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The earliest Greek settlements on the Black Sea

  • Robert Drews (a1)

The date and circumstances of the first Greek settlements on the Black Sea are matters of considerable disagreement. This is the result both of the scattered nature of the literary evidence on the subject, and of the dearth of archaeological evidence for Pontic settlements other than those on the western and northern shores. A century ago it was commonly thought that although the great majority of colonies were sent out in the seventh and sixth centuries, Trapezus and Sinope, as our sources say or imply, were founded in the middle of the eighth. For a variety of reasons, among them an increased reliance on archaeologically secured dates, this view went out of favour, and opinion inclined toward the view that the Greeks did not enter the Black Sea at all until after 700. This view was both expressed in and supported by Rhys Carpenter's thesis that not until the penteconter was invented (an invention which he dated to the early seventh century) could the Greeks make head against the four-knot current which flows through the Bosporus from the Black Sea. Articles by B. W. Labaree and A. J. Graham, however, have undermined Carpenter's argument, and it is now once again not unusual to find references to Greek activity in the Black Sea before 700.

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1 Although Grote dated Sinope and Trapezus to the late seventh century, both were dated to the middle of the eighth by Meyer and Busolt.

2 Carpenter, , ‘The Greek Penetration of the Black Sea’, AJA lii (1948), pp. 110.

3 Labaree, , ‘How the Greeks Sailed into the Black Sea’, AJA lxi (1957), pp. 2933; Graham, , ‘The Date of the Greek Penetration of the Black Sea’, BICS v (1958), pp. 2542.

4 An archaeological survey of the Samsun province (although primarily of sites in the interior) is now under way, directed by Prof.Alkim, U. Bahadir. See Anatolian Studies xxiii (1973), pp. 62–5, and xxiv (1974), pp. 50–3.

5 For a survey of present archaeological evidence on Greek settlements in the Black Sea one can still rely on Boardman, John's The Greeks Overseas (Harmondsworth and Baltimore, 1964), pp. 245–67. Cf. Graham, , ‘Black Sea’ pp. 31–3.

6 The Greeks Overseas, p. 247.

7 Graham, , ‘Black Sea’ p. 33.

8 Graham, , ‘Patterns in Early Greek Colonisation’, JHS xci (1971), pp. 36–8, has commented on what archaeology can and cannot show about Greek colonisation, and on the surprising validity of the traditional chronology for the western colonies.

9 Casson, L., Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World (Princeton, 1971), pp. 43–4, and Morrison, J. S. and Williams, R. T., Greek Oared Ships (Cambridge, 1968), p. 47. Neither Casson nor Morríson and Williams mentions Carpenter's suggestion.

10 The Greeks in Ionia and the East (London, 1962), p. 53.

11 Pithecusae was perhaps founded as early as c. 775. See Buchner, Giorgio, ‘Pithekoussai’, Expedition viii (1966), pp. 412.

12 Fr. 17 (Kinkel).

13 See Pausanias ii 3.10–11. Eumelus said that Corinth (anciently called Ephyre) was the original home of Aeëtes, who went to Colchis to become king there. Medea was summoned from Colchis to become queen of Corinth, and Jason came with her. According to Eumelus, , Medea, , far from killing her and Jason's, children, tried to make them immortal. Ed. Will, , Korinthiaka (Paris, 1955), pp. 128–9, discusses the evolution of the Corinthian version of the Medea legend.

14 Huxley, G., Greek Epic Poetry from Eumelos to Panyassis (London, 1969), p. 62, and Bowra, C. M., ‘Two Lines of Eumelus’, CQ xiii (1963), pp. 145–53, date Eumelus' ‘Delian Prosodion’ to the outbreak of the First Messenian War. Although attractive, the suggestion does pose difficulties: Hesiod does not seem to have known the poem in which Eumelus worked out his genealogies (see Jacoby, F., p. 299 of commentary on FGrH 451); and, like Hesiod, Eumelus used the ‘Homeric’ dialect.

15 Pausanias iv 4.1 makes him a contemporary of Phintas, who ruled Messenia one generation before the outbreak of the First Messenian War; and two strands of the Eusebian tradition put his floruit at 760 and 744 respectively.

