Cypriot Pottery as an Indicator for Adaptive Trade Networks
Mediterranean Resilience - Collapse and Adaptation in Antique Maritime Societies - Assaf Yasur-Landau
Brigid Clark [+]
University of Haifa (PhD candidate)
Connectivity, including trade, is an adaptation to the Mediterranean conditions. Temporal changes in pottery imports reflect adaptation of maritime trade systems to changing economic, social, political, and environmental conditions. This paper will investigate the connection between diachronic changes in Cypriot imports to the southern Levant throughout the Middle Bronze Age to contemporary political and social processes. The 18th century BCE saw a paradigm shift within Near East connectivity networks, as networks formerly dominated by the Near Eastern powers in Mesopotamia and Anatolia turned their attention towards the Mediterranean. In the Middle Cypriot period, Cypriot imports were integrated into the Levantine littoral systems, which suggests the rise of maritime trade as adaptive behavior both in Cyprus and within the emerging Levantine urban systems. Trade is further expanded during the 16th century BCE and in the transition from the Middle to Late Bronze Age, with an increase in the amount as well as the types of Cypriot ceramic imports to the southern Levant. This change is contemporary with the rise of (proto-)urbanism in Cyprus as well as the last phase of Hyksos rule and the rise of the 18th dynasty in Egypt. This study includes the first results of an integrated analysis of Cypriot imported pottery found at Levantine maritime gateways, including Achziv and Kabri, as well as inland hubs like Megiddo.