Oxhide Ingots, Recycling and the Mediterranean Metals Trade
Issue: Vol 8 No. 1 (1995) June 1995
Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Recent research on the Late Bronze Age metals trade in the Mediterranean has focused on the long distance transport of the so-called 'oxhide' ingots, artefacts which are widely distributed on sites dated between the 16th and 12th centuries BC. The distribution and provenance of these ingots have important implications for our understanding of trade links and political organisation, but appear to be an area where conclusions based on scientific data conflict with established archaeological understanding. This paper presents a radical reassessment of the available scientific information and shows that this conflict stems from an inflexible and dogmatic interpretation of data which in reality remain ambiguous. An alternative hypothesis, which acknowledges the limitations of the applied techniques, is put forward for discussion.
Author: P. Budd, A.M. Pollard, B. Scaife, R. G. Thomas