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)
Brigid Clark is a PhD candidate of Maritime Civilizations within the School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures at University of Haifa, where she also completed an MA on the same topic. Her research focuses on Bronze Age Mediterranean archaeology, Cypriot ceramics and chronology, and Cypro-Levantine maritime trade. Brigid has worked throughout the eastern Mediterranean, including at Hala Sultan Tekke, Erimi-Pitharka, Tel Kabri, and Dor-Yam.


Mediterranean connectivity, including trade, is an adaptation to the local conditions. Temporal changes in pottery imports reflect adaptation of maritime trade systems to economic, social, political, and environmental changes. In this paper I investigate the connection between diachronic changes in Cypriot imports to the southern Levant throughout the Middle Bronze Age and contemporary political and social processes. The eighteenth century BCE saw a paradigm shift within ancient Near Eastern connectivity networks, as networks formerly dominated by the powers in Mesopotamia and Anatolia turned their attention toward 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 was further expanded during the sixteenth 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 and the last phase of Hyksos rule, coinciding with the rise of the Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt. This study includes the first results of an integrated analysis of Cypriot imported pottery found at Levantine maritime gateways, including Akhziv and Kabri, as well as inland hubs like Megiddo.

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Clark, Brigid. Cypriot Pottery as an Indicator for Adaptive Trade Networks. Mediterranean Resilience - Collapse and Adaptation in Antique Maritime Societies. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781800503694. Date accessed: 06 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41501. Oct 2023

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