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Helladic chronology is a relative dating system used in
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
and
art history
art history
. It complements the
Minoan chronology The Minoan chronology dating system is a measure of the phases of the Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some ar ...
scheme devised by Sir
Arthur Evans Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch o ...

Arthur Evans
for the categorisation of
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
artefacts from the
Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the s ...
within a historical framework. Whereas Minoan chronology is specific to
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, the cultural and geographical scope of Helladic chronology is mainland
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
during the same timespan (c.3200–c.1050). Similarly, a Cycladic chronology system is used for artifacts found in the
Aegean islands The Aegean Islands ( el, Νησιά Αιγαίου, Nisiá Aigaíou; tr, Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between ...

Aegean islands
. Archaeological evidence has shown that, broadly, civilisation developed concurrently across the whole region and so the three schemes complement each other chronologically. They are grouped together as "Aegean" in terms such as
Aegean art, popularized by its appearance at the Athens 2004 The 2004 Summer Olympics ( ell, Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004, link=no, ), officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004 ( ell, ...
and, rather more controversially,
Aegean civilization Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronz ...
. The systems derive primarily from changes in the style of
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
, which is a benchmark for relative dating of associated artifacts such as tools and weapons. On the basis of style and technique, Evans divided his Cretan Bronze Age pottery finds into three main periods which he called Early, Middle and Late Minoan. These were sub-divided into phases and some of those into sub-phases. The Helladic and Cycladic schemes were devised later and have similar sub-divisions. Evans' system has stood the test of time remarkably well but his labels do not provide firm dates because change is never constant and some styles were retained in use much longer than others. In fact it is partly this lack of dates that has been their strength; several of the dates Evans believed have certainly changed, and others remain under discussion, though within fairly narrow ranges, but the scheme just adjusts for such changes. Some pottery can be dated with reasonable precision by reference to Egyptian artifacts whose dates are more certain. Helladic society and culture have antecedents in
Neolithic Greece Neolithic Greece is an archaeological term used to refer to the Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the worl ...
when most settlements were small villages which subsisted by means of agriculture, farming and hunting. The gradual development of skills such as bronze
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of Materials science, materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic Chemical element, elements, their Inter-metallic alloy, inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which ...
, monumental
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
and construction of
fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ( ...

fortification
s brought about the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Late Helladic (c.1550–c.1050) is sometimes called the Mycenaean Age because
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehis ...

Mycenae
was then the dominant state in Greece. At the end of the Bronze Age (c.1050 BC), Aegean culture went into a long period of decline, termed a Dark Age by some historians, as a result of invasion and war.


Etymology

The three terms
Cycladic The Cyclades ( el, Κυκλάδες ) are an island group An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islan ...

Cycladic
, Helladic, and Minoan refer to location of origin. Thus, Middle Minoan objects might be found in the Cyclades, but they are not on that account Middle Cycladic, just as an Early Helladic pot found in Crete is not Early Minoan. The scheme tends to be less applicable in areas on the periphery of the Aegean, such as the Levant or North Africa. Pottery there might imitate Aegean cultural models and yet be locally manufactured.


Background

Archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
has found evidence, primarily in the form of
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
, that a broadly similar way of life was spread over mainland Greece, the Cyclades and Crete as the Neolithic (New Stone) Age was superseded by the Bronze Age before 3000 BC.. Evidence increases through Bronze Age strata with social and economic development seen to develop more quickly. Unlike the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations, the Aegean peoples were illiterate through the third millennium and so, in the absence of useful written artifacts, any attempt at chronology must be based on the dating of material objects. Pottery was by far the most widespread in terms of everyday use and also the most resistant to destruction, even when broken as the pieces survive. Given the different styles and techniques used over a long period of time, the surviving pots and shards can be classified according to age. As stratified deposits prove which of similar objects from other sites are contemporary, they can therefore be equated chronologically..


Periodisation

The Early, Middle and Late scheme can be applied at different levels. Rather than use such cumbersome terms as Early Early, archaeologists follow Evans' convention of I, II, III for the second level, A, B, C for the third level, 1, 2, 3 for the fourth level and A, B, C for the fifth. Not all levels are present at every site. If additional levels are required, another Early, Middle or Late can be appended. The Helladic chronology is subdivided as:


Settlements of the Helladic period

These are the estimated populations of
hamlets 300px, The hamlet at Oberwil, 3 km from Waldkirch, near St. Gallen (Switzerland) A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, a hamlet may be the size of a town, village or parish A parish is a territorial ...
,
villages A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population typ ...

villages
, and
town A town is a human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth an ...

town
s of the Helladic period over time. Note that there are several problems with estimating the sizes of individual settlements, and the highest estimates for a given settlements, in a given period, may be several times the lowest.


