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Ancient Greek colonization began at an early date, during the so-called Geometric period of about to B. The Greek alphabet, inspired by the writing of the Phoenician sea traders, was developed and spread at this time. Greece is a country surrounded by water, and the sea has always played an important role in its history. The ancient Greeks were active traders tiles seafarers seeking opportunities for trade and founding new independent cities at coastal sites across the Mediterranean Sea.

By the seventh and sixth centuries B. Regional schools of artists exhibited a rich variety of styles and preferences at this time. The major Ionian cities along the coast of Asia Minor prospered They cultivated relationships with other affluent centers like Sardis in Lydia Indeed, by this time, the eastern Greeks controlled much of the Aegean Sea and had established independent cities to the north along the Black Sea.

This region, in particular, opened up further trade connections to the north that gave access to valuable active traders tiles materials, such as gold. Trading stations played an important role as the furthest outposts of Greek culture. Here, Greek goods, such as pottery The Greeks established trading enclaves within existing local communities in the Levant, such as at Al-Mina. In the Nile Delta, the port town of Naukratis Likewise, well-established maritime trade routes around the Mediterranean basin enabled foreigners to travel to Greece.

In the seventh century B. After the unprecedented military campaign of Alexander the Great r. These new trade routes introduced Greek art to cultures in the East, and also exposed Greek artists to a host of artistic styles and techniques, active traders tiles well as precious stones.

Garnets, emeralds, rubies, and amethysts were incorporated into new types of Hellenistic jewelrymore stunning than ever active traders tiles. In active traders tiles ensuing centuries, the Greeks continued to live in these eastern regions, but always maintained contact with the Greek mainland.

East Greek artists also emigrated to Etruriawhere they settled at Caere, an Etruscan city on the Italian coast On the other hand, the Greek colonies in Active traders tiles and southern Italy, a region known as Magna Graecia, comprised politically independent entities that maintained religious ties and trade links active traders tiles their mother cities.

Up until the mid-sixth century B. For the most part, it exported Corinthian vases Some city-states, such as Syracuse and Selinus in Sicily, erected major temples that rivaled those in the eastern part of Greece. Unlike the Active traders tiles islands and mainland Greece, active traders tiles marble was plentiful, Sicily and southern Italy had few active traders tiles sources of high-quality marble.

Thus, the artists in Magna Graecia established a strong tradition of working with terracotta and limestone Many of the colonies in the West minted their own silver coins with distinctive designs and emblems.

As a predominant naval force in the latter part of the sixth and fifth centuries B. Athenian pottery was widely active traders tiles, especially to Etruria and to the colonies in southern Italy, where it inspired local imitations.

In the Hellenistic periodSyracuse dominated much of Sicily, and local artistic styles flourished. Particularly ornate sculptural and painted vases were produced at Centuripe.

By this time, Syracuse as a cosmopolitan city rivaled any other in the Greek world. It boasted major temples, as well as civic buildings and monuments. In fact, the theater at Syracuse—one of the largest ever built in antiquity—continues to be a celebrated destination for dramatic performances. As a result, the newly conquered western Greek colonies played an important role as the transmitters of Greek culture to the Romans and the rest of the Italian peninsula. Colette Hemingway Independent Scholar.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, —. Their Early Colonies and Trade. Pugliese Carratelli, Giovanni, ed. Art and Civilization in Magna Graecia and Sicily. Hemingway, Sean, and Colette Hemingway. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. See works of art. Works of Art Essay Ancient Active traders tiles colonization began at an early date, during the so-called Geometric period of about to B. Further Reading Boardman, John. The First Western Greeks. Cambridge University Press, Chronology Ancient Greece, B.

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