Following the collapse of Mycenaean civilization in c. 1100 the major settlements were abandoned and the Greek population dropped dramatically. People lived in small groups, farming in villages, or adopting a nomadic lifestyle as they followed pasture and livestock, and leaving no written record behind. Weaving, pottery-making and metal-working still continued and the characteristic geometric style of decoration on pottery became widespread. Later in the Dark Age, c. 900–750 BCE, the Greeks learnt to write again, but discarded the Linear B script used by the Mycenaeans, and adopted an alphabet used by the Phoenicians. This was the period during which Homer wrote his epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, and the first Olympic Games were held in 776 BCE.
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