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Over the past decade many new and important discoveries have been made at numerous Early Bronze Age I (EB I) sites in central but especially southern Israel which have direct bear- ing on the earliest Egyptian-Canaanite interconnections attested thus far (cf., e.g., Brandl 1992; Gophna 1992; Kempinski 1992; Kempinski and Gilead 1991; Oren 1989; Oren and Yekutieli
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Anatolia Kültepe 2 — Özgüç 1986: pl. 6:70

Acemhöyük 1 — Erkanal 1977: 22, pl. 6:70

Syria Ebla 1 Tomb Q.78.B1 Matthiae 1980: fig. 11

Ugarit 20 Tombs Shaeffer 1949: figs. 18, 25; 1962:
fig. 26, 1978: fig. 9:1

Tell Sukas 2 No context Buhl 1983: pl. XXII:367–68

Baghouz 11 Tombs Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948: pls. XLV–LVII

Mari 1 — Parrot 1959: 85, pl. 33:999

Hama 2 Tomb G.I Fugmann 1958: pl. X:5A812–813

Kedesh 3 No context Petrie 1917: pl. VI:169–71

Tell el-Tin 1 Tomb Oren 1971: 122; Gautier 1895

Yabrud 4 Tomb 4 Assaf 1967

Lebanon Byblos 2 Tomb III Montet 1928: 247–48, pl. CXLIX:940–41

Byblos 4 Hoards Dunand 1950: 389:10645–6;
Seeden 1980: pl. 126:4–7

Lebea 1 Tomb 1 Guigues 1937: 39

Kfar Jarrah 1 Tomb 57 Guigues 1938: 30–34

Sin el-Fil 2 Tomb Chehab 1939

Palestine ºEin Saªed 1 No context Epstein and Gutman 1972: 290

Shamir 1 Surface find Miron 1992: 54

Tel Dan 1 Glacis Biran 1994: 63–65; Ilan 1992

Safed 2 — Miron 1992: 54, Bahat excavations

Safed 2 Tomb Damati and Stepanski 1987–88

Meron 1 Tomb 1 Tpilinsky 1962: 25; Miron 1992: 53


1 Chance find Maxwell-Hyslop 1949: 121

Kabri 1 Tomb 990 Gershuny 1989

Nahariya 1 Chance find Miron 1992: 53

Tell Kurdaneh 1 Tomb Maisler 1939: 154; Miron 1992: 54

Gesher 3 Three tombs Garfinkel and Bonfil 1990

Beit Shean 1 Tomb 92 Oren 1971; 1973: 61–67

Tel Rehov 1 Tomb 2 Yogev 1985: 104–105

ºEin es-

2 Cemetery Dever 1975: 30; Miron 1992: 54, from the

Aphek 2 Two tombs Miron 1992: 54

Ashkelon 1 No context Maxwell-Hyslop 1949: 121

Egypt Tell el-Dabªa 1 Built tomb Bietak 1991: 56–58

Cyprus ? Few No context Maxwell-Hyslop 1949: 121

Total 31 sites 81



In the cemetery fourteen graves were unearthed (fig. 8.1)


. They had been cut into the soft
sediment of the Jordan Valley. This sediment had caved in over time, so it was impossible to
discern the layout of the graves. However, the heaps of stones which were found near the skel-
etons, together with the grave goods, suggest that the cemetery at Gesher consists of shaft
tombs, and that the stones had originally sealed the burial chambers. Similar Middle Bronze
II tombs have been reported from other sites in the southern Levant, such as Jericho (Kenyon
1960: figs. 139, 159; 1965: figs. 132, 138, 211) and Tel Aviv (Kaplan 1955: pl. I:1).

The most common burial pattern at Gesher is of one body in each tomb. The burial is pri-
mary, and the corpse was placed with its head facing east and its legs extending to the west.
The grave goods included a number of clay vessels and occasionally bronze items. Weapons
were recovered among the other grave goods in four tombs, which were thus identified as
warrior tombs:

Grave 2 (fig. 8.2). This is an individual primary burial. The corpse was laid in a semi-
flexed position on an east-west axis, its head facing east and its legs west. The knees were bent
northward. The head was placed on two flat basalt stones. At the feet of the deceased a flat

1. The “grave” labeled number 6 on figure 8.1 turned out to be only a group of stones.

FIGURE 8.1. The Middle Bronze IIA cemetery at Gesher.

[image: image43.tif]



stone was placed, sealing the corpse on the west. A bronze duck-bill ax (pl. 8.1a) and a bowl
were found next to the head. Next to the bowl, animal bones, which had served as food offer-
ings, were discovered. A large jar and a bronze spearhead were placed by the corpse’s legs. To
the north of the skeleton a rectangular stone heap was discovered, sealing the entrance to the
burial chamber.

Grave 12 (fig. 8.3). This is an individual primary burial. The corpse was laid in a semi-
flexed position on an east-west axis, its head facing east and its legs west. The skeleton was
found close to the modern ground surface, and little of it was preserved. Next to the head a
jar was found with a bronze duck-bill ax (pl. 8.1b) close by. Ten centimeters from the ax was
a small bronze nail. North of the corpse a massive row of stones, five to six courses high, was

FIGURE 8.2. Grave 2 at Gesher.

spread one pica long

[image: image44.tif]



FIGURE 8.3. Grave 12 at Gesher.

FIGURE 8.4. Grave 13 at Gesher.

[image: image45.tif][image: image46.tif]



Grave 13 (fig. 8.4). This is an individual primary burial. The corpse was laid in a semi-
flexed position on an east-west axis, its head facing east and its legs west. The face and knees
are turned to the north. The skull is laid on a flat basalt stone. Just to the east of the head a
bronze duck-bill ax was found (pl. 8.2a). A bronze spearhead was recovered beneath the elbows.
North of the corpse’s breast were a jar and a bowl. Animal bones, which had served as food
offerings, were found by the bowl.

Grave 14 (fig. 8.5). This is an individual primary burial. The corpse was laid in a semi-
flexed position on a north-south axis, its head to the south and its legs to the north. This
was the only burial in which the deceased was not laid on an east-west axis. The legs are
flexed and the knees face east. A jug and a bowl decorated with four knobs were found
close to the head. Inside the bowl lay a narrow, elongated socket ax (pl. 8.2b, c). A stone
heap, composed of two rows of stones, was found to the east of the corpse. East of the
stone heap, about 35 cm higher than the level of the skeleton, three more clay vessels were
discovered: a bowl turned upside down and two juglets. It seems that these items were

FIGURE 8.5. Grave 14 at Gesher.

