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Though their citizens had in common what Herodotus called “the same stock and the same speech, our shared temples of the gods and religious rituals, our similar customs,” every Greek city-state was different.The largest, Sparta, controlled about 300 square miles of territory; the smallest had just a few hundred people.Based on a discipline of geology called stratigraphy, rock layers are used to decipher the sequence of historical geological events.Relative techniques can determine the sequence of events but not the precise date of an event, making these methods unreliable.Ancient cemeteries can provide evidence for population, diet, social divisions, religious beliefs and cultural practices.One of the best sources of evidence for understanding an ancient society is burials.We will concentrate mainly on Athens and mainland Greece, but we will also focus on the Greek expansion into other parts of the Mediterranean world (Sicily and South Italy) in the process of colonisation.
The first storm, around 65 BC, wrecked a Roman vessel taking home loot from Asia Minor.To do so, of course, a reader would have needed a list that recorded in chronological order the names of the holders of the office being used as a standard of reference. Making correspondences between different local systems for indicating years, as Thucydides did, required research.He expected his readers to use the chronological fixed point of the first year of the war to calculate the date of other important events in his history, most notably the Thirty Years’ Peace between Athens and Sparta that he says (1.87.6; 2.2.1) had been negotiated fourteen years earlier. The only non-local Greek system for indicating the dates of years was based on the celebration of the Olympic Games, which took place every four years.This led to the first major underwater archeological expedition.In addition to sculptures and other art works, an amorphous lump of bronze, later described as the Antikythera Mechanism, was found.