16 The source followed by Alex., Clem. at Strom. i 131.8 said that Eumelus' life ‘Overlapped’ that of Archias, and regarded him as somewhat earlier than Archilochus and Callinus. If the synchronism with Archias resulted from a reference to Syracuse in Eumelus' poetry, 733 would be the terminus post quem for his composition.

17 Pausanias ii 1.1 calls Eumelus ‘son of Amphilytus, of the family called Bacchiads’.

18 Theogony 337–45.

19 West, M. L., Hesiod: Theogony (Oxford, 1966), pp. 41–2, uses these lines (rightly, I think) to set a terminus post quem of 756 for the poem, and eventually dates it to the period 730–700. The lines have also been used to support a date c. 675.

20 Walcot, P., Hesiod and the Near East (Cardiff, 1966), p. 109, argues that Hesiod's father came to Ascra c. 760, and that that suggests ‘a floruit about 730 for Hesiod himself’.

21 Kirk, G. S., ‘The Structure and Aim of the Theogony’, Hésiode et son influence (Ent. Hardt VII, 1962), p. 63, places ‘the composition of the Theogony not earlier than around 675’ and assumes that much was added thereafter.

22 West, , Hesiod, p. 260.

23 Graham, , ‘Black Sea’, pp. 37–8, has pointed out some striking parallels between the passage through the Bosporus and the course which in Odyssey xii Odysseus follows through the wandering rocks.

24 For a still valuable survey of these locations see Cramer, J. A., A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor (1832, rep. 1971), pp. 222 ff.

25 Thus Thomas, Helen and Stubbings, F. H. in Wace and Stubbings, A Companion to Homer (London, 1962), p. 284; in a footnote Iliad ii 853–5 is identified as an interpolation.

26 History and the Homeric Iliad (Berkeley, 1959), p. 137 and n. 56.

27 Simpson, R. Hope and Lazenby, J. F., The Catalogue of Ships in Homer's Iliad (Oxford, 1970), p. 177.

28 Allen, , The Homeric Catalogue of Ships (Oxford, 1921), pp. 156 ff.

29 Strabo vii 3.6.

30 Homeric Catalogue, p. 157.

31 Allen himself stated his thesis thus in the apparat, crit. of his Oxford text of the Iliad, at ii 853–5: ‘Eratosthenes et Apollodorus non legerunt apud Strabo 298’. That it was Apollodorus and not Eratosthenes, whom Strabo summarised on Homer's ignorance of the Black Sea, is evident from another passage in Strabo. In xii 3.26 he attributes explicitly to Apollodorus the statement that Homer did not know the Black Sea coast, and that Homer's information about Paphlagonia came from those who had visited it overland.

32 Callisthenes, FGrH 124, F 53.

33 Strabo xii 3.10.

34 Allen's thesis assumes that in Apollodorus' text of the Iliad there was nothing about Paphlagonia other than the mere mention of the name in line 851. But surely, if that is all that there was, Apollodorus would not have needed to speculate about the source of Homer's information on the Paphlagonians. His text of the Iliad must have had more detail on the Paphlagonians than it had, for example, on the Phrygians or Halizones; in fact, Apollodorus concedes that Homer not only knew that the Paphlagonians, existed, but had availed himself of an ἱστορία … τῶν Παϕλαγόνων (Strabo xii 3.26).

35 The most recent works on the Catalogue of Ships have reached opposite conclusions about its date. Simpson and Lazenby, going almost as far as Page, place its origin in the LH IIIC period. Giovannini, A., Étude historique sur les origines du Catalogue des Vaisseaux (Berne, 1969), argues ingeniously but not very convincingly that it originated in the seventh century. For a judicious survey of earlier scholarship on the subject see Sandulescu, C., ‘Recherches sur la valeur littéraire du Catalogue des vaisseaux (avec des observations sur le problème chronologique)’, Acta Ant. Hung. xvii (1969), pp. 125–48.

