Publications by Year: 2020

The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500
Davies, Vanessa, ed. The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500 (Brill: Harvard Egyptological Studies, Volume 10, 2020), pp. 525 + xviii.Abstract

The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500 presents the results of excavations directed by George A. Reisner and led by Arthur C. Mace. The site of Naga ed-Deir, Egypt, is unusual for its continued use over a long period of time (c. 3500 BCE–650 CE). Burials in N 2000 and N 2500 date to the First Intermediate Period/Middle Kingdom and the Coptic era. In keeping with Reisner’s earlier publications of Naga ed-Deir, this volume presents artifacts in chapter-length studies devoted to a particular object type and includes a burial-by-burial description. The excavators’ original drawings, notes, and photographs are complemented by a contemporary analysis of the objects by experts in their subfields.

The publication project was directed by Vanessa Davies.

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Fouilles de Tel Yarmouth (1980-2009). Rapport final. Volume 1: Les fouilles sur l’acropole.
Jasmin, Michaël, and Pierre de Miroschedji, Fouilles de Tel Yarmouth (1980-2009). Rapport final. Volume 1: Les fouilles sur l’acropole. (Peeters: Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement 56, 2020), pp. 582 + XXXII.Abstract

Tel Yarmuth is a major archaeological site of the southern Levant, located 25 km south-west of Jerusalem. In the Early Bronze Age, it was the largest fortified city-state of this region. Long after its abandonment around 2400 BCE, it was reoccupied on the acropolis only, which remained settled more or less continuously from the Middle Bronze Age II (17th-16th cent. BCE) to the Early Byzantine Period (4th cent. CE). The site is identified with the biblical settlement of Yarmuth and the Byzantine village of Iermochos. This volume is the first monograph of the final publication of the excavations conducted between 1980 and 2009. It is devoted to the excavations on the acropolis where the entire settlement history of Yarmuth was established. It provides an account of those excavations, a detailed presentation of the stratigraphy, extensive descriptions of the pottery and the various archaeological artefacts and ecofacts, and a discussion of the archaeological and biblical contexts of the site’s history. The continuous archaeological sequence from the Late Bronze II to the end of the Iron Age I (c. 1200-950 BCE) is especially noteworthy. It illustrates the fate of a Canaanite village in the shadow of larger regional centers during the momentous centuries that witnessed the decline of the Canaanite polities, the rise of the Philistine city-states and the emergence of the kingdom of Judah.

The publication project was directed by Michaël Jasmin.

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Oropos Excavations. The Protogeometric and Sub-Protogeometric Periods
Mazarakis-Ainian, Alexandros, Oropos Excavations. The Protogeometric and Sub-Protogeometric Periods (University of Thessaly, 2020).Abstract
Alexander Mazarakis Ainian directed the publication project on the old rescue excavations of the Greek Archaeological Service at Skala Oropou and Nea Palatia (northern Attica, Greece) which yielded evidence for human occupation of the period between the 10th and the 6th centuries BC (Protogeometric, Geometric, Earlv Archaic, Archaic). These excavations were conducted in the years between 1985 and 1987 by the late Aliki Dragona. The study concerns two main excavations, that of the plot of the Telephone Company (OTE) at Nea Palatia, and that of the School (OSK property) at Skala Oropou.
The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 Excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and Other Essays
Tanasi, Davide, and David Cardona, ed. The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 Excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and Other Essays (Archaeopress, 2020), pp. 188.Abstract

The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and other essays is a collection of essays focusing on the reassessment of the multifaceted evidence which emerged by excavations carried out in 1909 and 1959 in the settlement of Bahrija, a key site for the understanding of the later stages of Maltese prehistory before the beginning of the Phoenician colonial period. The two excavations, largely unpublished, produced a large quantity of ceramic, stone and metal artefacts together with skeletal remains. The reappraisal of the material will shed light on critical moments of central Mediterranean prehistory. Main topics such as the Aegean-Sicily-Malta trade network, mass migration movements from the Balkans towards the Central Mediterranean and the colonial dynamics of the Phoenicians operating in the West are addressed in the light of new data and with the support of an array of archaeometric analyses.

About the Editors
Davide Tanasi is an expert of Mediterranean prehistory and the archaeology of ancient Sicily and Malta, in which fields he has published several papers and monographic volumes such as: D. Tanasi, N. Vella (eds), Site, artefacts, landscape: prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta, Polimetrica 2011, and D. Tanasi & N. Vella (eds), The late prehistory of Malta: Essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites, Archaeopress, 2015.

David Cardona is Senior Curator of Phoenician, Roman and Medieval sites with the governmental agency Heritage Malta. He is a specialist of Roman and Late Roman archaeology and in this field he is about to publish a comprehensive work on Malta entitled Roman buildings and their architecture in Malta. His research interests include landscape archaeology, archaeology of technology and architecture.

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The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus.
Ostrasz, Antoni A. The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus. ed. Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz (Archaeopress, 2020), pp. 504.Abstract

By Antoni A. Ostrasz (1929-1996) with contributions by Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz

The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus publishes the unique draft manuscript by the late architect and restorer Antoni Ostrasz, the study of Roman circuses and the complex fieldwork for the restoration of the Jarash Hippodrome, a work in progress abruptly ended both in writing and in the field by his untimely death in October 1996. The manuscript is presented as it is in order to retain the authenticity of his work. It is, therefore, an unusual publication providing the researcher as well as restorer of ancient monuments with unparalleled insights of architectural studies for anastyloses. Compendia A and B have been added to supplement the incomplete segments of the manuscript with regard to his studies as well as archaeological data. This concerns the excavation and preparation for the restorations and the archaeological history or stratigraphic history of the site from the foundations to primary use as a circus to subsequent occupancies of the circus complex. The study of the architectural and archaeological remains at the hippodrome encapsulates the sequence of the urban history of the town from its early beginnings to Roman Gerasa and Byzantine and Islamic Jarash, including vestiges of the seventh century plague and still visible earthquake destructions, as well as Ottoman settlements.

