Archaic Cycladic pottery jug with a spout in the form of a griffin's head

Room 13

1050–520 BC

Visiting the gallery

Opening times

Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays: 20.30)
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Gallery audio guides

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Following the collapse of Mycenaean palace society and a period of relative poverty and isolation, Greece experienced a cultural and political renaissance.

From the eighth century BC onwards, renewed contact with the Near East, Anatolia, Phoenicia, Egypt, and other people around the Mediterranean, had a profound impact on Greek culture. 

The linear Geometric style of pottery gave way to near Eastern style motifs (sometimes referred to as orientalising) such as animals and florals. A Greek script based on the Phoenician alphabet was developed, Homer composed his epic poems and a new political unit, the city-state (polis) emerged.

Competition between these states often resulted in wars but also in athletic and musical contests such as the Olympic Games.

Objects on display in Room 13 reflect this cultural renaissance. They include sculpture, painted pottery, jewellery, coins and other objects from Athens, Sparta, Corinth, East Greece, and Egypt. 

Virtual tour

Explore the Greece 1050–520 BC gallery and get up close to the ornate pottery designs that have survived the test of time.

Display cases filled with pottery in Greece1050–520 BC gallery. ©2020 Google.


  • Some objects in this collection feature on the British Sign Language multimedia guide. This resource is temporarily unavailable. You can access a selection of BSL films on your own device.
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the audio description guide, available on Soundcloud.
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  • View sensory map.

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