How do we study ancient Greek society?

One of the many barriers to entry in classical archaeology is the varied set of print and digital resources that exist that students are frequently not trained in or are not explicitly discussed. Part of making the field accessible requires making hidden knowledge explicit; this page attempts to bring together key resources for the study of ancient Greek society from an archaeological perspective with both an anthropological and classical frame in mind. I've organized resources here in response to common questions or tasks that students may encounter.

Some resources here require subscription through an institution; I mark those with an asterisk*.

This page is actively being built. Please feel free to get in touch at ahfc (at) umich (dot) edu.

How do I write a site report/research a place?

You'll want to start with a combination of a resource like Brill's New Pauly*, which presents in English and German a thorough encyclopedia of the ancient world, including many place names, and web pages like Wikipedia, which sometimes has articles that summarize ancient sites, and Pleiades, which gathers topographic data as well as some bibliographic references. Importantly, both Wikipedia and Pleiades should list variant names, which will be helpful in completing your research.

With some basic sources in hand, you'll want to get a general sense of the ways a place has been studied (through written sources, through inscriptions, through papyri, through excavation, through pedestrian survey, through remote sensing, etc.). Excavations and surveys in the broader Greek world frequently get written up in Archaeological Reports (pre-2014) or Archaeology in Greece Online (~2000 - present) in abstract form. Historical, epigraphic, or papyrological studies frequently don't appear in these sources; instead, you'll want to look at one of the bibliographic databases like L'annee philologique* (specific bibliography of literary, historical, and culture studies of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds) or Google Scholar (general purpose search, frequently incomplete for classics).

To round out a complete bibliography, check a classical archaeology bibliographic database like Dyabola*, which organizes citations by topic, place, etc. You'll see some citations to major Greek journals in these different databases, such as ADelt for Αρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον; a good listing of these sources can be found at the Chronique/Archaeology in Greece website. Some useful guidelines for transliterating Greek titles to find in US libraries can be found at the Library of Congress (pdf will download).

Other miscellaneous resources

Crete is kind of special and has some of its own resources. IMS-FORTH has a digital atlas of Crete, complete with sites, bibliography, and regional maps. The Decentralized Administration of Crete has an open data website with geological, ecological, and archaeological datasets, but note that there may be formatting problems with the Greek, in which case you can use this tool here.