[image: image47.tif]



placed in the tomb shaft and not in the chamber. A similar case has been reported from
Jericho (Kenyon 1965: figs. 132, 139). It appears that these items had been added later and
were not part of the original burial equipment. These three items are thus not included in
table 8.3 and in fig. 8.11.

Warrior Burials at Baghouz

The site of Baghouz lies 10 km south of Mari, near the Syrian-Iraqi border. A total of 320
tombs were excavated (Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948; Hrouda 1990) in an area of about 1 sq km
(fig. 8.6). In Baghouz, as shown in table 8.2, eleven warrior tombs were reported, and in nine
cases the exact location of the tomb on the site can be traced (the report fails to record the loca-
tion of Tombs 141 and 305). The nine tombs whose location is clear are grouped together in a

FIGURE 8.6. General plan of the Baghouz cemetery (after Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948: pl. VI).

[image: image48.tif]



limited area on “Mamelon II” (fig. 8.7). It should be stated that Tomb 309 is not marked on the
original map of “Mamelon II” (Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948: pl. XXXIX), and its position is
based on information gathered from the general map (pl. VI, Mamelon II bis).

A careful study of the map of “Mamelon II” shows that forty-eight tombs were found in
this area, of which forty are numbered and another eight are not. Such a discrepancy is not sur-
prising for an excavation that took place in the 1930s. It is quite likely that Tombs 141 and 305
are also located in this area, since tombs with consecutive numbers such as 309 or 143 are
noted on “Mamelon II.” Be that as it may, if we only take into account the forty tombs marked
on the map, the nine warrior burials constitute 22.5% of the graves. If eleven warrior tombs
are calculated as a percentage of forty-eight tombs, they constitute 23%.

FIGURE 8.7. Detailed plan of the tombs at “Mamelon II” (after Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948: pls. VI, XXXIX).

[image: image49.tif]



The warrior burials were found inside stone-built tumuli, as were other tombs at the site.
Inside the tombs individual burials were found. The corpses were laid out in a flexed position,
on wooden biers that were preserved because of the dry desert climate. Various offerings were
found next to the deceased, including duck-bill axes, spearheads, daggers, clay vessels, wood
and bone tools, and animal bones. The plans of these warrior burials, as published in the exca-
vation report, are presented together, at the same scale in figure 8.8.

FIGURE 8.8. Warrior tombs at Baghouz (after Du Mesnil du Buisson 1948: pls. XLV, XLVIII, LI, LII, LIV,

[image: image50.tif]



Table 8.2.

Data on Warrior Burials from the
Baghouz Excavation Report

No. Tomb no. Plan Location

1. 67 XLII Mamelon II

2. 95 XLV Mamelon II

3. 102 — Mamelon II

4. 103b — Mamelon II

5. 121 XLVIII Mamelon II

6. 122 LI Mamelon II

7. 123 LII Mamelon II

8. 141 LVII —

9. 143 LIV Mamelon II

10. 305 — —

11. 309 — Mamelon II

FIGURE 8.9. Tomb 2 at Rehov (after Yogev
1985: 93).

FIGURE 8.10. Tomb 990 at Kabri (after Gershuny 1989).

[image: image51.tif][image: image52.tif]



Warrior Burial from Rehov

Tel Rehov lies in the central Jordan Valley, near Beit Shean. Nine tombs dated to the fol-
lowing periods were excavated near the tell: Middle Bronze I, Middle Bronze IIA, and Middle
Bronze IIB (Yogev 1985). In Tomb 2, dated to the Middle Bronze IIA, a single skeleton in a
flexed position was unearthed (fig. 8.9). The excavators described it as follows:

In the burial chamber, about half a meter from the corridor, an intact jar was uncovered
standing on the floor. Beyond were the remains of a skeleton, laid from S to N in a flexed
position, facing E. To the right of the pelvic region (the bones of which were not
preserved) was a dagger and an alabaster crescentic pommel. A few centimeters to the
right of the skull was a duck-bill ax-head, with its cutting-edge facing the skull. Two
spear-heads were uncovered in the northern part of the chamber beyond the limbs.
(Yogev 1985: 93)

Warrior Burial from Kabri

One warrior burial (Tomb 990) was discovered at the site of Kabri in western Galilee
(fig. 8.10). The skeleton was found in a flexed position together with a duck-bill ax and clay
vessels (Gershuny 1989). Only an artist’s reconstruction of the burial was published in a pre-
liminary report, without a conventional tomb plan (Gershuny 1989: fig. 3). The ceramic assem-
blage includes a bowl decorated with knobs and a juglet near the head, a juglet near the pelvis,
and two closed vessels (a jug and a small jar with no handles) near the legs (Gershuny 1989:
14, fig. 14). The juglet near the head does not appear in the drawing of the tomb (Gershuny
1989: fig. 3) nor in the drawing of the pottery (Gershuny 1989: fig. 14), and is only mentioned
in the text (Gershuny 1989: 14). A second excavation season revealed that another person had
been interred together with the first corpse (Gershuny, pers. comm.).


Treatment of the Corpse

Despite the differences in shape of the tombs in the various sites—tumuli at Baghouz, a
rock-hewn cave at Rehov, and shaft tombs at Gesher—similar patterns can be observed in the
treatment of the bodies and the offerings at these sites:

1. Primary burial. The bones are found in anatomical order, suggesting no special
retreatment of the corpse.

2. Flexed burial. The dead were placed with their legs folded.
3. Individual burial. Only in Kabri Tomb 990 is another skeleton associated with the


Composition of the Offerings

Details of the weapons and clay vessels (mainly jars, jugs, and bowls) placed as offerings
in the warrior tombs of Baghouz, Gesher, Rehov, and Kabri are presented in table 8.3. These
do not include the wooden tables and beds found at Baghouz since such items could not have
been preserved in the other sites. One should not rule out the possibility that wooden items
were also deposited in the other three sites since wooden items were preserved in Middle
Bronze tombs at Jericho, thanks to the dry climate (Kenyon 1960: 327, 340, 382–90, 462–66).



It is evident that the offerings in warrior tombs consisted of the following items:

Closed vessels:

A total of sixteen closed vessels (jars, jugs, and juglets) were discovered
in the thirteen tombs. Each of the burials was provided with one jar or one jug, probably con-
taining beer (Maeir and Garfinkel 1992; Gates 1988: 69–73). Two small juglets were reported
in only one case, at Kabri, in addition to a jar and a jug. Perhaps they could be interpreted as
offerings for the second corpse buried there.


