Transport Stirrup Jars of the Bronze Age Aegean and East Mediterranean [Hardback]

Richard E. Jones(Author); John T. Killen(Author); Halford W. Haskell(Author); Peter M. Day(Author)

ISBN: 9781931534628 | Published by: INSTAP Academic Press (Institute for Aegean Prehistory) | Series: Prehistory Monographs | Volume: 33 | Year of Publication: 2011 | Language: English 340p, 36 b/w illus. in text, 6 col & 30 b/w plates, 30 tables, 30 graphs, 18 figs
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Transport Stirrup Jars of the Bronze Age Aegean and East Mediterranean


The transport stirrup jar was a vessel type used extensively in the Late Bronze Age III Aegean world. Found in a variety of contexts, the type was used both to transport and to store liquid commodities in bulk. The peak of the production and exchange of this jar corresponded with the time of economic expansion on the Greek mainland. On Crete, stirrup jars appeared at most major centres on the island. Their presence in large numbers in storerooms indicates the movement of commodities and the centralised storage and control of goods. The broad distribution of stirrup jars at coastal sites in the eastern Mediterranean and their presence in the cargoes of the Uluburun, Gelidonya, and Iria shipwrecks clearly shows their role in the extensive exchange networks within the Aegean and beyond. Because they represent significant Aegean exchange, tracing their origins and movement provides information regarding production centres and trade routes. This study concentrates on determining the provenance of the jars and the subsequent tracing of exchange routes. The fully integrated research design is an interdisciplinary, collaborative archaeological project that embraces typological, chemical, petrographic, and epigraphic approaches in order to shed light on the jars' classification and origin. The results of the chemical and petrographic work constitute primary parts of the study. By establishing the origins and distribution of the jars, these vases are placed within their historical context. The identification of production centres and export routes is critical for a full understanding of the economic and political conditions in the Late Bronze Age Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.

Table of Contents

Typology, Halford W. Haskell; 3. Scientific Background and Aims of the Analyses, Richard E. Jones and Peter M. Day; 4. Chemical Analyses, Richard E. Jones; 5. Petrographic Analyses, Peter M. Day; 6. Interpretation of the Chemical and Petrographic Data, Richard E. Jones and Peter M. Day; 7. Chemistry, Petrography, and Typology: Geographic Associations, Halford W. Haskell, Richard E. Jones, Peter M. Day; 8. The Linear B Inscriptions, John T. Killen; 9. Chronology and Power, Halford W. Haskell; 10. Trade, Halford W. Haskell; 11. Catalog; Index; Tables; Graphs; Figures; Plates.

Reviews & Quotes

"This volume is a thoroughly documented case-study showing how a question of ceramic provenance linked to the economic operation of complex entities can
be tackled through a combination of approaches. It should be of interest to anyone concerned with these issues in the Aegean or elsewhere. For Aegeanists, it represents the fullest presentation of a topic that became a cause c´el`ebre in the field...'"
John Bennet, University of Sheffield
Antiquity (volume 86, issue 332)

"This monograph is a significant contribution to Aegean (and Mediterranean) prehistory and is essential reading for specialists and anyone interested in Late Bronze Age Mediterranean trade."
Andrea Vianello
American Journal Of Archaeology (July 2013)

""Overall, this volume is a remarkable contribution to Aegean prehistory from a variety of perspectives. A basic outline of the main conclusions had already been presented at the Ariadne’s Threads conference in April 2003 (Haskell 2005), but the amount of data presented here will amply feed further discussions of Aegean ceramic production and trade mechanisms; the TSJ production/mobility patterns suggested here will have seminal implications for LBA economic and political geography and trade. The value of the ‘holistic’ approach demonstrated here is obvious, as the TSJ project pioneered the systematic combination of chemical and petrographic analyses — almost a standard currently — in the late 1980s and early 1990s....[T]his volume deserves to be, at the very least, a must-read for everyone even peripherally interested in the LBA III Aegean economy and trade. The progress in knowledge and approach it represents and the amount and quality of effort that have gone into the inception, design and publication of this project are more than sufficient to justify considering this monograph as the new major step in the ISJ (or indeed Aegean inscribed pottery) scholarship, as well as the first substantial step in our understanding of what the TSJ business as a whole was actually about. It was definitely well worth the wait.""
Reviewed by Vassilis Petrakis, Affiliated Researcher, Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity (KERA), Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation
Aegeus- Society for Aegean Prehistory (Online Agean Book Review)

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