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Mycenaeans & NG link & Hoeh's philosophy of the Aegean World 1963

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  • james m clark jr
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110330-oldest-writing-eu rope-tablet-greece-science-mycenae-greek/
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2 1:50 AM
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      Archaeology in the Aegean World

      Historians have long puzzled over the archaeological evidence uncovered in the Aegean world and in Asia Minor. What they found did not fit their theories.

      Here is what happened, and why. First historians made the mistake of assuming that the traditional framework of Egyptian history is true. They never questioned the scheme of having each Egyptian dynasty succeed the other. It never entered their minds that there may have been extensive periods in Egyptian history during which different dynasties in Upper and Lower Egypt reigned contemporaneously.

      Once the false view of Egyptian history was accepted. archaeological evidence in Egypt was made to conform to it. The so-called "Bronze" and "Iron" ages, for example, were dated centuries too early. This had an immediate effect on archaeological studies in the Greek world.

      In Egypt archaeological evidence is often associated with inscriptions that date the remains to a specific dynasty or Pharaoh. In the Greek world this is not the case. The kings of ancient Greece did not leave inscriptions. How then is one to properly associate the remains of a Greek palace with the king who reigned in it? The answer is, archaeologists can only guess.

      What they attempt to do is date the Greek pottery by evidence from Egypt. The ancient world was a trading world. Greeks, Egyptians and Phoenicians traded their wares in each other's ports. Egyptian pottery found its way into Greece. Greek and Phoenician pottery into Egypt.

      Pottery styles change. Each century or generation created its own distinctive pottery. If pottery remains in any one of these countries could be accurately dated, then of course it could be immediately determined what kind of pottery was contemporary in the other countries.

      It was assumed that Egyptian pottery could be accurately dated. By noting what kind of Greek pottery was being traded at specific periods in Egypt. archaeologists thought they had arrived at the correct method of dating Greek pottery. They overlooked only one thing. Egyptian pottery is not correctly dated. Most of it is dated centuries too early. Pottery in the Aegean world and in Asia Minor is consequently dated too early also. Greek kings long dead came to be associated with palaces and pottery styles they never saw or dreamed of. Kings were assumed to be buried in tombs that belonged, in reality, to their descendants or to others living twenty generations later.

      In Egypt this curious error could not occur, because archaeological remains included royal inscriptions associating the ruler with tomb, palace or pottery. In Greece there were no inscriptions to date remains. So pottery, tombs and palaces in Greece and Asia Minor were predated in accordance with Egyptian history, but the kings were either rejected as fabulous or were dated according to Greek chronologers who usually had the kings correctly dated.

      Thus Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, who fought in the First Trojan War came to be associated with pottery of the Third Trojan War. The pottery was dated centuries too early because it was found in Egypt associated with remains of Dynasties XVIII and XIX which were dated centuries too early!

      In the Aegean world archaeologists use the terms Early, Middle and Late Helladic (in Greece). or Early, Middle and Late Cycladic (in the Cyclades), or Early, Middle and Late Minoan (in Crete). Each of these are also sometimes designated Early, Middle and Late Bronze by archaeologists, Mycenaean culture in the Eastern Mediterranean is another name for the so-called Late Bronze period. It is commonly thought to have originated in Mycenae in Greece during this period. Hence its name. The Mycenaean culture is assumed, today, to be the Greek culture of the First Trojan War. This assumption is based on the fact that Mycenaean remains have been found in association with remains of Dynasties XVIII and XIX of Egypt which are dated five to six centuries too early. The previous chart on the archaeological remains of Troy proves that the culture of Greece during the First Trojan war ending in 1181 was Early Bronze. The culture of Greece during the last Trojan War was Mycenaean. Hence Agamemnon is to be associated with Early Bronze (so-called) pottery, not with Mycenaean palaces which belonged to tyrants living centuries later!

      Archaeologists contend that the Mycenaean world collapsed and was followed by so-called "Dark Ages" in Greece. Traditional Greek geometric styles of pottery, it is assumed, returned to favor after falling into disuse during the Mycenaean period. Thege geometric styles, we are asked to believe, continued down to the Hellenistic period, around 331, when Alexander conquered Persia. In most archaeology books about eight and one half centuries are allowed between the end of the Mycenaean world and Alexander the Great. But the true restoration allows less than one and one half centuries. Here is an extraordinary variation of over seven centuries between traditional interpretations or archaeological evidence and the facts.

      Have archaeologists really uncovered remains abundant enough to fill the extra seven centuries demanded by their theories? Were there really "Dark Ages" that befell Greece at the close of the Mycenaean world?

      Archaeologists have, of course, found the surprising evidence. But they have been unable to believe it. There simply are not enough material remains to fill the gap artificially created by antedating the Mycenaean world to conform to the false Egyptian scheme of history taken for granted today.

      Chester G. Starr, in his book "The Origins of Greek Civilization", admits on page 77 that "only the scantiest of physical remains" exist to fill the gap. Now consider the facts.

      The so-called Mycenaean or Late Bronze or Helladic culture has been subdivided by archaeologists into three major periods. The third period has been further subdivided into three parts. At the time of the final fall of Troy in 677 Greek imports were still of the late Helladic IIIB cultural style. This style continued well into the next century during the reign of Ramesses the Great (610-544). During his reign the Mycenaean pottery styles degenerated into sub-Mycenaean or IIIC pottery styles which continued even after the overthrow of Mycenae. Greek history tells us that Mycenae was destroyed in the 470's by Argos (see "Oxford Classical Dictionary").

      But this date does not mark the introduction of Geometric pottery into Greece. Archaeologist Wilhelm Doerpfeld in his work "Alt-Olympia", published in 1935, proves that excavators deliberately hid their eyes from the fact that Mycenaean wares were contemporary with Geometric pottery in Greece, that Mycenaean wares were actually of Eastern or Phoenician origin and existed side by side with Greek geometric wares during the so-called Late Bronze period in the Aegean.

      The geometric styles were followed by Orientalizing styles in Greek pottery. This Orientalizing style is associated with the Greeks of Asia Minor and the Aegean Isles. The list of Sea Powers presented earlier dates this period from about the time of the last Trojan War to the defeat of the Aeginetan sea power in 480. In other words, Orientalizing styles among the Greeks occurred during the sub-Mycenaean period.

      The rise of Athens after the Persian wars led to Athenian wares dominating the markets of the world, beginning in the 470's. This is the time of the spread of Attic black-figured ware -- not a century and a quarter earlier as is usually assumed. Archaeologists, of course, have carelessly overlooked the significance of the ancient list of Sea Powers which proves that Athens did not control the seas until after the defeat of Xerxes. Classic styles of Greek ware, soon developed, continued to the late fourth century when Hellenistic tastes took on new dimensions with Alexander's conquests.

      compendium of world history Vol.I ch. 20


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