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The Question of a Dorian Invasion

The Greeks later believed that, following the collapse of the Mycenaeans, a Greek-speaking group from the north, called the Dorians1, began to invade central and southern Greece. Dorians were especially remembered as the ancestors of the Spartans2, the most powerful city-state on the mainland before the spectacular rise to prominence of Athens in the fifth century B.C. Strikingly, however, archaeology has not discovered any distinctive remains attesting a Dorian invasion, and many scholars reject it as a fiction. The lack of written works from the Greek Dark Age3 means that the mute evidence uncovered by archaeologists must provide the foundation for reconstructing the history of this transitional period.

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