Archaic Period in Greece

The archaic period in Greece (800 BCE – 480 BCE) is a period of Ancient Greek history.

The term originated in the 18th century and has been standard since. This term arose from the study of Greek art, where it refers to styles mainly of surface decoration and plastique, falling in time between Geometric Art and the art of Classical Greece. As it is transitional to the latter it is considered "archaic." Since the Archaic period followed the Greek Dark Ages, and saw significant advancements in political theory, and the rise of democracy, philosophy, theatre, poetry, as well as the revitalization of the written language (which had been lost during the Dark Ages), the term archaic was extended to these aspects as well.

During the Greek Dark Ages, the Greeks lived in small tribal units; some of these small tribes were sedentary and agricultural and some were certainly nomadic. They had abandoned their cities between 1200 and 1100 BC for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery; the Greeks believed that a cataclysmic and ferocious invasion of northern Greek barbarians, the Dorians, had wiped out the Mycenean civilization. In reality, the decline and abandonment of urbanization in Greece was probably due to a combination of economic collapse and pressure from northern migrations. Greek life during the "Dark Ages" wasn't dark; it was, in fact, a culturally creative period. This period gave the Greeks the religion their religion, mythology, and foundational history in their final forms; the close of the Dark Ages would also gave the Greeks the rudiments of their greatest political achievement: the polis , or "city-state."

In the history of Ancient Greece the Orientalizing Period is the cultural and art historical period informed by the art of Syria, Phoenicia and Egypt, which started during the later part of the 8th century BCE. It encompasses a new, Orientalizing style, spurred by a period of increased cultural interchange in the Aegean world. The period is characterized by a shift from the prevailing Geometric Style to a style with different sensibilities, which were inspired by the East. The intensity of the cultural interchange during this period is sometimes compared to that of the Late Bronze Age.