Bronze Weaponry and Cultural Mobility in Late Bronze Age Southeast Europe
Barry Molloy In C. Horn & K. Kristiansen (eds) 2018. Warfare in Bronze Age Society, Cambridge: 81-100.
The collapse of the Bronze Age palatial centres in the Aegean transformed the societies surrounding the palaces and unbalanced the relationship between these areas and those immediately to the north. In Classical tradition, the Dorians invaded Greece in the twilight years of the palaces or soon thereafter, leading to collapse. It is here suggested that, far from being a redundant view of mass migrations, the tales of the Dorians can be instructive for understanding elite manipulation of a sea of shifting identities and allegiances born of transcultural interaction. This involved peoples from particular areas along with those from within the lands of Greece and the Apennine and Balkan Peninsulas. This chapter uses the case of diversity within the forms of Naue II swords and, to a lesser extent, spearheads to explore the regional patterns of the Aegean at this time. It examines different phases of the chaîne opératoire to isolate the range of ways in which these bronze artefacts can reveal connectivity. It is proposed that three major regional divisions within Greece are relevant and that considerable disparity among them is evident. Interaction occurs across these multiple scales, influenced by individual choices, but the swords in this chapter are shown to have heterogeneous origins.