'Classical archaeology' is a term given to archaeological excavation and analysis of the great Mediterranean civilizations of Ancient Greece plus Rome. It is one of the leading branches of archaeology .Nineteenth century archaeologists such as Heinrich Schliemann were drawn to study the societies they had read about in Latin plus Greek texts. Many universities and foreign nations maintain excavation programmes and schools in the area, such is the lasting appeal of the region's archaeology.
Classical archaeology in its strictest, most traditional sense applies only to the study of Classical Athenian culture and the culture of the Roman Republic and Empire. However, over the course of the last century, the field has expanded to include discussions of the elaborate mosaic of cultures that produced the civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome. Classical archaeologists interested in Greece frequently discuss Crete and the Minoan civilization present on that island during the Bronze Age.
They also discuss the Helladic and Geometric periods, as well as occasionally discussing the Neolithic period as it pertains to Greece. Even during the Classical period, it is completely untrue to say that Greece had one true culture - a great deal of regional variation was present, and much of the study of Greek archaeology lies in examination of these regional differences. Greek archaeology covers the Hellenistic period as well, frequently compelling the classical archaeologist to examine the Greek influences present in all the areas that were part of Alexander the Great's empire, including much of the Middle East and Egypt.
Excavation techniques at first were modelled after excavations in Egypt and the Near East and searched for large artifacts and walls without much care for the delicate remains that might have existed in the ground around these artifacts.
Many of the earliest sites still cannot be dated in a satisfying manner because the stratigraphy, soil layers with embedded artifacts used to determine the age of a site, was completely stripped away. Early excavations also often failed to record the items they found in sufficient detail, making it difficult to date artifacts, determine precisely where they were found, or establish a connection between objects that may have been found together.
Over time, excavation techniques have greatly improved and the amount of information gleaned from each excavation is exponentially greater than that recorded in early excavations. While excavation reports now take many years to compile due to the level of detail included and analyzed.
Classical archaeology generally refers to the study of ancient Greece and Rome and their immediate forebears, the Minoans and Mycenaeans.
The Acropolis of Athens is located on the top of a steep rock outcrop in the middle of the ancient city, which covered with the ruins of Classical Period temples and structures and topped with the Parthenon. The most important of the several standing temples on the hill are the Parthenon (built between 447 and 438 BC), the Erechtheion and the Temple of Nike (both built ca. 420 BC).
Akrotiri is the name of a small Minoan settlement located on the volcanic island of Thera (or Santorini) in the Aegean Sea. Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos excavated Akrotiri in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and then Christos Doumas took over. Most recent investigations have been focused on the wall paintings and decoration of pottery discovered at Akrotiri, particularly in the Cycladic period between ~2700-1600 BC.
The ancient site of Argos is an Early to Middle Helladic settlement in Greece and one of the most important Mycenaean city-states of the Peloponnese. The site is said to be the birthplace of Perseus; and is mentioned in Homer's The Iliad as the central place of the Diomed kingdom.
The archaeological site of Asklepios is a Corinthian sanctuary at Epidauros and the center of an early cult of health and healing. Excavations at the site were conducted by P. Kavvadias of the Greek Archaeological Society at the turn of the 19th century. Asklepios was the name of the Greek god of medicine, and, today, the term asclepius refers to the genus of the milkweed pod.
Surely among the most well known of archaeological sites, the ancient capital of the Greek civilization Athens was first occupied during the Neolithic period. The 'real Athens', the classical Greek capital of Athens, reached its heyday between about 1200 BC through AD 267.
Classical Archaeology contains some important issues.This all issues are focus archaeological history.
In 1875, German archaeologist Ernst Curtius realized one of his life long dreams: to excavate at the Greek site of Olympia, home of the ancient festival of Zeus. What he found there ultimately led to the re-institution of the Olympic Games.
1st century-2nd century AD. Roman mosaic by an unknown Roman artist, from Tunis, Tunisia. 21 1/4 x 21 1/4in. (53.9 x 53.9cm). Museum Collection Fund, Brooklyn Museum. This photo essay is from the 2006 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, which included a collection of Roman mosaics recovered from the 3rd century AD Jewish synagogue at Naro, Tunisia.
Linear A is the name given to the as-yet-undeciphered written language (or script) of the Minoan people, and it is one of two used during the Proto-palatial period (1900-1700 BC). Linear A is the first known syllabary (writing system using symbols for syllables) in Europe, and it includes about 7,000 different characters.
In 1900, Sir Arthur Evans began excavating at Knossos, on the Greek island of Crete. He was drawn to Crete, in part, by the undeciphered script he saw carved on cylinder seals and gemstones in Athenian antique shops several years before, while he was curator of the Ashmolean Museum. Evans was probably the first person to identify the scratches as written language.
The Archaeology of Greece is an overview of the present understanding of the roots of Classical Greece.The introductory chapter to this book provides a brief exposition of the history of archaeology in the country, and a dip into the methodology of the science; the remaining nine chapters discuss periods of Greek civilization, beginning with the Minoan culture and ending with the Hellenistic period.
In a new book entitled Finding the Walls of Troy, Susan Heuck Allen describes the relationship between Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann, who is broadly credited with the discovery of Troy, as symbiotic, nearly parasitic on both sides. Calvert, the unmarried son and brother of British diplomats living in Turkey, spent most of his life investigating the ruins of the Troad, examining artifacts, excavating test trenches, reading and rereading the literature.
In Atlantis Destroyed, Rodney delves into the evidence that the ancient Minoan culture was the inspiration for Plato's Atlantis story. Using archaeological data, information from frescos and writings from Plato and other Greek writers, and stories in Egyptian temple archives, Castleden makes an intriguing argument.
The Archaeology of Ancient Greece provides a welcome introduction to both the development and history of ancient Greece, and to the history and development of classical archaeology itself. What Whitley's book does is describe archaeology that goes beyond the emphasis on literature and art that are the mainstays of classical archaeology, to develop a fuller rendition of Greek culture as it flourished and faded.