The Delayed Development of Athens in the Bronze Age

by Melanie Harris

Institution: Brandeis University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Bronze Age; Athens; Mycenaeans
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2077616
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10192/32210


Evidence of occupation in the area of ancient Athens suggests inhabitants as early as the Paleolithic Age. Athens is commonly associated as the forerunner to much of ancient Greek culture. During the Bronze Age, however, the Mycenaean culture was late to arrive. While other cities were thriving during this stage of the Bronze Age, Athens was slow to develop strongly in their own center. Like Tiryns and Mycenae, Athens fortified the acropolis with extensive walls and internal access to a water supply, possibly in defense of the so-called Dorian invasion. Unlike Tiryns and Mycenae, Athens was apparently able to successfully defend against invasion at this time. A combination of elements, such as the subjugation to Crete, exclusive trade agreements, and the successful focus on defense tactics against the invasion in the late 13th century BCE, created isolation and were, therefore, the major factors of the static development in Bronze Age Athens.