Early Helladic (EH)

The Early Helladic period (or EH) of
Bronze Age Greece Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronz ...
is generally characterized by the Neolithic agricultural population importing
bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or ...

bronze
and
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...

copper
, as well as using rudimentary bronze-working techniques first developed in Anatolia with which they had cultural contacts. The EH period corresponds in time to the
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization ...
in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. Important EH sites are clustered on the Aegean shores of the mainland in Boeotia and Argolid ( Manika,
Lerna In classical Greece, Lerna ( el, Λέρνη) was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of the Peloponnesus The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula ...
, Pefkakia, Thebes,
Tiryns Tiryns or (: Τίρυνς; : Τίρυνθα) is a in in the , and the location from which mythical hero performed his . Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the . It reached ...
) or coastal islands such as
Aegina Aegina (; el, Αίγινα, ''Aígina'' ; grc, Αἴγῑνα) is one of the of in the , from . Tradition derives the name from , the mother of the hero , who was born on the island and became its king. Administration Municipality The mu ...

Aegina
(Kolonna) and
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
(
Lefkandi Lefkandi () is a coastal village on the island of Euboea Euboea or Evia ( el, Εύβοια, , ; grc, Εὔβοια, , ) is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , ...
) and are marked by pottery showing influences from western Anatolia and the introduction of the fast-spinning version of the
potter's wheel , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , ...

potter's wheel
. The large "longhouse" called a ''
megaron The megaron (; grc, μέγαρον, ), plural ''megara'' , was the great hall#REDIRECTGreat hall A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages In the ...

megaron
'' was introduced in EHII. The infiltration of Anatolian cultural models (i.e. "Lefkandi I") was not accompanied by widespread site destruction.


Early Helladic I (EHI)

The Early Helladic I period (or EHI), also known as the "
Eutresis cultureEutresis culture is a Final Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 year ...
" c.3200–c.2650 BC, is characterized by the presence of unslipped and burnished or red slipped and burnished pottery at Korakou and other sites (metal objects, however, were extremely rare during this period).. In terms of ceramics and settlement patterns, there is considerable continuity between the EHI period and the preceding Final Neolithic period (or FN); changes in settlement location during the EHI period are attributed to alterations in economic practices.


Early Helladic II (EHII)

The transition from Early Helladic I to the Early Helladic II period (or EHII) or
Korakou culture The Korakou culture or Early Helladic II (in some schemes Early Helladic IIA) was an early phase of Bronze Age Greece Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was c ...
c.2650–c.2200 BC, occurred rapidly and without disruption where multiple socio-cultural innovations were developed such as metallurgy (i.e. bronze-working), a hierarchical social organization, and monumental architecture and fortifications. Changes in settlement during the EHII period were accompanied with alterations in agricultural practices (i.e. oxen-driven plow).


Early Helladic III (EHIII)

The Early Helladic II period came to an end at Lerna with the destruction of the "
House of the Tiles 200px, Remains of stairway. The House of the Tiles is a monumental Early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of ur ...
", a corridor house. The nature of the destruction of EHII sites was at first attributed to an invasion of
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
and/or Indo-Europeans during the Early Helladic III or
Tiryns cultureTiryns culture (2,200 - 2,000 BC) or Early Helladic III was an Early Bronze Age culture in Central Greece, Southern Greece and the Ionian islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek: , ; Ancient Greek, Katharevousa: , ) are a archipelago, group of is ...
period c.2200–c.2000 BC (or EHIII); however, this is no longer maintained given the lack of uniformity in the destruction of EHII sites and the presence of EHII–EHIII/MH continuity in settlements such as Lithares, Phlius, Manika, etc. Furthermore, the presence of "new/intrusive" cultural elements such as apsidal houses, terracotta anchors, shaft-hole hammer-axes, ritual tumuli, and intramural burials precede the EHIII period in Greece and are in actuality attributed to indigenous developments (i.e. terracotta anchors from Boeotia; ritual tumuli from Ayia Sophia in Neolithic Thessaly), as well as continuous contacts during the EHII–MH period between mainland Greece and various areas such as western Asia Minor, the Cyclades, Albania, and Dalmatia. Changes in climate also appear to have contributed to the significant cultural transformations that occurred in Greece between the EHII period and the EHIII period (ca. 2200 BCE).


