Abstract: The Chemistry of Kinship: Daidalos and Kothar Revisited
There has been no shortage of discussions over the past half century pertaining to Bronze and Early Iron Age exchange in the eastern Mediterranean. Starting with H. Kantor's groundbreaking monograph, The Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium B.C. (1947), scholarship rapidly advanced in the 1990s with S. Morris' Daidalos and the Origins of Greek Art (1992), E. Cline's Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea (1994), and the 50th anniversary symposium in honor of Kantor's monograph (1998). More recently, M. Feldman reinvigorated discussions with Diplomacy by Design: Luxury Arts and an ‘International style' in the Ancient Near East (2006). Overall, great strides have been made using archaeological, historical, linguistic, and literary evidence to understand the nature of commodities production, trade, and consumption during this verdant period in antiquity.
Over the past nine years, the ARCHEM project has sought to expand on this understanding by characterizing the original contents of the vessels associated with the Mediterranean cultures in question. Based out of the Museum of Cretan Ethnology Research Centre, ARCHEM has sampled thousands of vessels in the eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Israel, Egypt, Turkey) with the express purpose of illuminating these cross-cultural relationships from a new perspective. By identifying the contents of a high volume of exchanged objects, we hope to better understand the important roles these artifacts played in the economy and daily life of each consumer society, and the cultures with whom they kept in contact.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Bauer, D. “Dirty Dishes, Circa 2000 B.C.,” Penn Arts and Sciences Magazine, Winter 2006: 13.
Koh, A. “Transforming Archaeological Chemistry,” inChemistry 17(4): 16-17.