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At this point, most production of ancient art came to a standstill for about 400 years (1200-800), as the region descended into an era of warring kingdoms and chaos, known as the "Greek Dark Ages" (or the Geometric or Homeric Age).

Often involving large vases and other vessels, it was decorated originally with linear designs (proto-geometric style), then more elaborate patterns (geometric style) of triangles, zigzags and other similar shapes.

Geometric pottery includes some of the finest Greek artworks, with vases typically made according to a strict system of proportions.

The period also saw the decline and fall of Greece and the rise of Rome: in fact, it ends with the complete Roman conquest of the entire Mediterranean basin.

NOTE: It is important to note from the outset, apart from pottery, nearly all original art from Greek Antiquity - that is, sculpture, mural and panel paintings, mosaics, decorative art - has been lost, leaving us almost entirely dependent upon copies by Roman artists and a few written accounts.

(See also Etruscan art) About this time, iron was made into weapons/tools, people started using an alphabet, the first Olympic Games took place (776), a complex religion emerged, and a loose sense of cultural identity grew up around the idea of "Hellas" (Greece).

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