards of later periods, whenever wide and deep trenches had to be dug for the laying of massive and monumental foundations. Hence we may never gain anything more than a very sketchy knowledge of those major Geometric cities on the mainland which were also destined to enjoy the most distinguished future: Athens, Corinth, and Argos. Thanks to the huge overlay of Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and more recent periods, the remains of Geometric houses in these cities are very scanty indeed; at many points nothing is left except for domestic deposits in wells. However, by taking into consideration the wide scatter of contemporary graves, we can roughly plot the inhabited areas; and in each case it seems that the eighth-century city still consisted of a group of detached and unfortified villages, without any obvious centre of public life. 1 The same appears to be true of Eretria and Knossos, two other major cities of this period which are less heavily overlaid, and which may therefore reveal more of their plan to present and future excavators.

Opportunities for exploration are especially favourable at Old Smyrna, a polis cut off in its prime by a Lydian army around 600 B.C. The Geometric town was of moderate size, occupying a promontory about 350m. long and 250m. wide. To judge from the main area so far excavated (c. 90×4001.), habitation was already quite dense by the late eighth century; but there was a curious contrast between the squalor of the private houses and the magnificent walls which enclosed the whole city. To have any fortifications at all was unusual for a Geometric polis; the only other complete circuits of these times are at Melia and Emporio, hastily thrown up in rubble to protect the acropolis only. But there is nothing hasty about the walls of Smyrna (fig. 96a pp. 261 f.), which must have been the pride of the city. They have a monumental appearance, far in advance of their time. Even in their original form (c. 850 B.C.), the foundations of one bastion consist of sawn ashlar blocks almost a metre long, laid in regular courses. 2 When the circuit was repaired and thickened in the mid-eighth century, the

-303-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Geometric Greece: 900-700 BC
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface to the Second Edition 3
  • Preface to the First Edition 4
  • Contents 5
  • Contents 8
  • Acknowledgements 9
  • Abbreviations 12
  • Introduction 17
  • I - The Passing of the Dark Ages C. 900-770 B.C. 23
  • 1 - Isolation: the Early Ninth Century 25
  • 2 - The Awakening in the Mid-Ninth Century 55
  • 3 - Consolidation: Late Ninth to Early Eighth Century 73
  • II - The Greek Renaissance C. 770-700 B.C. Regional Survey 107
  • 4 - Athens and Attica 109
  • 5 - The Argolid, Arcadia, Laconia, and Messenia 140
  • 6 - Corinth and West Greece 167
  • 7 - Euboea, Boeotia, Thessaly, and the Cyclades 191
  • 8 - Italy and Sicily: Trade and Colonies 221
  • 9 - Eastern Greece and Anatolia 246
  • 10 - Crete 271
  • III - Life in Eighth-Century Greece 293
  • 11 - The Recovery of Literacy 295
  • 12 - Towns and Villages 303
  • 13 - Sanctuaries, Gods, and Votives 317
  • 14 - Recollection of a Heroic Past 341
  • 15 - Oriental Influences 358
  • 16 - Epilogue 367
  • Supplement 371
  • Epilogue 414
  • Glossary 416
  • Bibliography and Site Index 418
  • Index 443
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 453

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.