36 With Cook, J. M., ‘Two Notes on the Homeric Catalogue’, SMEA 1967, pp. 103–9, I believe that the Catalogue of Trojan Allies reflects the horizons of eighth-century Greeks. If, on the other hand, one believes (with Allen, Page, Lazenby and Simpson) that the Catalogue of Trojan Allies was passed down from the end of the Bronze Age, one must assume that the Mycenaean Greeks were familiar with the Paphlagonian coast, and that the native settlements on that coast retained their identity throughout the troubled early Iron Age. Serious difficulties, of course, adhere to both assumptions. The former must rely almost entirely on the Argonautic legend, since there is no other evidence for Mycenaean Greeks in the Black Sea (cf. Mellaart, James, ‘Anatolian Trade with Europe and Anatolian Geography and Culture Provinces in the Late Bronze Age’, AS xviii (1968), pp. 188–9). The Argonautica may have some Bronze Age antecedents, but at least those elements of the legend which pertain to Corinth should postdate the founding of the city (as opposed to the scattered LH villages near the site). Corinth was not much more than a name until c. 900, and was not a significant centre until the eighth century. See Dunbabin, T. J., ‘The Early History of Corinth’, JHS lxviii (1948), pp. 62 ff., and Salmon, John, ‘The Heraeum at Perachora and Early Corinth and Megara’, ABSA lxvii (1972), p. 193 and n. 208. Whatever the saga of Jason of Iolcus may have been during the Dark Age, it must have undergone considerable alteration between c. 800 and the time of Eumelus.

37 On the implications of the Greek settlement of c. 700, found twenty miles inland from Cyzicus and so suggesting that Cyzicus itself was founded considerably earlier, see Graham, , ‘Patterns’, pp. 3942.

38 Hdt. iv 12.

39 Graham, , ‘Black Sea’, p. 34 and n. 15.

40 Nicolaus, of Damascus (FGrH 90, F 46). It is generally agreed that Nicolaus' Lydian material came ultimately from Xanthus. That fr. 46 came from Xanthus' own Lydiaca and not from a Hellenistic reworking thereof is argued by Diller, H., ‘Zwei Erzählungen des Lyders Xanthos’, Navicula Chiloniensis. Studia F. Jacoby Oblata (Leiden, 1956), p. 71.

41 Hdt. ii 34.

42 Hdt. i 76.

43 If Hecataeus did say that ‘Sinope’ was the Thracian word for ‘drunken woman’ the Periegesis might have been that book; but see Jacoby, 's comments on Hecataeus, (FGrH 1, F 34).

44 Demetrius of Callatis is the most probable candidate. See Bunbury, E. H., History of Ancient Geography II (1883), pp. 71–2; Hoefer, Ul., ‘Die Periegese des sog. Skymnos’, RhMus lxxxii (1933), pp. 6795, proposed Eratosthenes as a major source. In his Die ionische Kolonisation (Philolog. Suppl. xiv; Leipzig, 1920), Fr. Bilabel acknowledged that the ad Nic. is our only proper source on the foundation of Sinope, but rejected the possibility of a pre-Cimmerian foundation because the ad Nic. is the only authority for that tradition!

45 Lines 986–97 in Diller, Aubrey's edition, The Tradition of the Minor Greek Geographers (Lancaster, Pa., 1952); on line 992 see below. Diller's lines correspond to lines 941–52 in Müller's edition.

46 Strabo xii 3.11. Plutarch, , Lucullus 23.4 also speaks of

47 Fr. 8 (Kinkel).

48 Greek Epic Poetry, p. 68.

49 Bowra, , ‘The Daughters of Asopus’, Problems in Greek Poetry (Oxford, 1953), pp. 57–8.

50 Eusebius' date for Trapezus, the first year of the sixth Olympiad (756), appears in the Armenian version of the Chronicle (ed. Karst). His identical date for Cyzicus and his date for Sinope (the second year of the 37th Olympiad, i.e. 631) are given in Jerome, 's version (Die Chronik des Hieronymus, ed. Helm, R.; 2nd edition, Berlin, 1956).

51 Compernolle, R. van, Étude de chronologie et d' historiographie siciliotes (Brussels, 1960), demonstrated that Thucydides' absolute dates for the Sicilian colonies originated in a generational scheme.

52 Istros is dated to 656 in the Armenian version, 657 in Jerome, and to the time of the Cimmerian invasion in the ad Nic. The Armenian version's date for Astacus (706) would also fit a scheme of 25-year generations. For Apollonia Pontica see ad Nic. 730–7 (Diller): ‘Milesians, coming thither, founded (Apollonia) about fifty years before the reign of Cyrus. For from Ionia the Milesians sent out the most colonies into the Pontus. They caused the sea which before had been called “Axenos”, because of the aggressiveness of the barbarians, to receive the name “Euxeinos”.’

