Skip to main content


  • Access
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Smith, Rachel K. Stacey, Rebecca J. Bergström, Ed and Thomas-Oates, Jane 2018. Detection of opium alkaloids in a Cypriot base-ring juglet. The Analyst, Vol. 143, Issue. 21, p. 5127.



      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Opium or oil? Late Bronze Age Cypriot Base Ring juglets and international trade revisited
        Available formats
        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Opium or oil? Late Bronze Age Cypriot Base Ring juglets and international trade revisited
        Available formats
        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Opium or oil? Late Bronze Age Cypriot Base Ring juglets and international trade revisited
        Available formats
Export citation


The Base Ring juglets of Late Bronze Age Cyprus have long been associated with opium due to their hypothetical resemblance to inverted poppy heads. Analysis of organic residues on Base Ring juglets from Cyprus and Israel, however, showed no trace of opium; instead, the vessels had contained a variety of perfumed oils. The analytical results are supported by textual evidence attesting to a lively trade across the eastern Mediterranean in aromatic substances and compounds, rather than in opium. The poppy-head shape of the Base Ring juglets was not a reference to their contents.


In 1962, Robert S. Merrillees, a research student who would become a prominent figure in Cypriot archaeology, published, in Antiquity, an article intriguingly entitled ‘Opium trade in the Bronze Age Levant’. In his brief yet thought-provoking essay, Merrillees raised the hypothesis that Cypriot Base Ring juglets (Figure 1), traded extensively over the eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age, were deliberately shaped and decorated like the incised head of an opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) so as to advertise their contents—diluted opium sap (a hypothesis reiterated and amplified in Merrillees 1968: 154–61; 1974: 32–36; 1979: 169–70, 1989: 150–54).

Figure 1. Base Ring I juglets from the Late Bronze IIA (fourteenth century BC) Canaanite ‘palace’ at Tel Beth-Shemesh (photograph: Studio M. Fishbain).

This appealing idea spread widely within the archaeological literature of the eastern Mediterranean and Europe (for typical examples, see e.g. Sherratt 1991: 56; Collard 2008), and even percolated into other disciplines (e.g. Kritikos & Papadaki 1967; Merlin 1984: 251–60). Moreover, Kritikos and Papadaki (1967: 33) suggested that Late Cypriot jugs of Bucchero Ware were also modelled on the opium-poppy capsule, a proposal that was readily embraced by Merrillees (1979: 169). Critical scholars were, however, reluctant to see Cyprus as the “center of the drug world of the Late Bronze Age” (Muhly 1996: 50), and either ignored Merrillees's hypothesis or emphatically rejected it (e.g. Gittlen 1981: 55; Muhly 1982: 253–54; 1986: 46–47; 1996: 50–52, and references therein). Still others raised grave reservations concerning its unconditional adoption (e.g. Knapp 1991: 23–25; Steel 2004a: 170).

Notably, neither in his original article nor in the essays that followed did Merrillees provide any direct textual or archaeobotanical evidence for Cypriot Late Bronze Age trade in opium. Also missing from his studies are systematic and verifiable chemical analyses of Base Ring juglets from secure contexts (see below). Nevertheless, the fascinating connection he created between the graceful Base Ring juglets and a well-known drug gained such popularity as to become a factoid. A factoid, Merrillees himself reminds us, “is something accepted as factual simply because it has repeatedly appeared in print” (2005: 36–37; see also Maier 1985: 32; 1986: 311).

We were prompted to revisit Merrillees's well-entrenched hypothesis by the results of organic residue analysis conducted at the University of Albany on Base Ring I juglets, which we recently excavated in a Late Bronze IIA (fourteenth century BC) Canaanite ‘palace’ at Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel, and on additional samples of Base Ring juglets and jugs from Cyprus (Chovanec 2013; Chovanec et al. 2015). As no opium was detected in these samples, it seems timely, after half a century, to reassess the basic tenets of Merrillees's hypothesis.

