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Transport Jars and Commodity Exchange in the Late Bronze Age Argolid: Tiryns and Midea (COMEX)
Start date: 01 Jan 2015, End date: 31 Dec 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"This project will provide major insights into commodity exchange and maritime links, in the Bronze Age Aegean world and Eastern Mediterranean, through the detailed analysis and publication of Transport Jars of LHIIIA-LHIIIC date in the Argolid, Greece. Building on important new evidence from the major citadels of Tiryns and Midea, it will use thin section petrography and chemical analysis to ascribe provenance to transport jars of the late 14th to 12th centuries BCE. Recent work on transport amphorae and notably Transport Stirrup Jars (TSJs) has demonstrated the great potential of integrated petrographic and chemical analysis to answer questions on the provenance of ceramics and their contents (e.g. Haskell et al. 2011; Day et al. 2011), the latter work concentrating on Crete. Now, transport jars including TSJs, Canaanite amphorae, Cypriote and Attic, will be analysed and compared to the extensive, comparative datasets held by the Sheffield – NCSR ‘Demokritos’ research team, which covers not only the Aegean, but relevant material from much of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. This important, diachronic ceramic evidence will be used to trace contact between the Argolid, Crete, Cyprus and the Levant both during the life of the Mycenaean Palaces and immediately after their demise. Tiryns and Midea provide an unrivalled resource for such work and it will produce the first fabric-based work on major deposits from these sites. In a dynamic partnership with Higher Education and public institutions, Dr Marta Tenconi, the proposed IEF, will illuminate commodity exchange in the Argolid, the core area of the Mycenaean world. The research will lead to major academic publications, dissemination to the public by national press and a museum outreach programme."
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