The clear chronological narrative is combined with a lively account of art and material culture, emphasizing the diversity and cosmopolitan character of the entire Greek world over two thousand years.
Comprehensive, up-to-date and balanced, the book integrates the archaeological evidence into its broader historical, cultural and social context, while the author suggests new ways of thinking about fundamental subjects, such as the relationship between art and politics and the evolution of style.
Well-known works are presented alongside less-familiar pieces, together with architecture, fortifications and settlement patterns, while recent discoveries are revealed, such as an astonishing Minoan-style bull-leaping fresco from Egypt; a spectacular marble sarcophagus from northwest Anatolia; a bronze statue of an athlete found in the sea off Croatia; and tomb paintings from ancient Macedonia.
A variety of themed boxes address illuminating topics and controversial issues, including looting; the connections between Homer’s poems and the archaeological record; and manufacturing techniques. Plentiful quotations from ancient texts provide first-hand testimonials from the Greek world, and numerous photographs, maps, plans and chronological charts support the text.