Institut für Klassische Archäologie

The development of early Greek society after the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces has often been reconstructed with the help of evolutionary models assuming the concept of the polis as the end of these processes. Investigations of the origin of the polis and its related structures often relied on concepts originating in the late Archaic and Classical period, which were projected back on much earlier phases. Little room was thus left for regional or chronological variation. Our three-day workshop will serve as a platform for discussion of research-prospects into early Greek societies with the aim of moving beyond general concepts of the ‘emergence’ and ‘formation’ of the polis. We understand this both as an opportunity to critically engage with current theoretical models and to reflect on potentials and challenges of new approaches in an interdisciplinary context. The conference will focus on Attica and the different regions in Central Greece and the Peloponnese, while the period of investigation will range from the 11th to the mid 6th century BCE. This deliberately wide frame will allow us to explore complex, multi-phased developments of social differentiation in various areas. The methodological spectrum includes comprehensive and diachronic investigations of settlements, burial grounds, and sanctuaries as well as analyses of specific areas of activity. The latter may be illuminated by archaeological case studies or research on specific types of objects, texts, and/or images. Each contribution should, however, explicitly speak to the social dynamics characterising the period under investigation. Disentangling our understanding of social change from the teleological perspective of the polis and investigating such processes within their specific regional contexts will allow us to draw multiple local and also chronologically disaligned pictures of the development of early Greek societies.


Maximilian Rönnberg (University of Tübingen)
Veronika Sossau (University of Basel)

Guests are very welcome; prior registration is recommended


Gefördert durch das Zukunftskonzept der Universität Tübingen
(Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft ZUK 63)


Friday, December 14th

13:00   Registration


Richard Posamentir (Institute’s Director)

Angelina Linnemann (Excellence Strategy)



Maximilian Rönnberg (Tübingen)

Veronika Sossau (Basel)


Section 1: General Problems of Historiography (Chair: R. Osborne)


Alain Duplouy (Paris)

How Rational Was the Early Greek City?


Angelika Kellner (Innsbruck)

Kings, Officials and Priestesses. Chronographic Lists as Cornerstones of Chronology

15:50 Coffee Break

Section 2: Synchronisations of Written and Material Evidence: Methodical Issues (Chair: E. Kistler)


Julien Zurbach (Paris)

It’s the Economy…: Regional Perspectives on Money, Land and Labour in the Formative

Period of City-States 


Thomas Clements (Manchester)

Where Did I Read That? Concept Formation and Archaic Sparta

17:30 Adrien Delahaye (Paris)

Laconian Material Culture and Lacedaimonian Identity: The Laconian Sanctuaries Case

18:00 Louis Pomaret Cañadas (Madrid)

From Group Identity to Ethnic Identity in Mainland Locris

18:30 Coffee Break
Evening Lecture
19:00 Christoph Ulf (Innsbruck)

Microhistory Presupposes Macrohistory

20:00 Evening Reception (Rittersaal)

Saturday, December 15th

Section 3: Athens (Chair: F. Ruppenstein)


Veronika Sossau (Basel)

Chronology, Region, Style, and the Polis. Methods and Limits in the Study of Finds in Funerary and Ritual Contexts in Athens


Marilena Kontopanagou (Athens)

The Athenian Society in the Transition to the Early Iron Age through Funerary Material Culture: the Case of the Herodou Attikou Street Cemetery

10:40 Coffee Break

Section 4: Attica (Chair: S. Schmidt-Hofner)


Alexandra Alexandridou (Ioannina)

Archaeological Traces of Kinship Ties in 8th C. Attica


Alexandra Dafni Vlanti (Oxford)

The Burial Rite of Enchytrismos in Attica during the Late Geometric and Archaic Periods: Towards an Understanding of Social Dimension

12:20 Maximilian Rönnberg (Tübingen)

Internal Colonisation, Village Fission and the Emergence of Local Cults in Attica

12:50 Lunch Break

Section 5: Peloponnese (Chair: A. Livieratou)

14:20 Birgitta Eder (Vienna)           

Between the Mycenaean and Greek Worlds: the Emergence of the Greek Sanctuary

15:00 Afroditi Vlachou (Volos)

The Formation of the Religious Landscape of the Peloponnese during the Early Historical Period (800– 600 B.C.)

15:30 Torben Keßler (Kiel)

Regional (Id)entities. The Decoration of Early Iron Age Pottery around the Gulf of Corinth

16:00 Coffee Break

Section 6: Euboea and Related Areas (Chair: I. Lemos)

16:30 Alexandros Mazarakis Ainian (Volos)

Euboean ›Ports of Call‹ alongside the Coasts from Euboea to the Thermaic Gulf

17:10 Olivia Denk (Basel)

Early Sanctuaries on the Chalcidice: the Case of Poseidi

17:40 Coffee Break

Evening Lecture

18:15 Robin Osborne (Cambridge) 

What is a Region? Athens and the Region of Athens in the Archaic Period

20:00 Conference Dinner

Sunday, December 16th

Section 7: Central Greece (Chair: V. Sossau)


Antonia Livieratou (Athens)

From Mycenaean Periphery to ethne: the Complex Ways of Socio-Political Evolution in Phocis and East Locris in the Early Iron Age


Aikaterini Stamoudi (Athens)

The Household Ceramics of the LHIIIC and Proto-Geometric Period from the Site of Kynos (Phtiotis). Its Character, Characteristics and Potentials

10:10 Coffee Break

Section 8: Trans-Regional Studies (Chair: R. Posamentir)


Irene Lemos (Oxford)

Transformation, Tradition and Innovation: the Transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age


Eleni Chatzinikolaou (Volos)

From the Individual to the Community: Re-Reading Domestic Space during the Transition from the Early Iron Age to the Archaic Period

11:50 Cicek Tascıoğlu Beeby (Chapel Hill/Athens)

Mortuary Spaces of the Early Greek Polis


Erich Kistler (Innsbruck)

Florian Ruppenstein (Freiburg)

Concluding Remarks

12:50 Final Discussion