Base Ring juglets and organic residue analysis

Originally, Merrillees's hypothesis lacked analytical support because early claims for opium content in a couple of Base Ring juglets from Late Bronze Age (New Kingdom) Egyptian burial contexts could not be verified (Merrillees 1968: 157, with references therein; 1974: 34). More recent residue analysis initiated by Merrillees (1989) on two further examples from Tell el-Ajjul and from an unknown provenance reported the finding of opium (Evans 1989; the analysis of a third candidate—a Bucchero jug from Kouklia, Cyprus—detected only olive oil); the results were, however, criticised for their vague methodological basis and considered inconclusive (Koschel 1996: 160; Chovanec et al. 2012: 14). It seems, therefore, that the only viable evidence for opium in an unprovenanced Base Ring juglet (supposedly from Egypt) was presented by Koschel (1996). Notably, both Koschel (1996: 161) and Bisset et al. (1996: 203–204) warn against the use of this single analysis as vindication of Merrillees's hypothesis because, in their opinion, many more analyses of the contents of Base Ring juglets from secure provenances are required to support it satisfactorily.

In acknowledgement of the fact that organic remains, including residues, degrade over time, an artificial ageing study was undertaken by Sean Rafferty and Zuzana Chovanec at the State University of New York at Albany. The goal of this study was to document the long-term behaviour of opium alkaloids and to identify the chemical constituents that are most likely to be preserved in archaeological contexts (for a detailed discussion, see Chovanec et al. 2012). This degradation study identified the molecular ions of six opium alkaloids that could be targeted to detect these compounds in other studies.

These insights were recently applied to organic residue analysis conducted on three Base Ring I juglets from a primary context—a Late Bronze Age IIA (fourteenth century BC) Canaanite ‘palace’ recently discovered at the renewed excavations at Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel (Figure 1), and 14 samples of Base Ring I–II jugs and juglets from various sites in Cyprus (Chovanec 2013; Chovanec et al. 2015).

The results of the residue analysis are illuminating: none of the vessels examined showed any signs of opium content. Rather, they contained aromatic oils. The origin of the oil is unclear, but in the juglets from Tel Beth-Shemesh it was infused with mint and thujone, and with mint, wood turpentine, wormwood, lavender, sage and rosemary in the vessels from Episkopi. A juglet from Enkomi contained unidentified oil, and another, from Dhali, unidentified plant oil. These mixtures of perfumed oil could have been used for a range of purposes: externally, for cosmetics or ritual anointing, and, due to their taste and health benefits, also internally, for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Cypriot trade in opium? The textual evidence

Merrillees's suggestion that the ubiquitous Late Cypriot Base Ring juglets were shaped like a poppy capsule so as to proclaim their contents at a single glance (i.e. opium) is based on his general assumption that the substance contained in the self-advertising vessels must have been of commercial value (for a negation of the analogy between the juglets and the opium poppy pod, and an alternative view of the origin of their shape, see Gittlen 1981: 55). He therefore tried to demonstrate that opium is frequently mentioned in Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek and Roman writings (Merrillees 1962: 288–89).

It is difficult to see how general references to opium can support the claim for specialised Cypriot trade in this material, especially when some of these citations turned out to be an outcome of misinterpretation (Krikorian 1975), and others are late and irrelevant to the Late Bronze Age. Indeed, Merrillees's (1979: 169) wholehearted acceptance of Krikorian's emphatic disproving of the data allegedly attesting to Mesopotamian acquaintance with the opium poppy and its drug concurs with current scholarly opinion that there is not a single reference to opium in cuneiform texts in the entire Near East. The same conclusion applies to Egyptian texts from the second millennium BC (Muhly 1982: 253; 1996: 50–52). Moreover, Merrillees's references to Egyptian cultivation of the opium poppy come from much later periods (e.g. Ptolemaic, third century BC), and concerned not opium but poppy seed oil. In fact, opium is missing from all Classical literature down to the beginning of the Christian era (Muhly 1996: 51 and references therein).

Merrillees's heavy reliance on circumstantial and late textual evidence to substantiate his hypothesis brings into relief the main shortcoming of his argument: it completely disregards Late Bronze Age texts, from which we can glean information about the character and constituents of Cypriot trade with the Levant. Apparently, this major lacuna reflects Merrillees's long-lasting opposition to the identification of Cyprus with Alashiya of the Near Eastern texts from the second millennium BC (Merrillees 1972, 1987, 2005). Indeed, he continues to maintain this uncompromising stance (Merrillees 2011) even in the face of recent petrographic and chemical analyses conducted on a number of cuneiform tablets sent from Alashiya to Egypt (Amarna) and Ugarit, which indicate that the tablets were made of clays originating from the southern foothills of the Cypriot Troodos Mountains (Goren et al. 2003, 2004). These analyses further support the conclusion, reached already by other scholars, that Alashiya is to be identified with Cyprus, based on the integration of archaeological, archaeometallurgical and documentary data (Muhly 1972, 1989; Knapp 1996, 2008: 298–347, 2011; Lebrun 2004; Peltenburg 2012: 1). We therefore subscribe to this identification and agree with Knapp (2011: 250) that it is up to sceptics to present an alternative location for Alashiya that is as convincing as Cyprus.

