In 1912 R. A. S. Macalister published reports on his Palestine Exploration Fund excavations at Tell Gezer in central Israel, including notice of having traced almost a full mile of defense walls around the site. Now, a century later, a detailed reassessment of these fortifications is provided in the release of Gezer VII: The Middle Bronze and Later Fortifications in Fields II, IV, and VII
This volume, by Mississippi State University, Cobb Institute of Archaeology Director Joe D. Seger and Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures Professor James W. Hardin, features excavation work directed by Seger and his staff at Gezer between 1968 and 1974 under the sponsorship of Hebrew Union College and Harvard University. Its major focus is on the area of Macalister's "Southern Gate" in Field IV, and along his "Inner" and "Outer" wall systems on both the southern (in Field II) and northern (in Field VIII) sides of the site. The volume contains much new data providing a confident dating of the Southern Gate complex and the Inner Wall system to the late Middle Bronze Age between 1700-1500 B.C.E. MB age occupation levels yielded a hoard of gold jewelry and early evidence of alphabetic writing along with other domestic artifacts and installations from within rooms of an intramural storage complex.
Reinvestigations of segments of the Outer Wall system provided support for a date of origin in the Late Bronze period ca. 1400 B.C.E. along with confirmation of Macalister's conclusion that a major rebuilding of these fortifications took place during the Selucid era in the second century B.C.E.
Wadi Hammeh 27, an Early Natufian Settlement at Pella in Jordan is a detailed report on one of the most important Natufian sites to have emerged in the past thirty years and an integrated analysis and interpretation of subsistence strategies, settlement patterns and ritual life in one of the world's earliest village communities. The 14,000-year-old settlement of Wadi Hammeh 27 is one of the most spectacular sites of its kind, featuring the largest, most complex pre-Neolithic architectural complex yet discovered in the Middle East, an unparalleled series of artefact caches and activity areas, and a rich corpus of late Ice Age art pieces.
Winner of the 2013 American Schools of Oriental Research G. Ernest Wright Award! This award is given to the most substantial volume dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean.
"This book is a treasure-trove for researchers specialising in the Natufian period and is a most significant addition to the data base of the Early Natufian in particular." Anna Belfer-Cohen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hasanlu V provides archaeologists with a new, more accurate chronology of Hasanlu, the largest and arguably the most important archaeological site in the Gadar River Valley of northwestern Iran. This revised chronology introduces Hasanlu Periods VIa, V, and IVc for the first time. Based on new findings, the report overturns current constructions of the origins of the archaeological culture in Hasanlu, which sought to link the Monochrome Burnished Ware Horizon (formerly known as the Early Western Grey Ware Horizon) to the migration of new peoples into western Iran in the later second millennium B.C. Hasanlu V shows instead that the Monochrome Burnished Ware Horizon developed gradually from indigenous traditions. This reappraisal has important implications for our understanding of Indo-Iranian migrations into the Zagros region.
"This handsomely produced book is a welcome addition to the long-delayed publication of the important site of Hasanlu, in Iranian Azerbaijan. The site was excavated by a University of Pennsylvania team, together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Archaeological Service of Iran from 1956-1977. . . . A valuable volume."—Ancient History Bulletin
With contributions by Avner Ayalon, Mira Bar-Matthews, Guy Bar-Oz, Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, Michal Ben-Gal, Edwin C.M. van den Brink, Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Nimrod Getzov, Yuval Goren, Elisheva Kamaisky, Yossi Nagar, Naomi Porat, T. Douglas Price, Noa Raban-Gerstel, Tamar Schick, and Irina Segal
The unique Chalcolithic burial cave was unexpectedly discovered in Peqi'in, Upper Galilee in the summer of 1995. It was clear from the first glance that the view spread before the excavators of stalagmites, stalactites, ossuaries, burial jars and skeletal remains was of an outstanding nature. The cave was first used for temporary occupation during the early Chalcolithic period. Later, it was converted into an extraordinary cemetery where a large variety of objects was found, attesting to cultural connections with other regions and particularly, with the Golan Heights. The main findings were dozens of ossuaries decorated with hitherto unknown painted and sculpted iconography. The vast number of ossuaries, burial jars and skeletons representing at least 600 individuals indicate that the cave served as a central burial ground where these Chalcolithic peoples practiced ancestor worship. The findings illustrate the high cultural, technological and artistic level of the makers of these items as well as the rich spiritual life of their community. The selection of Upper Galilee as the final resting place for their tribal ancestors demonstrates for the first time the significant role played by this hitherto poorly known region. This volume concludes the excavation and research that followed it and opens new horizons for the study of the Chalcolithic period.
