Materials and Industries

Doniert Evely

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199873609
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Materials and Industries

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Historical Archaeology


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Greece is adequately endowed with stones (non-precious), clays, timber, and plant products; metals are somewhat more localized, indeed effectively lacking in Crete. Overseas contacts, thus, were always crucial; “trade networks” catered to the material needs in the more complex societies and developed periods but arguably existed in less centralized forms long before. The roots of such procurement and the fundamentals of all crafts utilizing local products reach down into the Neolithic period; the utilization of obsidian is a clear case, but, as is becoming ever more apparent, so is metalworking. The factors behind increased use and acquisition/dissemination of materials, skills, and knowledge have varied. The later Minoan “colonies” on the Asia Minor coastline could have tapped into the resources of the hinterland or existing trade routes—the lack of a translator knowing “Minoan” is referred to in the tin trade. The same root cause is true for Mycenaean contacts with Italy.

Keywords: Greece; Crete; trade; metalworking; materials; Minoan colonies; trade networks

Article.  7883 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Historical Archaeology

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