Middle Helladic (MH)

In Greece, the Middle Helladic period (or MH), c. 2000 BC – c. 1550 BC, was a period of cultural retrogression, which first manifested in the preceding EHIII period. The MH period is characterized by the wide-scale emergence of
Minyan ware Minyan ware is a broad archaeological term describing varieties of a particular style of Aegean burnished pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fi ...
, which may be directly related to the people whom ancient Greek historians called
Minyans According to Greek mythology and legendary prehistory of the Aegean region, the Minyans or Minyae ( el, Μινύες, ''Minyes'') were an autochthon (ancient Greece), autochthonous group inhabiting the Aegean Sea, Aegean region. However, the exte ...
; a group of monochrome burnished pottery from Middle Helladic sites was conventionally dubbed "Minyan" ware by Troy's discoverer
Heinrich Schliemann Heinrich Schliemann (; 6 January 1822 – 26 December 1890) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germa ...

Heinrich Schliemann
. Gray Minyan ware was first identified as the pottery introduced by a Middle Bronze Age migration; the theory, however, is outdated as excavations at Lerna in the 1950s revealed the development of pottery styles to have been continuous (i.e. the fine gray burnished pottery of the EHIII Tiryns culture was the direct progenitor of Minyan ware). In general, painted pottery decors are rectilinear and abstract until Middle Helladic III, when Cycladic and
Minoan The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 3000 BC to c. 1450 BC and, after a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC, during the early Greek Da ...
influences inspired a variety of curvilinear and even representational motifs. Pottery is the most abundant object found from the Middle Helladic period, and it is matt-painted pottery that begins to appear during this period as a new style of ceramic works. While Minyan pottery is made on a wheel that produces sharp designs and shapes, matt-painted pottery is sculpted by hand and has dull paint applied. Matt-painted pottery, from the Middle Helladic period demonstrates many stylistic motifs that can be traced back to the Early Helladic Period and even other Aegean cultures. Patterns like oblique lines, zigzags, lozenges, running dogs, spiraliforme, and circles and triangles alternating one another beneath the rim on Middle Helladic pottery have been found to be inspired by Cycladic pottery motifs. Spiraliforme can also be traced back to Crete, as well as Griffon motifs. However, patterns like lozenges and pendent-style triangles on matt-painted pottery is a continuation of stylistic motifs from the Early Helladic period, and the addition of vertical fringed lines on pottery is an advancement that took place during the Middle Helladic period itself. With the majority of designs and motifs on Middle Helladic pottery being Cycladic in influence it can be assumed that the Middle Helladic culture and the Cycladic culture interacted with one another heavily. There are four types of graves that are found at sites from the Middle Helladic period; pit graves, tholos graves, cist graves, and shaft graves. A pit grave is self explanatory, as it is simply a pit in the ground, while tholos styled graves are characterized as being more of a chamber like tomb. Cist graves and shaft graves are interesting because they are two styles of burial that originate from the Middle Helladic period itself, and it is believed that migrants who moved to Greece during this period influenced the creation of these new burial styles. Cist graves are deep and rectangular with a tumulus, or mound of earth, placed over top and came about during the beginning of the Middle Helladic period. Shaft graves are larger and deeper than cist graves (measuring on average 6 meters long, 4 meters wide, and 4 meters deep) and came about during the end of the Middle Helladic period. Additionally, infants are buried in special jars, ''pithoi'', that generally measure around 30 inches (~75 cm) tall. Based on the archaeological evidence, at Middle Helladic burial ceremonies bodies are placed in graves on their sides with their knees bent (women are placed on their left sides, and men on their right), then those present at the ceremony drink from cups that they then leave at the tomb. Burial customs also included leaving valued items with the bodies like pottery, silver, or bronze. At the Middle Helladic site Lerna, there are over 200 graves that have been excavated. While roughly 1/3 of these graves are extramural burials (bodies are buried outside of the community), intramural burials (bodies are buried within the community) make up 2/3 of the graves found including towns being built around a cist. Communities during the Middle Helladic period, specifically Lerna, had irregular layouts with no specific pattern, and houses were tightly packed together. It is theorized that the arrangement of houses may have been based on living close to extended family or close to members of a similar group or faction. Houses were one story tall, built in a “U” shape, and made of clay. Generally houses would feature a porch, with up to three rooms, an inner chamber that would contain a hearth, and spaces for storage and cooking. A larger, free standing house has been identified as a possible home to a chief or leader of the community, and features a separate a storage facility as well as a courtyard with a hearth. People of the Middle Helladic period grew crops like wheat (which would be ground into flour for baking), barley, flax, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans in addition to watching over animals like sheep, goats, swine, oxen, horses, and dogs. Middle Helladic people would spin thread to be woven into fabrics on a loom, and the clothes they made were both fastened and often decorated with pins. The people would also adorn themselves in necklaces and bracelets made of stone and shells. There is little evidence that reflects any sort of gendered discrimination during the Middle Helladic period. By studying the remains at sites like Lerna it was evident that men tended to eat more protein than women, and women tended to partake more in softer, more processed foods. Stress marks were identified on the skeletons of people of both genders, but men had them to a higher degree, denoting that men engaged more frequently in heavy physical labor than women did. More often than women, men also had higher level of lesions caused by infectious diseases, meaning they had greater exposure to foreign pathogens through direct contact with outside groups and people. This makes it appear as though there is division in labor between the genders. The Middle Helladic period corresponds in time to the
Middle Kingdom of Egypt The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the count ...
. Settlements draw more closely together and tend to be sited on hilltops. Middle Helladic sites are located throughout the Peloponnese and central Greece (including sites in the interior of Aetolia such as Thermon) as far north as the
Spercheios River The Spercheios (, ''Sperkheiós''), also known as the Spercheus from its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area aro ...
valley. Malthi in
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Un ...

