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.
The article is devoted to the study of archaeological evidences and literary tradition regarding ancient Greek shields as metal artifacts or as the artifacts made by the use of metal. Presented is an attempt at interpreting the names “σάκος” (sakos) and “ἀσπίς” (aspis), by which ancient authors called the Greek shields in the Archaic and Classical Periods. New data on the dating of some artefacts let assume that a number of shields, the production technology of which goes back to the Late Bronze Age or made later (in the Geometric or Archaic Periods) may have been displayed in sanctuaries under the influence of the artifacts from the Late Bronze Age. The authors propose a version according to which Herodotus, describing the Croesus’ gifts in Thebes, uses the word “σάκος”, thereby emphasizing the uncommonness of the golden shield, its heroic antiquity and the reliability of the Amphiaraus’ shield. Archaeological parallels and the words “φαενάν [ἀσπ]ίδα” from an inscription found in Thebes suggest that it was a round shield. Thisartifact had not only a religious, but also a historical and educational function, being an article that bounds up the Thebans with their heroic past.