Thirteen axes were reported from thirteen tombs. Thus every warrior was buried
with one ax. Most axes are of the duck-bill type and only one (in Gesher Grave 14) was a nar-
row, elongated socket ax.


Thirteen bowls were reported from ten tombs. At Baghouz some of the bowls were
made of wood. Seven tombs contained one bowl for each warrior, and three tombs contained
two bowls for each person. It should be noted that in Grave 14 at Gesher and in Tomb 990 at
Kabri the bowls were decorated with knobs. This kind of bowl has often been reported from
tombs where weapons were found, such as Tomb 1 at Ginnosar (Epstein 1974: fig. 7:3, 15)
and Level 3 of Tomb IV at Tell Sukas (Thrane 1978: 25–26, figs. 32–33, 78, 86).


Thirteen spearheads were reported from ten tombs. Eight of the burials had
one spearhead each, while the warrior buried in Grave 2 from Rehov had two, and the warrior
interred in Tomb Z-95 at Baghouz had three.


Two daggers were reported, each from a different tomb.

Table 8.3.

Weapons and Vessels Placed as Offerings in Warrior Burials

Tomb Jar/Jug Ax Bowl Spearhead Dagger Juglet

Baghouz Z-67 1 1 1 1 — —

Baghouz Z-95 1 1 — 3 — —

Baghouz Z-121 1 1 1 1 — —

Baghouz Z-122 1 1 2 1 1 —

Baghouz Z-123 1 1 2 1 — —

Baghouz Z-141 1 1 2 1 — —

Baghouz Z-143 l l l l — —

Gesher 2 1 1 1 1 — —

Gesher 12 1 1 — — — —

Gesher 13 1 1 1 1 — —

Gesher 14 1 1 1 — — —

Rehov 2 1 1 — 2 1 —

Kabri 990 2 1 1 — — 2

Number of items 14 13 13 13 2 2

Number of tombs 13 13 10 10 2 1



The variety of items placed in the tombs was quite limited, as shown in table 8.3. The stan-
dard assemblage seems to have been four items that included an ax, a spearhead, a jar/juglet,
and a bowl. Sometimes one or another of the items was lacking and sometimes one was added,
but these variations do not alter the composition of the basic paraphernalia of the deceased. It
should be stated that other items which are quite common in tombs from this period, such as
toggle pins or small carinated bowls, were not found at all in the warrior tombs. Thus the
items were not placed in the tomb at random but rather according to an accepted norm linked
to the dead person’s position and social status.

Position of Offering in Relation to the Corpse

Figure 8.11 illustrates the position of the offerings in the tombs in relation to the skeleton.
The following patterns can be discerned:

Position of Ax

: Out of thirteen axes discovered in the various tombs, twelve (92%) were
placed close to the head of the deceased, and one (8%) was found near the pelvis.

Position of Spearhead:

Out of thirteen spearheads discovered in ten different tombs,
eight (61%) were found at the feet of the corpse, four (31%) close to the head, and one (8%)
close to the hands.

Position of Dagger:

Out of two daggers found in two tombs, one (50%) was placed near
the pelvis and the other (50%) near the legs.

Position of Jar/Jug:

Out of fourteen jars or jugs discovered in thirteen tombs, nine (64%)
were placed near the legs and five (36%) near the head.

Position of Bowl:

Out of thirteen bowls discovered in ten tombs, eight (61%) were found
near the legs and five (39%) near the head.

Position of Juglets:

Two juglets were discovered in one tomb, one (50%) near the head
and the other (50%) near the pelvis.

The axes were almost always found near the head, and it may be assumed that the corpse
was grasping the ax handle. As for the other items, there seems to have been no definite rule.
In four graves, all the offerings were placed near the head (top row of fig. 8.11). In four other
cases the offerings, particularly the vessels, were scattered around the head and legs (middle
line of fig. 8.11). In the other five cases, only weapons were found near the head, while ves-
sels, and occasionally some more weapons, were found near the legs.

Percentage of Warriors among the Interments

The grave sample is undoubtedly too small to support any definite conclusions, but it may
nevertheless be noted that the percentage of warriors among the total interments in Mamelon
II in Baghouz is 22.5% and is 26.2% in Gesher. These are rather similar figures, suggesting
that warriors constituted a quarter of the population buried in these cemeteries. What does this
figure imply? It is known that children were buried in storage jars under the floors of houses
in this period. Children’s graves have not been found in Gesher, Rehov, or Baghouz. The cem-
eteries thus reflect the composition of the adult community. Half of the interments are female,
and thus a quarter of the population indicates that every second male was a warrior. This per-
centage is rather high and could not represent a segregated social class of warriors; it rather
suggests that most of the adult population carried arms.



Origins of the Custom of Warrior Burial

It should be noted that burials associated with weapons as grave goods were common in the
southern Levant in an earlier period—the Middle Bronze Age I, ca. 2300–2000


1995). Such burials have been reported in almost every cemetery of the period. The following
examples are listed from north to south: ºEnan (Eisenberg 1985), Beit Shean (Oren 1973: 170–
81), Dhahr Mirzbaneh (Lapp 1966: fig. 24), Jericho (Kenyon 1960: 188–90), Lachish (Tufnell
et al. 1958: pls. 14, 21), and Tell el-Ajjul (Petrie 1932: pls. IX–XIII).

FIGURE 8.11. Position of the offerings at the various tombs.

[image: image53.tif]



Many Middle Bronze I graves are composed of the following elements:

a. Individual burial.
b. Flexed burial; however, in many cases the bones of the decayed corpse were later

c. Offerings, including a few clay vessels.
d. In a few graves the offerings also include weapons, usually daggers and javelins. In rare

cases, axes of the fenestrated “eye” type were also included, as reported from Neve
Eytan, Megiddo, and Maºabarot (Miron 1992: 53). It thus appears that the custom of
burying warriors individually with weapons crystallized in the last third of the third


in the Levant.


Despite the fact that bronze objects in general and bronze weapons in particular were pre-
cious items, they were nevertheless buried with their owners. This suggests that the weapons
were the personal possessions of the warrior and were not controlled by a central authority or
stored together in a community arsenal. Weapons were considered personal belongings. At the
warrior’s death, they were not bequeathed but were buried with him. Costly weapons thus
went out of circulation. The society was nevertheless able to produce new weapons, since the
copper and tin required for the production of bronze were available.