So, what can be gleaned from the Alashiya documents about the alleged Late Bronze Cypriot trade in opium?

The Amarna letters

Eight Akkadian cuneiform letters found at the Tell el-Amarna archive in Egypt (el-Amarna (EA) tablets 33–40) were sent from the king of Alashiya and his governor/senior prefect to the court of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) (Moran 1992; Cochavi-Rainey 2003; for the meaning of ‘king’ and ‘senior prefect’ in the socio-political organisation of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, see Peltenburg 2012; Knapp 2013: 432–47; Singer & Gestoso Singer 2014: 321, no. 16, and earlier literature therein). The letters attest to an extensive exchange of royal gifts between the two political powers, mainly of large shipments (up to 14 tonnes) of copper from Alashiya to Egypt (Knapp 2008: 308–10, 2011). In addition to copper, the Egyptian ruler received from Alashiya diverse items such as a donkey hide (EA 34), timber (EA 35), horses (EA 37), ivory and ship's beams (EA 40).

It should be emphasised that the Alashiyan letters are devoid of any reference to opium or its derivatives. On the other hand, the king of Alashiya sent to his ‘brother’, the king of Egypt, a jar full of aromatic oil (Ì DÙG = šamnutābu; Moran 1992: 35, no. 9; CAD 19, 2006: 22) to anoint his head, and similar jars (also containing scented oil?) that apparently were not available in the pharaoh's country (EA 34). Special kinds of oil from Alashiya are also referred to in a list of ‘international’ speciality oils used to anoint the army and chariotry of a Nineteenth Dynasty pharaoh, probably Seti II (Papyrus Anastasi IV; Ockinga 1996: 48; for the Egyptians’ insatiable demand for high-quality and scented oils, mainly for anointing, see Leonard 1981: 96; Kelder 2009; for its possible ideological background, see Hulin 2009).

Hittite sources

The political reality behind two centuries (c. 1400–1200 BC) of documented Hittite relations with Alashiya is still enigmatic, especially because the archaeological evidence for these relations is disappointingly meagre. Nevertheless, the Hittite sources do shed some light on Alashiyan products that found their way to Hatti (Lebrun 2004; de Martino 2008; Knapp 2008: 315–16, 327–35). Of particular interest to our discussion is the famous text of Šuppiluliuma II (late thirteenth century BC), in which he recounts the conquest and subjugation of Alashiya by his father Tuthaliya IV (Beckman 1996; de Martino 2008: 248 and references therein).

The tribute imposed both on the king and the governor/senior prefect of Alashiya included, among others, a relatively small quantity (about 34l) of gayyātum. Although gayyātum is known from second- and first-millennium Mesopotamian texts as some kind of cereal-like plant, its identification is difficult. The quantity of gayyātum in the Alashiyan tribute to Hatti hints that it could not have been a banal variety of cereal but rather a rare and valuable commodity, presumably a specialty of Alashiya/Cyprus (Singer & Gestoso Singer 2014: 321–22). Indeed, it was suggested—undoubtedly under the impact of Merrillees's influential hypothesis—that the gayyātum from Alashiya should be identified as opium (Vincentelli 1976: 27).

This unsubstantiated idea has recently been refuted and replaced by a far more convincing identification. In a scholarly tour de force, Singer and Gestoso Singer (2014: 321–28) have demonstrated that both phonetically and semantically Akkadian gayyātum equals Egyptian gjt/gjw, a plant positively identified with the grass known as cyperus (nutsedge), which the Egyptians used in the preparation of various medical remedies and perfumes. Cyperus is also attested in the Mycenaean Linear B tablets as kuparo, used as an ingredient in the Mycenaean perfumed oil industry (according to Karageorghis (1996: 64–65), it might have been imported from Cyprus). This instructive information led Singer and Gestoso Singer (2014: 327–28) to suggest that the gayyātum in the tribute list of Alashiya was some kind of perfumed oil, unguent or incense named after one of its ingredients: cyperus.


