Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

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The Greek Bronze Age, roughly 3000 to 1000 BCE, witnessed the flourishing of the Minoan and Mycenean civilizations, the earliest expansion of trade in the Aegean and wider Mediterranean Sea, the development of artistic techniques in a variety of media, and the evolution of early Greek religious practices and mythology. The period also witnessed a violent conflict in Asia Minor between warring peoples in the region, a conflict commonly believed to be the historical basis for Homer's Trojan War. The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean provides a detailed survey of these fascinating aspects of the period, and many others, in sixty-six newly commissioned articles.

Divided into four sections, the handbook begins with Background and Definitions, which contains articles establishing the discipline in its historical, geographical, and chronological settings and in its relation to other disciplines. The second section, Chronology and Geography, contains articles examining the Bronze Age Aegean by chronological period (Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age). Each of the periods are further subdivided geographically, so that individual articles are concerned with Mainland Greece during the Early Bronze Age, Crete during the Early Bronze Age, the Cycladic Islands during the Early Bronze Age, and the same for the Middle Bronze Age, followed by the Late Bronze Age. The third section, Thematic and Specific Topics, includes articles examining thematic topics that cannot be done justice in a strictly chronological/geographical treatment, including religion, state and society, trade, warfare, pottery, writing, and burial customs, as well as specific events, such as the eruption of Santorini and the Trojan War. The fourth section, Specific Sites and Areas, contains articles examining the most important regions and sites in the Bronze Age Aegean, including Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Knossos, Kommos, Rhodes, the northern Aegean, and the Uluburun shipwreck, as well as adjacent areas such as the Levant, Egypt, and the western Mediterranean.

Containing new work by an international team of experts, The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean represents the most comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date single-volume survey of the field. It will be indispensable for scholars and advanced students alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An indispensable reference book for all serious libraries. Essential." --CHOICE

"The authors . . . are leading experts and are well positioned to synthesize, summarize, and update their topics. The articles are well crafted, balanced, brief, and to the point. . . . This handbook is entirely suitable for any undergraduate and graduate library and would be a valuable addition to the bookshelf of any eastern Mediterranean historian or archaeologist." --Halford W. Haskell, American Journal of Archaeology

"very useful" --Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195365504
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 976
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric H. Cline is Associate Professor of Classics and Anthropology (Ancient History and Archaeology) and Chair of the Departments of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at The George Washington University.

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Table of Contents


List of Contributors and Academic Affiliations (Alphabetical)



