published on 28 April 2011
The Bronze Age is the second part of the three-age system (Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age) for classifying and studying prehistoric societies, particularly the ancient societies of the Mediterranean and Near East. More broadly, the Bronze Age of any culture is the period during which the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread... [continue reading]
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published on 19 March 2012
Recently Vivian Nutton wrote that “… for our knowledge of Greek medicine and its physicians before the late fifth century BC, we are largely at the mercy of a combination of later legend and modern plausible speculation, and neither can be trusted entirely”. This work attempts to remove some of this speculation, and look at what... [continue reading]
The Nebra Sky Disc is one of the most fascinating, and some would say controversial, archaeological finds of recent years. Dated to 1600 BC, this bronze disc has a diameter of 32cm (about the size of a vinyl LP) and weighs around 2 kg. It is patinated blue-green and embossed with gold leaf symbols which appear to represent a crecent moon, the sun... [continue reading]
The Minoan palace at Knossos, Crete (c. 1500 BCE).
A great deal has been written about why the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, southern England, was constructed. Perhaps it was designed as a temple to the ancestors, an astronomical calendar, a healing centre or a giant computer? Could it even have functioned as all of these things at various stages during its 1500 year history? How... [continue reading]
The cutting of huge figures or geoglyphs into the turf of English hillsides has been going on for more than 3000 years. There are 56 hill figures scattered around England, with the vast majority on the chalk downlands of the southern part of the country. The figures include giants, horses, crosses and regimental badges. Though the majority of these glyphs... [continue reading]
Thera is the ancient name for both the island of Santorini in the Greek Cyclades and the name of the volcano which famously erupted on the island in the late Bronze Age and covered Akrotiri, the most important settlement, in pumice and volcanic ash, thereby perfectly preserving the Bronze Age town. The earliest evidence of settlement on the island at Akrotiri... [continue reading]
Tiryns was a major Mycenaean centre, the magnificent walled fortifications visible today date from the 13th century BCE. The large size of the stones of the walls led the ancient Greeks to believe they were the work of the Cyclopes.
Mycenaean tholos tomb at Mycenae (1450 BCE).
Troy is the name of the Bronze Age city featured in the Trojan War of ancient Greek oral and literary tradition and the name given to the archaeological site in the north west of Asia Minor (now Turkey) which has revealed a large and prosperous city occupied over millennia. There has been much scholarly debate as to whether mythical Troy actually existed and... [continue reading]