Messenia
and Lerna V are the only Middle Helladic sites to have been thoroughly excavated.


Late Helladic (LH)

The Late Helladic period (or LH) is the time when
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
flourished, under new influences from Minoan Crete and the Cyclades. Those who made LH pottery sometimes inscribed their work with a syllabic script,
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The tradition ...
, which has been deciphered as
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
. LH is divided into LHI, LHII, and LHIII; of which LHI and LHII overlap
Late Minoan The Minoan chronology dating system is a measure of the phases of the Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some a ...
ware and LHIII overtakes it. LHIII is further subdivided into LHIIIA, LHIIIB, and LHIIIC. The table below provides the approximate dates of the Late Helladic phases (LH) on the Greek mainland, based on Knodell (2021) and Manning (2010):


Late Helladic I (LHI)

The ''LHI pottery'' is known from the fill of the
Shaft Graves File:Tomb Fu Hao YinXu.jpg, 250px, The burial pit shaft tomb of the Tomb of Fu Hao, Tomb of Lady Fu Hao, 1200 BCE Shang dynasty, the wife and queen of Chinese general, Fu Hao and King Wu Ding in Anyang, Henan, Henan Province, China A shaft tomb o ...
of
Lerna In classical Greece, Lerna ( el, Λέρνη) was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of the Peloponnesus The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula ...
and the settlements of Voroulia and Nichoria (
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Un ...

Messenia
), Ayios Stephanos, (
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it i ...
) and Korakou. Furumark divided the LH in phases A and B, but Furumark's LHIB has been reassigned to LHIIA by Oliver Dickinson. Some recent C-14 dates from the Tsoungiza site north of Mycenae indicate LHI there was dated to between 1675/1650 and 1600/1550 BC, which is earlier than the assigned pottery dates by about 100 years. The Thera eruption also occurred during LHI (and LCI and LMIA), variously dated within the 1650–1625 BC span. Alex Knodell (2021), based on Manning (2010), dates Late Helladic I between 1700/1675 and 1635/1600 BC.Knodell, Alex, (2021)
Societies in Transition in Early Greece: An Archaeological History
University of California Press, Oakland, Table 1, p. 7.
Not found at Thera, but extant in late LHI from Messenia, and therefore likely commencing after the eruption, is a material culture known as "Peloponnesian LHI". This is characterised by "tall funnel-like Keftiu cups of Type III"; "small closed shapes such as squat jugs decorated with hatched loops ('rackets') or simplified spirals"; " dark-on-light lustrous-painted motifs", which "include small neat types of simple linked spiral such as varieties of hook-spiral or wave-spiral (with or without small dots in the field), forms of the hatched loop and double-axe, and accessorial rows of small dots and single or double wavy lines"; also, the "ripple pattern" on "Keftiu" cups. These local innovations continued into the LHIIA styles throughout the mainland.