The site of al-Lahun, located on the northern plateau of the Wadi Mujib in Jordan, was excavated between 1978 en 2000. This report presents a typological and technological survey of the pottery from the Iron Age I village in area D. Only 201 Iron I rim sherds were found as well as four complete vessels and many not restorable body fragments. The pottery repertoire is quite limited: two types of storage jars, four different types of smaller jars and jugs, two types of large kraters, six types of small and medium-sized bowls and only one type of cooking pot, all dating to the 12th century B.C. Three pottery workshops could be distinguished, each one producing different kinds of vessels. Both a slow turning wheel and a faster throwing wheel were used. The site seems to have been inhabited for a short time only.
Between 1925 and early 1933 the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute’s expedition to Megiddo created a large dumping area in a convenient locale to the southeast of the high mound for fills removed from excavations on the upper tell. So that the new dumps would not additionally cover any ancient remains in the vicinity of the tell, that area the excavators labeled the “East Slope” was systematically and incrementally stripped bare of its soil overburden and archaeological deposits down to bedrock. Excavations on that rocky East Slope unearthed a patchy and confusing series of sequences of human utilization, most of which could not be easily correlated with finds on the high mound.
Although a final report on the excavation of the East Slope was planned, the vagaries of the several excavators’ careers, their states of health, and cessation of the expedition’s work due to World War II effectively prevented creation of final reports for that and other areas of the site. Until the present the sole published evidence for the East Slope (sometimes, albeit erroneously, known as the “Megiddo Stages”) was confined to several preliminary reports, all published prior to the second half of the last century. The present work synthesizes all available documentary and artifactual evidence, most unpublished, found in two primary repositories, the Oriental Institute in Chicago and the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem. The aim of this project was to recreate a detailed and definitive account of the archaeological record of the East Slope unearthed by its excavators, as far as it is possible more than eight decades after the excavations’ completion.
This report presents never before published plans, photographs, descriptions from field diaries, and stratigraphic observations that show clear evidence of architectural remains, caves, niches and quarries, tombs, and both rock-cut and built installations in select and non-contiguous locales, as well as artifacts associated with the earliest periods found on the East Slope, dating from the Neolithic period through the Early Bronze Age. This report also offers limited documentation of human activity there in later periods. These are found primarily in documentation of vestiges of numerous constructions, many superimposed on late prehistoric remains, and in evidence of extensive quarrying activity in bedrock.
In addition to detailed descriptions of remains and finds from the early periods, the authors have analyzed and interpreted the significance of the archaeological record in light of modern scholarship, with special attention paid to results of more recent excavation reports on sites within the region. Discussions concern the chronology of East Slope deposits, chrono-cultural attributions and associations of ceramic, groundstone, and chipped stone artifacts as well as the significance of architectural, mortuary, and regional traditions. Those issues are synthesized in summaries that set forth their socio-chronological implications for understanding the late prehistory of the southern Levant.
