Institute of Nautical Archaeology

Why the paucity of Troy VI finds? Because Late Bronze Age trade was largely in metals, says Niemeier. Copper and tin, the makings of bronze, were transported in the form of ox-hide ingots, which resembled the dried skin of an ox (this photo shows a copper ingot from the late-14th-century B.C. Uluburun wreck, off the coast of southern Anatolia). Ox-hide ingots have been found at various sites in the Black Sea, which suggests that Aegean and eastern Mediterranean peoples traded with the Black Sea region—meaning that their ships probably laid up at Troy before making the often difficult passage through the Dardanelles.