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8 October 2004
Archaeologist investigates lost society of Ionia

An archaeologist from the University of Liverpool is uncovering the secrets of one of the world's oldest civilisations. Dr Alan Greaves is looking at the people of the lost society of Ionia, which was in ancient Greece, now within the borders of Turkey. He has been carrying out excavations in Turkey for the past decade and his findings have revealed new insights into the lives of the Ionian land workers. Previous studies have focused on Ionia's structures and literary texts, but little has been revealed about the day-to-day experiences of the Ionian people.
     Dr Greaves said: "The first city states known to history were founded in Ionia and boasted theatres, stadia, public schools, baths, paved streets and the earliest forms of representative government. It is also believed that the Iliad and the Odyssey originated from the Ionian writer, Homer."
     Ionia was a region of ancient Greece famous for its art and architecture and as the birthplace of western philosophy. The region includes some of the ancient world's most famous monuments, including the fabled city of Ephesos and its temple of Artemis, one of the Wonders of the World.
     Dr Greaves will reveal how the Ionian people were able to work the fertile valleys and exploit trade routes between the east and west of the country, to such great effect. In the 11th century BCE, the economy was based on agriculture.
     The findings will be documented in a book entitled The Land of Ionia published by Routledge and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB).

Sources: Daily Post, icLiverpool (7 October 2004)

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