Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, H. L. Pierce Fund

ON THE COVER: A muscular blacksmith bends his knees as he raises a sledgehammer over his head to strike a bar of hot iron. The scene of a blacksmith at work, here attracting two spectators, was unknown to people of the Bronze Age, but it became emblematic of the next era, the Iron Age, as James Muhly relates in “How Iron Technology Changed the Ancient World.” This smithy decorates a sixth century B.C. amphora from Athens. Further details of this amphora are discussed by Professor Muhly in his article.