Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2020 | 29(2) | 239-266

Article title

Understanding the role of metal within the Late Bronze Age community at Mycenae: challenges and potential approaches


Title variants

Languages of publication


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 The decision to take such an approach is justified through the presentation of a case study, based upon hitherto unpublished previous research, that examines the unexpected rarity of gold vessels in the Palatial period archaeological record from the perspective of social practice;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.





Physical description





Document Type

Publication order reference

YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.