Ancient Thera/Santorini

Today we went to ancient Thera/Santorini, learned about the various time periods of Agean Archaeology, worked on some pottery identification exercises, and listend to reports on the Ayia Triada Sarcophogas, Legend of the Minatour, and Frescos

Ancient Thera was inhabited over many time periods starting firt in the Neolithic. Inhabitants of the town during different time periods is evident through the Temenos built by Arteinos of Apollonies and the Exedraw of Roman times. Temenos portrays the Eagle of Zeus, Lion of Apollo, Dolphin of Posidon, and a bust of Artemindoros of Apollonios. THe Exedrae were nooks that held the statues of prominant citizens. Even before the time of Artemindoros, in the 3rd century B.C.E. and the rest of the Roman Period Ancient Thera was inhabited in the Archaic Period which is evident from black and red figure potteries. Also dating back to the archaic period and found iat the site were kouroi or statues of young boys in the round and in an Egyptian style evident from the stiffness and symetry of their bodies. Dr. Morris used the spanning of the settlement of Thera through different periods to explain to us how archaeologists name the time periods of the Agean. The neolithic time period spanned from 6,000-3,000 B.C.E. and was characterized by settlement communities, that had shouse made of stone and centered on farming and animal husbandry. After the Neolithic came the Bronze Age which spaned from 3,000-1,000 B.C.E. The Bronze Age, like other time periods, can be broken into smaller time periods. When talking in terms of the Agean, the Bronze Age can be defined in terms of palaces such as the pre-Palatial (3,000-2,000 B.C.E.), proto-Palatial (2,000-1,700 B.C.E.), neo-Palatial (1,700-1,500 B.C.E.), and post-Palatial (1,500-1,000 B.C.E.). The pre-Palatial, proto-Palatial, neo-Palatial would have been dominated by Minoan influences while the post-Palatial would have been dominated by Mycenean culture. These palatial periods corrispond roughly to the Early (3,000-2,000 B.C.E.), Middle (2,000-1,700 B.C.E.), and Late (1,500-1,000 B.C.E.) Bronze Age. THese time periods are further broken down into Early, Middle, and Late to more precisely discuss time periods. Although, these time frames allow for dating they ignore the variations in different parts of the Agean that would be considred minute when talking in general terms. In orer to fix this issue, some archaeologists speak in terms of Cycladic, Minoan, and Helladic time periods. Just as Early, Middle, and Late was applied to the Bronze Age so too can these adjectives be applied to the Cycladic, Minoan, and Helladic periods. An example of how archaeologists use this time period would be to say that the Myceneans flourished during the Late Helladic time period. All of these differences in time periods can make comparisons confusing so some archaeologists use the Agean to show the continuity of culture throughout the entire Agean.

After explaining time periods to


Author: johnwallx

NC State University PhD Student in Earth Science with a masters in Geographic Information Systems.

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