Bronze Manufacturing

Manufacturing absorbed small numbers of workers who operated with little mechanical assistance. Of these, a significant number must have been slaves, since no free man worked for wages unless driven to it by poverty. It has been estimated that only about 500 potters and painters were active in 5th century Athens at a time when the city supplied most of the luxury tableware for the entire Greek world. Manufacturing, transport and food production demanded a broad range of skills. The stone, clay and metal trades needed quarrymen, masons, sculptors, potters, painters and foundry workers; the clothing industry, weavers, dyers and fullers; the leather trade, tanners and cobblers; construction, stone cutters, carpenters and architects; maritime transport, ship-builders, dock-loaders and sailors; food production, anything from farmers, herdsmen, bee-keepers and fishermen to bakers and cooks.

Bronze Tripod
Cypriot Geometric period IA (ca. 1050-1000 BC)
Kaloriziki Cemetery (Tomb 39:28), Kourion, Cyprus
One of Cyprus's important sources of wealth from Bronze Age times on was its deposits of copper. By the Late Bronze Age Cyprus was trading raw copper and metalwork throughout the Mediterranean. This type of bronze rod tripod is a stand which would have been fitted with a separate cauldron. It is common to Cyprus in the later Bronze Age down to the 8th century BC
H. 11.2; L. 13.5; Dia. 11.25 cm. UM neg. S8-65201.

North Syrian Bronze Repousse Bowl
8th-7th century BC
This hammered bowl, manufactured in North Syria, bears the distinctively oriental motifs of the lion and the sphinx which became so popular in Greek art.
H. 9.0; L. 20.5; W. 19.0 cm. Photo courtesy Conservation Dept., University of Pennsylvania Museum.


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