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Article

Bronze in Aegean of the Late Bronze Age: significance of metallurgy, delivering and consumption

Non-ferrous Metals. 2018. No. 1. P. 43-48.

The article is devoted to significance of metallurgy of bronze, delivering of copper and tin into Aegean
and consumption of bronze in Mycenaean centers of the Late Bronze Age. Metallurgy of bronze was vital
for the formation and development of Mycenaean society. Excavations of shipwrecks in Uluburun and at
Cape Gelidonya showed that Cyprus was the main source of copper supplies to Aegean. However, there
were also sources of this metal in Lavrion in Greece, the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia, in Israel and in
Sardinia. It was generally believed that Mycenaeans held a monopoly on maritime commerce in the Eastern
Mediterranean but it was not correct. The discoveries in Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya shipwrecks led
to conclusion that ships were Near Eastern in origin or perhaps Cypriot. The scale of supplies allows us
to consider it as a real trade in metals. In the mainland Greece, bronze objects were produced in various
palace workshops, which are well known from the excavations of Kadmeia - the acropolis of Thebes. Most
of the bronze was involved in the production of offensive and defensive equipment. In the process of
analyzing of archaeological material from Thebes and literary sources, the educational function of the
objects made of bronze, such as tripods, was also revealed. Bronze object served as a mediator of relations
between a man and the past.