The site where the Ancient Greek city of Corinth was located is known to have been inhabited since 3000 BC, but records show that its commercial trades, which made it later flourish, started around the 8th century BC. Corinth was a commercially very powerful city-state, located not far from Athens and it is known to have had a very strong relation with the Near East and with the Achaemenid Empire, both commercial and political. The Corinthian pottery style is a unique combination of motifs and shapes. It developed around the 7th and 6th century BC, just as the Geometrical Period was coming to an end and Black Figure pottery was about to develop. Corinthian pottery features include strongly orientalising characteristics, such as very curvaceous flora and fauna, rhythmic designs with horror vacui, as rosettes, dots and floral patterns fill the background. Gods and all sorts of creatures could be the subjects of Corinthian pottery: sphinxes, lions, griffins and also non-mythological animals. Humans are rather rare and when depicted they are figures in silhouettes with very enhanced motion.