This conference volume contains the published proceedings of an international symposium held in Cincinnati during April 1997, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Helene Kantor's original groundbreaking monograph (1947) and the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Carl Blegen and Marion Rawson at the University of Cincinnati in 1927. A total of 30 papers were given at the symposium by a variety of scholars, ranging from established and recognized authorities to rising young stars; fully 27 of these are contained in the present volume. The papers given were stimulating and provided a detailed look at where we've been, where we are now, and where we might go in the future.
The papers presented on the first day were all meant to update Kantor's volume, in an effort to see how things have changed, if at all, in the fifty years since its original publication in 1947. Each scholar who presented a paper on this day was asked to discuss a chapter, or partial chapter, of Kantor's monograph, and to suggest how we should revise, update, or even discard her writings. Thus, the first section of this Proceedings volume, with the papers by Betancourt, Barber, Watrous, Hankey, Leonard, Rehak, Laffineur, the Niemeiers, and Caubet, may be used as an updated version of Kantor's monograph, or at least used side-by-side with the original version (now reprinted ).
The papers presented on the second day were meant to be general overviews, on topics of specific interest to Carl Blegen and James Muhly. Here the speakers were asked to summarize, as fully as possible within the time limits, the current state of our knowledge on their pre-assigned topic. This they did admirably, as seen in the second section of this volume, which contains wonderful overviews of contacts, or the possible lack thereof, between the Aegean and Cyprus, Anatolia, Egypt, and Syria-Palestine, by Karageorghis, Mee, Merrillees, and Killebrew, respectively. These are followed in turn by Crowley's paper on Iconography, Bass' look at the evidence for the ships plying the second millennium seas, and Knapp's thoughts on trade as influenced by distance, power, and place. The evening's Keynote address, by James Muhly on the topic of "Re-reading Helene Kantor," is also presented in this section, as are Knapp's introduction of Muhly, and Merrillees' vote of thanks afterward.
The papers presented on the third day were once again concerned with more specific topics, some of which reflected Marion Rawson's interests. These included discussions of international influences during the second millennium BC on stone vases, ivory carving, ceramics, and writing by Demakopoulou, Rehak and Younger, Åström, and Finkelberg, respectively. The remainder of the speakers were asked to specifically address the question of future approaches to the study of Bronze Age trade during the rapidly-approaching third millennium AD. These speakers, namely Yener, Morris, Shelmerdine, Aruz, Manning, and the Sherratts, were asked to address this opened-ended topic from their own area of expertise, with suggested sub-topics such as: Where did they see themselves going in the future? Where should the field as a whole go? What would they recommend to graduate students who want to work in their area of expertise? The resulting papers, which all managed to address these topics in some general way, shape or form, are forward-looking, thoughtful, and occasionally more than a little provocative; we hope that some of the ideas they present will indeed serve to stimulate and energize other scholars, both now and during the coming millennium.
The Discussions, both those which followed the individual papers and those which took place during the hour-long sessions at the end of the first and the third days, were animated and thought-provoking; all are reproduced in this publication. We had thought that the very question of contacts would be a great subject of debate, but it seemed to be the prevailing attitude, for the duration of the conference at least, that the question was not so much whether the Aegean was in contact with the Eastern Mediterranean during the second millennium BC, or even to what extent, but rather that such contacts were commonplace and that the more interesting questions lie in the realm of the impact and implications of such contacts. Thus, we believe that with the publication of this volume the study of Aegean international contacts and trade has truly begun to come of age. Finally, the question is no longer simply Was there contact and trade?,' but has become: Was contact and trade consistent or did it fluctuate in different periods of the Bronze Age?,' What were the mechanisms of transmission?,' What other influences and cultural ideas were exchanged along with the material objects?,' and so on. We believe that Kantor, Blegen, and Rawson would have found it gratifying.