‘A Marriage of the Aegean and the Orient’. Bronzes of the Siana Group Reconsidered
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The material culture of the so -called Eastern Aegean–Western Anatolian Interface during the Late Bronze Age has so far been analysed mainly through the prism of ceramic production and funerary evidence. Both of these classes of evidence indicate its special character. To test this proposition, this contribution focuses on a group of possibly indigenous metal finds. In particular, discussed here is the so -called Siana Group of flanged swords and knives with a characteristic narrow tang at the end of the handle. They were first categorised by Nancy Sandars in 1963 and show an interesting mixture of Aegean and Near Eastern typological traits. Both the Siana swords and the Siana knives occur almost exclusively in the Eastern Aegean–Western Anatolian Interface, although some of the knives have been found also outside this particular region. The Siana Group, originally dated to LH IIIB–IIIC, can now be more securely dated to the LH IIIA2–IIIB periods. It seems that most of these metals came from graves, while some knives were retrieved from settlement contexts as well. It is argued here that this group presents a unique local product of the area of the Eastern Aegean–Western Anatolian Interface, incorporating and transforming both Aegean and Near Eastern influences. Moreover, other examples of earlier or contemporary Western Anatolian finds of swords that have shapes that did not typically occur in the Aegean are presented here as well, as they illustrate the local background of weapon styles the LH II/III turn in the area.
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