A Silent Place: Death in Mycenaean Lakonia is the first book-length systematic study of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) burial tradition in south-eastern Peloponnese, Greece, and the first to comprehensively present and discuss all Mycenaean tombs and funerary contexts excavated and/or simply reported in the region from the 19th century to present day. The book will discuss and reconstruct the emergence and development of the Mycenaean mortuary tradition in Lakonia by examining the landscape of death, the burial architecture, the funerary and post-funerary customs and rituals, and offering patterns over a longue durée.
The author proposes patterns of continuity from the Middle Bronze Age (even the Early Bronze Age in terms of burial architecture) to the LBA and, equally important, from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age,and reconstructs diachronic processes of invention of tradition and identity in Mycenaean communities, on the basis of tomb types and their material culture. The text highlights the social, political and economic history of Late Bronze Age Lakonia from the evolution of the Mycenaean civilisation and the establishment of palatial administration in the Spartan vale, to the demise of Mycenaean culture and the turbulent post–collapse centuries, as reflected by the burial offerings.
The book also brings to publication the chamber tombs at Epidavros Limera that remained largely unpublished since their excavation in the 1930s and 1950s. Epidavros Limera was one of the most important prehistoric coastal sites in prehistoric southern Greece (early 3rd–late 4th millennium BC), and one of the main harbour towns of the Mycenaean administrative centres of central Lakonia. It is one of very few Mycenaean sites that flourished uninterruptedly from the emergence of the Mycenaean civilisation until after the collapse of the palatial administration and into the transition to the Early Iron Age. The present study of the funerary architecture and of the pottery from the tombs suggests that the site was responsible for the introduction of the chamber tomb type on the Greek mainland in the latest phase of the Middle Bronze Age (definitely no later than the transitional Middle Bronze Age/Late Bronze Age period), and not in the early phase of the Late Bronze Age (Late Helladic I) as previously assumed.
The site of Tell Tweini is located 35°22’18” North; 35°56’42” East, on the southern bank of the Rumeilah River in the Syrian coastal plain, approximately 1,5 km east of modern-day Jebleh and 40 km south of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Ugarit. Since 1999, the site of ca. 12 hectares is under excavation by the Syro-Belgian team headed by Dr. M. Al-Maqdissi (Department of Antiquities, Damascus - Field B) and Prof. J. Bretschneider (Field A and C).
As one of the few sites under excavation in the Northern Levant with a full archaeological sequence spanning the Early Bronze Age IV (ca. 2400 B.C.) up to the Iron III period (ca. 500 B.C.), Tell Tweini (Field A) is a key site for the study of the developments in the Northern Levant, especially where the Bronze to Iron Age transition is concerned, and an ideal starting point from which to approach the nature of the transitional period. Tweini was part of the Ugaritic Kingdom and is large enough to reflect transformations taking place on a regional as well as a supra-regional scale.
The lead researcher for the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program project was Prof. J. Bretschneider, Ancient Near Eastern archaeologist and Field Director of the Belgian branch of the Syro-Belgian Tell Tweini Project (Fields A & C) between 1999 and 2005 and Director since 2006. Joachim Bretschneider coordinated and supervised the collection of all the Tweini data and material and managed all available knowledge related to the different periods and disciplines. He organized the production and the publication of the monograph including a full study of assorted topics concerning the A Field - more specifically the loom weights, the pot marks, the glyptic and scarabs, the communal Middle Bronze Age grave, the Cypriot pottery, the bio-archaeology and the landscape - in a proper chronological and socio-political context. Bretschneider worked with colleagues from different fields to synthesize accounts of architecture, stratigraphy, ceramics, other artefacts and environmental data.
This work by Yosef Garfinkel is the fifth volume publishing the results of the extensive excavations at Sha῾ar Hagolan, an 8000-year-old Neolithic village located in the Central Jordan Valley in Israel, comprising one of the most important sites of the Yarmukian culture in the entire region. This volume focuses on the development of pyrotechnology, discussing the initial organization of the pottery industry and the final stages of the production of burnt lime vessels, the so-called White Ware, that preceded it. The volume contains eight chapters that present the pottery assemblage and the clay objects on a typological and quantitative basis, along with petrographic analysis and spatial distribution in completely excavated building complexes. A technological discussion of the pottery technology is offered by a professional modern potter and Neolithic White Ware items are discussed as well.
Please visit the publication pages for volumes 3 and 4.
The final publication of Level XVI at Mersin-Yumuktepe is the terminal step of a long-term project. The aim of this publication is to integrate the data obtained by J. Garstang during the excavations conducted at Mersin-Yumuktepe (1936-39 and 1946-47) and published in 1953 in the monograph "Prehistoric Mersin," along with those produced during the excavations carried out from 1993-2004 under the direction of I. Caneva, for a comprehensive reconstruction of one of the most notorious levels of occupation at Yumuktepe. The long prehistoric occupational sequence reconstructed by Garstang, the first to have been established in the archaeology of Cilicia, quickly became one of the main references in the Near Eastern, Levantine, and East Mediterranean archaeology. In this framework, the unique evidence represented by the "Citadel" of Level XVI was often considered as a "hallmark" of Yumuktepe and a recurring "topos" of the archaeological discourse dealing with the chalcolithic societies of the region. To confront such a "giant" of Near Eastern archaeology and the heritage left by Garstang has not been an easy task. The integration of heterogenous data produced in the frame of different practices, epistemologies and narratives of archaeology has required a long, continuous and sometimes quizzical process of interpolation and negotiation between past and present archaeological evidence aimed at a detailed and attentive reconstruction of the economic, social and cultural developments of the Early-Chalcolithic community at Yumuktepe.