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PLATE 8.1b. Fenestrated duck-bill ax from Grave 12 at Gesher.

PLATE 8.1a. Fenestrated duck-bill ax from Grave 2 at Gesher.


PLATE 8.2b, c. Narrow elongated socket ax from Grave 14 at Gesher.

PLATE 8.2a. Fenestrated duck-bill ax from Grave 13 at Gesher.





Ayelet Gilboa


The conspicuous pithoi with wavy and horizontal band decoration (fig. 9.1) have been a
matter of much discussion; for recently published examples, and overviews and references to
the principal literature on their mainland distribution, see Cohen-Weinberger and Goren 1996:
77; Golani and Yogev 1996: 51–54, fig. 7; and Stepansky, Segal, and Carmi 1996: fig. 9. The
accumulating evidence that has emerged from these studies (complemented here by some addi-
tional references) may be summarized as follows:

a. Chronology: On present evidence, “wavy-band” pithoi occur on the mainland from
Late Bronze Age II (LB) to ca. the mid-eleventh century


b. Mainland distribution: The pithoi are found at Eastern Mediterranean coastal and
hinterland sites from Ugarit to Ashdod—at Ugarit; Sarepta in Area II, Sounding Y,
mainly in Strata G–E Anderson 1988: 323, fig. 6a, pl. 30:18; Tyre, at least in Strata XV

and XIV;


Akko, Tell Keisan 9c, Dor (see below), and Ashdod XII–XI; and in the
Upper Galilee (Tel Dan V, Hazor XII [but see also below], Ayelet Ha-Shahar, Tel Sasa,
H. ºAvot, Har Adir, H. Jelil, a site near Kibbutz Eilon, Tel ºAvdon, and Tell el-
Ghaiyada); for the four latter sites, see respectively Frankel (1994: 27) and Frankel and
Getzov (1997: figs. 2.142.10:19; 2.194:10).

c. Use: Most scholars agree on the obvious—the storage purpose of these containers—
though in most cases, what exactly they contained, or were meant to contain is still
elusive. In a few cases (e.g., at Tyre and Tell Keisan) they were shown to be used
(probably secondarily) for industrial purposes.


1. The example in Anderson (1988: l. 30:18) is from Stratum F; no provenance is indicated for the example in
fig. 6a. It is not clear which of the pieces recorded in table 21 (spanning Strata J/H-D1) belong to the types
examined here. Anderson (1988: 324) suggested a possible correlation between fragments with this type of
decoration and the pithos rims, designated by him RR-2, occurring throughout Strata J/H–D1 (see Anderson
1988: table 8A/B) and possibly also RR-4, but this remains inconclusive. These data are omitted from our
discussion. On the other hand, at least part of the bases designated by Anderson as B-17 certainly belong to
this type of pithos. These occur chiefly in Strata G–E (Anderson 1988: 242, pl. 52). For the distribution of
pithos rims and bases at Tyre, see Bikai 1978: tables 5A, 5B. It is not clear, however, which of them belong
to the specific types under discussion.

2. For the functions of the Cypriot pithoi discussed below, see Pilides (1996: 115–19).




d. Production areas: All examples analyzed (only Iron Age examples), both by petro-
graphic analysis (Sasa) and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (Dan and Dor),
proved to have been produced on the mainland (Cohen-Weinberger and Goren 1996;
Yellin and Gunneweg 1989; Yellin forthcoming). More specific provenances that could
be pinpointed were (mainly) the southern Phoenician coast, and Upper Galilee (one



At least five mainland sites, all major urban centers, produced “wavy-band” pithoi in this
period: Ugarit (including Minet el-Beidha, numerous), Sarepta (apparently numerous, see
n. 1), Tyre XV (one definite, but probably more, see n. 1), Akko (“considerable amounts, late
thirteenth–early twelfth centuries”; see Raban 1988: 290), and at least one has lately been
uncovered at Hazor, in the LB IIB conflagration deposits of the Area A palace (for possible
examples in LB contexts at Ashdod and Beth Shemesh, see below). To date no other clear
examples are known, although it should be emphasized that in both coastal and mountain-
ous Upper Galilee, a crucial area in this puzzle, this could be due to lack of data. More-
over, the only LB site extensively excavated there—Hazor—seems to have been destroyed
early in the thirteenth century


, followed by an occupational gap that lasted for at least

3. But it should be borne in mind that these are also the areas in which the analyzed pithoi were uncovered. As
yet, other provenances (northern Phoenicia and Philistia, for instance) cannot be ruled out. The results of the
petrographic examination of the Tell Keisan pithos were inconclusive (Courtois 1980: 356).

FIGURE 9.1. “Wavy-band” pithoi from Iron Age I contexts: 1: Dor; 2: Tel Sasa; 3: Tyre.

[image: image54.tif]



the second half of this century, and most of the following one (see summary in Finkelstein
1988: 100–01). This is one of the main lacunae in our data. The fabric of none of these pithoi
has been analyzed.

The Ugarit pithoi were considered by Monchambert (1983: 32) to be local products, due to
their abundance, homogeneity, and size. In contrast, because of their resemblance in shape and
fabric to the Cypriot ones and her view that it is unlikely that such large vessels were trans-
ported across long distances, Schuster-Keswani (1989: 17–18) interpreted them as products of
itinerant potters (presumably she meant Cypriot potters?). It should be emphasized that these
LB pithoi not only closely resemble the contemporaneous Cypriot ones, but that the repertoire
as a whole (evident mainly at Ugarit and Minet el-Beidha, see, e.g., Schaeffer 1949: fig. 86)
seems to echo a full range of Island types—of various fabrics, sizes, shapes, and decora-
tions—unlike the Iron Age ones (see below), indicating two different phenomena.

The locale of their production still remains to be determined. But considering the above
observations, and the fact that it is now obvious that Cypriot-made pithoi reached even more
distant destinations in the Mediterranean—such as Crete, mainland Greece, Sicily, and Sar-
dinia (see, e.g., Vichos and Lolos 1997: fig. 5,


and summary and references in Pilides 1996:
113; Knapp and Cherry 1994: 127)—it would be a fair guess that they were exported to Syria-
Palestine as well,


though a mainland origin, for at least part of the LB pithoi, is definitely


Tel Dor Examples


The one pithos analyzed by INAA (Yellin forthcoming; reg. no. 77598, L.7926; fig. 1:3)
originates in the Iron Age I destruction layer in Area B1 (Phase B1–12), that is dated by E.
Stern, the site’s excavator, to the mid-eleventh century


; see Stern 1994: 94.


