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Greek colonisation 800BC to 750BC

             From between 800 and 750 BC the Greeks began to travel, trade and settle beyond the shores of mainland Greece. This process of colonisation continued for the next two hundred years. Colonisation began as Greece emerged from the Dark Ages following the disintegration of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations. Colonisation was the product of a broad range of social and economic factors, including an increasing population and growing commercial interests. .
             A Greek colony was called an apoikia meaning a settlement far from home. The founding of a colony was a public enterprise directed by the mother country, which provided the oikistes (founder). Before settlers left the mother city they would consult one of the oracles either at Delphi or Didyma.
             Sources for this period.
             Archaeological evidence.
             Decorated pottery is the main evidence to the Greeks colonisation. Emigrating families took with them their domestic utensils and once the colony was established pots and jars were used for storage and trade. The other archaeological evidence, which has survived, are building remains, weights, measures and coins.
             Literary evidence.
             Herodotus offers the best literary evidence of the Greek colonisation period.
             Reasons For Colonisation.
             Overpopulation and land hunger are generally acknowledged as the prime cause of colonisation. .
             Following the Dark Ages, social conditions in Greece appeared to stabilise and the population grew, increasing the demand for arable land. Much of the useable land had fallen under the control of the aristocratic circles within the city-states. Each of the city-states that became major sponsors of colonisation were influenced by overpopulation and land hunger to some degree.
             Colonisation was in part the result of political problems and tension within some areas. Peasant families had huge worries over their inability to acquire sufficient land. The inequality created by control of most of the land in some city-sates by small groups of wealthy aristocrats.

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