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From the SIlent Earth : A Report on the Greek Bronze Age
From the SIlent Earth A Report on the Greek Bronze Age Author:Joseph Alsop This vivid narrative reveals one of the earliest chapters in the history of Western man, lost to human knowledge for millennia. More than three thousand years ago, several great and wealthy kingdoms flourished on the Greek mainland and the island of Crete, only to fall with catastrophic swiftness. The disaster was so sudden and so complete that ... more »their very existence was forgotten. The moving story of the Bronze Age civilization and its end, and the curious drama of its rediscovery, form the substance of this engrossing book. Mr. Alsop's unique contribution is the shrewd insight of a seasoned observer of men and institutions and the political processes which link the two. He also brings to the story the lively enthusiasm and fresh viewpoint of a dedicated amateur.
The curtain rose on the drama less than a century ago, when Heinrich Schliemann began digging in the ruins of Troy and Mycenae. Dedicated to proving that Homer's epics incorporated historical fact, that strange and driven man uncovered the traces of an undreamed-of civilization, and helped to found the new science of archaeology. His inspired but haphazard discoveries have since been augmented by increasingly painstaking and scientific work, until today the outlines of the Mycenaean civilization on the Grecian mainland and the Minoan civilization on Crete have emerged. Mr. Alsop evokes these lost civilizations unforgettably: the kings in their rich palaces; the scribes listing the trade of a wealthy kingdom ? perfume and pottery and grain ? on clay tablets; the social hierarchy; the hasty, fruitless preparations against the final catastrophe. Much is still shrouded in conjecture and controversy, and much may remain forever an enigma. In a closely reasoned final chapter, the author puts forth his own theories about the central riddles of the Greek Bronze Age.
More than a hundred photographs supplement and illustrate the text, most of them taken especially for the boob by Alison Frantz.
End paper map, foldout chronological table, bibliography, index.