53 In addition to the boast quoted in the preceding note see the evidence in Bilabel, , Die ionische Kolonisation, pp. 10 ff. Even in the first century A.D. a Milesian inscription opened with a reminder that Miletus was the metropolis of the Greek cities in the Pontus.

54 Nobody was quite sure which cities the Milesians had in fact founded. For Apollonia on the Rhyndacus the Milesians cited as evidence histories and other literature. See Bilabel, , Die ionische Kolonisation, p. 11.

55 Anabasis iv 8.22.

56 Pausanias viii 27.6.

57 One never knows, however. Fallmerayer, J.-Ph., Geschichte des Kaiserthums Trapezunt (1827), pp. 112, thought the passage said that the Colchian city founded the Arcadian, and on that basis argued that Trapezus was one of the oldest cities outside Egypt and Mesopotamia.

58 A third and still earlier foundation-date for Cyzicus is usually ignored in scholarship on the question; Eusebius did, however, also report that the town was founded in 1276. For the thesis that the Milesians were responsible for both the eighth and the seventh century settlements of Cyzicus see Roebuck, C., Ionian Trade and Colonization (New York, 1959), p. 113; for the thesis that the first settlements at both Cyzicus and Sinope were destroyed by barbarians see Graham, , ‘Patterns’, p. 40.

59 The traditions are discussed in Hasluck, F. W.'s Cyzicus (Cambridge. 1910), pp. 157–62. The Argonauts killed King Cyzicus by mistake.

60 Strabo xii 3.11 echoes a tradition of forcible entry by the Milesians: Autolycus ‘seems to have been one of those who sailed with Jason, and to have taken possession of this place; later on, Milesians, seeing its good natural character, and the weakness of the inhabitants, made it their own and sent out colonists’. One might otherwise have assumed that the Milesians who arrived ‘when the army of the Cimmerians overran Asia’ came to bolster the city against the Cimmerian threat.

61 For evidence see Doublet, G., ‘Inscriptions de Paphlagonie’, BCH xiii (1899), pp. 299300.

62 See note 45.

63 ‘The Daughters of Asopus’, p. 57.

64 Ibid., pp. 58–9 for arguments. The earliest extant authority for the connection is Hellanicus, (FGrH 4, F 77).

65 Cf. Graham, , Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (Manchester, 1964), pp. 149–51 and 201–3.

66 Thuc. i 13.2–3.

67 According to Coldstream, J. N., Greek Geometric Pottery (London, 1968), p. 377, the pottery at the site near Cyzicus is Corinthian and East Greek. On the quantity of Corinthian pottery found at Pithecusae see Graham, , ‘Patterns’, p. 36.

68 Plutarch, , Am. Narr. 772E773A says that Habron came to Corinth from Argos.

69 Strabo xii 3.20–7 canvassed ancient opinion on the equation of Alybe and the Chalybes. Callimachus, fr. 110, 48 ff. (= Catullus 66, 48 ff.) says that the Chalybes discovered iron-working and taught the art to the rest of mankind. Cf. Pliny, , Nat. Hist. vii 197.

70 For the phrase, which echoes Homer, 's ‘Alybe, where is the birthplace of silver’, see Et. Mag. p. 805, 22; Suda, s.v. Χάλυβες; scholion on Apol. Rhod. i 1323.

71 Roebuck, , Ionian Trade, p. 82, suggests that Chalybian iron began to be imported into the Aegean c. 550, but the evidence seems to point to an earlier date. Homer knows only the word sideros; but in Septem 728 ff. Aeschylus uses ‘the Chalybian stranger’ as a metaphor for a steel blade; cf. also Sophocles, , Trach. 1260. The earliest instance of stomoma as a word for steel is Cratinus, fr. 247 (Koch), where it is modified: Χαλυβδικὸν στόμωμα. It would thus seem that chalyps was the Greeks' first word for carburised iron, and therefore that the ‘Chalybes’ were already supplying the metal when a special word for it was first required. The old word, sideros, apparently originated when iron was synonymous with meteoric iron; in Homer's time no new word had yet been adopted for carburized iron which was then available.

Had Chalybian iron not been imported until c. 550, in putting a Chalybian metaphor into the mouths of Eteocles', subjects Aeschylus would have been committing a fairly obvious anachronism. As Prometheus 714 ff. shows, Aeschylus assumed that the Chalybes had been working iron when Io was pursued by her gadfly.

