The technological capabilities of the ancient world have long fascinated scholars and the general public alike, though scholarly debate has often seen material culture not as the development of technology, but as a tool for defining chronology and delineating the level of interactions of neighboring societies. These fourteen papers, arising from a conference held in Oxford in September 2000, take the approach that technology plays a vital role in past socioeconomic systems. They cover the Near East and associated areas, including Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia and Egypt from the end of the Middle Bronze Age to the Late Bronze Age (1650-1150 BC), a period when many technological innovations appear for the first time.
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