Part I Background and Definitions

1 History of Research James D. Muhly Muhly, James D. 3

2 Chronology and Terminology Sturt W. Manning Manning, Sturt W. 11

Part II Chronology and Geography

3 Neolithic Antecedents Peter Tomkins Tomkins, Peter 31

Early Bronze Age

4 Mainland Greece Jeannette Forsen Forsen, Jeannette 53

5 Crete Peter Tomkins Tomkins, Peter 66

6 Cyclades Colin Renfrew Renfrew, Colin 83

Middle Bronze Age

7 Mainland Greece Sofia Voutsaki Voutsaki, Sofia 99

8 Crete 113

9 Cyclades Robin L. N. Barber Barber, Robin L. N. 126

Late Bronze Age

10 Mainland Greece Kim Shelton Shelton, Kim 139

11 Crete Erik Hallager Hallager, Erik 149

12 Cyclades Robin L. N. Barber Barber, Robin L. N. 160

13 End of the Bronze Age Reinhard Jung Jung, Reinhard 171

Part III Thematic Topics

Art and Architecture

14 Minoan Architecture Louise A. Hitchcock Hitchcock, Louise A. 189

15 Mycenaean Architecture Louise A. Hitchcock Hitchcock, Louise A. 200

16 Figurines Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst Tzonou-Herbst, Ioulia 210

17 Frescoes Anne P. Chapin Chapin, Anne P. 223

Society and Culture

18 State and Society William A. Parkinson Parkinson, William A. 239

19 Minoan Religion Susan Lupack Lupack, Susan 251

20 Mycenaean Religion Susan Lupack Lupack, Susan 263

21 Death and Burial Christopher Mee Mee, Christopher 277

22 Trade Bryan E. Burns Burns, Bryan E. 291

23 Weapons and Warfare Ioannis Georganas Georganas, Ioannis 305

Seals and Writing/Administrative Systems

24 Minoan Seals and Sealings Judith Weingarten Weingarten, Judith 317

25 Mycenaean Seals and Sealings John G. Younger Younger, John G. 329

26 Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A Helena Tomas Tomas, Helena 340

27 Linear B Thomas G. Palaima Palaima, Thomas G. 356

28 Cypro-Minoan Nicolle Hirschfeld Hirschfeld, Nicolle 373

Material Crafts

29 Materials and Industries Doniert Evely Evely, Doniert 387

30 Minoan Pottery Birgitta Hallager Hallager, Birgitta 405

31 Mycenaean Pottery Jeremy B. Rutter Rutter, Jeremy B. 415

32 Textiles Brendan Burke Burke, Brendan 430

33 Jewelry Robert Laffineur Laffineur, Robert 443


34 Eruption of Thera/Santorini Sturt W. Manning Manning, Sturt W. 457

35 The Trojan War Trevor Bryce Bryce, Trevor 475

36 The Collapse at the End of the Bronze Age Oliver Dickinson Dickinson, Oliver 483

Part IV Specific Sites and Regions


37 Ayia Triada Vincenzo La Rosa La Rosa, Vincenzo 495

38 Kato Zakros Lefteris Platon Platon, Lefteris 509

39 Khania (Kydonia) Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki Andreadaki-Vlazaki, Maria 518

40 Knossos Colin MacDonald MacDonald, Colin 529

41 Kommos Maria Shaw Shaw, Maria 543

42 Malia Jan Driessen Driessen, Jan 556

43 Palaikastro L. Hugh Sackett Sackett, L. Hugh 571

44 Phaistos Vincenzo La Rosa La Rosa, Vincenzo 582

Mainland Greece

45 Argolid Sofia Voutsaki Voutsaki, Sofia 599

46 Boeotia Anastasia Dakouri-Hild Dakouri-Hild, Anastasia 614

47 Central and Southern Peloponnese William G. Cavanagh Cavanagh, William G. 631

48 Northern Aegean Stelios Andreou Andreou, Stelios 643

49 Lerna Martha Heath Wiencke Wiencke, Martha Heath 660

50 Mycenae Elizabeth French French, Elizabeth 671

51 Pylos Jack L. Davis Davis, Jack L. 680

52 Thebes Anastasia Dakouri-Hild Dakouri-Hild, Anastasia 690

53 Thorikos Robert Laffineur Laffineur, Robert 712

54 Tiryns Joseph Maran Maran, Joseph 722

Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Saronic Islands

55 Aegina Kolonna Walter Gauss Gauss, Walter 737

56 Akrotri Christos Doumas Doumas, Christos 752

57 Dodecanese Toula Marketou Marketou, Toula 762

58 Rhodes Toula Marketou Marketou, Toula 775

Wider Mediterranean

59 Cape Gelidonya Shipwreck George F. Bass Bass, George F. 797

60 Cyprus Louise Steel Steel, Louise 804

61 Egypt Jacke Phillips Phillips, Jacke 820

62 Levant Assaf Yasur-Landau Yasur-Landau, Assaf 832

63 Troy Peter Jablonka Jablonka, Peter 849

64 Uluburun Shipwreck Cemal Pulak Pulak, Cemal 862

65 Western Anatolia Alan M. Greaves Greaves, Alan M. 877

66 Western Mediterranean Lucia Vagnetti Vagnetti, Lucia 890

Index 907

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