72 They do not show up in the list of peoples in Darius' nineteenth satrapy or in Xerxes' Pontic contigents; see Herodotus iii 90 and vii 78.

73 Our earliest source, Hecataeus, (fr. 202 and 203), located them north of Armenia and around the town of Stamene (somewhere along the coast between Trapezus and the Yasun Burnu). In Prometheus 714 ff. Aeschylus speaks vaguely of ‘the iron-working Chalybes’ as living somewhere between the sea and the Caucasus. Apollonius Rhodius, who usually followed the earliest traditions he could find, placed them one day's sail east of the Thermodon (Arg. ii 970 ff.). Strabo, who identified them with the Chaldaei, located them (xii 3.19 and 28) above Pharnacia and Trapezus. Pliny, , Nat. Hist. vi 11, describes Trapezus as ‘liberum (sc. oppidum) monte vasto clausum. ultra quod gens Armenochalybes’.

Two sources place them west of the Halys, where there are no iron mines: Pomponius Mela i 5 and Herodotus i 28. The latter passage may be a gloss, although Herodotus' knowledge of the south shore of the Black Sea was not distinguished.

74 Xenophon reports two groups of Chalybes, one east and one west of Trapezus. The large tribe which Xenophon met between Armenia, and Colchis, (Anabasis iv 7) was surely that of the Haldi, and Xenophon knew it. Although he does not describe passing through the land of the Chaldaei, he mentions them both in prospect (iv 3.4) and in retrospect (v 5.17), describing them with the same adjectives and attributing to them the same weaponry which characterise his ‘Chalybes’ in iv 7.15–17. There is no avoiding the conclusion that he called the Haldi ‘Chalybes’ because he knew that the latter were supposed to be the most famous people between Armenia and the Black Sea.

In v 5.1 Xenophon mentions passing through the territory (in a fraction of a day) of another group of ‘Chalybes’. This tiny community did make their livelihood as iron workers. Possible Xenophon called them ‘Chalybes’ because his other candidates for that name were warriors, not miners and smelters.

75 Strabo xii 3.19: ‘The people now called Chaldaei were long ago called Chalybes’. He thereupon argues that barbarous names are subject to such vagaries; his argument shows that the Haldi themselves had no tradition that they were once the storied Chalybes.

76 For a very general map of iron deposits in the Near East see fig. 30 of Forbes, R. J., Studies in Ancient Technology ix (2nd ed., Leiden, 1972). The map on p. 91 of Przeworski, S., Die Metallindustrie Anatoliens in der Zeit von 1500–700 v. Chr. (Leiden, 1939) provides a better picture of the deposits in Turkey. The most accurate and detailed map of this kind is that which follows p. 56 in Iron Ore Deposits in Turkey (Publications of the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute of Turkey, no. 118; Ankara, 1964). My information is drawn from that map and from Ryan, C. W., A Guide to the Known Minerals of Turkey, 2nd ed. (Min. Res. and Expl. Inst. of Turkey, Ankara, 1960).

77 Ryan, , Guide, pp. 76–7 and 99–101. It is apparently very difficult to determine the date at which ‘old workings’ were worked. While visiting Ankara in May of 1974 I learned from Mr Prentiss de Jesus, of the American Research Institute in Turkey, how arbitrary are some of the present designations of the age of a mining or smelting site, and how incomplete is our list of the ‘old workings’ in Anatolia (and in Greece, for that matter). He is at present engaged in a survey of the ancient mining and smelting sites in central Turkey. Not until the same is done for north-eastern Turkey, he assures me, will we have any real idea of the extent of the ancient iron mining in that area. Unfortunately, such a survey is not yet even in the planning stage. For an example of MrJesus', de activity see his ‘A la recherche du metallurgiste ancien’, Archéologia no. 68 (March, 1974), pp. 70–2.

78 Ryan, , Guide, p. 101; according to Ryan this deposit ‘has been known from ancient times’.

79 Ryan, , Guide, p. 101; cf. Iron Ore Deposits, pp. 13–14.

80 Janssens, E., Trébizonde en Colchide (Brussels, 1969), pp. 731.

81 Ibid., p. 20: ‘Nous devons admettre que la route de Trébizonde à Gümüsane a toujours eu le tracé qu'elle a aujourd'hui’. On pp. 21–2 Janssens shows why a route along the Harṣit river, issuing at Tirebolu (ancient Tripolis) was less feasible.