Two similar
pithoi were crushed in situ

under a contemporaneous destruction level in Area G (Phase G-9),
but no sizable profiles of these can yet be reconstructed or illustrated. Fragments of at least three
other such pithoi were found under this destruction layer. Only a few fragments of similar ves-
sels, with horizontal and “wavy-band” decoration, were uncovered in contexts postdating this
destruction—dated to the mid-eleventh to early tenth century


—but none in primary depo-
sition. Theoretically they could be redeposited pieces, but the pottery accompanying them
belongs to the very typical post–destruction assemblage, and thus it seems that to a certain
extent similar pithoi were at least used here until about the year 1000


4. I thank S. Wolff for this reference.

5. I am quite confident that careful scrutiny of LB site reports (and future excavations) will indeed reveal evi-
dence of such pithoi; see possibly at Beth Shemesh (Grant 1931: pl. XL:18), and additional pieces in Stra-
tum IV. At Tell Abu Hawam a rather small pithos that seems to be Cypriot (but undecorated) was uncovered
in Building 52, probably from the end of LB (Balensi 1980: pl. 12:285).

6. See also Cohen-Weinberger and Wolff, chap. 32, this volume, which came to my attention after this paper
was submitted for publication.

7. For general discussions and interpretations of the Iron Age I stratigraphic and artifactual sequence at Dor,
see Stern (1990; 1994: 90–104) and Gilboa (1998).



The fabric of most (but definitely not all) fragments appears, to the eye, strikingly similar
(however, only the composition of one has been analyzed). On the other hand, all of them are
very different, even to the naked eye, from that of the Upper Galilee pithoi I examined (from
Sasa, Har Adir, Dan, and H. ºAvot).

Of the three

in situ

pithoi, two were found in clear storage assemblages, in association with
other jars (the example presented here, and others, were also accompanied by “collared-rim”
jars). The third pithos was uncovered near an industrial installation of as yet unclear function
(Stern et al. 1997: fig. 11).

Use Contexts

The occurrence and distribution of “wavy-band” pithoi on the mainland in the Iron Age
should be considered within the framework of the general “pithoi phenomenon” of the late 13th
to early 10th century (indeed, they are frequently found in the same systemic contexts with
other pithos types, as at Dor). Like their “collared-rim” contemporaries, their distribution
encompasses settlements of different hierarchies (from hamlets/villages to major urban cen-
ters), and like them they are found in association with the three main “pottery cultures” of the
era: the highland culture, that of Philistia, and the Canaanite/coastal one (for a schematic char-
acterization of the latter, see Gilboa 1998). But unlike the “collared-rim” jars, “wavy-band”
pithoi have not been encountered in any of the numerous sites excavated in the central hill
country and as yet are not attested to in the northern valleys.

The ethnic (Israelite) affiliation of the users of the “collared-rim” jars has long been
rejected by most scholars and explanations of socioeconomic nature for their distribution
offered in its stead (e.g., London 1989b; Esse 1992). As far as consumption is concerned, the
“wavy-band” pithoi should be similarly interpreted; thus in Dan and Upper Galilee, they do

per force

indicate a Phoenician population, and the terms “Phoenician” and “Tyrian”
should be abandoned, and likewise they are not evidence of “Sea Peoples” (as suggested by
Raban and Stieglitz 1991: 41–42). Their distribution results from the same (as yet not entirely
comprehended or agreed upon) demand for large containers, though the larger capacity of
most of them and their wider aperture may have served different commodities than those of
the “collared-rim” jars.

Production Contexts

The most conspicuous attributes of these pithoi are their Cypriot-inspired shape and deco-
ration. Although applied clay bands and ridges are perhaps the most common decoration on
pithoi in different cultures and periods, wavy bands on pithoi, in the mainland regions under
discussion, are confined to this relatively short period. On the other hand, pithoi with this type
of decoration have been produced in Cyprus for centuries and pots similarly decorated are
indeed still being produced there. However, as already mentioned, all pithoi analyzed proved
to be of mainland manufacture.

All the mainland Iron I pithoi known to date, that are either complete or where a substan-
tial part of the vessel could be reconstructed are fairly uniform in shape and proportions (see
examples in fig. 9.1) and differ in many morphological respects from the Cypriot ones (see

spread one line short



below), and likewise from all complete or near complete LB examples known from the main-
land, and thus in this respect also seem to be “local.” They are much less elegantly shaped (or
“stately,” to use Pilides’ definition) than the Cypriot ones, and as a rule lack handles.

Except the Akko examples, whose contexts are still unpublished and cannot be evaluated,
only one pithos fragment—the one from Ashdod XII—was dated to ca. the early or mid-
twelfth century


It originates from a fill of Stratum XII that contained redeposited material,
according to the excavators, of Strata XIIIB and XIIIA (Dothan and Porath 1993: 70–71, fig.
34:3). It differs from all other Iron Age mainland examples in that it is provided with handles
and may well be a redeposited LB piece.

Other than this sherd, all other pithoi (Tyre XIV, Dan V, Hazor XII,


Tell Keisan 9c, Dor
and Sasa) date between the late twelfth and late eleventh, possibly early tenth century


exact date for the Har Adir and H. ºAvot examples has not yet been established). Examples
from Sarepta, Tyre, and Akko (see above and n. 1) may prove to be earlier within Iron I.


My point of departure is based on a few comments offered by Cohen-Weinberger and
Goren (1996: 81). Considering the fact that out of the four “wavy-band” (so-called “Tyr-
ian”) Tel Sasa pithoi analyzed by them, three formed a separate petrographic family (Family
B, produced in northern Israel or Lebanon) and one was grouped with “Galilean” pithoi


(Family A, produced in Upper Galilee), the authors considered two possibilities. One possibil-
ity—that both types were produced by the same potters, intended to “satisfy demand related
to differing traditions, functions, or ethnic identities” (that is, the difference was determined
by the clients). The second possibility—that there were two “groups” of local potters, one pro-
ducing “Galilean” and the other “Tyrian” (i.e., “wavy-band”) pithoi (the difference was deter-
mined by the manufacturers).

