The Production and Perception of Bronze in Mycenaean Greece




Winkley, Cassandra

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The Aegean Bronze Age, the period in Greek prehistory between 3000 BCE and 1100 BCE, is best characterized by the introduction and utilization of bronze metal. In particular, the alloy tin-bronze is associated with the later part of this period, and especially with the mainland culture of the Mycenaeans. The matter of tin-bronze production in Mycenaean Greece is problematic, primarily due to the fact that there is a lack of evidence that such an industry was even practiced by the Mycenaeans at the time. Thus, it is the goal of this paper to evaluate the evidence for metal trade and metallurgy provided by the archaeological record and in the corpus of Linear B tablets to determine the likelihood that the Mycenaeans actively produced tin-bronze. In doing so, certain aspects of Mycenaean society are revealed or further elaborated, namely the state of the mainland during the socio-economic collapse of the Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age.



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