82 Ryan, , Guide, pp. 1 and 19–20.

83 Although one deposit here is estimated to contain about 200,000 tons of pyritic ore (cf. Ryan, , Guide, p. 20) silver has not been mined at Gümüşhane since the emigration of the Greek population after the First World War. For a description of the mines in the 1830s, even then in decline, see Hamilton, W. J., Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia i (London, 1842), pp. 234–8.

84 Janssens, , Trébizonde, p. 16, notes a preponderance of Greek place names (on the 1:200,000 District map) along the route through the Zigana pass and up to but not beyond Argyropolis. It is, of course, recognised that the Gümüşhane mines were once very productive; cf. Gattinger, T. E., Türkiye jeoloji haritasi: Trabzon (Min. Res. and Expl. Inst. of Turkey, Ankara, 1962), p. 71; ‘The silver mines of Gümüşane—where lead had been produced along with silver—had been quite famous in the past’. But the extent of their fame is not widely recognised. Byzantine sources (like their classical predecessors) say almost nothing about mining activity here or elsewhere. Yet Marco Polo and other travellers from Europe were greatly impressed, and noted that in Argyropolis one could see merchants from as far away as Syria and Iraq. On all this see Speros Vryonis, , ‘The Question of the Byzantine Mines’, Speculum xxxvii (1962), pp. 1—17. Vryonis, who had to depend on non-Greek authorities for information about the provenance of Byzantine metals, explains that ‘the Byzantines simply do not mention this type of ordinary or common matter’. The same is unfortunately true for ancient writers, Strabo excepted; for his indication of mines in this area see xi 14.9, xii 3.19, and xii 3.30.

85 This merely revives the suggestion made by Rostovtzeff, , Iranians and Greeks in South Russia (Oxford, 1922), pp. 61–3, which in turn had been anticipated by Minns and others. Rostovtzeff, however, assigned the initial settlement of Sinope and Trapezus to the tenth century and credited it to the Milesians. Cook, J. M. noted with disapproval that some historians ‘believe that the Ionian colonisation of Sinope and Trapezus was very ancient, and economic objectives have been postulated to account for this Dark Age enterprise—for instance, the importation of the high-grade iron of the Chalybes, and the gold of Colchis which romantic scholars find symbolised in the story of Jason and his sheepskin. But there is no evidence to support such theories’ (The Greeks in Ionia, pp. 52–3). That is true only if evidence and pottery are synonymous.

86 Graham, , ‘Black Sea’, p. 39; Roebuck, , Ionian Trade, p. 47.

87 For a description of Sinope see Robinson, D. M., ‘Ancient Sinope’, AJP xxvii (1906), pp. 125–53 and 245–79.

88 Cf. Daimachus, (FGrH 65, F 4): ‘Of the steels (στομωμάτων) there are, in fact, the Chalybic, Sinopic, Lydian and Laconic’.

89 Forbes, , Studies, p. 190. Theophrastus, , de Lapid. 52–3, speaks of three sources of this pigment: the best comes from the iron mines of Ceos, ‘but there is the Lemnian and the one which they call “Sinopic”. This one, however, is really Cappadocian, and is transported to Sinope’. Cf. Pliny, , Nat. Hist. xxxv 31.

90 In addition to Theophrastus, Strabo xii 2.10 also tells us that Sinopic ruddle comes from Cappadocia. We can assume that Theophrastus' Cappadocia corresponds to the area of Persia's nineteenth satrapy. If Strabo had in mind the land-locked Cappadocia of late Hellenistic and Roman times he had the wrong Cappadocia in mind.

91 Graham, , ‘Patterns’, pp. 43–5, argued that it was premature to describe Pithecusae as an iron-working centre. In 1970, however, Buchner found not only the ‘industrial center’ on Mezzavia Hill, with numerous pieces of iron slag and blooms, but also ‘a piece of iron mineral in its natural state (pure hematite) that can definitely be assigned to the Rio Marina deposit on the island of Elba’. See Buchner, , ‘Recent Work at Pithekoussai (Ischia), 1965–1971’, Archaeological Reports xvii (19701971), p. 66; cf. also Klein, Jeffery, ‘A Greek Metalworking Quarter’, Expedition xiv (1972), pp. 34–9.

