Abstract: Out of the Dark: Lefkandi in Euboea after 1200 BCE


The site of Lefkandi in Euboea has offered much to the archaeology of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Aegean. The amazing discoveries made by teams of British and Greek archaeologists at the site have changed our perspectives of the period from 1200 to 700 BCE.

In the lecture, I will present a summary of the most important discoveries at the site, including those from the recent excavations under my direction.

The history of Lefkandi started in the Early Bronze Age when the settlement was occupied for the first time and the site became an important node in the Aegean during the Middle Bronze Age. During the Mycenaean period Lefkandi was under the control of the powerful palace of Thebes but after the collapse of the Mycenaean administration system, the site became one of the key and most important settlements in the Aegean if not of the eastern Mediterranean.

During the last stages of the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age the inhabitants exploited the beneficial location of the site in the Euboean Gulf and the natural resources of their region. Lefkandi developed into one of the most prosperous and affluent communities of its time. Was this an exceptional site whose wealth and complex social organisation was indeed unrivaled or is it because of the modern archaeological research that we can gain a glimpse of one of the less known periods in ancient Greece?


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Lefkandi I: M. R. Popham, L. H. Sackett, P. Themelis (eds.), Lefkandi I: the Iron Age, British School at Athens Supplementary vol. 11, London 1981

Lefkandi III: M. Popham with Irene S. Lemos (eds), Lefkandi III, 1, The Toumba Cemetery, The excavations of 1981, 1984, 1986 and 1992-4, Plates, Supplements of British School at Athens, Oxford 1996.

Lefkandi IV: D. Evely (ed), Lefkandi IV. The Bronze Age: the Late Helladic IIIC settlement at Xeropolis, London 2006

Lemos, I.S. The Protogeometric Aegean. The archaeology of the late eleventh and tenth centuries BC, Oxford 2002.

Lemos, I. S. ‘Athens and Lefkandi: a tale of two sites’ in S. Deger-Jalkotzy& I. S. Lemos (eds), Ancient Greece. From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer, Edinburgh 2006, 505-530.

Website: http://lefkandi.classics.ox.ac.uk/ and also follow us at Facebook

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