Publications by Year: 2011

Olivier Rouault, Terqa Final Reports No.2: Les textes des saisons 5 a 9
Buccellati, Giorgio, ed. Olivier Rouault, Terqa Final Reports No.2: Les textes des saisons 5 a 9 (Malibu, Undena Publications, 2011), pp. 158.Abstract

This volume presents the publication by O. Rouault of the epigraphic documents discovered in the 5th through the 9th season of excavations at Tell Ashara-Terqa (Syria), by the Archaeological Mission directed by G. Buccellati and M. Kelly-Buccellati. The total of 97 documents, found in Areas C and F, is unevenly distributed between the five seasons of excavation (respectively 17, 6, 20, 24, and 30). Three periods are represented: Old Hana (Area C), late Sakkanakku and Old Babylonian (Area F). The ten documents of the Sakkanakku period - legal and administrative - present data that are rather new: they illustrate the specificity of the scribal tradition during this period, but at the same time they show that some characteristics of the legal Old Babylonian documents find their origin there.

Of the 62 Old Babylonian documents, around 20 are of administrative type (management of workers, various distributions, recordings of the production of fields, etc) and ten are letters. Two legal texts are particularly interesting: a contract of division of heritage and a report of a lawsuit mentioning the governor Kibri-Dagan and the royal judge. School texts and a literary fragment written in emesal dialect show that a high level scribal school functioned at Terqa at that time. Lastly, a fragment of a divinatory report and allusions in the letters give information on these types of activity. Among the 27 texts of the time of Hana, we find the same typology: administrative documents and letters, school, legal and religious texts, this last category being represented by a list of offerings to the goddess Ninkarrak, found in her temple.

The work presents first all of the texts, season by season, in transcription and translation. Exhaustive indices are given, along with an analytical table where the texts are sorted according to chronology and typology, allowing a thematic approach to the collection. After the bibliography, the documents are presented with hand copies and photographs given side by side.

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The Temple Mount Excavations in Jerusalem 1968-1978 by Benjamin Mazar: Final Reports Volume IV (The Tenth Legion in Aelia Capitolina)
Mazar, Eilat, The Temple Mount Excavations in Jerusalem 1968-1978 by Benjamin Mazar: Final Reports Volume IV (The Tenth Legion in Aelia Capitolina) (Institute of Archaeology - Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society, and Israel Antiquities Authority : QEDEM Reports #52, 2011).Abstract

With contributions by Noam Adler, Leah Di Segni, Lev Kapitaikin, Orit Peleg-Barkat, Peretz Reuven, Renate Rosenthal-Heginbottom, Stuart D. Sears, Guy D. Stiebel, and Anna de Vincenz

This volume is the fourth of the final reports on the archaeological excavations directed by Prof. Benjamin Mazar for ten continuous years (1968 - 1978) at the foot of the southern wall and adjacent to the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount enclosure. The excavations were conducted on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Exploration Society, and the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (now the Israel Antiquities Authority).


The publication project of the Temple Mount excavations aims to publish complete and comprehensive excavation reports divided according to historical period. The present volume, the fourth, deals with the Late Roman period, from the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans (70 CE) until Constantine the Great took control of the eastern Roman Empire (324 CE) and Christianity became the predominant religion. In 130 CE, the emperor Hadrian (117 - 138 CE) founded a pagan Roman city on the ruins of Jerusalem, calling it Aelia Capitolina. After its establishment, the main camp of the Tenth Legion apparently moved to the area near the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, also occupying the Temple Mount enclosure itself. The remains of the relatively well-preserved structures that most probably belonged to the legion, and were preserved to an extraordinary height of four meters, were revealed in the Temple Mount Excavations.

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Umm al-Biyara: Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett in Petra 1960-1965
Bienkowski, Piotr, ed. Umm al-Biyara: Excavations by Crystal-M. Bennett in Petra 1960-1965 (Oxford, UK and Oakville, CT, Council for British Research in the Levant and Oxbow Books, 2011), pp. 159.Abstract

Umm al-Biyara, the highest mountain in Petra, southern Jordan, was the first Iron Age Edomite site to be extensively excavated. It was a domestic, unwalled settlement of stone-built longhouses dating to the 7th-6th centuries BCE. The stratigraphy, pottery, small finds and inscribed material, including the important bulla of Qos-Gabr, King of Edom, are described here in detail. This information is supplemented by chapters on the use of space and a landscape study of mountain-top sites in the Petra region. The later remains on the edge of the summit indicate a major Nabataean complex of buildings, possibly a palace, which would make this the first Nabataean palace in Petra to be explicitly identified.

