Publications by Year: 2018

Giza. Eastern Necropolis IV
Kormysheva, Eleonora, Svetlana Malykh, Maksim Lebedev, and Sergey Vetokhov, Giza. Eastern Necropolis IV (Moscow, Russian Academy of Sciences – Institute of Oriental Studies, 2018).Abstract

The tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous tombs GE 23, 40, and 56-58.

With contributions by Maria Dobrovolskaya, Maria Mednikova, Irina Reshetova, Elena Dobrovolskaya, Elena Lebedeva, Alexey Sergeev, Natalia Sinitsyna, Olesya Popova, Valeria Kuvatova, and Annie Schweitzer.


The rock-cut tombs published in this volume include two monuments with epigraphic an iconographic materials, the tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22) and Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous structures clustered around.

The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy were explored in the 19th century by G.B. Caviglia, J.-F. Champollion, K.R. Lepsius, and A. Mariette. K.R. Lepsius assigned both tombs his own numbers: LG 78 for the tomb of Perseneb and LG 80 for the tomb of Ipy. Under these numbers, the tombs were scarcely mentioned in Egyptological literature. However, there has never been an extensive study of the architecture and decoration of these tombs; the shafts and the burial chambers have long remained unexcavated.

The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy are considered nucleus tombs for two rock-cut complexes, situated at a distance of approximately 30 meters. These tombs were surrounded by other minor burial structures that were later cut and have no preserved texts or representations. In addition to the tomb of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), the northern rock-cut complex included tombs GE 23, GE 58, and GE 40. The southern complex included the tomb of Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), GE 56, and GE 57.

The published tombs are located in the southern part of the area investigated by the Russian Archaeological Mission at Giza (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences), in the rock massif of Sen el-Agouz. The massif is the outcrop of the Mukattam limestone formation characterized by the alternation of different geological strata from solid rock to loose limestone and tafla. The rock chapels of the eastern edge of the plateau followed the existing geological strata and formed a terraced monumental landscape typical of Giza.

The tomb of Perseneb as well as anonymous tombs GE 23, GE 40, and GE 58 were cut in the upper part of the cliff; the tomb of Ipy and tombs GE 56 and GE 57 are situated close to the wall that separates the Giza Necropolis from the village of Nazlet el-Samman. The monuments are located about 300 m to the east of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, their local coordinate values are as follows: East 500.427 – East 500.447 and North 99.730 – North 99.776.

The presented rock-cut complexes developed in close connection to each other regarding both architecture and their history of use. The tombs are marked on the general plan of the area and published under the field numbers of the Russian Archaeological Mission.

As is usual in this part of the Giza Necropolis, a serious challenge for the team was the significant degree of destruction of the tombs presented in this publication. The destruction was caused by both natural processes and human factors, which included contemporary Old Kingdom innovations, ancient and medieval destruction, and later developments connected to occupational activities.

The structure of the volume implies a combination of the publication of new material followed by more detailed excursuses on different aspects of Egyptian culture touched on by the newly published material. The publication of the burial complexes follows the same structure as in previous volumes: architecture, archaeological context, epigraphy, ceramic material, and other finds.

The main text of the volume is supplemented by excursuses. The first two excursuses are devoted to a comparative analysis of scenes with lotus flowers and musicians, which reflected the idea of communication between two worlds. Additional excursuses are devoted to analyzing the meaning of the feast of Khufu attested in the tomb of Perseneb, and the characteristic features of the iconography of the mummy cartonnage of the Ptolemaic Period found in the same tomb.

Photos for the publication were made by all the authors; plans and sections of the tombs were executed by Sergey Vetokhov; tracings of the reliefs and inscriptions, drawings of the stratigraphy, and plans of burials were prepared by Maksim Lebedev; drawings of pottery were made by Svetlana Malykh; reconstruction of mummy cartonnage was executed by Valeria Kuvatova, drawings of finds were prepared by Oksana Nosova and Maksim Lebedev.


