Mycenaean Greece and Europe: the Evidence of Bronze Tools and Implements

Here we present the ‘Extract‘ of the corresponding paper by Anthony Harding.



The renewed controversy over the question of Mycenaean trade with ‘barbarian’ Europe (Renfrew 1968; Branigan 1970, 1972; etc.) has emphasised the need for a thorough study of the various classes of evidence involved. Recent work on the faience beads of Early Bronze Age Europe (Harding 1971; Harding and Warren 1973) has tended to show that local production is likely, at any rate in continental Europe, while a study of the amber trade to Mycenaean Greece (Harding and Hughes-Brock 1974) has shown that two main periods of trade with the Baltic are likely, the first, via Wessex, in the sixteenth/fifteenth centuries B.C., the second around 1200, down the Adriatic. Here I should like to tackle another group of material, bronze tools and implements, some of which have been used (or mis-used) in the current debate. I include here agricultural, wood-working, metallurgical and general-purpose tools; razors and tweezers are omitted, and will be discussed elsewhere, as will ornaments and objects of personal use. Knives are included, but daggers await examination together with other weapons.

Tools and implements have not often been found as items of trade in the Bronze Age Aegean. They have intrinsic value as metal, it is true, but they are usually heavy and bulky, and most easily susceptible of adaptation to local needs by local smiths. Accidental loss and intentional imitation are correspondingly less likely.




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