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Oxhide Ingots, Copper Production, and the Mediterranean Trade in Copper and Other Metals in the Bronze Age

Oxhide Ingots, Copper Production, and the Mediterranean Trade in Copper and Other Metals in the Bronze Age

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Published by: matmaric on Mar 22, 2011
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11/08/2012

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 OXHIDE INGOTS, COPPER PRODUCTION, AND THE MEDITERRANEANTRADE IN COPPER AND OTHER METALS IN THE BRONZE AGEA ThesisbyMICHAEL RICE JONES
 
Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M Universityin partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTSMay 2007Major Subject: Anthropology
 
 
 OXHIDE INGOTS, COPPER PRODUCTION, AND THE MEDITERRANEANTRADE IN COPPER AND OTHER METALS IN THE BRONZE AGEA ThesisbyMICHAEL RICE JONESSubmitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M Universityin partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTSApproved by:Chair of Committee,Committee Members,Head of Department,Cemal Pulak Shelley WachsmannChristoph KonradDavid CarlsonMay 2007Major Subject: Anthropology
 
 iii ABSTRACTOxhide Ingots, Copper Production, and the Mediterranean Trade in Copper andOther Metals in the Bronze Age. (May 2007)Michael Rice Jones, B.A., Boston UniversityChair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Cemal Pulak The production and trade in copper and bronze was one of the major features of thecomplex societies in the Near East and Mediterranean during the third to firstmillennia B.C. While finished metal objects are common finds from the period,ancient metal ingots and hoards of scrap metal, as well as archaeological evidence of metallurgical activities, are often more important sources of information for howancient technology and trade functioned. Shipwrecks, particularly those found off thecoast of Turkey at Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya, as well as mining and smelting sitesin the Mediterranean region, provide invaluable information on the production andtrade of copper and tin, the main ingredients of bronze. In this thesis, I examine theevolution of the copper trade in the eastern and central Mediterranean, particularlyduring the Late Bronze Age, when ‘oxhide’ ingots were widely exported. Finds of oxhide ingots have increased dramatically in recent years, and no synthesis of all of this newly available evidence is currently available. I attempt to analyze this newevidence in relation to older finds and research, with a particular focus on the cargo of the Uluburun shipwreck, the largest collection of Bronze Age metal ingots from asingle site in the Mediterranean. The history of oxhide ingot production is complex,but by the Late Bronze Age Cyprus was supplying much of the copper used toneighboring regions, with revolutionary effects on societies in Cyprus and elsewhere.

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