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The Early Iron Age Findings / Finds from Antissa / Lesbos and other Remains and their Meaning for the Evaluation of the so-called Aeolian Migration

Research project conducted from May 2010 to April 2011 and from October 2011 to March 2013 and funded by the DFG. Aim of this project was the documentation of the Greek pottery of the time from 1050-500 BC from the excavation in Antissa, which was conducted by W. Lamb in 1931/1932. Afterwards, also the verification of Lamb’s chronology and interpretation of the structural remains and reconstruction of the necropolis by using the excavation documents of the British School at Athens. Later on, all findings/finds and literary sources that give information on the Aeolian migration are to be compiled. The manuscript of the publication of the findings/finds from Antissa is meant to be included in the monography on the Aeolian migration by the British School at Athens for the German speaking countries (the drafts of both manuscripts are still to be revised).

Regarding the first objective, it could be proven that the interpretations by Lamb are questionable. The revising of the findings/finds led to a dating of the “Older Apse-House” into a time around 700 BC or the 7th century BC and for the “Younger Apse-House” into the first half of the 6th century BC. The “Aeloian-Grey Ware” that was found by Lamb could be better understood. The character of the Greek necropolis could be further localized and the oldest grave dated into the Bronze and Iron Age.

In the time from 11550 and 900 BC, a transformation process in pottery started in the Aeolis that converted late Bronze Age-grey minyan ware into so-called Aeolian-grey ware. This could be interpreted as a possible influence from new settlers. This assumption can be supported by the fact that that during this time, material culture changed a lot more drastically. It was also shown that hints in the Ilias indicated that Greeks already settled a lot earlier in the Aeolis than Homer (700 BC), other ancient texts on the Αολικ ποικία can be considered unreliable. Indications of the Ilias, the Aeolian dialect of archaic times, of which traces of older preforms can be found in the Aeolis and in eastern Greece (to Thessaly) as well as the existence of special Greek toponyms of the Aeolis, led to the assumption that the new settlers were “Protoaeolians” from Eastern Central Greece. The evaluation of archaeological findings and linear B-texts from Pylos leads to the assumption that it was a slow assimilation process and that smaller groups influenced this movement.


Supervision: Prof. Dr. Dieter Hertel