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North Syria As A Bronzeworking Centre In The Early First Millennium B.C.: Luxury Commodities At Home And Abroad

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Chapter Summary

Since there is virtually no written evidence from within North Syria, it is necessary to turn either to Assyrian documents, or to evidence from the archaeological record, to illuminate issues such as the existence of metal ingots and an official weight system at Hamath. This chapter discusses the distribution of North Syrian bronzes in time and space and tries to evidence for their valuation, in an attempt to reconstruct the role of the bronzes both in the North Syrian economy and in the eyes of consumers outside the region. The metal types seem to have had a slightly wider range than the ivories. It argues that element could also reflect differing values on the part of recipient cultures; however, the greater reach of North Syrian bronzes to the west may reflect greater western interest in the bulk-metal resources of the Levant, and hence also their metal products of high quality.

Keywords: Assyrian period; Hamath; North Syrian bronzes; official weight system



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