Maria Emanuela Alberti
Trade and Weights in the Bronze Age Aegean: Phenomena of Globalisation
Among the pre-coinage societies of the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean weighing measures are strictly connected to the local and regional economic balance. The conference illustrates the connection between the modification of the economic system(s) in the Aegean and the modifications in the weighing standards adopted in each phase, especially in relation to the interactions with the Levant. We can thus outline a complex trajectory where local traditions and external elements coexist and mix together in different ways, paralleling the rhythms of the Mediterranean trade through the Bronze Age. If the link with the Levant is strong during the Early Bronze Age in the mainland, in the following phases the economy seems more independent, the leading role being played by palatial Crete. During the Mycenaean period, in the framework of an increased “International” Mediterranean trade, cultural hybridisation with Levant becomes clearer, until the demise of the Mycenaean palaces. In the post-palatial period and Early Iron Age, the leading economic and cultural role belongs to Cyprus and other Levantine areas, from where the Aegean of the first millennium took both script and weight measures.