92 Odyssey i 184.

93 A Roster of Greek Metal Mines (U.S. Operations Mission to Greece, Mining Branch; pamphlet published in 1955), p. 10.

94 Hopper, R. J., ‘Mines and Miners of Ancient Athens’, Greece and Rome viii (1961), pp. 139–41. Apparently some mining was done at Laurium; cf. Snodgrass, A. M., The Dark Age of Greece (Edinburgh, 1971), p. 248. Yet from eleventh- and tenth-century Greece the only silver artefacts thus far found are two finger-rings from the neighbourhood of Cnossus. See Desborough, V., The Greek Dark Ages (London, 1972), p. 314.

95 Blümner, Hugo, Technologie und Terminologie der Gewerbe und Künste bei Griechen und Römern iv (Leipzig, 1887), pp. 74–5, listed the various Greek iron mines which were or were not exploited in antiquity. For an analysis of the ores I have consulted the table between pp. 10 and 11 of A Roster of Greek Metal Mines. The highest percentage of iron content (52%) is found in the ores of Chania in Crete and Neapolis in Laconia.

96 Snodgrass, , Dark Age, pp. 228 ff., dates the transition to the Full Iron Age to the late eleventh century. Przeworski believed that the transition had not ended until c. 750, a view upheld by Pleiner, Radomir, Iron Working in Ancient Greece (Prague, 1969), p. 15. Waldbaum, J., The Use of Iron in the Eastern Mediterranean 1200–900 B.C. (Diss. Harvard, 1968; summary in HSCP lxxiii [1969], pp. 328–31) concluded that the transition was ‘not yet complete by the end of the tenth century’. Cf. Forbes, , Studies, p. 273. For the importance of the bronze industry in the Dark Age see H. W. Catling, p. 29 in Popham and Sackett, , Excavations at Lef kandi, Euboea 1964–1966 (London, 1968). Even in the Assyrian Empire iron was not in common use until the late ninth century; Pleiner, R. and Bjorkman, J. K., ‘The Assyrian Iron Age’, Proc Amer Philos Soc cxviii (1974), conclude (p. 292) that the documents ‘indicate clearly the increasing quantities of iron, from small quantities shortly after 900 to considerable amounts around 800’.

97 Ps.-Aristotle, , de Mir. Ausc. 48, and Pliny, , Nat. Hist. xxxiv 141 report that Chalybian iron was panned from the sand borne down by the rivers. A law of Süleyman the Magnificent (quoted by Ryan, , Guide, p. 75) ordered that ‘miners shall collect sand of the Black Sea coast, wash it, smelt it, and produce iron’. For the easy, if inefficient, methods in use in the early nineteenth century see Hamilton, , Researches i pp. 271 ff.

98 In his discussion of the Pithecusan iron-trade, Snodgrass, , Dark Age, p. 336, remarks, ‘the most surprising implication of all this is that the supply of iron-ore available from the quite copious deposits in Greek lands must have begun to fall short of demands; but when we come to consider the question of population increases, this may no longer seem so remarkable’. Snodgrass may be correct in his view that the mining and smelting of iron was well established in Greece by the tenth century, and that it was because of a sharp increase in population that in the eighth century the Greeks had to turn to foreign ores. One could object, however, that the argument for a population surge in the early eighth century is seriously weakened if it is conceded that the settlements at Pithecusae and Trapezus (like that at Al Mina) resulted from a desire for metals rather than a desire for land. Perhaps the reliance on foreign iron in the period 800–750 reflects both an increase in demand for iron and a prevailing inefficiency in extracting it from the native ores.

99 In König, Fr.'s Handbuch der chaldischen Inschriften (Archiv für Orientforschung, Beiheft 8; Graz, 1957), the relevant inscriptions are nos. 80, 1, iv, and 82, 10, iv.

100 Burney, Ch. and Lang, D. M., The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus (London, 1971), p. 137.

101 König, , Handbuch no. 103, 3, iii ff.

102 Burney, and Lang, , Peoples of the Hills, p. 147. Cf. Barnett, R. D., ‘Oriental Influences on Archaic Greece,’ The Aegean and the Near East: Studies Presented to Hetty Goldman (Locust Valley, N.Y., 1956), p. 229.

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  • ISSN: 0075-4269
  • EISSN: 2041-4099
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-hellenic-studies
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