Archaeology can be defined as the study of past cultures through their material remains. These remains include the fossils of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifacts; items such as tools, pottery, and jewelry. From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life. In this class we discussed and learned about the evolution of human being culture living in Greece and the surrounding Aegean Islands through the Paleolithic Age up until the Late Bronze Age. We got to see how archaeologists learn about the past through the study of material remains and how the different remains help us to understand the Greek civilization of the time period and how it has developed with the changing of the material remains. Archaeology can help us trace back how human beings came to be and how archaeology shows how human beings have adapted over time through their surroundings and through their culture. The two most significant remains that help us to understand Greek civilization are art artifacts like pottery, and infrastructures. These two types of remains give us an insight to how the civilizations lived and how their culture changed throughout the ages. By finding and then examining these artifacts, we can get an understanding of human culture in Greece during the Paleolithic Age up to the Late Bronze Age.
Pottery can help us understand civilizations because the techniques of pottery are always changing throughout Greece in the early parts of human development. Ceramic pots do not break easily when placed in the earth and can with stand the elements, so they are easier find and to build back together to get an understanding of the techniques used and to understand what the pottery was used for. When we learned about Pre-Bronze Age Greece, the time of the Neolithic era, we saw the different pottery that was made during that time. During the Neolithic period, the people made pottery that was aceramic. This meant that the pottery was sun-dried not fired-clay pottery as we see as Greek civilization goes into the Bronze Ages. By studying the sun dried pottery, archaeologists can come to an understanding of what they might have been used for. Since the pottery is porous and liquids are capable of leaking through the pottery, we can determine that the pottery was used for dry materials. The first remains of pottery were handmade and majority of pottery is plain ware. This means that not a lot of design was put on the pottery. We can see through the early forms of pottery that have been excavated, that early human civilization was simple and beginning to learn about techniques in things like pottery making. Then as time advances and the Neolithic changes into the Bronze Age, we see advancement in the techniques of pottery making. Pottery is now fired in a kiln, which makes the pot more durable and can hold liquids as opposed to sun dried pottery. Pottery is now made with a spinning pottery wheel. This helps it get more of a definitive and symmetrical shape. It is not only the structure of the pottery that helps archaeologists understand human culture, but also the purpose of the pottery and the designs on the pottery.
Pottery has been used for many different aspects; some were used for storage called pithos. Pithos have been found throughout Ancient Greece in every village. Pithos were over six feet tall. Archaeologists have determined that the Pithoi have stored various large amounts of dry food which means that the villages in Ancient Greece population was starting to increase rather than in the Neolithic Ages and the Mesolithic Ages. It also tells us that communities are staying where they are and not moving from site to site because they are storing food to be used when food is not in abundance during the year. Pots are important to Greek Archaeology because they are a traditional means of establishing chronology. The designs and art depictions on pottery help us to understand what...
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