CLST403B

Interconnections in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. From the “Great Powers Club” to the famous Uluburun shipwreck, this course examines the sociopolitical, economic and ideological interactions that connected the various polities and cultures of the Late Bronze Eastern Mediterranean world from Greece to Babylonia, c. 1700–1100 BCE. Through material evidence from cities and shipwrecks, and textual sources including diplomatic letters and treaties, we’ll look at political relations and military conflicts among the great powers of the period and how the Egyptians, Hittites and other states forged and maintained some of the earliest empires, and the effects of these interactions on both conqueror and conquered. We’ll also investigate the nature of palatial economies and the implications of royal and commercial international exchanges by looking at the production, trade, and consumption of various commodities. From metals and ceramics to organic goods such as scented oils and luxury foods, we’ll discuss methods for determining their provenience, maritime connectivity and the technological aspects of sea transportation. The course will emphasize approaches to understanding cultural interaction (e.g., mobility, hybridity, entanglement) and the materiality, meaning and social life of goods.