AEGEAN LECTURES | 2015
Beyond Argolis. Survival of MH traditions into LBA in Central Greece
Much of our understanding of the mainland Greek prehistory is based on the research in Argolis. While Argolis was definitely spearheading the contemporary developments during the LBA palatial period, and was spectacularly full of gold and other precious items in the previous Shaft Grave Period, the Pre-Shaft Grave MBA in Argolis was a far cry when compared to contemporary Central Greece. Namely, Central Greece was certainly no “Third World” during the MBA. Being a pottery person, I will unsurprisingly discuss mainly the ceramic evidence, but will try to complement the picture with other aspects as well, such as built chamber tombs and architecture.
Whereas the EH/MH transition and the MH II period are already interesting on their own, the point when Central Greece really starts to become interesting is during the transition to the LBA. Previous research has quite often reflected on the lack of sites dating to the early LBA in Central Greece. I intend to relate a different picture, suggesting that much of both unpainted and painted burnished types of pottery, which especially in surveys would be identified as MBA, is in fact already LBA in date. Whereas this has already been partly known for the LH I period, I would like to suggest that in more rural parts of Central Greece this was the case until well into LH IIB. This applies to a large extent also to Achaia and the northern half of Triphylia, which will be mentioned as well.
Finally, I will try to go to some length into the question of early Mycenaeanisation of Central Greece and coastal Thessaly, and compare it to the emerging picture elsewhere around the Aegean.
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