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Archaic Greece

The word "archaic" derives from the Greek word ‘Archaios’, which means "old". The period from 800 BC to 480 BC in Greece is known as the greek archaic period. Collectors of antique Greek coins are always on the lookout for archaic coins which represent archaic period art beautifully.

‘Polis’ or the city states consisted of the city, its surrounding lands and communities. The whole area was an individual unit with self-rule which was a unique Greek invention. The urbanization process was established as "synoecism", the amalgamation of several small settlements into a single urban centre. It also saw the development of law and systems for making communal decisions. The earliest evidence for law codes and constitutional structures belong to this period. The specific geography and history of Greece allowed the conception of city states which led to the structural revolution and paved way for building up a strong political system in the Greek World.

Athens and Sparta were the two most important city states that rose powerful amongst all. The active trading centers which evolved were Corinth, Sicily, Aegina, Carthage, Crete and Sardis.

Archaic art, architecture and sculptures became live, realistic and were introduced to the other world. Greek pottery is also an important part of archaic period art which had a huge makeover by replacing geometric designs with human figures. Greek literature - the Iliad and the Odyssey were probably composed in the seventh century BC. Greek Alphabets were also developed during this time.

This period laid the foundation for the Classical Period (480 BC to 323 BC). However the only evidence to study Archaic Period is the poetry, epigraphs, law codes, inscriptions, etc.