Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2017

1 April 2019

The Collapse of the Mycenaean Economy. Imports, Trade, and Institutions 1300-700 BCE

Sarah C. Murray

The Collapse of the Mycenaean Economy. Imports, Trade, and Institutions 1300-700 BCE

City: New York-Cambridge

Year: 2017

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Description: Hardback, 354 p., numerous b/w tables, numerous b/w figures, 18.4 x 26 cm


In this book, Sarah Murray provides a comprehensive treatment of textual and archaeological evidence for the long-distance trade economy of Greece across 600 years during the transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age. Analyzing the finished objects that sustained this kind of trade, she also situates these artifacts within the broader context of the ancient Mediterranean economy, including evidence for the import and export of commodities as well as demographic change. Murray argues that our current model of exchange during the Late Bronze Age is in need of a thoroughgoing reformulation. She demonstrates that the association of imported objects with elite self-fashioning is not supported by the evidence from any period in early Greek history. Moreover, the notional ‘decline’ in trade during Greece’s purported Dark Age appears to be the result of severe economic contraction, rather than a severance of access to trade routes.


List of Figures, Maps, and Tables [viii-x]

Preface [xi-xii]

Acknowledgements [xiii-xiv]

Introduction [1-30]

1. The dark light of Early Greek texts on trade [31-72]

2. Direct evidence for long-distance exchange from Early Greece [73-129]

3. Assessing quantitative change in the archaeological record [130-159]

4. Bronze deposition (and circulation?), trade in commodities, and evidence from around the Mediterranean [160-209]

5. Demographic and domestic economic change in Early Greece: factors of supply and demand [210-246]

6. Snapshots of a trade economy in flux [247-274]

Conclusions [275-281]

Works Cited [283-344]

Index [345-354]


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