Excavations at Dor, Final Report. Directed by Ephraim Stern (1986–2000) & Ilan Sharon and Ayelet Gilboa (2002–2004).
Sharon, Ilan, Ayelet Gilboa, Jeffrey R. Zorn, and Sveta Matskevitch, Excavations at Dor, Final Report. Directed by Ephraim Stern (1986–2000) & Ilan Sharon and Ayelet Gilboa (2002–2004). (Qedem Reports 10-12; The Institute of Archaeology – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with The Israel Exploration Society, 2018).Abstract

Vol. IIA: Area G, The Late Bronze and Iron Ages:
Synthesis, Architecture, and Stratigraphy

(Qedem Reports 10)
With contributions by: John E. Berg, Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Allen Estes

Vol. IIB: Pottery, Artifacts, Ecofacts, and Other Studies (Qedem Reports 11)
With contributions by:
Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, László Bartosiewicz, Hagar Ben Basat, John E. Berg,Elisabetta Boaretto, Adi Eliyahu-Behar, Marina Faerman, Christian Herrmann,Tzipi Kahana, Othmar Keel, Elicia Lisk, Stefan Münger, Yossi Salmon, Irina Segal, Sariel Shalev, Sana Shilstein, Patricia Smith, Ragna Stidsing, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Yana Vitalkov, Naama Yahalom-Mack and Irit Zohar

Vol. IIC: Pottery Plates and Index of Loci (Qedem Reports 12)

From 1986 to 2000 excavations in Area G at Tel Dor, on the coast of Israel, were conducted under the general direction of Ephraim Stern of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with additional work carried out in 2002 and 2004 under the direction of Ilan Sharon of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ayelet Gilboa of the University of Haifa. Excavations in Area G, in the center of the mound, revealed an occupational history stretching from the Roman period back to the end of the Late Bronze Age, spanning a period of 1450 years from ca. 1250 BCE to ca. 200 CE. The occupational phases in this report include (according to the Dor chronological system) G/5 of Ir2c , G/6a of early Ir2a, G/6b–c and G/7a–b of Ir1|2, G/7c–d or Ir1b, G/8 of Ir1a|b, G/9a–b of Ir1a late, G/10a–c of Ir1a early, G/11–12 of LBIIB.


Remains of G/5 from the end of the Iron Age were poorly preserved due to later Persian period pitting (G/4) and subsequent leveling and construction activities in the Hellenistic to Roman periods (G3/–G1) but contained remains suggestive of the period of Assyrian domination at Dor. The major constructional episode (G/6–G/9) represents a continual rebuilding of walls and a raising of floor levels over a period of 200 or more years in a large courtyard house. The continuity in the architectural remains is mirrored in the gradual evolution of the local pottery, from typical Canaanite pottery of the Late Bronze Age to Phoenician Iron Age types. G/9 ended with a massive destruction and preserved many in situ remains. Among the significant discoveries of these three phases were: in G/9, a courtyard apparently used for the processing of grains along with evidence for activities on a second story, in G/8a cult deposit and in G/7 the skeleton of a woman who died as a result of a wall collapse. Phase G/10 represents a copper/bronze metallurgical center, as attested by finds of crucibles, prills, a furnace, bellows pot, firing pits and a buildup of multiple ashy lenses. Only small areas of Phases G/11, and especially G/12, were exposed but are suggestive of the dumping of wastes associated with metallurgical activities. Despite the limited exposure, several typological horizons within the LBIIB were discerned, the latest of which (within stratigraphic Phase 11) exhibits a terminal Late Bronze phase, in which most of the Aegean type-wares are of Cypriot provenience. Dor’s international connections are attested by the afore-mentioned Aegean-type pottery in G12 and G/11, and from G/10 to G/6a by Egyptian-style storage jars made of Nile clays and by Iron Age Cypriot imports of CGI–II. These final report volumes covering the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Dor, Area G, thus provide new data on the development of an important southern Phoenician city.

The three volumes on the Bronze and Iron Age excavations in Area G are the second set of final report publication from Tel Dor. The final report on the Persian to Roman period remains from Area G is in an advanced stage of preparation.


Ancient Jaffa from the Persian to the Byzantine Period. Kaplan Excavations (1955–1981)
Tsuf, Orit, Ancient Jaffa from the Persian to the Byzantine Period. Kaplan Excavations (1955–1981) (Zaphon - Studien zu Geschichte, Kultur und Religion Ägyptens und des Alten Testaments Band 89, 2018), pp. 640 + XVI.Abstract

The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project Series, Volume 3 – Aaron A. Burke and Martin Peilstöcker, Series Editors.

With contributions by Yonatan Adler, David Amit, Etan Ayalon,
Avner Ecker, Adi Erlich, Peter Gendelman, Ruth E. Jackson-Tal, and Kate Raphael

The present investigation of Jaffa’s archaeological remains is based on Kaplan’s excavations, which were conducted from 1955 to 1974. The focus of the present research is the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeological remains of the port city of Jaffa. The Abu Kabir cemetery of Jaffa is also discussed in the Appendix. The archaeological remains from the Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age will be studied in detail by Aaron Burke and Martin Peilstöcker.