Late Helladic II (LHII)

The description of the LHIIA is mainly based on the material from Kourakou East Alley. Domestic and Palatial shapes are distinguished. There are strong links between LHIIA and LMIB. LHIIB began before the end of LMIB, and sees a lessening of Cretan influences. Pure LHIIB assemblages are rare and originate from Tiryns, Asine and Korakou. C-14 dates from Tsoungiza indicate LHII was dated to between 1600/1550 and 1435/1405 BC, the start of which is earlier than the assigned pottery date by about 100 years, but the end of which nearly corresponds to the pottery phase. In Egypt, both periods of LHII correspond with the beginning of its Theban "Imperial" period, the
New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartne ...
, from
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
s
Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:ḥꜣt#Egyptian, ḥꜣt-wikt:špst#Egyptian, špswt'' "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the ...

Hatshepsut
to
Thutmose III Thutmose III (variously also spelt Tuthmosis or Thothmes) was the sixth pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...

Thutmose III
(r. 1479–1425 BC) of the
Eighteenth Dynasty The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVIII, alternatively 18th Dynasty or Dynasty 18) is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. Ne ...
. Alex Knodell considers Late Helladic II to be between 1635/1600 and 1420/1410 BC.


Late Helladic III (LHIII)

LHIII and LMIII are contemporary. Toward LMIIIB, non-Helladic ware from the Aegean ceases to be homogeneous; insofar as LMIIIB differs from Helladic, it should at most be considered a "sub-Minoan" variant of LHIIIB. The uniform and widely spread LHIIIA:1 pottery was defined by the material from the Ramp house at Mycenae, the palace at Thebes (now dated to LHIIIA:2 or LHIIIB by most researchers) and Triada at
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος, translit=Ródos ) is the largest of the Dodecanese The Dodecanese (, ; el, Δωδεκάνησα, ''Dodekánisa'' , literally "twelve islands") are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek#REDIRECT Greek Gre ...

Rhodes
. There is material from Asine, Athens (wells),
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
(Menelaion),
NichoriaNichoria ( el, Νιχώρια) is a site in Messenia Messenia or Messinia (; el, Μεσσηνία, ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Admi ...
and the 'Atreus
Bothros Bothros (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
', rubbish sealed under the
Dromos Dromos may refer to: * ''Cursus publicus'', the public road system of the Roman and Byzantine empires * Dromos (architecture), Dromos, in architecture, an entrance passage or avenue leading to a building * Dromoi, modes (types of scales) used in Gr ...

Dromos
of the Treasury of
Atreus In Greek mythology, Atreus ( , ; from ἀ-, "no" and τρέω, "tremble", "fearless", el, Ἀτρεύς) was a king of Mycenae in the Peloponnese, the son of Pelops and Hippodamia (mythology), Hippodamia, and the father of Agamemnon and Menelau ...
at
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehis ...

Mycenae
as well. C-14 dates from Tsoungiza indicate LHIIIA:1 should be more nearly 1435/1406 to 1390/1370 BC, slightly earlier than the pottery phase, but by less than 50 years. LHIIIA:1 ware has also been found in Maşat Höyük in
Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** Hittite religion ** ...

Hittite
Anatolia. The LHIIIA:2 pottery marks a Mycenaean expansion covering most of the Eastern Mediterranean. There are many new shapes. The motifs of the painted pottery continue from LHIIIA:1 but show a great deal of standardization. In Egypt, the
Amarna Amarna (; ar, العمارنة, al-ʿamārnah) is an extensive Egyptian archaeology, archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly established (1346 BC) and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth dynasty ...

Amarna
site contains LHIIIA:1 ware during the reign of
Amenhotep III Amenhotep III ( egy, imn-ḥtp(.w) "Amun Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ámmōn'', ''Hámmōn'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, ancient Egyptian deity who appears ...

Amenhotep III
and LHIIIA:2 ware during that of his son
Akhenaten Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten ( egy, wikt:ꜣḫ-n-jtn, ꜣḫ-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Ei ...

