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Metal makes the world go around: Τhe importance of Cypriot copper

alt“The importance of Cypriot copper from the third to the first millennium BC” is the topic of a very interesting lecture which will be presented by Dr Jennifer Webb, Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, next Thursday, 2 July 2015, in the Seminar series offered for fifth consecutive year by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

The Troodos mountain range in Cyprus has some of the richest copper ore deposits in the world. The exploitation of these deposits formed the basis of the island’s economic prosperity and development from prehistoric times until Late Antiquity. Cyprus was involved in the production and trade of copper from the middle of the third millennium BC and in the second millennium Cypriot copper reached as far west as Marseille, as far north as Oberwilfingen in Germany, as far south as Qantir in Egypt and as far east as Babylon.

Following the collapse of trading networks in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age, the Cypriots found new markets in the central Mediterranean and by the C9th BC Cyprus was once again the primary copper source for the region. The island maintained this role for centuries and in the Roman period Cypriot copper (aes Cyprium) was a term synonymous with the purest copper metal.

The lecture will focus on the archaeological and textual evidence for the exploitation of the metal resources of the island from the third millennium until Roman times.

Dr Jennifer Webb is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University and a Senior Research Associate of the University of Cyprus. She is an internationally recognised expert on Bronze Age Cyprus and has co-directed a number of Australian excavation projects on the island. She has an extensive list of publications on Cypriot archaeology, including 20 books and over 100 papers.

Dr Webb has also published collections of Cypriot antiquities in Australia and the UK. She a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Society of Antiquaries of London and an Honorary Life Member of the Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria.

Since 2009, she has served, together with Professor David Frankel, as Editor-in-Chief of Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology. This series is a major publisher of volumes on Cypriot and Aegean archaeology and plays an important role in promoting the work of younger scholars in these fields.

The Greek Community of Melbourne and the organising Committee of the Seminars wish to thank the sponsor of the lecture: Mr Kypros Kyprianou.

When: Thursday, 2 July, 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Language: English
Entry: Free