During their lifetime, the Kaplan couple published preliminary reports of the excavations. In addition, they published the most significant artifacts, with a direct or indirect connection to historical events (Kaplan 1980/1; Kaplan 1964a; Ritter Kaplan 1982). However, over the past century, several studies have been published. All of them dealt with the historical and political background of Jaffa during the time of the Hasmonean Wars and the Great Revolt. Most of them were based on written historical (Tolkowsky 1928; Radan 1988) and epigraphic sources (Applebaum 1985; Kindler 1954; Lupu 2003; Price 2003). At this point, before proceeding and conducting additional excavations and studies of the remains of Persian to Byzantine periods of Jaffa, it is essential to reconstruct the material culture framework as part of the historical background of the site.

Kaplan left behind an extremely rich assemblage of diverse finds. Some of the artifacts are on display in the Old Jaffa Museum.* The overwhelming majority of the finds were, however, left in the storerooms of the Old Jaffa Museum awaiting final publication. To this day, no complete study has been undertaken of Jaffa’s archaeological remains that were excavated by Kaplan. The enormous quantity of objects and finds are of immeasurable importance and are the fundamental basis of the present research. The creation of a complete and comprehensive picture of Jaffa’s finds will provide a framework for a deeper understanding of the cultural background of Jaffa’s history. For example, the classification of the pottery assemblage and the identification of the “Judean Pottery” from the dwelling house in Area C enables an understanding of Jaffa’s Jewish inhabitants and their relations with Jerusalem during and after the destruction of the Second Temple (a full discussion is given in Tsuf 2011:271–290).

Under normal circumstances, namely, with the preservation of all documentation, it might have been possible to arrive at a vivid picture of Jaffa as a port city from the Persian to the Byzantine periods. Unfortunately, the surviving evidence and the available written documentation complicated the current study more than I had first anticipated. The finds are, indeed, diverse and plentiful. However, no written documentation of the most important and longest seasons of excavations has surfaced. For example, the documentation of the 1955 to 1958 excavation seasons in Area A as well as the 1961 season in Area C is limited in nature. Yet both were the main excavated areas and revealed the most significant discoveries in Jaffa. In Area A these included Jaffa’s Late Bronze Age Egyptian fortress, the city gate, in addition to Persian and Hellenistic fortifications. In Area C the remains of a Roman period Jewish dwelling were discovered. For both areas, A and C, we lack the diaries and notebooks from the excavation seasons (except for the Area C 1965 diaries) and possess only a few sketches, preliminary area plans, and pottery bucket information. For this reason, after an initial examination of the materials, I realized that the crucial architectural features lacked clear and reliable documentation.

Because of this unfortunate situation, and in order to achieve the best results, I chose to redefine the approach to this project. My first goal was to reconstruct the stratigraphy of the areas according to the best available documentation. I soon realized that in order to avoid a recourse to speculation for the areas that lack critical documentation, I should divide the areas into two categories: areas that were documented in the diaries, and Areas A and C that lack documentation particularly in the diaries. Part I of the study presents a reconstruction of the architectural phasing, which has survived in the documentation in direct relation to the in situ finds, as well as a reconstruction of the two main excavation areas, A and C. The comparative discussions are based on the surviving documentation and finds that are presented in Part I and in the catalogues in Part II.

My second but no less important goal was to create a full picture of Jaffa’s material culture from the Persian to the Byzantine periods. Part II is devoted to the presentation of the complete corpus of Jaffa’s finds according to a combined chronological-typological approach. This part presents the material finds discovered in Jaffa during the Kaplan excavations (1955–1982) (see Table 1.1). Recently more documents of Kaplan’s excavations in Jaffa and elsewhere were found. These documents, which include diaries, plans and illustrations, were found stored at his residence. Unfortunately, the new discoveries are not included in this work, since they were not available to me during the time this research was conducted. However, it encourages me to go on and continue my research in the future.

* The museum is currently under the supervision of the Old Jaffa Development Corporation.

View and purchase from the publisher's website HERE

A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica
Manassero, Niccolò, A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica (Alessandria IT, Edizioni dell'Orso, 2018), pp. 211.Abstract

With contributions by Giorgio Affani and Carlo Lippolis

In 1948, the Soviet Expedition JuTAKE excavated the building called the ‘Square House’ at the Parthian site of Mithridatkert, known from ancient sources as Nisa, the alleged site of the graves of Parthian kings. Among the precious objects unearthed in this royal treasury, was a large inventory of ivory artefacts. Of these, the famous rhytons, masterpieces of Hellenistic art, were carefully restored and studied, while some 40 pieces of furniture were restored only in part and preliminarily published.