Akhenaten
; it also has the barest beginnings of LHIIIB. LHIIIA:2 ware is in the
Uluburun shipwreck The Uluburun Shipwreck is a Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is th ...
, which sank in the 14th century BC. Again, Tsoungiza dates are earlier, 1390/1370 to 1360/1325 BC; but LHIIIA:2 ware also exists in a burn layer of
Miletus Miletus (; gr, Μῑ́λητος, Mīlētos; Hittite language, Hittite transcription ''Millawanda'' or ''Milawata'' (Exonym and endonym, exonyms); la, Miletus; tr, Milet) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek city on the western coast of Ana ...
which likely occurred early in the reign of
Mursili II There were three Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite la ...
and therefore some years prior to
Mursili's eclipse The solar eclipse A solar eclipse occurs when a portion of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of contine ...
in 1312 BC. The transition period between IIIA and IIIB begins after 1320 BC, but not long after (Cemal Pulak thinks before 1295 BC). The definition of the LHIIIB by Furumark was mainly based on grave finds and the settlement material from Zygouries. It has been divided into two sub-phases by Elizabeth B. French, based on the finds from Mycenae and the West wall at Tiryns. LHIIIB:2 assemblages are sparse, as painted pottery is rare in tombs and many settlements of this period ended by destruction, leaving few complete pots behind. LHIIIB pottery is associated in the Greek mainland palaces with the Linear B archives. (Linear B had been in use in Crete since
Late Minoan The Minoan chronology dating system is a measure of the phases of the Minoan civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some a ...
II.) Pulak's proposed LHIIIA/B boundary would make LHIIIB contemporary in Anatolia with the resurgent
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
following Mursili's eclipse; in Egypt with the 19th Dynasty, also known as the Ramessides; and in northern Mesopotamia with
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
's ascendancy over
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform Hittite cuneiform is the implementation of cuneiform script Cuneiform is a logo- syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the ear ...

Mitanni
. The end of LHIIIB is associated with the destruction of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
, whose ruins contain the last of that pottery. The Tsoungiza date for the end of LHIIIB is 1200/1190 BC. The beginning of LHIIIC, therefore, is now commonly set into the reign of Queen
Twosret Twosret, also spelled ''Tawosret'' or ''Tausret'' (d. 1189 BC conventional chronology) was the last known ruler and the final pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of s ...

Twosret
. The LHIIIC has been divided into LHIIIC:1 and LHIIIC:2 by Furumark, based on materials from tombs in Mycenae, Asine,
Kephalonia Cephalonia or Kefalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά or ), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally ...

Kephalonia
, and Rhodes. In the 1960s, the excavations of the citadel at Mycenae and of
Lefkandi Lefkandi () is a coastal village on the island of Euboea Euboea or Evia ( el, Εύβοια, , ; grc, Εὔβοια, , ) is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , ...
in
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
yielded stratified material revealing significant regional variation in LHIIIC, especially in the later phases. Late LHIIIC pottery is found in
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
VIIa and a few pieces in Tarsus. It was also made locally in the
Philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by Assyria, was finally destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar I ...
settlements of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza.


Fortified settlements

During the Helladic period, a number of major advances were developed including fortified urban settlements with monumental buildings such as corridor houses, which may prove the existence of complex societies organized by an elite or at least achieving corporate, proto-city state form. One of these settlements was Manika, located in
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
, dated to the Early Helladic period II (2800–2200 BC). The settlement covered an area of 70-80 hectares, was inhabited by 6,000–15,000 people, and was one of the largest settlements of the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
in Greece... Another settlement was
Lerna In classical Greece, Lerna ( el, Λέρνη) was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of the Peloponnesus The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula ...
in the
Argolid The regions of ancient Greece were areas identified by the ancient Greeks as geographical sub-divisions of the Hellenic world. These regions are described in the works of ancient historians and geographers, and in the legends and myths of the anc ...
region, which was perhaps the most important and wealthiest of Early Helladic sites. The settlement has a monumental building known as the
House of the Tiles 200px, Remains of stairway. The House of the Tiles is a monumental Early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of ur ...
, a "corridor house",. notable for several architectural features that were advanced for its time, such as its roof being covered by baked
tile Tiles are usually thin, square or rectangular coverings manufactured from hard-wearing material such as ceramic, Rock (geology), stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass. They are generally fixed in place in an array to cover roofs, floors, wall ...

