Hellenorientalia. The Near Eastern Presence in the Bronze Age Aegean, ca. 3000-1100 B.C.

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Hellenorientalia. The Near Eastern Presence in the Bronze Age Aegean, ca. 3000-1100 B.C.

The aim of this study is the investigation and verification of the Near Eastern presence in the Aegean area during the of the Bronze Age, ca. 3000-1100 B.C.. Specifically, this consists mainly in the examination and evaluation of:

A. The chronology, distribution, kind and volume of the exchanges between the two areas,

B. The relevant contemporary written evidence from both areas for whatever testimony may be related to the contacts between them.

   Initially, the study encompassed the entire material record obtained from excavations (that is, the Near Eastern artefacts. the architecture, burial customs, special skills and techniques otherwise unknown in the Aegean at the time), as well as the relevant contemporary written evidence of the literate regions; but equally the implications of these two sources of information for the residence of foreigners in the Aegean, In other words, the possible existence of various kinds of foreign colonies frequently mentioned or alluded to in the ancient Greek tradition. However, when quoted references surpassed one thousand and the assembled bibliography exceeded 100 pages without even mentioning any of the numerous general or marginal texts consulted, it was realized that the effort to present all the relevant information in one document. no matter how desirable this might have been, was simply neither practical nor practicable.

   As a consequence, it was decided to retain the first part of the material record, that is the Near Eastern objects together with the written evidence for the requirements of this study, and to proceed with the rest of the material record, the special skills and techniques, and the colonies indicated, in another study about the colonies, based on the material record. This latter work is planned to include not only all the Near Eastern colonies in the Bronze Age Aegean, but also all Aegean colonies in the Near East, once more in order to give the interested scholar a more comprehensive view of foreign contacts between the Aegean and the Near East.

   It should be clarified here that the expressions “Near Eastern” or “Oriental” presence are used to signify the existence of peoples or objects which derive from the countries of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mitanni, Syro-Palestine, Cyprus and Asia Minor, in the Aegean area.

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Göteborg 1990
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