Chronology

As it is attested to by an abundance of recent discoveries, the city of Amykles was already inhabited in the Early Helladic period. With the exception of a section at the Middle Helladic period, Amykles was inhabited continuously until the 11th century B.C. the importance this city acquired as a settlement of Late Helladic period (IIIB-G) is mainly due to the testified existence of a cultural area of the Late Mycenean period. The demographic increase of the settlement and the sanctuary that was erected during that period is confirmed by the finding of hand-made and wheel-made fragments with depictions of animals, as well as an important number of clay figurines of the Ψ (Psi) type.

The section between the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age is not only evidenced by the stratigraphy in Amyklaio, but also by the more general typological classification of the early geometric pottery of Laconia. Even though precise dating from the colonization of the Spartan plain by the Dorians is not possible to be determined, according to Ingrid Margreiter and Brigitte Eber, the archaeological and literary elements refer to the period around 950 B.C. and henceforth. The particular place that Amykles had in the region of Laconia during the Early Iron Age is evidenced by its mention in the Homeric lists of ships (II. 2584), among others. However, for the period starting from 950 B.C. and until the middle of the 8th century B.C., the period, that is to say, during which Amykles was included in the wider building area of Sparta, it is not possible to have a specific opinion of what took place in Sparta as well as in Laconia.

The sole conclusion that can be drawn from relative findings is that cultural differences between Sparta and Amykles had been progressively eliminated. Another, even more general interpretation, that is derived from the archaeological evidence as well as from literary and historical sources, leads to the conclusion that the city of Amyklaion was incorporated into the settlement of Sparta by Teleklos around 750 B.C., as its fifth clan, and, in this way, it began the process of shaping a new political identity.

As Pausanias reveals the colossal column-shaped statue of Apollo was surrounded on three sides by the so-called “throne”, work of Bathykles from Magnesia of Asia Minor, dated at the end of the 6th century B.C. Then, its sanctuary had a spectacular blossoming that was continued during the next centuries of the Roman empire and into the early Christian period.


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