Maritime Networks in the Mycenaean World by Thomas F. Tartaron

By Thomas F. Tartaron

During this ebook, Thomas F. Tartaron offers a brand new and unique reassessment of the maritime international of the Mycenaean Greeks of the past due Bronze Age. by way of all debts a seafaring humans, they loved maritime connections with peoples as far-off as Egypt and Sicily. those long-distance kinfolk were celebrated and lots more and plenty studied; in contrast, the colourful worlds of neighborhood maritime interplay and exploitation of the ocean were almost overlooked. Dr. Tartaron argues that neighborhood maritime networks, within the type of “coastscapes” and “small worlds,” are way more consultant of the real textile of Mycenaean lifestyles. He deals an entire template of conceptual and methodological instruments for recuperating small worlds and the groups that inhabited them. Combining archaeological, geoarchaeological, and anthropological methods with historical texts and community thought, he demonstrates the applying of this scheme in different case reports. This booklet provides new views and demanding situations for all archaeologists with pursuits in maritime connectivity.

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If we wish to achieve a holistic understanding of Mycenaean maritime activity, and particularly if we hope to offer Aegean Bronze Age data as cross-cultural comparative material (Parkinson 2010; Parkinson and Galaty 2009b: 11–22), we ought to build up from local-scale coastscapes and networks – a “bottom-up” approach – so that interregional trade is not disembodied from its own social and cultural realities. ᪉ 11 ᪉᪉᪉᪉ two MYCENAEANS AND THE SEA In this chapter, I establish the necessary evidentiary background for the study of Mycenaean maritime activity.

Even on the devastated mainland, the chaotic early decades of the twelfth century gave way to a modicum of stability – a final “twilight” of the Aegean Bronze Age – in the second half of the twelfth century, corresponding to the ceramic phase designated LH IIIC Middle (Thomatos 2006). For more than a century, scholars have sought explanations for the rapid and permanent collapse of the palace states, giving rise to a range of hypotheses of varying plausibility (helpfully summarized in Deger-Jalkotzy 2008; Dickinson 2006: 41–57; Drews 1993; Middleton 2010; Schofield 2007: 174–82).

Recently, scholars have reassessed the evidence and increasingly asserted the existence of palatial and nonpalatial sectors of the economy. In reality, these were not entirely separate, non-intersecting realms of activity, but in certain areas of agriculture and craft production the palaces may have shown little interest or exerted little control (Galaty 1999; Halstead 1992a, 1992b, 1999, 2001; Parkinson 1999). Commodities produced from ubiquitous sources, such as pottery and marine products, may have circulated in independent, local markets (Hruby 2006; Knappett 2001; Palaima 1997; Whitelaw 2001a).

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