Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Aleydis Van de Moortel

Committee Members

David G. Anderson, Stephen A. Collins-Elliott, Justin Arft


This thesis explores the possibility that piracy was practiced in the Aegean Sea region in the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000-2000 BCE), by utilizing archaeological evidence to examine the prevalence and nature of violence in this region in this period. Piracy was most likely an aspect of the great surge in mobility, wealth, and conflict that characterized the extension of the Anatolian Trade Network (ATN) from the eastern Aegean into the central and western Aegean around 2550/2500-2100 BCE. I will trace the movement and examine the impact of tangible materials such as Anatolian architecture, metals, ceramics, and ships, and their concomitant new technologies, while considering the intangible concepts, beliefs, and innovations they likely accompanied. These tangible materials and practices, and intangible ideas, travelling from western coastal Anatolia and its adjacent islands to the Cyclades, Sporades, and Greek mainland and nearby islands, permanently changed the trajectory of cultural, social, and political development in the Aegean. This thesis aims to demonstrate that this movement of material culture was accompanied by a movement of people coming from Anatolia, and that the wealth introduced along the ATN brought a sharp increase in violence in this period. The intensification of sea-based violence that occurred between 2550-2100 BCE in the Aegean likely included acts of piracy, which probably was always a part of the development of the Aegean sea region.


Fixed! One committee member's edits (received from member this morning, apologies) incorporated)

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