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The Geography of Greece -Describe the physical features of ancient Greece. -Explain the importance of Minoan Civilization. -Name and describe the bodies of water that surround Greece. -Explain how Greece’s physical geography affected the lives of its people. -Describe the importance of the sea in the life of the Greek people. A Mountainous Land Greece did not depend on rivers. Greece was a land of mountains so farming was not important to the Greeks. The mountains divided the people. Greece is located on the Southern tip of the Balkan peninsula which extends into the Mediterranean Sea. Greek-speaking people also live on the Aegean Sea. This sea separates Greece from Asia Minor. A Physical Map of Greece A Land Tied to the Sea The Aegean Sea lies to the east. The Ionian Sea, on the west, separates Greece from Italy. To the south, the Mediterranean Sea separates Greece with Asia, North Africa, and the western part of Europe. The bays and inlets of Greece create excellent harbors. The sea helped Greeks become great sailors and traders. Most people lived along the coast where soil was good for growing crops such as grapes, olives, and grains. Trade allowed Greek ideas to spread Ideas such as the Greek alphabet and a money system began to spread. The Aegean Sea Independent Communities Mountains divided Greece into different regions. In the lowlands, they could farm, the hills were good for grazing animals. The people of Greece did speak the same language. Religion was the same. Small and independent communities developed where each city had its own way of doing things. Greece has a pleasant climate – rain in the winter, hot in the summer. An agora was a common feature in Greek cities. It was the marketplace where women filled pots with water and men traded. The Greeks enjoyed outdoor activities – they took an interest in sports and athletics. Two Early Greek Civilizations Crete was an early civilization. They had a written language. They learned how to weave cloth. They made pottery and jewelry. Today, it is called the Minoan Civilization. Their wealth came from trade. They traded with Syria and Egypt. They traded food, pottery, and other crafts. Minoan ships patrolled the seas. They may have disappeared from earthquakes. Two Early Greek Civilizations The greatest city state to develop was the Mycenae city state. It replaced Crete as the center of civilization. It could defend itself against attack because of the walls that surrounded the city. The Mycenaeans took plunder or valuables seized during war time. This plunder caused a very important war.