“The Life Cycle in Archaic Greece" by University of Washington professor Deborah Kamen offers a summarized but detailed account of Archaic Greek society. Kamen starts her article by providing the context of Archaic Greek life cycles; that ancient Greeks believed that life cycles happened in sets of seven years called Hebdomads.
This information is important in setting up the subsections of the article, which are dedicated to specific life cycle phases such as birth and marriage. Kamen goes into specific details regarding each life cycle phase. For example, Kamen details the medical practices of the period regarding birth. Kamen then talks about the birth rites.
Kamen explains the general social structure of Archaic Greece–that they are community-oriented–to provide a context for the specific rites and initiations performed. She uses primary sources, such as the biographies and records of Greek historian Plutarch. The details in Kamen's article is a detailed primer for scholars. Although each subsection pertaining to life cycle rites and initiations are relatively short, they offer enough details to inform readers about life in Archaic Greece. The descriptions Kamen uses are vivid, which helps paint a cinematic view of ancient societies and their lifestyles.