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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The early Iron Age in the Aegean has traditionally been perceived as a period of decline, in contrast to the splendour of the palatial societies of the later Bronze Age, and concomitantly is often presented as a ‘Dark Age’—a time of regionalism and isolation. Recent investigations across the Mediterranean region are, however, revealing a different and far more complex picture. A considerable amount of human and material interaction occurred between eastern and western Mediterranean societies in the period 1100–500 BC, and people, objects, and ideas were not travelling only in one direction. Links between so-called ‘Mediterranean’ and other European societies are also undergoing substantial re-evaluation. Adopting a regional approach, this chapter explores the developments which transformed Iron Age societies in the Aegean and central Mediterranean, and also examines how regional trajectories interlinked and converged through cross-cultural encounters, resulting in substantial material (including technological), social and political innovations.

Keywords: domestic architecture, household, community, network, monumental building, burial practice, urbanization, pottery, import, Greek settlement

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