tile
s, which gave the building its name.. The structure dates to the Early Helladic II period (2500–2300 BC) and is sometimes interpreted as the dwelling of an elite member of the community, a proto-palace, or an administrative center. Alternatively, it has also been considered to be a communal structure or the common property of the townspeople.. The exact functions of the building remain unknown due to a lack of small finds indicating the specific uses of the building. The house had a stairway leading to a second story, and was protected by a tiled roof. Debris found at the site contained thousands of terracotta tiles having fallen from the roof. Although such roofs were also found in the Early Helladic site of Akovitika, and later in the Mycenaean towns of
Gla GLA or Gla may refer to: Entertainment * ''GLA'' (album), by Scottish alternative rock band Twin Atlantic * Great Lakes Avengers The Great Lakes Avengers (also known as The Lightning Rods, The Great Lakes X-Men, The Great Lakes Champions, and ...
and
MideaMidea may refer to: * Midea (company) Midea Group () is a Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer, headquartered in Beijiao town, Shunde District, Foshan Foshan, postal map romanization, alternately romanization of Chinese, romanized as Fa ...
, they only became common in
Greek architecture Ancient Greek architecture came from the Greeks, Greek-speaking people (''Hellenic'' people) whose Ancient Greece, culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese, the Aegean Islands, and in colonies in Asia Minor, Anatolia and Italy for ...
in the 7th century BC. The walls of the ''House of the Tiles'' were constructed with sun-dried bricks on stone socles. Other fortified settlements include
Tiryns Tiryns or (: Τίρυνς; : Τίρυνθα) is a in in the , and the location from which mythical hero performed his . Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the . It reached ...
, which covered an area of 5.9 hectares sustaining 1,180–1,770 people, and had a large tiled two-storeyed "round house" (or ''Rundbau'') with a diameter of 28 m on the upper
citadel A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brooke ...

citadel
. It may have served as a palace or temple or perhaps it was a communal
granary A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn in Lubbock, Texas, U.S., was used as a teaching facility until 1967. , Coggeshall, England, originally part of the Cistercian monastery of Coggeshall. Dendrochronologically dated from 1237–12 ...

granary
. Other sites include Ayia Irini, which covered an area of 1 hectare and had a population of perhaps up to 1,250, Eutresis covering 8 hectares with an estimated population of 1,600–2,400, Thebes covering 20 hectares with a population of 4,000–6,000,
Lefkandi Lefkandi () is a coastal village on the island of Euboea Euboea or Evia ( el, Εύβοια, , ; grc, Εὔβοια, , ) is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , ...
(unknown in size and population), and Kolonna (or Aegina), a densely populated settlement with impressive fortifications, monumental stone buildings and sophisticated town planning. Already before 2500–2400 BC, Kolonna experienced remarkable economic growth and had its own
administrative Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes th ...
"Corridor House", the so-called "Haus am Felsrand". During the phase Aegina III 2400–2300 BC, which corresponds to the transition phase Lefkandi I-Kastri, the evidence of the economic structure and administrative and social organization of the community become more clear. The "White House" (''Weisses Haus''; 165 square metres) constitutes the monumental community building that succeeds the "Haus am Felsrand", which had the same function. Kolonna may constitute the Aegean's first
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine ''State Magazine'' is a digital magazine published by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Global Talent Management. Its mission is to acquaint Department o ...
as it appears to be the earliest ranked society in the area outside
Minoan The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 3000 BC to c. 1450 BC and, after a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC, during the early Greek Da ...
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
and perhaps a political center in the Middle Helladic period where it achieved state-level after the Minoans but before the Mycenaeans..


See also

*
History of Greece The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe ...
*
Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The tradition ...
*
Mycenaean Greek Mycenaean Greek is the most ancient attested form of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively ...
*
Pelasgians The name Pelasgians ( grc, Πελασγοί, ''Pelasgoí'', singular: Πελασγός, ''Pelasgós'') was used by classical Greek writers to refer either to the ancestors of the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éll ...

Pelasgians
*
Eutresis cultureEutresis culture is a Final Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 year ...
*
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* *


External links

* {{Bronze Age footer
Chronology Chronology (from Latin ''chronologia'', from Ancient Greek , ''chrónos'', "time"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time. Consider, for example, the use of a timeline or sequence ...