Greek Dark Ages  

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The Greek Dark Ages and Greek Dark Age (ca. 1200 BC–800 BC) are terms which have regularly been used to refer to the period of Greek history from the presumed Dorian invasion and end of the Mycenaean Palatial civilization around 1200 BC, to the first signs of the Greek city-states in the 9th century BC. These terms are gradually going out of use, since the former lack of archaeological evidence in a period that was mute in its lack of inscriptions has been shown to be an accident of discovery rather than a fact of history.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of civilization in the eastern Mediterranean world during the same period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. Fewer and smaller settlement, suggest famine and depopulation. Around this time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. In Greece the writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceases. The decoration on Greek pottery after c 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles. It was previously thought that all contact was lost between foreign powers during this period yielding little cultural progress or growth; however, artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c 900 BC onwards, and evidence has emerged of a migration of Hellenes to sub-Mycenaean Cyprus.

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