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Archaic Greeks in the Orient: Textual and Archaeological Evidence

Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
No. 322 (May, 2001), pp. 11-32
DOI: 10.2307/1357513
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1357513
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Archaic Greeks in the Orient: Textual and Archaeological Evidence
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Abstract

It is a matter of controversial discussion whether, after the Philistines in Iron Age I, a second wave of people from the Aegean-Greeks-arrived on the Levantine coast in the Iron Age IIB-C period. Greek presence at that time has been assumed for a series of settlements. A systematic investigation of these settlements in regard to criteria for foreign presence-as imported religion and cult, burial customs, settlement layout, architecture, and kitchen-does not provide convincing evidence for resident Greek civilians in the Levant before the second half of the seventh century B. C. when Greek merchants apparently lived in some of the harbor cities. More clearly, textual, iconographic, and archaeological evidence discussed in this paper indicates the presence of Greek mercenaries from the eighth century B. C. on. These mercenaries were not common men but members of the elite driven out of their homeland. On their return, they transferred foreign ideas and concepts and thus were mediators in the continuing Oriental influx to Greece.

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