The publication of the Plates Volume to accompany the Cambridge Ancient History Volume III and that for Volume II part I inaugurates a new style and format for these books. The illustrations are now presented with a descriptive text and commentary, so that each chapter is a self-contained account of matters of archaeological and art-historical interest, relevant to the history of a period and place. The order of illustration is not always that of the chapters in the text volumes, but is determined by the material illustrated and the principal subjects it suggests. The intention is thus both to complement the text volumes and to provide an independent commentary on the material evidence of antiquity. The Plates for Volume III covers the prehistory of the Balkans, the Near Eastern kingdoms and Egypt, the rise of the Greek States in the period of colonisation and of their 'Archaic' art and culture, down to the later part of the sixth century BC. The narrative draws upon the evidence of topography, excavation and art history to demonstrate how these studies have succeeded in both illustrating and supplementing our knowledge of antiquity, won mainly from written sources.