With contributions by László Bartosiewicz, Gianluca Bozzetti, Sándor Bököny, Alessandro Buccolieri, Romina Laurito, Cristina Lemorini, Clelia Mora, Antonio Serra, and Giovanni Siracusano
This is the last volume of the “Arslantepe” series, dedicated to the publication of the final results of the excavations and researches conducted on the site by the Italian Archaeological Expedition in Eastern Anatolia. The book provides a detailed account of comprehensive sets of data and materials from the Late Bronze Age levels recovered at Arslantepe during the earlier excavations of the late-1960s and 1970s on the northern area and the most recent works in the south-western sector of the mound, reprocessing them as a whole and integrating all the information available. The purpose pursued was to reconstruct the historical picture of the site and the Upper Euphrates region during the Hittite expansion. The results obtained shed light on the nature of the contact established between the Hittite polity and its eastern periphery, revealing aspects of continuity or change at Arslantepe associated with different relations between the local community and the centralised Central Anatolian power.
Several categories of archaeological data have been taken into consideration. First, pottery assemblages are analysed in many aspects such as processes of production, function and distribution in contexts of use, chronological development of diagnostic attributes and regional and extra-regional diffusion, in order to detect both daily-life aspects and the influence and nature of external relations with the entail as for socio-political organization.
The second category of artifact is represented by seals and seal impressions, through which administrative implements and practices, as well as cultural influences and political relationships are examined. Other types of evidence are represented by craft activities, with a restricted amount of material within each category. Metalwork, as well as other classes of artifact such as bone, clay and stone objects, have been typologically analysed in order to observe their spatial and chronological distribution, and identify the degree of external cultural contact within the different categories. Weaving and macro-lithic tools, on the other hand, were subjected to technological and functional analysis, determining use-wear, in order to recognize and understand aspects of daily-life.
A last category of finds is faunal remains. Animal bone assemblages have been diachronically and synchronically compared to those belonging to the previous Arslantepe phases and other coeval collections from Anatolia, in order to acknowledge socio-economic changes and environmental conditions at the site.
Chemical-physical analyses have been carried out on pottery sherds in order to assess their mineralogical compositions and supply information about manufacturing processes, identifying raw materials and providing useful suggestions about ceramic imports, trade networks and geographic interrelations. Moreover, radiocarbon dates have been established from selected samples to anchor the relative chronology obtained through the detailed analysis of archaeological records to a range of absolute dates.
Finally, consideration also involve architectural remains, as for both monumental defensive systems linked to Central Anatolian proto-types and domestic structures suitable for connection with the local traditions. This has provided useful information about settlement pattern and external input versus indigenous customs.
The whole of analysed data are at a later stage processed together through three different approaches: quantitative, chronological and spatial, allowing the setting of the material in its functional, temporal and geographical contexts. Finally, the results achieved from Arslantepe are observed within the wider framework of the historical, socio-economic and political circumstances of the Late Bronze Age in the Upper Euphrates region and, more generally, the Anatolian and northern Syrian territories.
The result obtained is the reconstruction of the overall framework of the Arslantepe’s material culture in that place and in that crucial period between 1700 and 1200 BC, beginning with the emergence of new Central Anatolian influences on the site in the second quarter of the second millennium, to the expansion of the Hittite Empire towards the Euphrates, and its subsequent crisis and collapse.
The site of Tepe Yahya in southeastern Iran is famous, among other important aspects, for the Proto-Elamite complex dated to around 3000 BC (Period IVC). The material culture of Period IVC is not exclusively limited to its Proto-Elamite component, but is also characterized by the presence of elements from other Middle Asian cultural ceramic traditions. In addition to a synthesis of the Proto-Elamite period and the material assemblage at Tepe Yahya, The Proto-Elamite Settlement and its Neighbors provides an updated review and comprehensive discussion of the Proto-Elamite sphere, its relations to Mesopotamia, and its eastern Middle Asian neighbors. This innovative book illustrates that the “multi-cultural” situation at Tepe Yahya Period IVC was present across many sites in Middle Asia and that, in addition to the Proto-Elamite sphere and the cities of Mesopotamia, Middle Asia around 3000 BC was incorporated within an interactive “multi-players” network of polities.
