Anthi Kaldeli (Department of Antiquities Cyprus), Trade and exchange in the eastern Mediterranean: economic perspectives reflected in the amphorae from Cyprus

The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into the economy of the eastern Mediterranean regions, through the examination of trade and exchange, as reflected in the amphorae from Cyprus. The line of enquiry followed will largely draw on new evidence, based on recent advances in the study of eastern amphorae, not only from Cyprus, but also from neighbouring areas. The identification of new eastern amphora types, including variations and imitations of previously known types, increases our knowledge on production in this part of the empire, but at the same time it adds to the variability characterizing the exchange mechanisms operating in the eastern Mediterranean basin. These new data in conjunction with the strategic position of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, and the application of a theoretical and methodological framework, based on statistical analyses, will shed light in the character of distribution and the associated economic perspectives in the eastern territories, including respective changes and fluctuations. Emphasis will also be put on related institutions, local economies and other non-economic factors that impinged upon the structures reflected in spatial patterns, thus contributing towards elucidating debatable issues concerning the broader character and scale of the Roman economy, within the wider socio-political system.