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Stratum plus. 2017. No2

L. I. Avilova (Moscow, Russian Federation)

On Circulation of Metal in the Epoch of the Chalcolithic — Bronze Age (ingots, blanks and weight systems of the Near East)




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Pages: 75-100


The article is focused on archaeological finds from the Near East dated to the Early Metal period (V—IV — II mill. BC). The author applies, primarily, comparative-typological method. Special attention is paid to the artefacts related to exchange — metal ingots/blanks and balance weights to define the position the analyzed materials occupied in trade and exchange relations in IV—II mill. BC. Various aspects of metal circulation in the early civilizations are discussed. Main morphological types of ingots/blanks from Anatolia, Syria-Mesopotamia, Palestine, Iran, Central Asia are singled out. Balance weights are compared to the weight characteristics of ingots and jewellery blanks. The author concludes that the majority of Anatolian ingots/blanks correspond to weight standards spread in Syria and Mesopotamia in III—II millennia BC. It is proved that exchange systems using metals as equivalent of value must be regarded as indication of early civilizations of Near Eastern type. Shipwrecks are also used as a data source about the Late Bronze Age. The data from bronze-casters’ burials in Eastern European steppes are referred to for analogies. The author maintains that the relations between specialized population groups involved in metal production and exchange were one of the ways letting infiltration of Near Eastern civilization elements (weight standards) within peripheral pastoral tribes.


Keywords: Near East, Iran, Central Asia, Bronze Age, metal, ingots, blanks, balance weights, exchange, weight standards, civilization, periphery


Information about author:

Lyudmila Avilova
(Moscow, Russian Federation). Doctor of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19, Moscow, 117036, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]

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