chapter  4
The Aegean melting pot: history and archaeology for historians and prehistorians ALKIS DIALISMAS
History and archaeology for historians and prehistorians
ByAlkis Dialismas
Pages 14

This volume aims at ‘breaking down the boundaries’ between archaeology and ancient history; as most of the contributors work within the field of historical archaeology, defined as the ‘archaeology of any period for which written record exists’ (Orser 1996: 11), their shared aim is to facilitate interdisciplinary communication in the study of the literate periods of the ancient world. While this chapter has in principle the same objective, there is a significant difference as far as the period of interest is concerned. My research focus lies within the last phases of the Late Bronze Age and the first centuries of the Early Iron Age Aegean,2 a time that can hardly be described as ‘a period for which written record exists’. Typically, we have written documents for the earlier part in the form of Linear B tablets. These, however, are mere administrative catalogues that do not provide much food for thought for historians, and they are restricted to a small number of administrative centres and palaces.3 Homer’s and Hesiod’s works appear to fall outside this period, if we follow recent scholars who in the majority nowadays assign the compilation of these texts to the late eighth and early seventh centuries BC, and not to the previous centuries (Morris and Powell 1997; Bennet 1997; Mazarakis-Ainian 2000; Whitley 2002: 217-18).4