Mediterranean Connections : Maritime Transport Containers and Seaborne Trade in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages book cover
1st Edition

Mediterranean Connections
Maritime Transport Containers and Seaborne Trade in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages

ISBN 9780367890315
Published December 10, 2019 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

Mediterranean Connections focuses on the origin and development of maritime transport containers from the Early Bronze through early Iron Age periods (ca. 3200–700 BC). Analysis of this category of objects broadens our understanding of ancient Mediterranean interregional connections, including the role that shipwrecks, seafaring, and coastal communities played in interaction and exchange. These containers have often been the subject of specific and detailed pottery studies, but have seldom been examined in the context of connectivity and trade in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.

This broad study:

  • considers the likely origins of these types of vessels;

  • traces their development and spread throughout the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean as archetypal organic bulk cargo containers;

  • discusses the wider impact on Mediterranean connections, transport and trade over a period of 2,500 years covering the Bronze and early Iron Ages.

Classical and Near Eastern archaeologists and historians, as well as maritime archaeologists, will find this extensively researched volume an important addition to their library.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Maritime Matters: Shipwrecks and Harbours
3. Connectivity, Seaborne Trade and Maritime Transport Containers
4. Maritime Transport Containers
5. Discussion: Maritime Transport Containers, Bulk Transport and Mediterranean Trade
6. Conclusions: MTCs and Mediterranean Connectivity

Appendix: Volumetric Analysis and Capacity Measurements of Selected MTCs

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A. Bernard Knapp is Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, and Honorary Research Fellow at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute. He co-edits the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology with John F. Cherry and Peter van Dommelen and is the general editor of the series Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology.

Stella Demesticha is Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology in the Archaeological Research Unit, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus. She specializes in maritime archaeology, with an interest in shipwreck amphorae, ancient seaborne trade routes and economy in the Eastern Mediterranean.


“A wide-ranging and stimulating survey of maritime exchange in the eastern Mediterranean from [ca. 3200-700 BC] as viewed comparatively through the lens of regionally specific bulk transport containers.” - Jeremy B. Rutter, Dartmouth College

“This book tackles a crucial formative stage in a longer Mediterranean transport container tradition and does so in unprecedented detail and with a clear eye for its wider ramifications, with regard both to regional economic traditions and the overall dynamics of eastern Mediterranean trade. Famous markers of Bronze Age transport such as the Canaanite jar take their place alongside a host of other, hitherto poorly understood, Bronze and early Iron Age cousins. The overall result constitutes a significant move forward in our understanding, with a blend of both detail and overview that will ensure it remains enduringly useful and interesting." - Andrew Bevan, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

"Without a doubt, the book is an important reference work for maritime archaeologists interested in early trade networks as well as Classical and Near Eastern archaeologists." - Michaela Reinfeld, German Archaeological Institute, Berlin