Purpose of this study

In this book, I aim to investigate the variations in the cultural significance of the imported Mycenaean pottery in the Levant, Cyprus and the central Mediterranean. Such pottery has been widely distributed in almost the whole Mediterranean. This body of material constitutes one of the archaeological sources by which to study relationships between the Aegean and other areas in the Mediterranean. As such, it has served as evidence for Mycenaean colonisation and commercial preeminence. The same body of evidence, however, has also been used to dismiss the importance of long-distance trade for the Mycenaean world. In my opinion, such a variability of interpretations on the basis of the same archaeological data has been possible because the role of Mycenaean pottery in international exchange during the Late Bronze Age is not properly understood. That role is dependant on the different patterns of consumption in the various areas where these ceramics have been imported. The main purpose of this research is to identify and compare these patterns of consumption for the three Mediterranean areas which have yielded the largest quantities of Mycenaean pots: the Levant, Cyprus and the Italian area.

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