It is quite surprising that despite the hypothetical nature of Merrillees's (1962) suggestion that Late Cypriot Base Ring juglets were opium containers, neither he nor his critics initiated systematic scientific analysis of these vessels. This odd situation, which lasted for about half a century, has been partially amended now by the residue analysis of Base Ring juglets from Tel Beth-Shemesh and Cyprus presented above. Aimed especially at identifying opium alkaloids, the analysis indicated categorically that the vessels examined did not contain opium. Moreover, the scientific evidence demonstrates that Base Ring juglets found in different parts of the eastern Mediterranean (the southern Levant and Cyprus) all held the same kind of substance—aromatic oils.

The analytical findings concerning the contents of the Cypriot Base Ring juglets are supplemented and enhanced by the results of archaeometric investigation of the provenance and contents of another celebrated class of Late Cypriot pottery—Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware (best known for its spindle bottles, lentoid or ‘pilgrim’ flasks, and arm-shaped vessels or ‘libation arms’)—from seven sites in Anatolia, Cyprus and Egypt (Knappet et al. 2005). The residue analysis suggests that the Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware might have been used to carry some kind of plant oil, possibly perfumed. The fabric analysis showed the ware to be extremely homogeneous, indicative of a single source—northern Cyprus—although the possibility of other source areas, such as the southern Anatolian coast, was not entirely ruled out. Notably, however, a Cypriot source for the Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware is now emphatically claimed by another provenance study of these ceramics (Grave et al. 2014).

In light of the above science-based investigations, it is apparent that in the Late Bronze Age, a variety of Cypriot closed-pottery vessels containing aromatic oils were distributed within the island and abroad. This conclusion is substantiated by the contemporaneous written sources that lack any hint of an opium trade but are replete with references to transactions involving aromatic oils and ingredients for their production (see e.g. Leonard 1981: 96; Knapp 1991; Karageorghis 1996: 64–65); the texts make clear that Alashiya/Cyprus took part in this lively exchange.

An interesting aspect of the aromatic oil exchange in the Late Bronze Age international diplomatic and commercial network of the eastern Mediterranean is its seemingly ‘irrational’ character. Although the king of Alashiya sent jars with aromatic oil to the pharaoh, he asked for a similar consignment to be sent from Egypt back to him (see EA 34 & 35). Deliberating over the economic ‘irrationality’ characteristic of the Amarna Age trade, Liverani (1979: 21–33) argued that it cannot be understood in purely economic terms, but only as a social phenomenon involving both economic and non-economic factors (political, psychological and so on), and conditioned by customary ideological schemes that transcended the economic aspect.

It seems, however, that the irrational element in the exchange of aromatic oils during the Amarna Age can be easily explained by suggesting that under the generic textual term ‘aromatic oil’, a great variety of aromatic and medicinal compounds were traded—just as revealed by residue analysis. Thus, in the aforementioned Amarna transaction (EA 34), the king of Alashiya sent a jar full of aromatic oil for anointing to his counterpart in Egypt, and 17 similar jars “that are not available [in your country]” (Moran 1992: 106). One may assume that the aromatic oil he received in exchange was of a different kind than had been delivered to the pharaoh.

Greater discussion of the intricate Late Bronze Age trade in scented oils is beyond the scope of the present essay, yet it should be remembered that in the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC, the Mycenaeans joined the market and flooded Cyprus and the Levant with their pottery (for the patterns of this trade, see Dabney 2007; Papadimitriou 2013, and references therein). A combined study of the morphology of Mycenaean pottery from the Levant and the Linear B textual evidence led Leonard (1981: 91–96) to suggest that the closed vessels in the repertoire of Mycenaean imports served as containers for two types of scented oils: thick (unguent) and easily poured (for a similar conclusion concerning the Mycenaean pottery in Cyprus, see Steel 2004b: 72–73).

Furthermore, Leonard (1981: 98–100) tried to learn from the Linear B texts about the ingredients of the Mycenaean aromatic oils in order to determine the distinctive qualities that enabled them to compete successfully in a pre-existing market of perfumed oils. The scents he identified—coriander, cyperus (presumably of Cypriot origin (Karageorghis 1996: 64–65)), and especially sage and rose, which he considered unique to the Aegean oils and unguents—are indeed hardly represented or missing completely from the aromatic oils in the Base Ring jugs and juglets examined.

