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An archaeological approach to the concept of value

Mycenaean pottery at Ugarit (Syria)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2009

Extract

Value is one of the concepts which are of importance in the way people structure their material surroundings. According to the philosophy of Georg Simmel, value finds its origins in the tension between the desire for objects and access to them. The dimensions of desirability and accessibility may be investigated archaeologically, in order to approach the concept of value. Such a perspective is taken in this article with reference to three different classes of imported Mycenaean pottery, which have been found in the Late Bronze Age levels of the site of Ugarit at the Mediterranean coast of Syria. It is concluded that various vessel types were appreciated differently at the city. The meanings imposed on these imported objects derived from the roles they played in the local cultural context.

Type
Discussion Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 1999

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