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Geometric Period
Circa 900-700 B.C.

The Geometric period was a time of startling innovation and transformation in Greek society. The population dramatically increased and proto-urban life re-emerged, bringing with it overcrowding and political tensions. The Greeks moved to new lands to the east and west where they founded commercial trading posts and colonies.

Written language, lost with the passing of the Mycenaean civilization, re-emerged with the adoption of the Semitic alphabetic script, encountered through contacts with the Phoenicians. It is probably in this same period that the epic poems of Homer, such as the Iliad, became widely known and were recorded.

Sanctuaries, sacred zones devoted to the worship of deities, developed. As the worship of the gods became formalized, so the need arose for temples to house the deities´ statues. Click here for Gods and Heroes.

Attic Horse Pyxis
Late Geometric Ia period (ca. 750 BC)
In Attica around the middle of the 8th century BC the practice of cremating the dead was almost exclusively replaced by inhumation. Large toilet boxes such as this are found in Late Geometric period graves of women, for the most part, and probably indicate the high status of the individual. The horses on the lid are typical of the more elaborate of these vessels, and the linear patterns, especially the meander, are hallmarks of the decorative schemes of this period.
H. 24.0; Dia. 32.0 cm. Photo by Maria Daniels for the Perseus Project (99k)

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