The picture emerging from the above discussion is of a complex network of local and international trade in aromatic oils that spread across the eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. Residue analysis and textual evidence hint at regional specialisation in certain brands of scented oils, presumably to secure specific segments of a highly competitive market (cf. Steel 2013: 138). Although additional analysis and study are desired for a better understanding of this market, it is already apparent that the delicate Base Ring juglets with their aromatic contents are faithful representatives of successful Cypriot involvement.


More than 50 years after Robert Merrillees (1962) introduced his intriguing hypothesis that Late Cypriot Base Ring juglets containing opium were traded across the eastern Mediterranean, residue analysis of Base Ring juglets from Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel and Cyprus casts grave doubts on this popular idea. Rather than opium, the juglets were found to have contained a variety of aromatic oils that could be used for anointing or medicinal purposes. These finds are supported by Late Bronze Age textual evidence that is completely unaware of opium consumption, and yet attests to Cypriot transactions of scented oils as part of the period's lively trade in aromatic substances and compounds.


The research was supported by the Israel Science foundation (grants 898/99; 980/03; 1068/11), the Goldhirsh Foundation and by an Early Israel grant (New Horizons project), Tel Aviv University. We would like to thank A.B. Knapp and D. Frankel for their most instructive notes on the original manuscript.


Beckman, G. 1996. Hittite documents from Hattusa, in Knapp, A.B. (ed.) Near Eastern and Aegean texts from the third to the first millennia BC (Sources for the History of Cyprus 2): 3140. Altamont (NY): Greece and Cyprus Research Center.
Bisset, N.G., Bruhn, J.G. & Zeuk, M.H.. 1996. The presence of opium in a 3,500 year-old Cypriot Base Ring juglet. Ägypten und Levante 6: 203204.
CAD (Chicago Assyrian Dictionary). 1956–2010. The Assyrian dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Chicago (IL): Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
Chovanec, Z. 2013. Products of social distinction: organic residue analysis of specialized products in Bronze Age Cyprus. Unpublished PhD dissertation, State University of New York at Albany.
Chovanec, Z., Rafferty, S.M. & Swiny, S.. 2012. Opium for the masses: an experimental archaeological approach in determining the antiquity of the opium poppy. Journal of Ethnoarchaeology 4: 535.
Chovanec, Z., Bunimovitz, S. & Lederman, Z.. 2015. Is there opium here? Analysis of Cypriote Base Ring juglets from Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 15: 175–89.
Cochavi-Rainey, Z. 2003. The Alashia texts from the 14th and 13th centuries BCE. A textual and linguistic study. Münster: Ugarit.
Collard, D. 2008. Possible alternatives to alcohol: the contextual analysis of poppy-shaped jugs from Cyprus and the Aegean, in Hitchcock, L.A., Laffineur, R. & Crowly, J. (ed.) Dais: the Aegean feast (Aegaeum 29): 5763. Leuven: Peeters.
Dabney, M.K. 2007. Marketing Mycenaean pottery in the Levant, in Betancourt, P.P., , M.C. Nelson & Williams, E.H. (ed.) Krinoikai Limenes: studies in honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw: 191–97. Philadelphia (PA): INSTAP.
Evans, J. 1989. Report, in R.S. Merrillees, Highs and lows in the Holy Land: opium in biblical times (with a report by John Evans). Eretz-Israel 20: 153–54.
Gittlen, B.M. 1981. The cultural and chronological implications of the Cypro-Palestinian trade during the Late Bronze Age. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 241: 4959.
Goren, Y., Bunimovitz, S., Finkelstein, I. & Na'aman, N.. 2003. The location of Alashiya: new evidence from petrographic investigation of Alashiyan tablets from el-Amarna and Ugarit. American Journal of Archaeology 107: 233–55.
Goren, Y., Bunimovitz, S., Finkelstein, I. & Na'aman, N. 2004. VI. Alashiya, in Goren, Y., Finkelstein, I. & Na'aman, N., Inscribed in clay: provenance study of the Amarna Tablets and other ancient Near Eastern texts (Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series 23): 4875. Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.
