The Archaic period in Greece (800 BC – 480 BC) was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding ofcolonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written poetry, which appeared with the reintroduction of the writtenlanguage, lost during the Greek Dark Ages. The term archaic covers these cultural aspects as well.
The sharp rise in population at the start of the Archaic period brought with it the settlement of newtowns and the expansion of the older population centres. The Archaic period is also characterized by the spread of colonization along the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts that began about 800 B.C. Thereason for this phenomenon is described by Greek authors as stenochoria, or "the lack of land", but in practice it was caused by a great number of reasons, such as rivalry between political groups, adesire for adventure, expatriation, the search for trade opportunities, etc.
Archaic kouros from Thebes
Reconstructed colour kore statuefrom the archaic period of Greece
The period takes its name from what, in art history, was considered the archaic or old-fashioned style of sculpture and other forms of art and craft that werecharacteristic of that time, as opposed to the more natural look of work made in the following Classical period (see Classical sculpture).
Main article: Architecture of ancient Greece Sculpture
Sculptures in limestone and marble, terra cotta, bronze, wood, and rarer metals, both free-standing and in relief, were used to adorn temples and funerary monuments. They mostlyhad mythical or daily life themes. The creation of life-sized statues began suddenly at about 650 BC. The following three periods have been identified:
* Early Archaic, 660 BC - 580 BC