Project

Makers, Maritime Networks, and Markets in the Bronze Age Cyclades, Greece

Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Abstract

Although market mechanisms of exchange are recognized to have existed in the Late Bronze Age Aegean Sea, the matter of how they developed—and if and how those developments can be recognized archaeologically—remains unclear. In part, this situation results from a preponderance of top-down approaches that seek to address the wider socioeconomic impacts of trade by starting from elite and palatial activities. This project flips the script by examining archaeological data from non-palatial contexts in the Cycladic islands, where participation in exchange networks was vital to the constitution of local society and economy from 3000-1200 BCE. It addresses how market exchange mechanisms developed in the region beyond the direct administrative and economic power of the palaces.