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Ceramics, trade, provenience and geology: Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2015

Peter Grave
Archaeomaterials Science Hub/Archaeology & Palaeoanthropology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Lisa Kealhofer
Department of Anthropology & Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
Ben Marsh
Department of Geography & Department of Environmental Studies, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
Jürgen Seeher
German Archaeological Institute, Istanbul Section, 34437 Istanbul, Turkey
John W. Bennett
Neutron Activation Group, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia
Attila Stopic
Neutron Activation Group, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia


The island of Cyprus was a major producer of copper and stood at the heart of east Mediterranean trade networks during the Late Bronze Age. It may also have been the source of the Red Lustrous Wheelmade Ware that has been found in mortuary contexts in Egypt and the Levant, and in Hittite temple assemblages in Anatolia. Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) has enabled the source area of this special ceramic to be located in a geologically highly localised and geochemically distinctive area of western Cyprus. This discovery offers a new perspective on the spatial organisation of Cypriot economies in the production and exchange of elite goods around the eastern Mediterranean at this time.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2014

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