Greece The Dark Age, 1050-800 B.C.
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
During the late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.), a confluence of events caused mainly by local factors brought about the downfall of all the major cultures of the Near East. Undoubtedly the earlier incidents of decay influenced the collapse that came later to some extent, but other factors were usually the primary causes. As it affected Greece, this phenomenon is commonly called the Dark Age; it extended approximately from 1050 to 800 B.C.
The art of writing was largely lost after the fall of the Mycenaean palaces, so the only documentary source for this time is the work of the poet Homer, who wrote in the ninth century B.C. The period generally was one of stagnation and cultural decline. The disruption that followed the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces was great. Groups of people migrated to different areas, and the population declined, probably reaching its nadir in the tenth century B.C.
Archaeological records indicate that in the Dark Age most people lived in small communities in remote areas supported by subsistence farming. Organizationally Greece was a chiefdom society. Most trade and contacts with cultures in the Near East and elsewhere lapsed.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece The Dark Age, 1050-800 B.C. information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece The Dark Age, 1050-800 B.C. should be addressed to the Library of Congress.