Central and Southern Peloponnese

William G. Cavanagh

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199873609
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Central and Southern Peloponnese

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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The Peloponnese, the heartland of Mycenaean civilization, covers about 19,000 square kilometers. Of this, the Argolid, so prominent in accounts of the Bronze Age Aegean, forms only eleven percent, while the region considered here is four times larger than the Argolid and only slightly smaller than the whole of the island of Crete. In a later period its agricultural wealth underwrote Sparta, the dominant Classical power: it occupies the wetter, western part of Greece, making it less subject to drought and unpredictable harvests. In addition to the farming base, there are mineral resources, notably metals in the area of Neapolis. This article stresses that at no time in prehistory was this a unified territory, and imposes generalizations that mask important regional differences.

Keywords: Peloponnese; Mycenaean civilization; Argolid; Crete; Sparta; Neapolis; Bronze Age; Greece

Article.  4808 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Greek and Roman Archaeology

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