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The social context of Greek art included radical political developments and a great increase in prosperity; the equally impressive Greek achievements in philosophy, literature and other fields are well known.
The earliest art by Greeks is generally excluded from "ancient Greek art", and instead known as Greek Neolithic art followed by Aegean art; the latter includes Cycladic art and the art of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures from the Greek Bronze Age.
We have huge quantities of pottery and coins, much stone sculpture, though even more Roman copies, and a few large bronze sculptures.
By the later Archaic and early Classical period, however, the two great commercial powers, Corinth and Athens, came to dominate.
Their pottery was exported all over the Greek world, driving out the local varieties.
The rate of stylistic development between about 750 and 300 BC was remarkable by ancient standards, and in surviving works is best seen in sculpture.
There were important innovations in painting, which have to be essentially reconstructed due to the lack of original survivals of quality, other than the distinct field of painted pottery.