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Extra info for Archaic Greek culture : history, archaeology, art and museology : proceedings of the international Round-Table conference, June 2005, St-Petersburg, Russia

Example text

The abovementioned eye-bowls also seem to fit in with this group ‘Ionie du Sud 3’, though as a marginal sub-group; stylistic evidence also points to South Ionia, viz. Milesian ‘Middle Wild Goat’, but the presence of the eye ornament on a predominantly North Ionian shape is unusual and raises doubts about a South-Ionian origin for these drinking vessels. In view of these multiple reattribution of origin, sometimes disconcerting and often imprecise or provisional, one gets quite puzzled over the fragility of frequency data, which now constitute a prerequisite to any evaluating of goods traffic.

But this view has been contested; perhaps Levantines established the town, with or without a Greek contingent (Descoeudres 2002; Luke 2003; Niemeyer 2004, 38–44). Anyone wishing to understand the meaning of Al Mina faces many problems. The excavation was conducted in the grand manner of yesteryear: a large area dug quickly by a large workforce, with few supervisors, by an archaeologist eager to reach the Bronze Age. Bronze Age levels were not to be found; Iron Age, the Persian period, and Medieval were the only periods represented.

Documenting and interpreting the activities of ancient Greeks in the East, that is, in Western Asia and Egypt, during the Iron Age are tasks of great significance for understanding the development of Archaic Greek culture. This development was not solely an internal affair, but resulted in part from stimuli from the established civilisations of the Near East and Egypt. Greek civilisation would have been unthinkable without the Orientalising Revolution, as Walter Burkert called it (1992), Greek art and architecture very different without Egyptian models of design, proportion, theme, and techniques.

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