Life and death in the periphery of the Mycenaean world: Cultural processes in the Albanian Late Bronze Age
Lorenc Bejko Ocnus 17 (2009): 11-22.
The identification and description of the Mycenaean type objects found in the late Bronze Age contexts of Albanian sites has been object of several previous publications. As objects that stand out from the characteristic types of the local cultures, the finds of Mycenaean types have received particular attention. They have served extensively in the establishment of the late Bronze Age, early Iron Age chronologies as well as in the characterization of some form of contacts between the Aegean and Albanian territories in the later prehistory. Their presence in many burial contexts has been very important in making general assessments on social differentiation within communities of late Bronze Age in Albania. The exploration of the patterns of distribution of these objects in the country has been particularly important. The discussion, however has been enriched when the trends of the Mycenaean presence in Albania has been compared to the contemporary developments of neighboring regions, such as Macedonia, Epirus, or southern Italy. Wallerstein’s study of the world systems (Wallerstein 1974) and the core-periphery model applied in explanation of the relationships between the Mycenaean palatial systems with their northern neighboring areas, have put the earlier observations not only in a wider context, but also within a working theoretical framework. The author revisits here some of these data, with a view from within the “periphery” and try to evaluate the forms and degrees of interactions as well as their role in the cultural processes observed during the Albanian late Bronze Age.