Tel 'Aroer: The Iron Age II Caravan Town and the Hellenistic-Early Roman Settlement, Vols. I and II
Thareani, Yifat, Tel 'Aroer: The Iron Age II Caravan Town and the Hellenistic-Early Roman Settlement, Vols. I and II, ed. David Ilan (Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion : Annual # 8, 2011), pp. 470 (Vol.1:text); 219 (Vol.2:plates).Abstract

The Avraham Biran  (1975-1982) and Rudolph Cohen (1975-1976) Excavations

This volume is the final publication of the Hebrew Union College/Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums excavations at Tel 'Aroer in the Negev desert, expedited from 1975 - 1982. The excavations and this account of them, add much new data and a more nuanced understanding of the Negev in the biblical and Roman periods. The bulk of this report is the work of Yifat Thareani who prepared it as part of her doctoral dissertation written under the direction of Prof. Israel Finkelstein and Prof. Nadav Na'aman at Tel Aviv University. We are grateful to these illustrious scholars for their guidance.

The Background for Recent Archaeological Research in the Negev:

The late 1970s saw a period of intense exploration in the Negev desert. The peace agreement with Egypt, signed in 1978, led to Israel's withdrawal from Sinai. This meant that Israel Defense Forces would have to relocate the military bases in the Negev, the only region having significant open spaces suitable for large-scale maneuvers. In anticipation of this mass-relocation the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (IDAM, now called the Israel Antiquities Authority), under the directorship of Avraham Eitan, instituted the Emergency Survey of the Negev, to be directed by Rudolf Cohen. Great tracts of the Negev were surveyed and hundreds of sites excavated. Many of the survey grids have been published in the Archeological Survey of Israel serious (maps 125 - 225) and a number of the excavated sites have been reported in Excavations and Surveys in Israel and Hadashot Arkheologiyot. A major part of the excavation work of Rudolf Cohen and his team has been published in abbreviated form in his book, Ancient Settlement of the Negev Highlands, The Iron Age and the Persian Period, (Cohen and Cohen, Admin 2004).

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Balgarchevo: The Prehistoric Settlement, Volume I
Pernicheva-Perets, Liliana, Malgorzata Grebska-Kulow, and Ilija Kulov, Balgarchevo: The Prehistoric Settlement, Volume I (Craft House Bulgaria, 2011), pp. 476.Abstract

The prehistoric settlement of Balgarchevo is situated in the area of Kasi bania [bath], immediately at the northeast end of the village of Balgarchevo, which lies 10 km norhtwestwards from the city of Blagoevgrad. It is on a middle river terrace on the right bank of the Struma River. There is an excellent visibility over the valley of the river both to the northern and southern direction. Having in mind the fact that Struma used to be one of the most important natural axes connecting the northern Mediterranean with the Central Balkan Peninsula throughout the whole prehistoric period, this particular location of the prehistoric settlement seems to have been not only naturally-determined, but also strategically-conditioned. The leveled terrace gave people a good opportunity for building. Both the neighboring and further land were suitable for agriculture. At the same time, the various landscapes with their hill outskirts of the Vlahina Mountain to the west provided marvellous conditions for hunting and stock-breeding. The precipitous slope of the river terrace of Struma limited the settlement to the east, while to the south it was restricted by the steep slope going down to the Lisiyska River, a right tributary of Struma. In this way the prehistoric settlement was, to a certain extent, naturally protected from two sides and it hand all the necessary conditions for living-agriculture, stock-breeding, hunting and fishing. One of the new natural passages connecting the Struma River Valley with the Vardar River Valley is located near the settlement.

The settlement is discovered at the end of 60th years of 20th century by Dimka Stoianova-Serafimova, archeologist from the Regional Museum of History (RMH) in Blagoevgrad. In 1974 Liliana Pernicheva from National Archaeological Institute with Museum in Sofia and Tsvetana Angelova from Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad made the first sounding. The results evoked big interest among the specialists. Long-termed archaeological excavations started in 1977 and continued with certain interruptions until 1987.

The big amount of the investigated material and its importance determined its arrangement into two volumes. The first volume consists of the geographical and archaeological characterization of the region, stratigraphy, architecture, a full characterization of the ceramics following the period, the development of the prehistoric cultures and an appendix with chemical and petrographical research of selected ceramic fragments completed in the Chemical and Mineralogical Institute of the University of Mining and Geology in Sofia. The second volume will contain cult plastics, stone, flint and bone tools, adornments, interdisciplinary researches (paleobotany, paleontology and anthropology) and a chapter on chronology and periodization.

