Mycenaean Greece


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mycenaean greece Cyprus - History Of The Conflict

Cyprus, an island in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the cross-roads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - has one of the oldest histories of the world, dating back 9000 years.

Its strategic position, its wealth in forests and mineral deposits, as well as its skilled craftsmen, made it the prized possession of the powers of the day. Cultural influences came from all directions - all major regional civilisations left their mark on the island, contributing to the development of a very rich and diverse cultural heritage.

ANCIENT TIMESThe Stone Age
The first signs of human life on the island date back to c. 8500 BC during the Palaeolithic period. Evidence of human activity was found in cave dwellings near Liopetri, though it is not known whether they were just hunting parties passing through or permanent settlers.

The first undisputed settlements are believed to have been established towards the end of the 8th millennium BC. Vestiges of such early communities are found all over the island, such as at Khirokitia, Kalavasos-Tenta, Apostolos Andreas-Kastros, Phrenaros, Petra tou Limniti.

Neolithic Cypriots built circular houses with small undressed stones for the lower structures and sun-dried mudbricks and clay for the middle and superstructure. The Khirokitia neolithic settlement in Larnaca district stands out as a striking example of prehistoric architecture.

The Bronze/ Copper Age
Large copper deposits brought fame and wealth to the island and may have even given it its name. It has been documented that during the bronze age Cyprus had intense commercial relations with the main commercial and cultural centres of that time. During this period metallurgy and pottery flourished while close relations developed, particularly with Crete, which are also expressed in the Cypro-Minoan script which appeared in Cyprus around 1500 BC.

Of special significance for the future of Cyprus was its colonisation around 1200 BC by Mycenaean and Achaean Greeks, a migration process that lasted for more than a century. They brought with them to the island the Hellenic language, culture and religion. Legend has it that the first Hellenes who settled in Cyprus were heroes of the Trojan war. The arrival of the Achaeans greatly influenced town planning, architecture, and pottery. Since then Cyprus has remained predominantly Greek in culture, language and population despite influences resulting from successive occupations.

Iron Age
More and more people from the Greek world came to live in Cyprus. They built city along the lines of the Greek ones. There were about eleven city kingdoms in all: Kourion, Paphos, Soloi, Marion, Lapithos, Salamis, Kition, Kyrenia, Amathus, and Idalion.

Although Cyprus was conquered by other peoples, these city kingdoms mostly ruled themselves, paying taxes to their conquerors. The island was conquered in succession by the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Persians (800-332 BC). The Classical Period For more than a century, Cyprus was caught in the middle of the power struggle between Greece and Persia. In the 6th century BC Persia became the dominant power and the kings of Cyprus, while being allowed to retain their autonomy, were obliged to pay tribute to the Persian King and place their military forces at his disposal. Persia's domination, however, was not maintained easily and there were several attempts tooverthrow the Persian yoke, the most significant being the Ionian revolt and an attempt by King Evagoras I of Salamis to unite all of Cyprus' city-kingdoms under him. attempts failed.

The Hellenistic Period
Cyprus stayed in Persian hands until Alexander the Great defeated the Persian Empire when the island became part of his huge Empire. Upon Alexander's death

Cyprus fell to one of his generals, Ptolemy I, the ruler of Egypt. From then on Cyprus, under the Ptolemies, was an integral part of the Hellenistic World until its integration with the Roman Empire in 30 BC.

During this time Cyprus experienced significant cultural activity and close contacts with the city kingdoms of the Hellenic World. Cypriot athletes took part in the Olympic and Panathenian Games and the names of Cypriot sculptors are referred to at Delphi and Lemnos. The worship of Aphrodite was known throughout the region and the Temple of Goddess of Love and Beauty at Palaepaphos gathered pilgrims from all over the ancient world. The city-kingdoms of Salamis, Amathus, Paphos and others which ... more

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Heinrich schliemann

"We could describe (Heinrich) Schliemann's excavations on the hill of Hissarlik and consider their results without speaking of Troy or even alluding to it," Georges Perrot wrote in 1891 in his Journal des Savants. "Even then, they would have added a whole new chapter to the history of civilization, the history of art" (qtd. in Duchne 87).  Heinrich Schliemann's life is the stuff fairy tales are made of.  A poor, uneducated, and motherless boy rises through his hard work and parsimonious lifestyle to the heights of wealth (Burg 1,2).  He travels the world and learns its languages ("Heinrich Schliemann"), takes a beautiful Greek bride, and together they unearth the treasures of Troy and the citadel of Agamemnon, thereby fulfilling the dream he has chased since childhood (Calder 18,19; Burg 8).  Indeed, by presenting his life in romantic autobiographies as a series of adventures, starring Heinrich Schliemann as the epic hero (Duchne 14),  he ensured his status as a lasting folk hero and perennial bestseller (Calder 19).
     The reality was that Heinrich Schliemann was an incredible con man, a generally unlikable braggart who succeeded only because of his queer mix of genius and fraudulence.  He had a shylock's conscience when it came to business dealings, and his shady methods pervaded both his life and his archaeology (Burg, 15-31).  Schliemann had a habit of rewriting his past in order to paint a more dramatic picture of himself.  Among the events he reported that have been found to be grossly untrue are his tales of being entertained by the American president Millard Fillmore and his wife in 1851, and his narrow escape from the San Francisco fire of that same year (Traill 9-13).  More disturbing is when he applies these tactics to his archaeology.  In December of 1981 Professor David Traill, a Latinist, concluded that the "Treasure of Priam", Schliemann's
most impressive find at Troy, was actually a composite of several small finds uncovered from beyond the walls of the city.  Schliemann had collected the pieces from 1871 to 1873 in order to produce a single find large enough to earn him the respect of fellow archaeologists, and also permission from the British to excavate at Mycenae (Calder 33).  Twenty years of research led the Traill to the belief that, "the question is no longer whether but rather to what extent we should distrust Schliemann's archaeological reports" (Traill 6).
     However, the modern scholars' assessment of Schliemann as a fraud and a psychopath (Calder 36-37) unfairly detracts from the importance of what he discovered and innovated as an amateur archaeologist ("Heinrich Schliemann:  An Objective View of a Flawed Man of Genius").  Schliemann himself once wrote, "If my memoirs now and then contain contradictions, I hope that these may be pardoned when it is considered that I have revealed a new world of archaeology.  The objects which I brought to light by thousands are of a kind hitherto never or but rarely found.  It was an entirely new world for me;  I had to learn everything by myself and only by and by could I attain the insight" (qtd. in Duchne 45).  Even Traill comes to the defense of Schliemann's contributions; "The greatness of his achievements and their enduring significance are beyond dispute" (Traill 97).  Schliemann rediscovered an important site occupied from the Early Bronze Age until Roman times that whose levels of strata most likely contain the  Homeric city of Troy ("Homeric Questions Part III -Archaeology- 9/06/98").  He put the science of stratigraphy to practice and innovated archaeology by building off of the processes of his predecessors.  His digs at Mycenae led to Sir Arthur Evans's discovery of the city of Knossos and the lost civilization of the Minoans, precursors to the Myceneans ("The Minoan Costume"). Neither the Minoans nor the Myceneans had existed in anything other than ancient papyri before Heinrich Schliemann; he is considered the father of both Aegean archaeology and Greek studies (Duchne 81).
     Heinrich was born on January 6th, 1822 to Ernst and Luise Schliemann in Neu Buckow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany ("Heinrich Schliemann:  Heros and Mythos").  Luise would die in childbirth in1831 at the age of forty, humiliated by her husband's affair with the family's servant girl.  The liaison, combined with ... more

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