Mediterranean

The area in which Mycenaean pottery is distributed is represented in Map 1. This material has been found in at least fourteen modern nation states.50 The archaeology and history of each of these countries is completely different. Political events have greatly influenced the accessibility of regions and sites to conduct archaeological research. The conservation of excavated material in storerooms, as well as its accessibility also varies highly, as is sadly illustrated by the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.51 The history of archaeological research is also completely different in each of these areas. The large number of sites with Mycenaean pottery in Israel, for example, is partly due to the long history of research by scholars interested in the archaeology of the Bible. Finally, the organisation and interests of archaeological heritage and of the academic world is different in each of these countries. For all these reasons, it could be argued that it is impossible to include such a wide area in one study. However, we should also notice that the areas in which Mycenaean pottery has been discovered have experienced many of the same long-term processes concerning landscape and human settlement and interaction.52 In fact, the distribution map of Mycenaean pottery outside Greece (Map 1) coincides very well with definitions of the Mediterranean on geological, climatic and historical grounds.53 This Mediterraneanism justifies an investigation into a cultural aspect of such a large geographical area.

The sites which are visible in the distribution map are listed in catatalogue I, which contains a total of 348 sites outside the Aegean with LH I-LH IIIB pottery.54 Such a database is the result of specific circumstances of site survival and detection. Places that have not survived or been detected, naturally, will be absent. Other distortions might be even more serious. For example, if Troy (site no. 1), Enkomi (site no. 56), Ugarit (site no. 141) or Tell el-Amarna (site no. 268) had not been extensively excavated but only been subject to archaeological survey or even chance discoveries, they certainly would have figured less prominently in the distribution pattern. For all these reasons, it is clear that what is presented here is an archaeological pattern. Most likely, it reflects the historical distribution of this class of material. To what extent and in what way, however, is a matter for debate. Secondly, any conclusion drawn in this section should be subjected to further research. One way of doing so, is analysis of the contexts in which the Mycenaean pottery is found. That, of course, is the main subject of this book.

see Koehl 1981, 182-184.

Spain, Italy, Malta, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestine autonomy, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan. The report of a Mycenaean sherd in Iraq (Deubner 1957, 51-52) cannot be considered as secure. A Mycenaean stirrup jar has been reported from Carthage in Tunisia, see Annabi 1996, 54-55. The vessel was brought to an antique dealer. Reportedly, it came from a garden in Le Kram, but this origin could not be confirmed.

See, for example, Knapp & Antoniadou 1998. Other articles in the same volume provide an interesting insight in the interplay between politics, national identity and archaeology in various areas in the eastern

Mediterranean.

Braudel 1972; King 1997.

Compare, for example Map 1 with the six maps provided by King (1997, 4-7) which show various definitions of the Mediterranean. Only the sites along the Nile river do not fall within the Mediterranean. The Mycenaean fragments which have been found in Spain have not been included, see Martin de la Cruz 1988, 86, 88; 1990. Likewise, a stirrup jar from Carthage has not been include here, see Annabi 1996, 54-55.

The distribution of the 348 sites in Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant, Egypt and the central Mediterranean is presented quantitatively in Fig. 2.3, while it is spatially represented in Map 1.55 The Levant possesses the highest number of sites at which Mycenaean pottery has been found, followed by Cyprus, Egypt, Italy and Anatolia respectively. The spatial distribution of sites with Mycenaean pottery shows that, in all areas, they are located both on the coast and in the interior. An exception to this is the Italian mainland, where all sites are located in the vicinity of the coast.56 Interior sites are present in Sardinia and Sicily.

Given the variation in size of these areas and the differences in the history of archaeological research, the absolute numbers of sites with Mycenaean pottery do not tell us much, just as any comparison between areas in absolute numbers is useless. The totals for each area presented in Table 3.1 can, however, serve to calculate proportions of sites with certain characteristics. These figures can fruitfully be compared among each other and with the average for the whole Mediterranean.

In Catalogue I the amount of Mycenaean pottery found on a site has been estimated on a scale from 1 to 5.57 Table 2.1 shows the relative proportions of these classes of sites in the five general areas. It is evident that everywhere the great majority of sites are of class 1, i.e. they have yielded less than

The five areas are Anatolia (the Turkish mainland, including Cilicia, and the Aegean isles of Lesbos and Chios), Cyprus, the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Israel — including Gaza and the West Bank — and Jordan), Egypt (including the Sinai and Nubia) and Italy (including Malta, Sicily and Sardinia).

Only Sassano (site no. 340) in Campania, where one Mycenaean cup was found in a cave is an exception to the coastal pattern.

