The purpose of this site is to present an English version of a French doctoral thesis that has been considerably updated, and modified. In this version there is an emphasis on the textual, as well as the material, background of the appearance of Mycenaean III C pottery that developed throughout the 12th century B.C. into Cypriot Proto White Painted.
The thesis that obtained a doctorat in 1982 was an effort to induce a pattern of cultural influences from the material finds, intentionally unconcerned with the textual documents of the period. It was only as a sort of addendum that the texts of the period were addressed, and found to correspond to the material innovations in Cyprus at this time: a population transfer from the region of Ugarit to Cyprus during the 12th century B.C., including Balkan elements that may have been transmitted by mercenaries at the time of invasions from the north mentioned in 12th century Egyptian texts. This hypothesis, induced by a straightforward analysis of the excavated givens, contradicts the prevailing theories of a Mycenaean-Aegean colonization or an indigenous economic adaptation process. Decades of research since then have reinforced the givens suggesting that a Levantine cultural transformation took place in Cyprus during the 12th century B.C.
The following three different methodologies offering three different explanations for the archaeological finds, are discussed in the introduction and the conclusion of the e-book. During the 19th and early 20th century Near Eastern archaeologists set out to verify Biblical and Homeric texts. They did so in an amalgam of punctual excavations and publications. Meanwhile, in Europe, the emphasis was on Darwinian biological evolution with a focus on discovering a simian-human development. Eventually this approach turned into the present day conviction that there are indigenous human adaptation “processes” that can be predicted by establishing theoretical models of probability patterns. This fits comfortably with the conviction that natural selection is a fundamental diachronic energy. Emphasis on commercial exchanges, or trade patterns, is a focus on a given fragment of this supposed local development, as opposed to earlier migration theories. A third possibility, chosen here, is to permit the sources to speak for themselves. The archaeological discoveries are ordered in terms of typology, chronology and geography. From this starting point an hypothesis is induced that can be modified as new material is discovered.
An illustrated catalogue, contained in my doctoral thesis, of all the pottery and comparative material that was published before 1982, can be consulted on the French CNRS website TEL (Thesis n° tel-00408636) under the rubrique “rechercher”.
Comments or additional data via email are welcome. New data will be posted and attributed to the commentator. For a printable version of the ebook pdf you are requested to contact me by using this contact form.