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SMEA 1966-2012
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he main research areas explored in SMEA from 1966 to 2012 are scripts and languages of ancient Anatolia and the ancient Near East, Linear B, the archaeology of Crete, and the relationship between Late Bronze Age Italy and Mycenaean Greece. Many of the articles published over the years were groundbreaking: they contributed to change the focus of research, to adopt new approaches, and to present new interpretations. To date, the journal’s reputation is firmly established.

Since its beginning in the 1960s, SMEA has been one of the few international journals – and the only Italian one – specialized in the publication of contributions

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on the Aegean and Anatolian scripts and languages of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC.

Between the end of the 1960s and the early 1970s many articles were devoted to the undecyphered syllabograms and logograms of Linear B as well as to the phonetics and the morphology of Mycenean Greek. Frequently treated were also the relationship between Mycenaean Greek, Homeric language and the Greek dialects of the 1st millennium BC. A considerable number of articles was devoted to the contribution of Mycenaean Greek to etymological and comparative studies. In the subsequent decades, linguistic studies, although less frequent, continue to represent an important aspect of the journal.

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Fig. 1. Nationality of SMEA authors

The interest in philological, linguistic and historical researches on ancient Anatolia has characterized SMEA since its first issue. In the 1970s the expansion of investigated areas in the Near East led to include Syria, Mesopotamia and Iran. The studies on cuneiform texts in Hittite, Hurrian, Urartian, Akkadian and Elamic dramatically increases, covering a large chronological range, from the 3rd to the 1st Millennium BC. The study of historical and geographical topics with political and economic relevance became established. Researches on Hittite religion still take pride of place.

In the study of Italian Bronze Age, SMEA has been very influential. The relationship between the central Mediterranean and the Aegean world has been dealt with for many years at CNR, and the results of these researches have been often published in SMEA. To be mentioned are the articles on the reassessment of already known archaeological contexts – as in the case of Mycenaean pottery from Lipari’s acropolis –, acculturation phenomena in pottery production – as in the cases of Aegean-type pottery from the Po valley –, and aspects of Thapsos impasto pottery in Sicily. Towards the end of last century, the discovery of Italian style impasto pottery in the Aegean opened new perspectives of research. Also in this occasion SMEA has been at the forefront in tackling fundamental aspects of the debate.

The archaeology of Crete is one of the main subjects addressed by SMEA over the years, with high-quality articles including publication of original data and innovative researches. The interest on Minoan and Mycenaean Crete is mainly the result of the intense archaeological activity carried out by the Istituto per gli Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici between 1990 and 2010. Thanks to this activity, important archaeological sites were discovered and published, such as the Neopalatial building at Nerokourou, the tholos tomb of Achladia and, more recently, the Late Bronze and Iron Age settlement at Sybrita. Therefore, SMEA can be considered one of the most important archaeological journals that have contributed to the advance of knowledge in the field of material culture of Bronze Age and Iron Age Crete.

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rom 1966 to 2012, 54 issues of SMEA were published, eight of which with a double publication. The 63 volumes, and the supplement volume published in 2012, include 1025 papers. Since the first issue, several languages have been used, which correspond to the international attitude of the journal. During the first 15 years, more than 50% of the papers published did not use Italian, but English/French/German and Turkish. All togheter, Italian is the most used language (ca 50%), followed by English (26%), German (13%) and French (9%). The use of such a variety of languages is also due to the research topics addressed, all related to highly specialized disciplines that were then beginning to take shape and, at least in Italy, were not even taught at Universities.

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rom 1990 onwards, an increasing number of articles in English is recorded, following a trend shared by the global scientific community. The international profile of SMEA is highlighted by the 29 different nationalities of its authors.