The archaic Greek world was the world in which Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were composed, in which the Doric and Ionic orders of architecture were invented, in which athletic competition first became a cultural event and in which democracy was invented.
Archaic Greece is also a period of prehistory. No Greek writer ever attempted to describe or analyze the events of his own lifetime or of the immediate past until Herodotos and Thucydides. Our knowledge of Greece before 479 BC is dependent on the stories which the later Greeks told about their past and the indirect testimony of the material and poetic monuments of the archaic age.
Greece Under Construction shows how we can write the history of this period, and the insights which can be gained by doing so for our understanding of later periods of history. It goes beyond tradition and exploits the literature, art, and archaeology of the period. Richly illustrated, this book makes much information readily accessible and puts the reader in touch with the latest scholarship on the subject.