Grave, P., Kealhofer, L., Marsh, B., Schoop, U.-D., Seeher, J., Bennett, J.W. & Stopic, A.. 2014. Ceramic trade, provenience and geology: Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age. Antiquity 88: 1180–200.
Hulin, L. 2009. Consumption, status and Late Cypriot pottery in Egypt, in Merrillees, R.S., Michaelides, D. & Iacovou, M. (ed.) Egypt and Cyprus in antiquity: 4047. Oxford: Oxbow.
Karageorghis, V. 1996. Some aspects of the maritime trade of Cyprus during the Late Bronze Age, in Karageorghis, V. & Michaelides, D. (ed.) The development of the Cypriot economy from the prehistoric period to the present day: 6170. Nicosia: University of Cyprus and the Bank of Cyprus.
Kelder, J.M. 2009. Royal gift exchange between Mycenae and Egypt: olives as ‘greeting gifts’ in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. American Journal of Archaeology 113: 339–52.
Knapp, A.B. 1991. Spice, drugs, grain and grog: organic goods in Bronze Age East Mediterranean trade, in Gale, N.H. (ed.) Bronze Age trade in the Mediterranean (Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 90): 2168. Jonsered: Paul Åström.
Knapp, A.B. (ed.). 1996. Near Eastern and Aegean texts from the third to the first millennia BC (Sources for the History of Cyprus 2). Altamont (NY): Greece and Cyprus Research Center.
Knapp, A.B. 2008. Prehistoric and protohistoric Cyprus: identity, insularity and connectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knapp, A.B. 2011. Cyprus, copper, and Alashiya, in Betancourt, P.P. & Ferrence, S.C. (ed.) Metallurgy: understanding how, learning why: studies in honor of James D. Muhly: 249–54. Philadelphia (PA): INSTAP.
Knapp, A.B. 2013. The archaeology of Cyprus from earliest prehistory through the Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Knappett, C., Kilikoglou, V., Steele, V. & Stern, B.. 2005. The circulation and consumption of Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware: petrographic, chemical and residue analysis. Anatolian Studies 55: 2559.
Koschel, K. 1996. Opium alkaloids in a Cypriote Base Ring I vessel (bilbil) of the Middle Bronze Age from Egypt. Ägypten und Levante 6: 159–66.
Krikorian, A.D. 1975. Were the opium poppy and opium known in the ancient Near East? Journal of the History of Biology 8: 95114.
Kritikos, P.G. & Papadaki, S.P.. 1967. The history of the poppy and of opium and their expansion in antiquity in the eastern Mediterranean area. Bulletin on Narcotics 19: 1738.
Lebrun, R. 2004. Le monde hittite et le îles de la Méditerranée orientale: le cas chypriote. Res Antiquae 1: 359–64.
Leonard, A. Jr. 1981. Considerations of morphological variation in the Mycenaean pottery from the southeastern Mediterranean. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 241: 87101.
Liverani, M. 1979. Irrational elements in the Amarna trade, in Liverani, M., Three Amarna essays: 2133. Malibu (CA): Undena.
Maier, F.-G. 1985. Factoids in ancient history: the case of fifth-century Cyprus. Journal of Hellenic Studies 105: 3239.
Maier, F.-G. 1986. Kinyras and Agapenor, in Karageorghis, V. (ed.) Acts of the International Archaeological Symposium ‘Cyprus between the Orient and the Occident’, Nicosia, 8–14 September 1985: 311–18. Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.
de Martino, S. 2008. Relations between Hatti and Alašia according to textual and archaeological evidence, in Wilhelm, G. (ed.) Hattuša-Boğazköy. Das Hethiterreichim Spannungsfeld des Alten Orient (Colloquien der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 6): 247–63. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Merlin, M.D. 1984. On the trail of the ancient opium poppy. London & Toronto: Associated University Presses.
Merrillees, R.S. 1962. Opium trade in the Bronze Age Levant. Antiquity 36: 287–92.
Merrillees, R.S. 1968. The Cypriote Bronze Age pottery found in Egypt (Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 18). Lund: Paul Åström.
Merrillees, R.S. 1972. Alasia, in Karageorghis, V. & Christodoulou, A. (ed.) Acts of the First International Cyprological Congress (Nicosia 14–19 April 1969): 111–19. Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.