With appendices from J.A. Brinkman, E. Götting, and G. Hölbl
These volumes present the final report of the four archaeological campaigns carried out by the Oriental Institute at the site of Chatal Höyük in the Amuq (currently Hatay, Turkey) under the directorship of Ian McEwan and Robert Braidwood, more than eighty years after their field operations. The excavation’s documents (daily journals, original drawings, photos, lists of objects, and letters) stored in the Oriental Institute Archives, as well as the approximately 13,000 small finds and pottery sherds from the site currently kept at the Oriental Institute Museum, provided the necessary dataset for the analysis presented here. This dataset allowed the author to reconstruct the life of a village which survived the political turmoil in the period from the Late Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age (16th–6th centuries BC). If Chatal Höyük was during the Late Bronze Age a village in the provincial part of a large empire (Hittite), it became a large independent town in a small but powerful new political entity (Walistin) during the Iron Age I and II, before being conquered by the Assyrian Empire.
In this extended publication of small finds and pottery, many previously unpublished materials are made available to both general readers and scholars for the first time. The material culture discussed and analyzed here offers the chance to trace changes and continuity in the site’s domestic activities, to point out shifts in cultural contacts over a long period of time, and to monitor the construction of a new community identity.
with contributions by Louise Bertini, Thomas W. Davis, Scott D. Haddow, James K. Hoffmeier, Rexine Hummel, Hesham M. Hussein, Salima Ikram, Mark Janzen, Michelle A. Loyet, Claire Malleson, Carol McCartney, Stephen O. Moshier, and Gregory D. Mumford
This is the second and final volume of scientific and interdisciplinary reports on the excavations and research conducted at Tell el-Borg, north Sinai, between 1998 and 2008, written by the scholars and specialists who worked on the site under the direction of Professor James K. Hoffmeier.
This volume focuses on the cemetery areas, which yield more than a dozen tombs, typically made of mud brick, some of which were constructed for a single occupant and some of which were larger tombs that accommodated multiple family members. Included is a treatment of an area of “public” space featuring a temple and a well, among other things, and a study of the geological results of the nearby ancient Ballah Lakes that offers new data on the history of the Nile distributary that flowed by Tell el-Borg. The balance of the work deals with specialty reports, including the faunal and botanical remains, the clay coffins, and elite stones. A concluding chapter offers a synthesis of the decade of work and ties together the finds published in both volumes.
James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Additional contributions by Ilya Berelov and Steven Porson
The archaeological excavation of Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj provides the foundation for an unprecedented analysis of agrarian village life during an era of the Levantine Bronze Age characterised previously in terms of urban collapse and a reversion to mobile pastoralism. Interpretation of archaeological and ecological evidence here situates the lifeways of this community amid emerging revised chronologies and reconstructions of village-based society in the third millennium BC. This reconstruction of rural life integrates evidence of regional and local environmental change, agricultural coping strategies, intramural social change, interaction with neighbouring communities and ritual ties with preceding and subsequent periods. This synthesis centred on Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj suggests a strikingly revised portrait of rural society in the course of Near Eastern civilisation.
Steve Falconer (PhD, Anthropology, University of Arizona) has practised anthropological archaeology at New York University, Arizona State University, LaTrobe University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He co-directed (with P. Fall) the excavation and analysis of Tell el-Hayyat, Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj, Dhahret Umm el-Marar and Zahrat adh-Dhra‘ 1 along the Jordan Rift, and Politiko-Troullia on Cyprus.
Pat Fall (PhD, Geosciences, University of Arizona) is a geoscientist and biogeographer who has investigated ancient agrarian life and landscape formation in the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea Basin, Cyprus, the Bahamas, Tonga and Samoa. She has served on the faculties of New York University, Arizona State University, La Trobe University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte.
REVIEWS ‘The quality of data presentation … is excellent. … [T]his data set represents what may perhaps be the most complete and comprehensive publication of this type of data for the EB IV and is exceptionally valuable for scholars working in this area. … [T]he authors do more than simply present the final results of their excavations; instead they provide thorough analysis and provide contextualization for these results.’ Prof. Susan Cohen, Montana State University
‘This research certainly has potential ramifications beyond the scope of the Southern Levant. … The discussions of methodologies employed for coping with environment might have interesting ramifications for present-day concerns re. climate change.’ Dr Stefan L. Smith, Ghent University
‘The data presented are of immense value, not only for a better understanding of the settlement history of the region, but also for a broader understanding of human adaptation in times of environmental change.’ Dr Hermann Genz, American University of Beirut
‘Highly original and deals with contemporary Levantine archaeological problems. … Although the excavation took place several decades ago, the authors are on top of the latest chronological debates in the field. … This is an excellent volume.’ Prof. Thomas E. Levy, University of California, San Diego