1 means less than 10 Mycenaean finds, 2 means 10-50, 3 means 50-100, 4 means 100-500, while 5 signifies more than 500 Mycenaean finds.

Fig. 2.4 Frequency of sites with more than ten Mycenaean finds

class 1

class 2

class 3

class 4

class 5

Anatolia

29

(80.6%)

3

(8.3%)

1

(2.8%)

1

(2.8%)

2

(5.6%)

Cyprus

65

(67.7%)

23

(23.9%)

2

(2.1%)

3

(3.1%)

3

(3.1%)

Levant

77

(69.4%)

20

(18.0%)

7

(6.3%)

5

(4.5%)

2

(1.8%)

Egypt

44

(4.6%)

5

(9.6%)

1

(1.9%)

1

(1.9%)

1

(1.9%)

Italy

36

(67.9%)

8

(15.1%)

3

(5.7%)

5

(9.4%)

1

(2.1%)

Total

251

(72.1%)

59

(17.0%)

14

(4.0%)

15

(4.3%)

9

(2.6%)

Table 2.1 Sites with certain amounts of Mycenaean pottery per area (see note 57)

Table 2.1 Sites with certain amounts of Mycenaean pottery per area (see note 57)

ten Mycenaean finds. We are, therefore, dealing with a distribution pattern that includes many sites with a few Mycenaean finds and some, but not many, concentrations.

In comparison with the Mediterranean average, the Levant, Cyprus and Italy, the three areas on which this research will focus, possess relatively few class 1 sites. Most likely, this reflects the absolute numbers of Mycenaean pottery in these areas, which are higher than in Anatolia and Egypt; this results in many class 2 sites in our areas. In the Levant the proportion of class 2 sites is lower than in Cyprus, while the proportion for Italy is lower still. In both Italy and the Levant the relatively low number of class 2 sites is partially caused by an abundance of sites of classes 3 and 4. In Cyprus, as is the case for Egypt, there are relatively few sites of classes 3 and higher. All this suggests that there is variation in the concentration of Mycenaean pottery among the five areas.

If Mycenaean pottery would be concentrated in a few large centres, this would result in a distribution pattern in which there are many class 1 sites among a few but significant number of sites of classes

Fig. 2.5 Frequency of sites with LH I-LH IIIA1 pottery

5 and 4. The concentration in the distribution pattern diminishes when a given area has a high proportion of sites of classes 2 and 3. On this basis, we can state that in Anatolia the concentration of Mycenaean pots is highest, since there are many sites of class 1, while Troy (site no. 1) and Miletus (site no. 19) are both of class 5. In Egypt too, there are many sites with less than ten Mycenaean finds, while only Tell el-Amarna (site no. 268) falls into class 5. Only because there is also a class 4 (Deir el-Medina: no. 275) and a class 3 (Tell Dab'a-Qantir: no. 247) site, the concentration in Egypt is less marked than in Anatolia. In Italy Mycenaean pottery also seems to be concentrated at a few sites, but it should be noted that these fall mainly into class 4, while only Broglio di Trebisacce (site no. 317) belongs to class 5. Cyprus has the lowest frequency of sites of class 1 and there is a relatively high number of sites of class 2. The concentration of Mycenaean pottery on this island is enhanced, however, by the relative scarcity of sites of classes 3 and 4, while there are three class 5 sites: Enkomi (site no. 56), Kition (site no. 63) and Hala Sultan Tekke (site no. 65). The concentration of Mycenaean pottery seems least marked in the Levant, where there are many sites of classes 2 and 3, while only Tell Abu Hawam (site no. 175) and Ras Shamra (site no. 141) have been classified as belonging to class 5.

Map 2 and Fig 2.4 present the spatial distribution of sites with more than ten Mycenaean finds. In Anatolia, such sites are absent in the interior. The same is true for Italy, where this was to be expected, since on the Italian peninsula virtually all sites with Mycenaean pottery are on or near the coast. In Sicily, where sites with Mycenaean pottery do occur in the interior, the three larger sites are likewise on the coast. A coastal pattern is less marked in Cyprus, where several sites of class 2 occur in the islands' interior. However, it should be noted that all sites of class 3 and high-

Fig. 2.6 Frequency of sites with LH IIIA2 pottery

er are situated near the coast. In the Levant, there are several sites of class 2 and higher in the interior; among these are Megiddo (site no. 181) and the Amman airport (site no. 194), which both belong to class 4. In the northern Levant (Syria), however, Alalakh (site no. 137) is the only site of class 2 or higher situated at some distance from the coast. However, Alalakh is located along the Orontes river which leads to the sea. In Egypt a coastal preference cannot, of course, be discerned.

