Value, Power, and Encounter between the Eastern and Central Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age
Francesco Iacono Studi Micenei 2 (2016): 100-118
Value is a topic that has attracted a considerable interest in Mediterranean archaeology over the last few years. Despite the ubiquity of situations of interaction and cultural contact in the ancient Mediterranean, the confrontation and re-negotiation of notions of value in such contexts has been seldom the focus of scholars. This paper will examine this aspect in the context of encounters occurring as a result of long-range interaction in the 2nd millennium BC. At this time, the middle sea connected people from societies that were profoundly different, such as the states of the eastern Mediterranean and the (often small) communities in the central portion of the sea. Through a diachronic contextual analysis of one of the most important indicators for inter-societal interaction in the region, i.e. Aegean type pottery, as well as of other categories of evidence, I will investigate the relationship between value, power, and encounter, suggesting some potential transformations occurring to broad ideas of value at the interface between the eastern and central Mediterranean.