The early Greek world 3200–450 BC

Case 3: East Greece 600-450 BC

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The Greek world reached beyond mainland Greece. The people living in the Aegean islands and even on the coast of modern-day Turkey identified themselves as Greek. They spoke the same language and followed the same religious and cultural customs. The Greeks themselves believed that Homer, the author of their earliest poetry, the epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey, lived not in mainland Greece but in one of the cities of the eastern Aegean.

Yet at the same time Greeks in different regions marked their own local identity in a number of ways, including differences in the way they spoke Greek, decorated objects, or buried their dead. The treatment of the dead varied between regions, between time-periods and with social status. Sometimes they were cremated, and sometimes they were buried, either in a simple stone or tile-lined pit, or in a coffin.

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The Fitzwilliam Museum : Early Greek world3200-450 BC

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