To sum up, it can be stated that all areas show a similar distribution pattern of many sites with little Mycenaean pottery and a concentration at some larger sites. Within this overall pattern, however, the areas reveal variations, especially with regard to the concentration of Mycenaean pottery at larger sites. This concentration seems to be very significant in Anatolia and Egypt, while it is low in the Levant. Differences are also discernible in the extent to which a coastal preference is apparent from the location of sites of class 2 and higher. Such a pattern is clear in Anatolia and Italy, while it is less marked in Cyprus and, in particular, the southern Levant.

The five areas can also be compared with regard to the presence of ceramic phases. In Fig 2.5, the extent to which sites with LH I-LH IIIA1 pottery occur is presented.58 The spatial distribution of these

The absolute amount of Helladic pottery present in all areas is higher for LH IIIA2 and LH IIIB style pottery than for the preceding stylistic phases; see, for example, Cadogan 1973, 168-169; Gilmour 1992, 113; Dickinson 1994, 252; Steel 1998, 286; Vagnetti 1999, 138-

140. In order to study the distribution of Mycenaean pottery in the Mediterranean, a division between early and later Helladic pottery at the end of LH IIIA1 seems more suitable than the LH II-LH III boundary.

Fig. 2.7 Frequency of sites with LH IIIB pottery sites is shown in Map 3. This early material has been found at less than a third of all sites in the four areas in the eastern Mediterranean. Taking the duration of the period involved into consideration, this distribution is limited indeed (Fig 2.1). Cyprus and the Levant have the lowest proportions of sites with early material. This indicates that the rise in imports which occurred from LH IIIA2 onwards was most marked in these two areas. In Anatolia and Egypt, sites with early Mycenaean pottery constitute a somewhat larger proportion of the total. A totally different pattern is visible for the Italian area, where LH I-LH IIIA1 pots have been found on more than forty percent of all sites.

With regard to the location of sites that have yielded early Mycenaean material (Map 3), a coastal preference is clear for Anatolia and Italy, where virtually all such sites are located close to the sea. In Cyprus, only a few sites with LH I-LH IIIA1 pottery are situated in the island's interior. In the Levant, however, early Mycenaean pottery is widely distributed in the interior, even though in the north there is only one inland site with this material, namely Alalakh (site no. 137), which is situated along the Orontes river leading to the sea. Further to the south, however, there are various places with early material, as far east as Transjordan. In Egypt, sites with early Mycenaean ceramics seem to cluster in three regions (the Saqqara area, the Fayum, and the area of western Thebes), although two sites with early material do occur in Nubia.

Figure 2.6 shows the proportion of sites in the five areas at which LH IIIA2 pottery is found. Map 4 presents the spatial distribution of this material. It is immediately clear that the pottery of this phase is abundant: in all areas it occurs at more than 50 % of the sites.59 Anatolia and the Levant plot above

59 Sherds classified as LH IIIA2-LH IIIB have been included in both classes.

the Mediterranean average, while Cyprus has a slightly lower proportion. In Egypt and Italy, LH IIIA2 pottery is present at slightly more than half of the total number of sites with Mycenaean pottery. The small differences between the proportions of sites with LH IIIA2 pottery result in a graph, which is very shallow and unpronounced (Fig 2.7). This graph shows that the distribution of LH IIIA2 pottery in the Mediterranean is fairly homogeneous.

The high proportion of sites at which LH IIIA2 is present, is also recognisable in a spatial sense (Map 4). The distribution pattern of this material is almost identical to that of all Mycenaean pottery in the Mediterranean (Map 1). The conclusion is that the distribution of LH IIIA2 pottery is wide and relatively homogeneous.

Figure 2.7 indicates the frequencies of sites with LH IIIB pottery in the five areas, while Map 5 presents the spatial distribution of this class of ceramics. Pottery in LH IIIB style is widely distributed: it is present in every area on at least half of all sites, even though this pattern is much less marked for Egypt. In general, the graph showing the proportions of sites with LH IIIB pottery is much more pronounced than the corresponding graph for LH IIIA2 (cf. the graphs in Figs. 2.7 and 2.8). This illustrates the relatively large quantitative differences between the various areas. The distribution pattern of LH IIIB pottery is less homogeneous than that of LH IIIA2 pots.

From the spatial distribution of LH IIIB vessels which is presented in map 5, it is clear that the pattern in most areas is virtually identical to that of all Mycenaean pottery. The exception to this is the Italian area, where the the Adriatic coast, as well as Sardinia figure more prominently in the distribution of LH IIIB pots than in that of previous periods.60 Obviously, in Italy more than elsewhere, shifts in time occurred with regard to sites where Mycenaean pots were concentrated.

60 See also Vagnetti 1982a, 30; 1993, 147.

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