Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 May 2018

Two Mycenaean stirrup jars from the Levant

Federica Spagnoli Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 16.1 (2016): 185-192

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A cache of artifacts, recovered in 2014 by the cultural heritage squadron of the Guardia di Finanza (Gruppo Tutela Patrimonio Archeologico of the Nucleo Polizia Tributaria di Roma), included two Mycenaean stirrup jars among the pottery illegally brought in to Italy from the Northern Levant. The stirrup jar has one of the most distinctive shapes of the Mycenaean repertoire and is found throughout the Mediterranean around the end of the Late Bronze Age. Even if removed from their original context, both of these stirrup jars can be ascribed to a distinctive cultural milieu with in a specific chronological range, based upon morphological and stylistic parameters. Furthermore, their good state of preservation suggests that the original context of deposition may have been a tomb. Comparison with stirrup jars found at key sites in the Eastern Mediterranean allows us to re-contextualize them as part of the wide diffusion of Mycenaean luxury goods in the Levant.


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