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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Production and Export of Cypriot Copper during the Late Bronze Age

Copper and its alloys played an important role in the economic and technological development that is apparent in the Bronze Age. In order to obtain copper and tin, the two basic components of bronze, as well as other metals, the civilizations of the Mediterranean had to develop contacts and intricate exchange systems. Many factors led the island of Cyprus to the center of the commercial networks that developed in this period. First, Cyprus, even today is considered one of the richest countries in copper in the world, and already since the end of the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 B.C.) Cypriot copper was exported to neighboring countries. Second, the island. due to its geographic position in the Eastern Mediterranean, functioned throughout its history as a crossroad between the West and the East and as intersection of the commercial trade routes. The importance of Cyprus as a copper producer and exporter in the Late Bronze Age has been revealed by archaeological research carried out both on the island and in the neigh boring countries, while archaeo- metallurgical research on the island has shed light on issues concerning the technology of copper production from sulphide ores.