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Discuss the changes in funerary practice from the Submycenaean period to the end of the Late Geometric period. How are these changes interpreted to explain changes in social and political organization?

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Note: Because you are getting the essay questions early, I have correspondingly higher expectations for your answers. The best way to study for the non-problem essays is to make a very detailed study outline. This efficiently allows you to concentrate relevant information. Some students are simply walking into the exam and trying to write the essays “cold,” which is a prescription for a weak answer. For example, on the last exam, if I had been writing on the Neolithic Period, my study outline might have started like this: I. Intro A. Lasts from 6800 to 3200 BC B. Sees the transition from hunter-gatherers to active producers of food C. Transition from mobile lifestyle to permanent settlements II. II. Domestication of plants and animals A. Nearly all of the domesticates brought to Greece from Near East, not domesticated in Greece itself B. Plants-Cereal grains like wheat and barley; legumes like vetch and lentils C. Animals-sheep, goats, cattle, pigs. Dogs had been domesticated much earlier D. Domestication creates changes in form of seeds and animal bones that can be identified III. Settlements A. People live year-round in same place, not moving around. Example of a major settlement is Sesklo. B. Neolithic settlements fairly small, only for populations in hundreds. No cities. C. Creation of permanent houses made of mudbrick on stone socles with timber-framed roofs covered with thatch. These have simple plans, usually 1-3 rooms, with door in the long side of house. Nothing like a palace. (and so on, through stone tools, weaving, burial practices, etc.) Use specific sites/artifacts to illustrate your points in essay questions, and use as much detail as possible. Essay answers are graded primarily upon dealing directly and completely with the question, the accuracy of the information provided, and the use of specific terms, sites, and artifacts. Organization and succinctness count to a lesser degree. Writing many pages of vague and general verbiage will not fool me into believing that you know what you are talking about. CHRONOLOGY: Submycenaean 1100-1050 B.C. Protogeometric 1050-900 BC Geometric 900-ca. 700 BC (the "Late Geometric" period runs from 760-700 BC. You do not need to worry about the division of Late Geometric into two subphases. ) Orientalizing ca. 700 BC-ca. 600 BC; two major regional styles are -Protocorinthian 730-620 BC (i.e., Corinthian Orientalizing) -Protoattic 700-620/600 BC (i.e., Attic Orientalizing) Archaic ca. 600-480 BC The Protogeometric period is defined by its pottery and the widespread use of cremation burials, in contrast to the cist grave inhumations found in Submycenaean, and the chamber tombs of the Mycenaean periods. The Geometric period is defined by a change in pottery decoration, especially the introduction of the meander and battlement patterns; it is actually divided into an Early (900-850), Middle (850-760), and Late (760-700 BC) phase. The technical distinctions between these need not concern us here, nor the division made between Late Geometric I and II. During the Late Geometric period, figural scenes with humans first become common and readily identifiable in archaeological deposits. The absolute dates are derived from a small amount of absolutely datable Egyptian and Near Eastern material found in association with Greek artifacts of these periods. For the Geometric period, especially the Late Geometric Period, some imported Greek pottery has been found in datable levels in some Near Eastern sites. Some C-14 dates are also available, although the standard deviations are comparatively large. The boundaries of the Geometric period with the Orientalizing period differ from city to city in Greece. We try to discern "Orientalizing" features in the pottery, such as curvilinear floral patterns, sphinxes, lions, hook spirals, etc. These features occur in Corinth as early as 730-720 BC; its Orientalizing pottery is usually referred to as "Protocorinthian." In Athens, Orientalizing features do not appear until around 700 BC, and its Orientalizing pottery is referred to as "Protoattic." In some areas of Greece (usually the more interior and remote ones), Orientalizing features do not appear until as late as 650 BC. Remember that these periods are used for the convenience of archaeologists and are based wholly on analysis of excavated material. They would have been meaningless to a Greek of those times. The absolute dates for these periods were originally derived from historical dates provided by the 5th century BC Athenian historian Thucydides. The assumption here is that the earliest imported Greek pottery found in Greek colonies (whose foundation dates are given by Thucydides) dates to the first generation of settlers. For example, if Syracuse (in Sicily) was said to have been founded in 733 BC, and the earliest datable pottery belongs to the earliest phase of Protocorinthian, then that phase of Protocorinthian should date to ca. 730-700 BC. The foundation of this argument depends on the accuracy of Thucydides' dates. Since he was writing approximately 250-300 years after the foundation of these colonies, how can we be sure his dates are accurate? The topic of Thucydides' own sources and the accuracy of these dates have been debated endlessly. Another objection is that since it is usually possible to excavate only a small portion of a site, how does one know that the "earliest" pottery has been found? Perhaps the next trench one digs will produce Middle Geometric pottery in its lowest levels instead of Protocorinthian. Another objection is that native Italians/Sicilians could possibly have inhabited a site before the Greeks took it over, and the Protocorinthian pottery represents items of trade deposited before the Greek settlement was founded. As you can see, this is a complicated subject, but the "party line" chronology given by Neer is, on present evidence, the most likely to be correct. The "Thucydidean" dates have been cross-checked through the presence of datable Near Eastern & Egyptian objects in Greek contexts, and Greek objects in datable Near Eastern contexts. On another note, during the Orientalizing period burial practices begin to diverge considerably between the different city-states: inhumation is extensively used again, but some groups still cremate. In some cities, such as Athens, you will recall that inhumation had returned at the beginning of the Late Geometric period. The use of tumuli to mark elite graves is a practice found in some areas, especially Athens. Large amounts of grave goods are occasionally found in Orientalizing graves, but there is a trend toward reducing the amount of valuable materials placed in them. The boundary of the Orientalizing period with the Archaic period is fuzzy. A transitional period lasts from about 625 BC-600 BC in pottery, architecture, and a few other areas in which one can observe easily recognizable changes, e.g. the introduction of incised rosettes in Protocorinthian pottery, the appearance of the true black-figure technique in Attic pottery, or the first true kouroi. The end of the Archaic period (480 BC) is not based on easily observable changes in archaeological material, but rather, is a historical date: the year of the Persian king Xerxes’ invasion of Greece.
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Sub-Mycenaean Era
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Sub-Mycenaean Pottery is a style of antiquated Greek pottery. It is transitional between
the first Mycenaean pottery and the ensuing styles of Greek vase painting, particularly the
Protogeometric style. The vases date to in the vicinity of 1030 and 1000 BC. Sub-Mycenaean
pottery is not examined, as just a few locales from the period have been found up until this point.
The style was initially perceived in 1939 by Wilhelm Kraiker and Karl Kübler, in view of finds
from the Kerameikos and Pompeion graveyards in Athens and on Salamis. The presence of the
style stayed questioned among archeologists until later disclosures in Mycenae obviously
demonstrated the presence of particular Late Mycenaean and Sub-Mycenaean strata.
Sub-Mycenaean pottery happens principally in settings, for example, inhumations and
stone-constructed cist graves. Discover areas are generally circulated, recommending a
settlement example of villas and towns. Aside from the locals said above, Sub-Mycenaean
pottery is referred to from areas, for example, Corinth, Asine, Kalapodi, Lefkandi, and Tiryns.
The nature of the vases differs generally. Just a few shapes were delivered, particularly
stirrup containers with ...

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