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Late Bronze Age Metal Exploitation and Trade: Sardinia and Cyprus

Journal article
Authors Serena Sabatini
Fulvia Lo Schiavo
Published in Materials and Manufacturing Processes
ISSN 1042-6914
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Language en
Keywords Copper, tin, lead, isotopes, provenance, oxhide, ingots, exchange, enterprises, mining, nuragic
Subject categories Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, History and Archaeology


Since the 1980s, extensive archeological studies have provided us with knowledge about the multifaceted relations between Nuragic Sardinia and Bronze Age Cyprus. During the winter of 2019, Nuragic tableware of Sardinian origin was discovered at the harbor site of Hala Sultan Tekke, on the south-eastern coast of Cyprus, providing the opportunity to return to the question of the reasons behind this presence. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the characteristics and role of Sardinian maritime “enterprises” in the long-distance metal trade in the Mediterranean and beyond, including continental Europe. An array of new provenance studies demonstrates the complexity of the Bronze Age metal trade and, taking a maritime perspective, provides the opportunity to reveal how strategically positioned actors such as Nuragic Sardinia managed to dominate sea-borne routes, and gained a prominent and independent international position.

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