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"Minding the Gap": Against the Gaps. The Early Bronze Age and the Transition to the Middle Bronze Age in the Northern and Eastern Aegean/Western Anatolia

Liman Tepe from the northwest.
Liman Tepe from the northwest.

Gaps are not desirable in archaeology, whether they refer to cultural gaps or to gaps in research. When Rutter defined a "gap" between the Early Cycladic IIB and Middle Cycladic I/Middle Helladic I assemblages, it was evident that there existed a real gap in archaeological research of the prehistoric landscapes and islandscapes of the northern and eastern Aegean and of western Anatolia, to the south of Troy. This short article discusses the rich archaeological evidence of the Aegean Early Bronze Age that has accumulated over the past 30 years. It emphasizes cultural dialogues that existed between the eastern Aegean Islands and western Anatolian littoral, on the one hand, and between both of these areas and the Cyclades, mainland Greece, and Crete, on the other; these dialogues are obvious in technology (pottery, metallurgy), in the development of trade networks, in the evolution of political and social practices, in symbolic expressions, and finally in the transformation of the parallel lives of the Early Bronze Age Aegean societies.

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