To evaluate these alternatives, one may try to consider the meaning of the most conspicu-
ous formal attribute of the pithoi—the wavy band decoration. As indicated above, it does not
derive from any local tradition. The suggestion of a possible different function for the “wavy-
band” pithoi (vs. “Galilean” of both types, and for that matter also “collared-rim” jars) cannot
explain their conspicuous Cypriot character. (Also, there were other pithoi on the scene—of the
“Galilean 1” type—of similar sizes and proportions, that could satisfy the same functional

Thus if we assume that “local” potters were producing vessels with Cypriot attributes, this
would require another explanation. Although, as indicated above, Cypriot pithoi with these

8. Hazor Stratum XII, dated by the excavators to the twelfth century


, probably does not antedate the very
end of this century; see summary in Finkelstein 1988: 100–01.

9. There seems to be some confusion regarding the use of the term “Galilean pithos.” Some scholars (e.g., Biran
1989: figs. 4.7:8, 4.16:9; 1994: 129; Stepansky, Segal and Carmi 1996: fig. 7:1) use this term to define the wide
pithoi with large aperture, which resemble in shape the LB ones, e.g., the Hazor pithoi (henceforward desig-
nated “Galilean 1”); while others refer to pithoi that closely resemble the “collared-rim” jars of the central hill
country (henceforward “Galilean 2”). See also Finkelstein 1988: fig. 30b vs. 104, fig. 32.



attributes undoubtedly circulated in the vicinity at least until the end of the Bronze Age, no
evidence of imported pithoi later than that has been forthcoming.


It is therefore hard to
assume emulation, for whatever reasons, of Cypriot originals.

Another possibility would be to assume that potters of Cypriot origin were operating
on the mainland. In this case, three main explanations may be offered for the conspicuous

1. The decoration may have just been the potters’ “way of doing things” (e.g., Sackett’s
[1990] “isochrestic choice”).

2. The decoration may have functioned as some conscious mode of message emission
(“stylistic behavior” in the sense promoted by Wobst 1977: 320–23), possibly per-
taining to the vessels’ quality, contents, origin, or affiliation of producers.

3. The decoration negotiated some sort of group identity (“stylistic behavior” in Wies-
sner’s 1984 terminology, only one of Wobst’s [1977: 328] “stylistic behavior” modes.)

To my mind explanation 1 should be rejected because of the very restricted range of
shapes, sizes, and decorative motifs used here, out of the much larger “original” Cypriot rep-
ertoire. The selection seems to have been deliberate.

Explanation 2 would require a specific clientele, to whom the information encoded in
shape and design was addressed. I would consider the local population out of the question for
the reasons stated above. The existence of a Cypriot clientele on the mainland, to whom the
vessels may have conveyed some sort of information, is possible but as yet lacks corroborat-
ing evidence.

On present evidence I would thus favor explanation 3—that the vessels were produced on
the mainland by Cypriot potters who deliberately adorned their products with the most con-
spicuous of traditional motifs, as a cognitive expression of group awareness and distinctive-
ness, with no other specific target population. This interpretation does not lack difficulties, the
principal one of which, to my mind, lies in the morphological differences between the main-
land pithoi and the Cypriot originals,


indicating a somewhat remote kind of familiarity. Also,
as already indicated, those pithoi somewhat resemble, in size and proportions, the “Galilean 1”
pithoi (cf. Biran 1989: fig. 4.7:8–9; see also Pilides 1996: 119). Still, this seems to me the most
plausible reconstruction.

10. The distinction alluded to above, between LB and Iron Age examples, is largely based on the morphology
of complete or near complete vessels. Thus fragments that may have bridged the chronological gap between
the known LB II and Iron I examples (especially at Tyre and Sarepta, and the unpublished examples from
Akko) cannot be evaluated. It is not clear whether they (or part of them) are imported or not. On present evi-
dence there was no chronological overlap between imports and mainland products, but I would not rule out
this possibility: at Dor there are two pithos fragments, in Iron I contexts, which to the naked eye look Cyp-
riot-made. This of course will have to be confirmed by analysis. At Tell Kazel too, a possibly Cypriot-made
pithos was uncovered in an early Iron Age context (Badre et al. 1990, fig. 39:f). These instances, though, are
very few.

11. Bearing in mind that there is as yet very little information concerning the contemporary (mainly Late Cyp-
riot IIIB and Cypro-Geometric G IA) repertoire in Cyprus and its shapes, and that comparison is based on
the earlier (mainly late Late Cypriot IIC) examples, see below.



Let us now examine this proposed phenomenon in its regional historical context:


In Cyprus, the pithoi that most resemble the mainland ones (but see more on this below),
constitute the hallmark of numerous Late Cypriot IIC sites (see Pilides 1996: 110–13, fig. 2).
They are of various sizes and fabrics; some (mainly the larger ones) bear the horizontal and
wavy decoration, some have other designs, and some bear none. Some have handles and some
not, while most have flat bases (see, e.g., Schuster-Keswani 1989: 13–17, tables 1, 2; Webb
and Frankel 1994: 10 and references therein, p.12).

Cypriot society at that time was stratified and complex, with ever increasing levels of spe-
cialized labor, production and exchange (e.g., Knapp 1993: 97, 100–101; Schuster-Keswani
1993; Webb and Frankel 1994). As suggested by Schuster-Keswani (1989: 17–18) and others
(Vermuele and Wolsky 1990: 378, 380; London 1991: 222, 231), the pithoi could only have
been manufactured by highly skilled specialists (by an “esoteric guild,” to use Åström’s defi-
nition quoted in Pilides 1996: 109), though it is not clear whether these were itinerant potters
or else to what extent production was centralized.

No doubt, the lion’s share of this pithos production served the widespread storage and
redistribution facilities of the time, most vividly demonstrated at sites like Kalavassos-


(South 1995: fig. 3), Maroni (Cadogan 1992: 54), and Analiondas-


(Webb and Frankel 1994 and extensive references on p.12; see Webb and Frankel 1994: 16).
Nearly all these centers ceased to exist either by the end of Late Cypriot IIC or during Late

Cypriot IIIA. Pithoi, including the decorated types, are still known from Late Cypriot IIIB and
early Cypro-Geometric contexts (e.g., Enkomi, Level IIIa, see Dikaios 1969: pl. 68:190;
Kition, Area II, Floor III, see Karageorghis and Demas 1985: pl. CXXVII), but the quantities
and variety were dramatically reduced, and they soon disappeared altogether (see overview in
Pilides 1996: 110–11, 115).


These were turbulent times in Cyprus that witnessed dramatic demographic shifts, island-
wide destructions, and possibly also population dislocations (for recent overviews of late
Late Cypriot IIIA and Late Cypriot IIIB, see Catling 1994: 136–37; Iacovou 1994), but during
which nonetheless ongoing traffic was maintained between the island and the mainland,
though perhaps reduced in scale (Negbi 1992: 611, n. 83; Mazar 1994: 51; Sherratt 1994: 70;
Gilboa 1998: 423).


