Regional or ‘international’ networks? A comparative examination of Aegean and Cypriot imported pottery in the Eastern Mediterranean
Nikolas Papadimitriou in Papadopoulos, A. (ed), Recent research and perspectives on the Late Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean, Talanta XLIV (2012) : 92-136.
Περίληψη (στα Αγγλικά)
Aegean and Cypriot wares were the most widely traded ceramics in the Eastern Mediterranean (at least by sea) during the Bronze Age. However, their distribution and typologies are usually considered separately, prohibting meaningful comparisons. This paper attempts a comparative examination of their quantities, repertoires, and contexts of deposition in Egypt and the Levant, as well as the mutual exchanges between the Aegean and Cyprus. In terms of chronology, it is demonstrated that while Cypriot vessels were exported en masse to Egypt and the Levant from the later part of the MBA onwards, Aegean ceramics became common only in the mid-14th century BC. In terms of repertoires, it becomes clear that while Cypriot exports included transport containers already from the 18th or 17th century BC, the few Aegean vessels that found their way to the East prior to 1400 BC were primarily for drinking and pouring. Aegean transport containers were systematically exported only from LH III A2 onwards (i.e. in the Mycenaean palatial period). These findings suggest the existence of two quite independent networks of maritime trade, and raise questions about the degree of integration of Aegean polities into the Eastern Mediterranean trade system.