A thorough discussion and extensive publication of these findings has been undertaken by the author of this book. In 2013, in fact, thanks to support from the Shelby White & Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, the National Museum of Ashgabat was able to conduct a careful investigation of the materials and prepare a complete set of photos and drawings in order to give this material the recognition it deserved within Western scholarship.

Through careful consideration of the quantity, shape and size of each item, the author suggests a possible reconstruction of the furniture that lay buried in the Square House, and highlights its ideological and symbolical meaning within the historical framework of the Parthian Empire.

The main information that emerges from the investigation at the Ashgabat Museum is that at least a part of the ivory used for the furniture items comes from African elephants, as their diameter exceeds 11 cms, namely the maximum size of the items carved from Indian ivory, according to A. Cutler. Moreover, the most part of the rhytons reach diameters (often up to 16.5 cms) that are undoubtedly related to African elephants.

The furniture lot is made of items of big size (considerably larger than the Pompei samples, for instance), and its arrangement is strange, as the complete set of four legs of no piece of furniture has ever been found. It comprises complete and incomplete items, and restored ones; very few legs find their match within the inventory, having different sizes and technical features, so the minimum number of couches and chairs rises to 10 at least, not 3 like supposed by the former publisher, G. Pugachenkova. The furniture items were probably stocked in the Square House after being used for some time, and some incomplete items were brought there from the workshops that were providing new ones. Nothing leads to suppose that the ivory inventory might come from a booty (as suggested by P. Bernard), on the contrary there’s solid base to think that they were produced in Nisa itself by specialized craftsmen working on commission for the Arsacid court: the unbaked clay statues were obviously made at Nisa, and recent works in the SW Building brought to light tracks of a workshop producing big size statues of horses, witnessed by plaster casts. In sum, there are many proofs of craftsmen working at Nisa on commission, perfectly mastering the Greek formal vocabulary, and there’s no need to search elsewhere the workshops that produced the ivory artefacts as well.

The idea proposed by the author of the book is that the Square House hosted sacred banquets for the dead king, on which occasion he was celebrated as hero and entered the gods’ sphere. The cult models are the Greek theoxenia and the Roman lectisternia and sellisternia, namely banquets where empty beds or chairs were supposed to host the invited gods, mostly the Dioscuroi and Herakles, and the deified Roman emperor.

This study concludes the systematic review to which the Italian Archaeological Mission has subjected the main groups of findings brought to light in that building. Here we present the precise publication of the lot of ivories: parts of chairs, thrones, beds and perhaps other furnishings, ranging in size from 5 to 70 cm in length, mainly worked on the lathe, almost completely devoid of figurative decorations. These are materials known to the scientific community for over 60 years, never properly published excluding a single short article in Russian language dated 1969. In addition to a substantial part of the catalog, the book is composed of some chapters that discuss historical and archaeological questions the material under examination, and a reasoned discussion of the morphological characteristics of the finds, aimed at understanding the categories of furniture to which these objects belonged originally, and the opportunities and contexts in which they could be employed. The conclusions reached document the extraordinary vitality and originality of the life of the Arsacid citadel, and its role not only of ceremonial center and core of elaboration of the characters of the royal ideology, but also of place of production of works of art and handicrafts that of this ideology they had to express and spread the images.

Niccolò Manassero is an archaeologist specialized in the study of Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. He has published a monograph, Rhyta and horns from the Iron Age at the Sassanid era. Pure libations and mysticism between Greece and the Iranian world (Oxford 2008), and more than 20 articles in international specialist journals, always aimed at examining the hybrid manifestations of civilization and art to which gave life to the dialogue between the Greek and Iranian world following the expedition of Alexander the Great.

Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II
Mountjoy, Penelope, Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II (Austrian Academy of Sciences : Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean Volume XXXVI, 2018), pp. Vol.I: 681; Vol.II: 606.Abstract

The book comprises a study of the 12th century BC Aegean-style pottery from all the main Cypriot sites together with the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three excavated Philistine sites of Ekron, Ashkelon and Ashdod. As part of the project Neutron Activation Analysis of pottery from ten of the Cypriot sites has been carried out in Bonn to obtain the chemical profile of each site, thus enabling movement of pottery round the island to be recorded and contacts between specific Cypriot sites and the Near East to be highlighted.