I would thus argue that the lasting (or growing) demand for pithoi in many close-by
regions on the mainland, coupled with the drastically diminishing demand on the island, and
the collapse of the Late Cypriot IIC organizational production structure (see Knapp and
Cherry 1994: 163) attracted these specialist potters to the mainland (cf. Anthony’s [1997]
“Career Migration”).

Did they reside there permanently, or are we to envisage itinerant potters—somewhat
similar to the model suggested by London (1989a) but involving overseas venturing and

12. The paucity of excavated Late Cypriot IIIB and Cypro-Geometric IA non-funerary sites should be borne in
mind (this is obviously not a common grave good), but the process, by and large, is clear.



assuming that production was performed close to the

clientele? Or perhaps were there sea-
sonal workshops operating on the mainland (see Vermuele and Wolsky’s suggestion [1990:
398–99] concerning Toumba Tou Skourou)? At present I see no way of resolving this matter,
though the clustered distribution on the mainland (excluding the naturally wider distribution
in harbor towns) may indicate a permanent operation milieu. Whether this restricted distribu-
tion was merely an outcome of marketing strategies or technical constraints, or whether it also
had political reasons (see Frankel 1994: 33; Kochavi 1984: 67) still remains to be determined.
Although Cypriot presence in northern Canaan/Phoenicia around 1150–1050


has not yet
been demonstrated, this seems to me the more likely scenario, and would constitute a clue to
the fate of some Island


during the great Late Cypriot III upheavals.


This paper is part of a research program concerned with Iron Age Tel Dor, supported by
the Israel Science Foundation of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. It will be
incorporated in my Ph.D. dissertation that is currently being written under the tutorship of
Prof. E. Stern of the Hebrew University. The preparation and publication of this paper also
was made possible by a grant from the Memorial Foundation of Jewish Culture.

I thank the following individuals and institutions that kindly permitted me to examine
pithoi, and to mention those that are not yet published: Prof. A. Biran and Dalia Pakman (Tel
Dan expedition); Prof. A. Ben Tor and Anabel Zarzecki-Peleg (Hazor); Prof. E. Stern (Dor);
The Israel Antiquities Authority, Karen Covello-Paran, and Eliot Braun (Sasa, Har Adir, and
H. ºAvot).


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Ronald L. Gorny

Douglas Esse was an extremely supportive and inspirational friend. He was also a gifted
scholar who possessed an investigative spirit that was thorough and relentless in the pursuit of
excellence. Though working primarily in the Levant, he had a deep and abiding interest in
Turkey, as well as other areas of the Middle East. Esse had, in fact, just before his death,
received a permit to reopen the Oriental Institute excavations in the Amuq Plain. The fact that
Doug and I were both attempting to resurrect old excavations provided us with a strong com-

mon bond. Esse was among the few people who truly believed that the excavations at Ali


like those in the Amuq, could be invigorated with new life. The fact that we are excavating at


ar today is due, in part, to Esse’s encouragement and is a testament to his belief that
dreams can become reality.


Although Doug’s archaeological interests were as varied as his talents, he always had a
deep appreciation for ceramics, and we spent many hours in the basement of the Oriental
Institute comparing notes on pottery from sites of mutual interest. The realm of ceramics was
one in which Doug excelled, and his research resulted in many fascinating insights. His inter-
est in Khirbet Kerak ware even brought him into contact with Anatolia where this particular
ware is known in the local jargon as “Karaz” or “Early Transcaucasian”(ETC) ware. In honor
of his abiding fascination with ceramics, I would like to dedicate this investigation of the Ali-


ar relief sherds to Esse, hoping that he would have approved of the topic and knowing how
pleased he would have been to see the long-held dreams I shared with him about Ali


ar now
being realized.



ar Höyük is an 18-hectare site located in the Kanak Su basin, midway between the
important ancient political centers at






azköy and the Kültepe-Kane


(fig. 10.1).
The site is composed of a high central mound which is surrounded by a terrace that takes its
shape from the imposing fortification wall that ringed the settlement in the early second
millennium. Excavations were originally conducted at Ali


ar by the Oriental Institute of the
University of Chicago from 1927 to 1932, and although the identity of the site during the sec-
ond millennium has still not been positively affixed, there are good reasons for equating it
with the Hittite city of Ankuwa, an equation I use as a working assumption throughout this
paper (Gorny 1990: 395–437; 1994; 1997).


One of the fascinating discoveries made by the original Ali


ar excavation team was the
large number of sherds with relief decoration. Although some of these fragments are now

1. Excavations were resumed at Ali


ar Höyük in 1993 after a hiatus of sixty-one years. See Gorny (1994) and
Gorny et al. (1995).

2. Note, however, that Popko (1994), based on his identification of Zippalanda with Alaca Höyük, places
Ankuwa at Eskiyapar (cf. Gorny 1997).



housed in the Anadolu Medeniyetler Müzesi in Ankara,


many can be viewed in the Oriental
Institute Museum at the University of Chicago.


In all, about twenty-three pieces are known
to have been found at Ali




though only seventeen can be given any kind of provenience.
Five relief sherds, not including the present piece, are problematic and remain unpublished.


There are two distinctive types of relief sherds at Ali


ar that vary somewhat in style, motif,
and manner of execution (T. Özgüç 1957: 8; 1988: 105). On the first, both the background and

3. Schmidt 1932: 132, fig. 162; Osten 1937b: 112, fig. 153; p. 113, fig. 154; p. 115, fig. 155; and p. 116, fig.
156; Osten 1937a: 73, fig. 80:1.

4. Schmidt 1933: fig. 85, b 166; Osten 1937b: fig. 153 (= no. d 2100); fig. 154, nos. d 1622, d 2100, d 2516a,
and d 2937; fig. 155, nos. d 1620, d 2997a, d 2997b, and d 2999; fig. 156, nos. d 2518 and 2996; and fig.
157, no. d 1896.

5. There is some confusion over the exact number of pieces involved here as it appears that some pieces have
been counted twice or renumbered at a later time. If we look at the piece numbered in (Osten 1937a) as
d 2997a, for instance, we find it numbered on the sherd itself as d 1628. Similarly, d 2440 is mistakenly cited
as d 2648, which is actually a different sherd (cf. Schmidt 1932: 132–33, figs. 162–63; Osten 1937a: 111–
14, figs. 153–57).