About the Authors
Antoni Adam Ostrasz M.Eng PhD (Warsaw 1958, 1967) began his overseas work as research architect with the Polish Archaeological Centre in Cairo from 1961-1966 before joining expeditions to Alexandria, Palmyra and Nea Paphos. He was commissioned by the Syrian Authorities at Palmyra to prepare the restorations of several monuments, recently destroyed. He continued his architectural studies at Fustat and later joined the ‘Jarash Archaeological Project’ where he studied and restored the Umayyad House and the Church of Bishop Marianos. In 1984, the Dept of Antiquities appointed him as permanent director for the restoration project of the Hippodrome at Jarash.

Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz graduated in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney where she completed her postgraduate thesis on Cypriot ceramics. She began excavating in Jordan with the University of Sydney in 1975, followed by several international and long-term archaeological projects at Jarash and other Decapolis cities in Jordan. She became Hon. Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and was made Hon. Lecturer at ANU/Canberra in 2019 where she offers Masterclasses in the study of ceramics and other artefacts.

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Tell Afis. The Excavations of Areas E2-E4. Phases V-I. The End of the Late Bronze/ Iron Age I Sequence. Stratigraphy, Pottery and Small Finds.
Venturi, Fabrizio, Tell Afis. The Excavations of Areas E2-E4. Phases V-I. The End of the Late Bronze/ Iron Age I Sequence. Stratigraphy, Pottery and Small Finds. (Firenze, Studi di Archeologia Siriana 4, Le Lettere, 2020).Abstract

Tell Afis is situated in the Syrian province of Idlib, 50 km SE of Aleppo. The archaeological project directed by Stefania Mazzoni took place between 1986 and 2010, and produced documented evidence of an occupation stretching from the fourth millennium BCE to the Neo-Assyrian period. Areas E2-E4, opened on the western edge of the acropolis, have yielded a continuous sequence, divided into eight phases, spanning the Late Bronze and Iron Age periods. These volumes present the final excavation report of phases V-I which cover the period between the end of the 13th and the 8th c. BCE.  During these centuries the Northern Levant was marked by important events which deeply changed its political, social and economic order. The political rise and the sudden fall of the Hittite empire, the collapse of the city-state political system, the emergence of new cultural entities attributed to migrants identified with the Sea Peoples quoted by the Egyptian kings Merneptah and Ramses III and the re-organization of the territory in regional polities ruled by Luwian and Aramaean dynasties, are all factors which contributed to the formation of the cultural and political landscape of the 9th-8th c. BCE.

The sequence of Areas E2-E4 yields a picture of a site which actively participated in these changes and was able to cross this troubled period by constantly reshaping its cultural and economic structure until becoming in the 8th c. BCE a flourishing center, likely to be identified with Hazrek,  the capital of the Aramaean king Zakkur.

The publication by Fabrizio Venturi is composed of two volumes: the first dedicated to text, the second to plates. The arguments in Volume I are divided into six parts with the following subjects:

Part I is dedicated to a general description of the site and its region and to the history of the site’s excavations. Also presented are the methods used in material recording and the database setting.

Part II is dedicated to the stratigraphy of phases V-I. At the end of each phase description a chapter is devoted to the planimetric analyses of the buildings and to the functional partition of their spaces.

Part III is dedicated to the typological analysis of pottery, divided into chapters corresponding to the different phases. The assemblages are analyzed both on a diachronic level and in comparison with other regional pottery horizons. This part concludes with a chapter in which the development of the Tell Afis production is synthesized together with a relative chronology proposal based on diagnostic materials.

Part IV presents a selection of the collected small finds, arranged in functional and typological categories.

Part V is dedicated to the presentation of the analyses carried out on the organic and ceramic materials. Chapter V.1 shows the results of 14C analyses which have allowed an absolute chronology proposal, discussed in comparisons with the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean documentation. Chapter V.2 presents the petrographic and geochemical analyses on a selected group of sherds with a particular emphasis on Iron Age I Aegeanizing pottery.

Part VI is divided into six chapters and it presents the excavation data framed in their historical context. Chapter VI.1 analyzes the site in 13th c. BCE and the dynamics linked to the political expansion of Hittites in the SE Syrian provinces. Chapters VI.2-3 discuss the complex issue concerning the identification of the Sea People migration throughout textual and material culture, the impact that the new Aegeanizing elements had in the Tell Afis local cultural framework and the patterns of their progressive assimilation. Chapter VI.4 is dedicated to the emergence in the site (and in its region) of the Aramaeans. Finally Chapters VI.5-6 are dedicated respectively to the Iron Age periodization of the Northern Levant and the conclusions.

Volume II is divided into the following five sections:

I-II – Introduction, architecture and stratigraphy (maps and plans)

III – The pottery (drawings)

IV – The small finds (drawings)

II-III-IV – Architecture, pottery and small finds (photos)

V – 14C and minero-petrographic/geochemical analyses (photos)

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