Merrillees, R.S. 1974. Trade and transcendence in the Bronze Age Levant (Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 39). Gothenburg: Paul Åström.
Merrillees, R.S. 1979. Opium again in antiquity. Levant 11: 167–71.
Merrillees, R.S. 1987. Alashia revisited (Cahiers de la révue Biblique 22). Paris: J. Gabalda et Cie.
Merrillees, R.S. 1989. Highs and lows in the Holy Land: opium in biblical times (with a report by John Evans). Eretz-Israel 20: 148–54.
Merrillees, R.S. 2005. Don't be fooled! Despite what many scholars say, ancient ‘Alashiya’ was not Cyprus. Archaeology Odyssey 8 (5): 3540, 45, 50–51.
Merrillees, R.S. 2011. Alashiya: a scientific quest for its location, in Betancourt, P.P. & Ferrence, S.C. (ed.) Metallurgy: understanding how, learning why: studies in honor of James D. Muhly: 255–64. Philadelphia (PA): INSTAP.
Moran, W.L. 1992. The Amarna letters. Baltimore (MD) & London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Muhly, J.D. 1972. The land of Alašiya: references to Alašiya in the texts of the second millennium B.C., and the history of Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age, in Karageorghis, V. & Christodoulou, A. (ed.) Acts of the First International Cyprological Congress (Nicosia 14–19 April 1969): 201–19. Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.
Muhly, J.D. 1982. The nature of trade in the Late Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean: the organization of the metals trade and the role of Cyprus, in Muhly, J.D., Maddin, R. & Karageorghis, V. (ed.) Early metallurgy in Cyprus 4000–500 BC: 251–66. Nicosia: Pierides Foundation.
Muhly, J.D. 1986. The role of Cyprus in the economy of the eastern Mediterranean during the second millennium B.C., in Karageorghis, V. (ed.) Acts of the International Symposium: Cyprus between the Orient and the Occident: 4560. Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.
Muhly, J.D. 1989. The organization of the copper industry in Late Bronze Age Cyprus, in Peltenburg, E.J. (ed.) Early society in Cyprus: 298314. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Muhly, J.D. 1996. The significance of metals in the Late Bronze Age economy of Cyprus, in Karageorghis, V. & Michaelides, D. (ed.) The development of the Cypriot economy from the prehistoric period to the present day: 4560. Nicosia: University of Cyprus and the Bank of Cyprus.
Ockinga, B.G. 1996. Hieroglyphic texts from Egypt, in Knapp, A.B. (ed.) Near Eastern and Aegean texts from the third to the first millennia BC (Sources for the History of Cyprus 2): 4250. Altamont (NY): Greece and Cyprus Research Center.
Papadimitriou, N. 2013. Regional or ‘international’ networks? A comparative examination of Aegean and Cypriot imported pottery in the Eastern Mediterranean. Talanta 44: 92136.
Peltenburg, E. 2012. Text meets material in Late Bronze Age Cyprus, in Georgiou, A. (ed.) Cyprus: an island culture. Society and social relations from the Bronze Age to the Venetian period: 123. Oxford: Oxbow.
Sherratt, A. 1991. Sacred and profane substances: the ritual use of narcotics in Later Neolithic Europe, in Garwood, P., Jennings, D., Skeates, R. & Toms, J. (ed.) Sacred and profane. Proceedings of a conference on archeology, ritual and religion. Oxford 1989 (Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph 32). Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology.
Singer, I. & Gestoso Singer, G.. 2014. Alašian products in Hittite sources, in Csabai, Z. (ed.) Studies in economic and social history of the ancient Near East in memory of Péter Vargyas: 317–36. Budapest: L'Harmattan.
Steel, L. 2004a. Cyprus before history: from the earliest settlers to the end of the Bronze Age. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co.
Steel, L. 2004b. A reappraisal of the distribution, context and function of Mycenaean pottery in Cyprus, in Balensi, J., Monchambert, J.-Y. & Möller-Celku, S. (ed.) La ceramique Mycénienne de l’Égée au Levant (Travaux de la Maison de l'Orient et de la Mediterranée 41): 6985. Lyon: Maison de l'Orient et de la Mediterranée.
Steel, L. 2013. Materiality and consumption in the Bronze Age Mediterranean. New York: Routledge.
Vincentelli, I. 1976. Alašia: per una storia di Cipro nell'età del bronzo. Studi Ciprioti e Rapporti di Scavo 2: 949.