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Sub-Mycenaean Period and the Early Iron Age
(Protogeometric Period)
Circa 1100 - 900 B.C.

The final collapse of the Mycenaean civilization around 1100 BC marked the end of the Aegean Bronze Age. A period of severe economic and cultural depression followed. The depths of this depression occurred from circa 1100 to 1050, in what is known as the Sub-Mycenaean (on the Greek mainland) or Sub-Minoan period (on Crete). Crude, simplified versions of the old Mycenaean and Minoan pottery were produced. Metal craftsmanship was mostly rudimentary, although the new technology of iron working was adopted, perhaps from Cyprus.

The next century and a half (ca. 1050 to ca. 900 BC), known as the Protogeometric period from its pottery, represented a time of ever-increasing recovery. Colonies from mainland Greece and the nearby islands settled on the west coast of Asia Minor and the north coast of the Aegean. Strong trade links with the Near East were again established, and there was a gradual increase in wealth. Craftsmanship again became skilled, as is seen in both pottery and metalworking.

Boeotian Hydria
Sub-Mycenaean period
On loan, Philadelphia Museum of Art
The region of Boeotia in central Greece was important in Mycenaean times, but a complete picture of the region in the succeeding period is lacking. As in most of Greece in the early Iron Age, distinctive regional styles of pottery arose and developed at varying rates.
H. 17.0; W. 16.5; Dia. 13.5 cm. UM neg. S4-122130 (182k)

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