Tracing Elite Industry in the Ancient Mediterranean

By
Ellen Bruner
Ellen Bruner, a Molecular and Cellular Biology major, began research into Cypriot iconography nearly four years ago in a Freshman seminar. Today, she is a Senior and Provost's Undergraduate Research Award recipient for her ongoing archaeological work with Dr. Emily Anderson, presenting the culmination of an independent study on the cultural collisions between copper and ceramics in Bronze Age Cyprus.

brunerTracing Elite Industry in the Ancient Mediterranean: Cyprus, Ceramics, and Copper​

Cyprus (a trade hub during the Bronze Age among powers in Greece, Egypt and the Levant) possesses a rich archaeological history, characterized by a both a wealth of imported material culture and elaborate native wares. Although recent studies have examined the elevation of Cypriot ‘international’ relations through the lens of the island’s socio-economic stake in the Amarna Age as copper-rich Alayisha, evidence regarding a role for Cypriot ceramics parallel to copper has yet to be fully considered. Chemical analysis by the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum in collaboration with the Walters Art Museum, including X-Ray Fluorescence and Raman Spectroscopy, compares both slip and fabric of two exemplars of White Slip Ware: one definitively from the first, innovative period of production and one hypothesized to be from a second, more standardized wave.