Macquarie University
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The Mediterranean nodes of exchange: southern Italian cultures and their encounter with the Mycenaeans during the Late Bronze Age, 1600-1050 BCE

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posted on 2024-05-15, 02:21 authored by Sara Fioretti

In the 2nd millennium BCE, maritime networks became essential to the Mediterranean lifestyle, creating an interconnected world. The misinterpreted phenomenon of interconnected cultures is often associated with colonial endeavours without considering the complexity and role of regional and cross-cultural exchanges. This paper explores the socio-economic relationships in regional and cross-cultural settings present within the archaeological repertoire of the southern Italian Late Bronze Age (LBA 1600 -1050 BCE). 

The emergence of economic relations within the connectivity of the regional settlements is evident through the ceramic signatures found at Punta di Zambrone, Broglio di Trebisacce, and Nuraghe Antigori. Previous scholarship underpinned the connectivity of the Mediterranean Basin as an “effect” of the Mycenaean “influence”. Therefore, this paper’s focus is the involvement of local Italian civilisations in the social nodes that entangle their production to the Mycenaean trade. 

My research situates itself in the shifting theoretical views of the last ten years that discuss the LBA’s connectivity through a comparative analysis of ceramic frequency distribution, Social Networks, Entanglement and Assertive Objects. Applying these theoretical frameworks will demonstrate an economic relationship that broadened the cultural spheres of the Late Bronze Age. Therefore, questioning the existence of a dominant Mycenaean force in south Italy in the LBA, we can glimpse the relationships cultivated by local Italians and Mycenaeans and their roles within their networks. This research offers a new perspective on the connectivity of the Late Bronze Age relational structures. 


Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction -- Chapter Two: Ceramics -- Chapter Three: Landing on the Ionian Littoral -- Chapter Four: The Tyrrhenian Tide -- Chapter Five: The Southern Shores of Sardinia -- Chapter Six: Comparative Analysis -- Chapter Seven: Final Conclusions -- Bibliography

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Master of Research

Department, Centre or School

Department of History and Archaeology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Susan Lupack

Additional Supervisor 1

Leigh Boucher


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




165 pages

Former Identifiers

AMIS ID: 352957