I was thinking about the Illiad, I am still not sure why it seems so strange that a war would be fought over a woman, or at least as a pretext.
Anyway the archeology supports the idea of slavery in Mycenea through the linear B tablets, which makes sense. Even the idea that Troy 6 in addition to gaining income from Horses and Wool, such as is mentioned by Homer, additionally was an important slave trading centre.
There are of course comparisons to modern slavery such as what still happens in parts such as the mid east and North Africa, and of course the American slave trade. Obviously there are different extremes of slavery, such as what happened in the Americas and what I saw recently in China. And the Greek and generally ancient view of slavery seems to have been more moderate in some ways.
Looking back though with a historical eye, people say things like "How could people do that?". Which seems like a fair question. Fundamentally though I think it is ignorant and hypocritical. At various times through history, it has been accepted as the norm. So people of the time generally saw nothing wrong with it, with a few exceptions such as Wilberforce and others.
So to Mycenae, the records indicate things like 500 women from Asia, how much they ate, and all sorts of accounting details such as children they had etc. There are lots of such records right through to modern times.
What really has me wondering though, is if someone in some hypothetical future were to look through a companies accounting records....what would they think? Would they think we are a slave owning society? Would they say "how could people in 2010 do that?".
So by now your thinking I am nuts, extrapolating from say 1300 BC to modern times. But how many people are really free? How many people are really free not to go to work tomorrow?? Do you really have a choice? Their history is kept not on clay tablets or ledgers anymore, but in computer records - think HR department. (Actually think about what HR really means...Human Resources....a human commodity). How many children you have...are you healthy...are you a good worker...
It is actually worse, since we are also slave owners, but rather than having a slave in our house, we purchase cheap goods made by a slave somewhere else. Is it extreme to say this? I dont think so, how free do you think the people that make your cheap stuff in China for 26$ a month are? The kids that make your shoes in Pakistan?
It just seems to me that we are still a slavery based society, although we a regulated and indirect in it. If your slave gets sick, you can't let them die anymore, instead you send them to the company approved doctor who will then give them an MC - if you deserve it, or the doctor feels sorry for you.