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Reinventing by the Wheel: Ceramic Networks and New Approaches to the Study of Political Economies

Author(s): Christine Johnston

Year: 2017

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This paper explores the value of network analysis as a method for the quantitative assessment of trade systems with the aim of profiling the structural nature of their associated political institutions. This study will focus on trade in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700 to 1200 BCE), and includes a network analysis of Cypriot and Mycenaean pottery circulated throughout Egypt, Cyprus, and the Levant. The analysis of ceramic distribution networks demonstrates a high degree of variability in consumption and import distribution systems across the regions of study. Network centralization and density measures indicate diverging mechanisms for import circulation, which coincide with the contrasting political institutions extant in this period. The networks of ceramic trade in Egypt and the Levant will be contrasted to examine the correlation between network measures and the surmised political structures in these two regions during this period. Results of this analysis will demonstrate the efficacy of network methods for the examination of political economy and traded materials.

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Reinventing by the Wheel: Ceramic Networks and New Approaches to the Study of Political Economies. Christine Johnston. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431669)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17609

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America