Precious Metal: Late Bronze Age Copper Production on Cyprus and its Effects on Social Stratification and Merchants in the Levant
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. LouAnn Wurst
Dr. Britt Hartenberger
Dr. Jacqueline Eng
Cyprus, Levant, merchants, commerce, social stratification, copper, bronze age
Masters Thesis-Campus Only
Societies on Cyprus experienced great changes in the Late Bronze Age. First, there was an intensification of the production of copper from its resources in the Troodos Mountains, which created a surplus for a greater variety of uses for copper and bronze objects. This was an increase from the household items and burial goods made in the Middle Bronze Age to ingots for trade and prestige goods in the Late Bronze Age.
Second, Cyprus saw an increase in social stratification. Many scholars attribute this increase in social stratification to the increase in trade of its copper resources with its eastern Mediterranean neighbors. These scholars, however, overlook the production of copper for trade as a factor in the development of social stratification on Cyprus. One must first produce a commodity in order to trade it. Therefore the increase in production and export of copper from Cyprus during the Late Bronze Age led to a greater variety and accessibility of products made of copper and bronze. This increase in copper production and export also increased social stratification on the island, as well as facilitating a more diplomatic role of merchants, as rulers began utilizing them as diplomats for royal gift exchanges and to negotiate trade agreements.
Wilhelmi, Jason Edward, "Precious Metal: Late Bronze Age Copper Production on Cyprus and its Effects on Social Stratification and Merchants in the Levant" (2012). Masters Theses. 62.