The book presents in full detail the latest information from both excavation and study concerning a key period in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean region. The relevant stratigraphy at each site is discussed and documented with plans and sections, and the pottery comprehensively illustrated with line drawings. Unlimited access, courtesy of the excavators, to the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three Philistine sites adds another dimension to the study. Much of the material is new. Both new and old material is presented in a rational and organised fashion which will facilitate its use. It comprises unique material which has frequently been erroneously cited in support of the various theories put forward for the collapse of the Bronze Age cultures of the region. This comprehensive exposition of the evidence in a clear and rational format will form the foundation for real progress in our understanding of this complex and intriguing period. The book is an essential source volume for those working in the region.

To view or download the title pages and table of contents, please click HERE

The work is availble for purchase through the publisher's website HERE

Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine
Tréziny, Henri, Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine (Ecole Française de Rome, 2018), pp. 518.Abstract

With contributions by Frédéric Mège

Mégara Hyblaea 7. The Classical, Hellenistic and Roman City is essentially the publication of excavations conducted by François Villard and Georges Vallet between 1949 and 1975. The attention of the excavators focuses on the archaic agora, as recent levels have been less studied, with the exception of the Hellenistic temple (Megara Hyblaea 4, 1966). The current study is based on a re-examination of archive data as well as on a systematic re-reading of visible remains, accompanied by some cleanings and control surveys. The stratigraphic record is therefore limited and the chronology difficult to fix in detail. However, significant changes are proposed in the relative and absolute dating of many monuments (temple, fortification, baths). Most of the vestiges commented on in this book relate to the 3rd century BC and the reign of Hieron II, but the importance of the classical era and the reoccupation of Roman times, hitherto unrecognized, was soon realized - hence the broader title given. The book is therefore the continuation of Megara 5, but especially as the prerequisite for a resumption of modern excavations on the post-archaic levels of Mégara Hyblaea.

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece
Papathanasiou, Anastasia, W.A. Parkinson, D.J. Pullen, M.L. Galaty, and P. Karkanas, ed. Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece (Oxford UK, Oxbow, 2018), pp. 435+xviv+32 color plates.Abstract

In Honor of George Papathanassopoulos

Alepotrypa Cave at Diros Bay, Lakonia, Greece, is a 300 meters complex of consecutive chambers ending at a lake. It is one of the richest archaeological sites in Greece and Europe in terms of abundance, preservation and variability of artifacts, volume and temporal range of undisturbed deposits, as well as horizontal exposure of archaeological surfaces. The cave was excavated by G. Papathanassopoulos from 1970 to 2006. It is dated from 6,000 to 3,200 BC and was used, in conjunction with the surrounding area, as a complementary habitation area, a burial site, and a place for ceremonial activity. This edited volume is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the unpublished results of approximately 40 years of excavation and analysis of the cave in one book. This contribution is essential to ongoing Neolithic research in Greece, but also in Anatolia, the Balkans and Europe, as it brings a comprehensive picture of a unique site to the attention of the archaeological community.

The book, which contains 23 chapters, starts with a presentation of the history of the excavations, an extensive description of the site, and its cultural and temporal positioning through a long series of radiocarbon dates, in association with the corresponding microstratigraphic, stratigraphic and ceramic sequence and also includes: a) the site formation processes, and the refinement of the stratigraphy of the cave deposits; b) the pottery and its spatial and temporal patterning, typology and technology; c) the stone and bone tools and objects, and their spatial patterning, typology and technology; d) numerous macroscopic, microscopic and isotopic chemical analyses of human, faunal, botanical and inorganic remains; and e) the environmental reconstruction of the area, and the results from the regional survey of the surrounding area. The volume concludes with a synthetic chapter that summarizes, combines and interprets all the aforementioned evidence, clarifies the actions implied by the observed materials, defines the particularities of the site and positions the cave in its broader natural and cultural web. All presentations include meaningful comparisons through time and across space within Alepotrypa Cave, as well as comparisons with other Greek Neolithic or European and Anatolian Neolithic societies. General questions that were addressed include: refinement of the Neolithic Aegean artifact chronology and typology; tool technologies; long-distance trade of raw materials and pottery; dispersal of communities and cave use in the Final Neolithic; permanent versus seasonal habitation/use of a site; site formation processes and hiatuses in caves; population health, movement, and biodistance; mortuary space and practice; expressions of ritual; the notions of continuity and monumentality, and of stability, definition and redefinition; the importance of terrestrial versus marine resources, as well as domesticated versus wild resources. Mortuary behavior, artifactual patterning and human skeletal remains are used to draw conclusions concerning social, cultural and biological conditions and to evaluate patterns of ceremonialism, including the fragmentation and dispersal of material in conjunction with mortuary data.

An article from National Geographic on the excavations may be found HERE

View or download the table of contents and front materials HERE