Ancient Greece History

NEOLITHIC PERIOD (6000 - 2900 BC)

According to historians and archeological findings, the Neolithic Age in Greece lasted from 6800 to 3200 BC. The most domesticated settlements were in Near East of Greece. They traveled mainly due to overpopulation. These people introduced pottery and animal husbandry in Greece. They may as well have traveled via the route of Black sea into Thrace, which then further leads to Macedonia, Thessaly, Boeotia etc. The second way of traveling into Greece is from one island to another and such type of colonies has been found in Knossos and Kythnos.

The main characteristics of this era are the climate stabilization and the settlements of people. The Neolithic Revolution arrives with these people who traveled from Anatolia, Turkey. The economy of the region became steady with organized and methodical farming, stock rearing and, bartering and sculptures like pottery. People stopped traveling from region to region and permanent settlements in Greece. They domesticated animals like sheep and goats and grew plants and crops. They made their bases around sites where there was ample water supply and in open landscapes. The Neolithic Greece people can be said as the first 'farmers' and their lives were less complex and simple.
Archeological findings show more settlements in Northern Greece, like Thessaly and Sesklo. Villages were found in Thessaly around 6500 BC while settlements in Sesklo started in 5500 BC. The inhabitants of these areas couldn't have been more than a hundred people. The houses were made of stone foundations with a roof made of a thick layer of clay and timber. They were one-room houses measuring 10 to 50 square metres.
A small village was also found at an area called Nea Nikomedia, where people resided around 5800 BC. The houses were made of sticks and mud surrounded by fences.
The villagers made different types of attractive pottery like cups and dishes. Most of them were designed in a red and white pattern. Excellent remains of such pottery can found from sites at Sesklo. The figurines that were created in the Neolithic Era were carved to suggest a female goddess. Offerings in the form of clay animals and birds to the goddess have been found in the caves. Till now, the oldest artifacts of Neolithic Era have been found in the Knossos region dating back to 3500 BC.

The village of Sesklo is supposed to have been destroyed in 4000 BC with people possibly from Northern Greece who were more armed than the villagers. These people made new settlements called Dimini, which is nearby the settlement Thessaly. It covers about 0.8 hectares and distributed in circular enclosures. At first they were thought to be built for defence purposes, but later it was found that they for distribution of land.
Crops and plants that were domesticated by the colonies in Neolithic era have been ancestors of plants such as barley and animals such as goats, dogs and pigs. At a settlement in Argissa, findings suggest that domestication of animals took place as early as 8300 BC. Even in the Sesklo area, cattle bone fragments have been found.
During the last two decades, the settlements of Neolithic era found have gone up to one thousand; research is going on how the people of that Era communicated their economy, technology and the environment they lived in.


Copyright © 2003-2012 University Press Inc. All Rights Reserved