Including special studies by Teresa Bürge and Eva Maria Wild
Tell Abu al-Kharaz is situated in the central Transjordanian Jordan Valley. The author directed the excavations of this settlement from 1989 to 2012. The town flourished in the Early Bronze Age, and after an occupational lacuna of more than thousand years the site was re-occupied in the second half of the Middle Bronze Age and remained permanently occupied until the end of the Iron Age. The new volume is No. III in a series of three (The Early Bronze Age Vol. I, published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press in 2008, and The Middle and Late Bronze Ages Vol. II, in 2006). Chapter 1 describes excavation and processing methods. In Chapter 2 the stratigraphy, the architecture, the ceramics and small finds are presented as an integrated part of the publication. Chapter 3 deals with the typology and chronology of the ceramics which include numerous imports. Chapter 4 is devoted to the evaluation of the 42 radiocarbon dates from Iron Age contexts. The general conclusion and discussion is in Chapter 5 which deals with discussions on the climate, type of settlement, number of people, administration, the seven settlement phases, architecture, pottery and small finds as well as trade and trade routes. There are finds that are unmistakably related to the Philistines/Sea Peoples which is unique for the Transjordanian Jordan Valley. Other finds are related to the Phoenician and Egyptian sphere of culture. Special attention is devoted to relative and absolute chronological enquiries based on the considerable number of radiocarbon dates and parallels from other sites. The four appendices deal with the figurines, a unique carved bone handle, cosmetic palettes of stone and alabaster and glyptic and ostraka.
The study presents the Prehistoric pottery of Tell Hassan, a small site situated in the Hamrin valley, central-eastern Iraq, on the medium course of the Diyala river, one of the main feeders of the Tigris that flows down from the Zagros mountains. Before the erection of a dam on the Diyala that transformed the valley into a water basin, in the years 1977-1979 the area was the object of an international salvation project that resulted in a number of excavations and surveys. The Hamrin valley revealed itself as a complex system: a sort of ‘microcosm’ that, though with uniquely distinctive characters, participated in the chronological and cultural evolution of Mesopotamia.
Concerning the prehistoric period, the Samarra and Halaf traditions show typical local characters, and certainly their reciprocal relations were not simply based on a plain succession through time. Tell Hassan was excavated by the University of Turin and the Centro Scavi di Torino per il Vicino Oriente e l’Asia, and revealed four levels of a small Halaf village, followed by a Ubaid 3 phase.
From the four Halaf levels a huge number of sherds and complete vessels emerged, all characterised by a high technical quality often supported by the presence of monochrome, bitonal or polychrome painting. If a low variability is detected through the stratigraphic sequence, interesting differences in the material exist in connection to its horizontal distribution: the vessels found in the western, central and eastern areas, although belonging to the same Late Halaf milieu, show variations in both shape and decoration. Such differences are stylistical rather than functional, as confirmed by the fact that the common pottery, especially the storage and the coarse ware, are the same in the entire site. Moreover, some complete vessels, still found in situ in stratigraphical connection with the rest of the pottery, show strong affinities with Samarra pottery and with the cultures of Chalcolithic Iran.
The possible reasons of such phenomena are discussed also in connection with the external comparisons that show a complex network of relations with the other sites of Hamrin valley and of Greater Mesopotamia. Together with a stylistical analysis of the decoration and a tentative exploration of the creative spirit of the potters of Tell Hassan, the study proposes a point of view on the coexistence of different cultural instances in one site and on the role of the Hamrin basin in the relationship among the different prehistoric cultures of Mesopotamia. In a current moment so dark for the research in Iraq and other areas of the Near East, the publication of this ceramic corpus aims to contribute to the progression of studies on Mesopotamian Prehistory.
