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date: 26 September 2022

metallurgy, Greeklocked

metallurgy, Greeklocked

  • Sandra Blakely

Summary

The story of metallurgy in ancient Greece spans five millennia and a geographic range reaching from the Greek colonies in the west to Anatolia and the Levant. An interdisciplinary effort, its study engages archaeological fieldwork, historical texts, and scientific analyses, and has moved from social evolutionary models through Marxist, processual, and post-processual frameworks. Metallurgical innovation and invention are productive loci for the investigation of historical change and emerging complexity. Three case studies—the transition from native ores to smelting, the emergence of bronze, and the spread of iron technology—foreground the entanglement of metallurgy with ecological strategies, maritime and overland mobility, the status of the crafter, and elite and non-elite control of production. Deterministic paradigms and models based on revolutionary innovations are yielding to more nuanced frameworks of gradual change, tempered by insights from ethnoarchaeology and from new excavations which shed fresh light on the cultural meanings of metallurgy among both metalworkers and patrons.

Subjects

  • Greek Material Culture: Bronze Age
  • Greek Material Culture
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

Updated in this version

Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

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