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“Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy and Metalwork in the Second Millennium BC” A conference in honour of James D. Muhly Nicosia, 10th-11th October 2009 Department of History and Archaeology and Archaeological Research Unit (Organizing Committee: Vasiliki Kassianidou and Giorgos Papasavvas)

“Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy and Metalwork in the Second Millennium BC” A conference in honour of James D. Muhly Nicosia, 10th-11th October 2009 Department of History and Archaeology and Archaeological Research Unit (Organizing Committee: Vasiliki Kassianidou and Giorgos Papasavvas)

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Published by: ArchaeoinAction on Jun 15, 2011
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05/12/2014

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“Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgyand Metalwork in the SecondMillennium BC”
A conference in honour ofJames D. Muhly
Nicosia, 10
 th
-11
 th
October 2009
Department of History and Archaeology andArchaeological Research Unit
 
On the cover: Copper ox-hide ingot from Enkomi now in the Cyprus Museum.Drawn by Clara Vasitsek.Organizing Committee: Vasiliki Kassianidou and Giorgos Papasavvas.
 
1
IOANNIS BASSIAKOS
1
and THOMAS TSELIOS
2
1
Laboratory of Archaeometry, N.C.S.R. “Demokritos”
2
Department of History, Archaeology and Cultural Resources Management,University of Peloponnese, Kalamata, Greece
On the ceasing of the local copper productionin the Aegean 2
nd
millennium BC
During the last ten years, an increasing body of archaeological, mining andmetallurgical evidence for copper production utilizing local mineral resources anddating to the 3
rd
millennium BC, has been recorded on a number of Aegean islands.The present status of our knowledge totally validates the pioneering suggestion ofsome vanguard archaeologists who, in the early seventies, based on indirectindications, wrote that in the Aegean Early Bronze Age there may have been localdevelopments in metallurgy, allowing the production of metals by the exploitationof indigenous ore-sources. However, the flourishing copper production in theAegean of the 3rd millennium does not seem to be followed by a respectivelyprosperous one during the consecutive 2
nd
millennium. Several sites in variousislands of the Archipelagos such as Thassos, Kythnos, Seriphos, Siphnos,Parapola and others, proven (archaeologically and technologically) to be 3rdmillennium copper production centres based on local ore-sources, appear to beinoperative, with scant exceptions, during the second millennium.The possible reason(s) for the decline of copper production in the Aegeanduring the 2
nd
millennium, a period indelibly marked by the flush of copper production in Cyprus, are investigated in this paper, both from an archaeologicaland a metallogenetic viewpoint.In recent years, the gradually accumulating archaeological knowledgeincreasingly convinces prehistorians to set aside the old view that the Aegeanunderwent a kind of lapse in the Middle Bronze Age (or even a few centuries later)in comparison to the Early Bronze Age. Not only in Crete but also in the Cycladesand in the north Aegean islands, Middle- and Late Bronze Age installations mark out their welfare, as well as socio-economic developments and interactions.Moreover, recent and ongoing studies on finds related to metal-technology from thriving Aegean 2
nd
millennium settlements indicate considerable metalworkingactivities, albeit oriented to alloying, casting, hammering, transforming, refining,recycling, and ornamentation. In almost all studied cases there are no remainsindicating copper production from cupriferous ores, i.e. smelting slag etc. Thus thearchaeological investigation, though it exhaustively examines and thoroughly

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