The north-western regions of the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent have been the cradle of one of the most famous civilizations of the Ancient world. But until the last quarter of the 20th century, the antecedents of the Indus civilization, with its major cities such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa, were poorly known. It was commonly thought that small farming communities coming from the Iranian Plateau began to settle down in Balochistan in the first half of the 4th millennium BC. Other groups with cultural links with southern Central Asia would also have reached the border of the Indus valley around 4000BC. The discovery in 1977 of an aceramic Neolithic settlement in the northern area of the site of Mehrgarh has opened a new chapter in the archaeological studies in this part of the world. It became then obvious that the archaeological sequence of the Greater Indus regions, since the 8th millennium BC till the emergence of the Indus civilization, c. 2500 BC, was far more impressive than it was thought before.
Alongside the excavations conducted in the Chalcolithic/Bronze Age occupation deposits of Mehrgarh, from 1976 until 1985, the Neolithic settlements provided a first set of information about periods so far unknown in these regions. Some of the information from the 1977-1985 excavations were regularly published in the field reports (C. Jarrige et al. 1995). In 1996, it was decided to resume work in the Neolithic area of Mehrgarh within a program of four seasons of fieldwork. Since all the efforts of the archaeological team were only concentrated on the aceramic Neolithic settlement, these four seasons of fieldwork allowed a much larger exposure of the successive occupation levels and graveyards from the natural soil up to the surface. This work gave the opportunity to fix in a much precise way than before the whole archaeological sequence of the aceramic Neolithic settlement.
The first ever published overview of the Neolithic period at the western border of the Indus valley has been added to the four reports.
With contributions by Myrto Georgakopoulou and Thilo Rehren and by George Constantinou and Ioannis Panayides.
This well-illustrated volume presents the full documentation, analysis and discussion of the excavations carried out by Porphyrios Dikaios in 1942 at Ambelikou Aletri in Cyprus. The site lies to the west of the modern village of Ambelikou, northwest of the Skouriotissa copper mines, in the northern foothills of the Troodos Mountains. It has always been known for the evidence of copper mining and processing through the discovery of Middle Bronze Age pottery in modern mines and of casting moulds and other evidence for metal processing at the site itself. Less well known is a potter's workshop. Here the catastrophic abandonment of the workshop, its installations and artefacts (including some four dozen jugs from the last kiln load) provides a unique insight into aspects of craft practices shortly after 2,000 BCE.
This volume presents the results of the archaeological investigations in the oasis of Fewet (SW Libyan Sahara), carried out by the Archaeological Mission in the Sahara of the Sapienza University of Rome. Evidences of an ancient rural village were identified under the houses of the modern town of Tan Afella and a large necropolis, dated to the Garamantian times, spread at the fringes of the modern settlement. Until 1997 very little was known on the Garamantian period in the Wadi Tanezzuft area and on the transition from the pastoral to the early-historical phase. This period witnessed the gradual sedentarisation of human groups in the oases, and the development of caravan routes with the flourishing of an intra- and trans-Saharan trade. These processes, determined by significant alterations in climate, which led to the agricultural exploitation of the limited areas where water resources were available - the oases - were archaeologically unknown as far as settlements were concerned. The archaeological surveys and excavations carried out in the area of Fewet were particularly promising and are here analysed in a multidisciplinary perspective, which takes into consideration environmental and anthropological studies in the attempt to reconstruct the culture and the life of people inhabiting the Southern Fezzan region in early-historical times.
The historical archaeology of the Sahara remains an underdeveloped field of research, especially for the pre-Islamic period. The most significant exception to this rule has for long concerned the people known as the Garamantes, who inhabited the central Saharan region coincident with Libya's south-west province, Fezzan. (…) This volume is a marvelous addition to the small corpus of published research on the Pre-Islamic oasis societies of the Sahara and provides a complementary perspective on the world of the Garamantes to the Anglo-Libyan work I have directed from their heartlands in the Wadi el-Ajal, c. 400 km to north-east of Ghat. (Prof. David J. Mattingly, University of Leicester, UK)