This project is dedicated to a specific group of archaeological finds, such as jewellery, weapons, elaborate furniture, stone and faience vessels, seals or figurines. Such objects are extremely important for the understanding of past cultures. Due to the attractiveness of these objects and the desire for them by both rich and poor members of societies, they provide a great deal of information on the importance, intensity and direction of foreign contacts. These contacts can manifest themselves as imports and exports of objects, but can also result as the transfer of technologies, which enabled societies to imitate things locally. Additionally, thanks to their function as prestige, symbolic items or expressions of material value, they provide indicators for reconstruction of many hidden spheres of past cultures, such as social structure, customs or religion.
These objects and their contexts will first be recorded and analyzed. Analysis will comprise of archaeometric chemical examination of samples and study of traces of technology of production. This will then be followed by a comparative study of the southern Aegean, Anatolia and other areas in order to find parallels for the northern Aegean. During the last stage of research, all results will be compiled and evaluated from a cultural anthropological perspective. The following problems will be the focus of this study: the significance, direction and range of international and local trade, the importance of production and trade centers, and the function of valuable goods within societies.
In opposition to the southern Aegean, this area has never been undertaken for intensive research from the point of view mentioned above. This research will be conducted at the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul (host institution), as well as the German Archaeological Institute in Athens.
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