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Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children

Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children October 2018

Budding archaeologists are off to new adventures at archaeological sites around the world, where they look over the shoulders of professional archaeologists working in the field to unearth important finds. DIG also brings readers right into working laboratories and museums to learn about cutting-edge conservation techniques. Interviews with onsite archaeologists give children a well-rounded view what archaeology is really all about. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.

in this issue

2 min.
still a beacon

IT WAS OCTOBER OF 2017, time to start work on the October 2018 issue. I had been waiting for this one! The topic was “Athens through Time,” and I knew how good it would feel to be focusing an issue of DIG on a topic that I had studied through high school, college, and grad school. It would be like “going home”! But, as I began researching and drafting an outline, all of a sudden, the task seemed enormous. I knew more about this topic than about most DIG topics, and so much of what I knew seemed so important that it had to be included. So, I had to take a deep breath, “trim my sails,” and decide which topics would best convey to DIG readers the wonder, majesty,…

3 min.
the winner is…

As the story goes, the city of Athens was founded by the first king of Attica — a half-man, half-snake named Cecrops. It was a prosperous place, but it did not yet have the name “Athens.” Cecrops recognized that, with the population booming, it was time to choose a patron deity for the city. The belief was that this deity would preside over the welfare of the inhabitants in exchange for a large temple and the worship of the people. Determined to find the right god or goddess, Cecrops inquired among the gods on Mount Olympus as to which of them would like to have this honor. THE CONTEST The first to respond was Poseidon, the brother of Zeus and god of the seas and oceans. His niece, the goddess of wisdom…

3 min.
standing tall

Long before the construction of the Parthenon, Athens was an important center of Greek civilization and culture. By about 1500 B.C.E., during the period known as the Bronze Age, the inhabitants of mainland Greece were speaking an early form of Greek, writing on clay tablets, and building impressive walls and tombs. These people are called the Mycenaeans (my sen EE ens). Cyclopean Walls The Mycenaeans had a complex social and political hierarchy. At the top was a ruler called the wanax, who lived in an elaborately decorated structure that later generations would call a palace. Nearby, large settlements developed, where many important administrators, religious officials, and craftspeople lived. Most of the population probably lived in smaller villages in the countryside near their farms or pastured animals. The center of the Mycenaean town of…

5 min.
a voice for the people

One of the characteristics that set ancient Athens apart from other Greek cities in antiquity was its political system, known as democracy. The word itself derives from two Greek words that together roughly translate as “rule of the people.” The concept was a new one, and it actually was invented in Athens. Until the time of its introduction, people were ruled by kings, tyrants, aristocratic clans, or powerful families. The idea that people should govern themselves is one of the most powerful gifts that we have inherited from the Athenians. The introduction of democracy was a process, however, not an event. Its development during the sixth and fifth centuries b.c.e. took decades, as the Athenians slowly improved it. Some of the major figures who helped to create the system were: SOLON…

5 min.
rise to power

At the turn of the fifth century B.C.E., Athens was an emerging power in the Greek world. Less than a decade earlier, the city had rid itself of its tyrants and carried out major societal and political reforms under an Athenian statesman named Cleisthenes (see pages 7–8). In 499 B.C.E., the Greeks of Ionia sought military aid when they revolted against the Persian Empire. The Athenians agreed to send 20 ships (see note below). The fifth-century B.C.E. Greek historian Herodotus described the fight as “the beginning of evils for Greeks and barbarians.” A Thirst for Revenge At first, the Ionian Revolt was a success, since it caught the Persians off guard. Eventually, however, the Persians crushed it, and the Persian king Darius I vowed to punish those Greeks who had helped the…

6 min.
pericles and the athenian acropolis

The Athenian Acropolis continued to serve the city’s religious needs after the Persian Wars (see pages 10–13). However, the top of the rocky citadel lay somewhat empty. Not only had the Persians plundered the area in 480 B.C.E., but the constant conflicts had also severely weakened the economy. In addition, Athens and its allies in the Persian Wars had sworn not to rebuild places destroyed by the Persians. But it was now the middle of the fifth century B.C.E., and the popular Athenian general Pericles had a different vision for Athens. He chose to use the money coming in from the Delian League (see page 13) to organize a rebuilding of the Acropolis. Pericles’ plan included the construction of the Parthenon and the Propylaia, a monumental gateway. His vision did not…