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On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran
Rothman, Mitchell, and Hilary Gopnik, On the High Road: The History of Godin Tepe, Iran (Costa Mesa, CA, Mazda Publishers in association with Royal Ontario Museum : Issue 1 of Bibliotheca Iranica: archaeology, art & architecture series, 2011), pp. 379.Abstract

With contributions by Robert C. Henrickson and Virginia R. Badler

The site of Godin Tepe is located in the southeastern corner of the Kangavar valley in central western Iran, at the western end of the Silk Road. Excavated by the late T. Cuyler Young Jr. under the auspices of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1965 to 1973, Godin provides the longest continuous sequence of occupation of any archaeological site in central western Iran. On the High Road will trace the 4000-year history of this uniquely important settlement and demonstrate how, at each successive phase of occupation, the people of Godin exploited their home's position at the crossroads of cultures.

"On the High Road" will provide the first major publication of the material remains from Godin. The assemblage of artifacts includes over ten thousand pottery sherds and elaborately painted vessels; about seven hundred unique stone, ceramic, bone, and metal objects including jewelry, bronze drinking bowls, and clay animal figurines; some of the earliest clay tablets and sealings from Iran; and hundreds of samples of organic material and animal bone which have provided evidence for early wine and beer production. The long overdue publication of Godin will constitute a major contribution to the scholarship of the archaeology of the Near East and will provide a fitting culmination to one of the most important archaeological projects of Iranian archaeology from the last half of the 20th century. The book will also serve as a record of the lifework of former ROM director and internationally respected scholar of early Iranian history, the late T. Cuyler Young Jr.

"On the High Road" will be aimed at a broad readership. The authors will weave a narrative of the remarkable 4000-year history of Godin while explaining how archaeological remains are used to reconstruct the past. Select architectural plans and reconstructions as well as photos and drawings of the most complete objects will illustrate the art and architecture of the various phases at the site, and will also be used to demonstrate how artifacts can offer us clues into the social, economic, and spiritual lives of the people that used them. The printed volume will be supplemented by an extensive online database that will provide further detail and illustration for those scholars in search of more indepth information about the site. This innovative approach to publishing Godin Tepe will make this important site accessible to a wider audience than can be served by a traditional site report, while at the same time providing the data that is required for future scholarship.

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The Seals and Sealings of Tell Beydar/Nabada (Seasons 1995 - 2001): A Progress Report.
Bretschneider, Joachim, and Greta Jans, The Seals and Sealings of Tell Beydar/Nabada (Seasons 1995 - 2001): A Progress Report. (Brepols: Beydar Monographs 1 / Subartu XXVII, 2011), pp. 492.Abstract

The Kranzhügel, Tell Beydar (ancient Nabada) is located in the Upper Syrian Jezireh. Its main occupation dates back to the Early Dynastic/Early Jezireh IIIb period during which time Beydar was subordinate to Tell Brak (ancient Nagar).

Tell Beydar, excavated since 1992 by a joint Syro-European expedition headed by Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, has produced more than 1500 sealings, representing 215 different designs, many of the finest quality. Eighty-five percent of these sealings can be ascribed to the final phase of the Early Jezireh IIIb Official Upper City Complex (dated around 2300 BC). This glyptic material is the largest corpus of Early Bronze Age sealings from Northern Mesopotamia attributed to an official household. The study of the different designs, the functional aspects and the contextual analyses of the sealings give an impression of the official administration in an Early Bronze Age palatial complex.

The authors were responsible for the glyptic study of the 1995 - 2001 seasons, but earlier published glyptic data - the 1994 season conducted by Beatrice Teissier and the 2002 - 2006 seasons by Elena Rova - have also been incorporated in this research.

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Site, Artefects, Landscape: Prehistoric Borg in-Nadur, Malta
Tanasi, Davide, and N.C. Vella, ed. Site, Artefects, Landscape: Prehistoric Borg in-Nadur, Malta (Monza, IT, Polimetrica : Praehistorica Mediterranea Vol. III, 2011).Abstract

The Bronze Age of the Maltese archipelago has long been overlooked by archaeologists whose attention has mostly been focused on the Late Neolithic temples. This book attempts to understand the islands' Bronze Age society in the course of the second millennium BC by exploring the history of Borg in-Nadur in south-east Malta. The site of a megalithic temple and re-used in later periods when a fortified settlement was built on the plateau, Borg in-Nadur was visited by travellers and antiquarians in the course of the Early Modern period, and was investigated by archaeologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This collection of essays discusses the early attempts to understand the site, and presents a comprehensive catalogue of finds that have never been properly published. It also considers the site in its local landscape setting and in its regional south-central Mediterranean context, and explores issues related to past and present public outreach and site management.

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