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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
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ANTIQUITY OF AEGEAN CIVILIZATION
These discoveries in the Aegean enable us to place another venerable center of civilized life by the side of Babylonia and Egypt. As early as 3000 B.C. the primitive inhabitants of the Aegean were giving up the use of stone tools and weapons for those of metal. Bronze soon came into general use, as is shown by the excavations. The five centuries between 1600 and 1100 B.C. appear to have been the time when the civilization of the Aegean Age reached its highest development.
THE FINE ARTS
Remarkable progress took place during Aegean times in some of the fine arts. We find imposing palaces, often splendidly adorned and arranged for a life of comfort. Wall paintings, plaster reliefs, and fine carvings in stone excite our admiration. Aegean artists made beautiful pottery of many shapes and cleverly decorated it with plant and animal forms. They carved ivory, engraved gems, and excelled in the working of metals. Some of their productions in gold, silver, and bronze were scarcely surpassed by Greek artists a thousand years later.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy