It has been widely argued that metal played a decisive role in the development of Mycenae, which became one of the foremost centers on the Late Bronze Age Greek mainland. Yet, little is understood as to how metals were integrated into the lives of the inhabitants. Most scholarship has concentrated on the relationship between the ruling class and metal artifacts, drawing much of their evidence from the Linear B archives and top-down models of trade, society and internal redistribution that are increasingly considered untenable within the study of other aspects of Mycenaean life. This paper introduces a new project designed to investigate this issue by using a practice-orientated approach based around object biographies to study the use of metal across the entire social spectrum of the Late Bronze Age community at Mycenae (approximately 1700–1050 BC). The decision to take such an approach is justified through the presentation of a case study, based upon hitherto unpublished previous research, that examines the unexpected rarity of gold vessels in the Palatial period archaeological record from the perspective of social practice; its purpose is to demonstrate how the holistic use of evidence from multiple sources, as envisaged in this new project, can help overcome the difficulties inherent in the study of the use of metal in past societies.