6. These are to be published by the author in a future article.

FIGURE 10.1. Map of Hittite Anatolia (Courtesy of

Biblical Archaeologist



the relief are finished with a heavy red monochrome slip. Details of body and dress are indi-
cated by stamped or incised designs. The second is characterized by a highly polished poly-
chrome finish that makes use of red, dark red, brown, white, and black paint to emphasize
artistic details. Human figures are the most common form of representation within this cate-
gory. The flesh on the polychrome examples remains red slipped, but accoutrements and
details are indicated by the application of additional colors of paint or slip. Relief decoration
is lower on the polychrome pieces than on the monochrome examples, perhaps because the
painted details make raised plastic ornamentation less necessary. In style, subject, and decora-
tion the polychrome examples from Ali


ar are clearly related to those on the large Old Hittite
sherd from Bitik


and are especially close to the reliefs from the ritual procession and cult
scenes depicted on the Inandık vase.


Although the monochrome figures from Ali


ar come
from the neck of a vessel differing in shape from the Bitik and Inandık examples, the close
resemblance of the various pieces seems to betray a common origin.

As noted above, several relief sherds found during the original Ali


ar excavations were
never published. Of this group, one example is of more than passing interest and deserves spe-
cial note.


The sherd in question comes from a wheel-turned vessel made of finely worked
clay. It depicts what appears to be a wooden framework similar in design to a picket fence
which is set atop a wheeled platform. This superstructure is painted white and juxtaposed
against a red background. The surface is burnished to a lustrous finish. Interestingly enough,
this sherd was found to join a piece previously published by Osten (d 2997a /d 1626).


Together, the two pieces provide curious new evidence that may help to illuminate the his-
tory and function of relief art in Anatolia as a whole, and at Ali


ar in particular.
After joining the two relief sherds, it becomes clear that, whereas the previously published

piece had depicted part of a wheeled cart and what appeared to be the feet of a person or deity
mounted at the rear, the new fragment reveals much of the vehicle’s superstructure (fig. 10.2)
and portrays a rather typical four-wheeled wagon with slatted or wicker sides that is similar
to other vehicles depicted in early Hittite art (figs. 10.3, 10.4; cf. Moorey 1986: 201 and figs.
2–3). The combination of these two relief fragments from Ali


ar is interesting, not only from
an artistic point of view, but from a cultural standpoint as well. Since the representation of this
presumably ox-drawn wagon is a theme known from other ancient Near Eastern sources,


the two sherds may offer us a glimpse into one aspect of Hittite culture. Although the Ali



7. Bitik is a small site 42 km northwest of Ankara. It was excavated in 1942 by Remzi Ö


uz Arık. For the
results of the Bitik excavations, see Arık’s report (1944: 342 ff.) and for descriptions of the vase, see
T. Özgüç (1957: 57 ff.).

8. Inandık is located near Çankırı and is clearly an important Hittite site during the Old Hittite Kingdom. Alp,
relying on the cuneiform tablet found in association with the relief vase, has identified the site as the cult city




ana, but note the objections by Yakar (1980: 75–95). The results of excavations at the site, along with
a description of the vase, have been recently published by T. Özgüç (1988). A line drawing of the vase can
also be found in Boehmer (1983: p. 21, fig. 7) and a photograph appears in Macqueen (1986: 103, fig. 86).

9. Ali


ar Study Collection (ASC) 201.

10. In Osten 1937a: 115, fig. 155; this piece is published as d 2997a, but the actual piece is marked d 1626.
Excavation records fail to shed any light on this discrepancy or on the findspot.

11. For a discussion of wagons, see the reviews in Littauer and Crouwel (1979; 1986: 395 ff.); Strommenger
(1990: 267–306); Boehmer (1983: 36–42); and Leinwand (1984; 1992).






relief sherd represents only a small portion of the original vessel, there is sound basis in pre-
Hittite and Hittite iconography for suggesting a connection between what is depicted on the
sherds and the Hittite cult. Tahsin Özgüç, for instance, places the Ali


ar sherds in the same
category as those from Inandık and Bitik and clearly states his belief that vessels of this type
are to be associated with the Hittite cult (T. Özgüç 1988: 100–06).

This being the case, the Ali


ar sherds then may reveal some interesting insights into reli-
gious life at Ali


ar. Nancy Leinwand provides some additional food for thought by pointing
out several metal examples of bull-drawn four-wheeled wagons dating to the Early Bronze
Age that seem to provide the earliest evidence for the Weathergod’s cult in ancient Anatolia
(Leinwand 1984: 173–77; 1992: 165–70)


and which may prefigure the two-wheeled bull-
drawn vehicles associated with the Weathergod in later Hittite iconography (Leinwand 1984:
174, n. 9, p. 192; 1992: 167, figs. 23, 25; also see Moorey 1986: 201, fig. 4).


The close asso-
ciation of this particular motif with Syria (cf. also an example from Tell Biºa, Strommenger
1990: pl. 101a) and southeast Anatolia suggests that its origins lie in the mixed Hurro-Luwian
culture of that region where the god in the wagon is associated with the Hurrian deity Te


(Leinwand 1992: 165–68).

Contextually, the Ali


ar relief sherd fills several gaps in our knowledge about life in Hittite
Anatolia. As Leinwand pointed out, not only is there a surprising absence of this motif in the

12. Of special note here is the rock-relief at Immamkulu that depicts the Stormgod striding over the personified
mountains and onto an ox-drawn cart (cf. Kohlmeyer 1983: 80–86, esp. 83, fig. 33, pls. 29–30).

13. Technologically, the Ali


ar relief sherd illustrates the continuation of the four-wheeled vehicle into the Old
Hittite period where it precedes the more maneuverable two-wheeled chariot for which the Hittites were
later to be known (cf. Moorey 1986).

FIGURE 10.2 Joined relief sherds ASC 201 (top) and d 2997a (bottom). Scale: 2:5.

spread one pica long

[image: image55.tif]


glyptic of the Old Assyrian Colony period, or roughly between the third millennium and the
late second millennium (1992: 166), but it also remains largely unattested in the iconography
of the geographic area between southeastern Anatolia and the Hittite capital at Bo


(1992: 167–68). The Ali


ar relief sherd becomes significant, therefore, in that it not only
bridges the chronological gap between the third and the late second millennium manifesta-
tions of this motif, but it also serves geographically to link the Bo


azköy representations with
those of the Hurro-Luwian populations of southeast Anatolia where it seems to be at home.


As such, these links may well portend the subsequent reconfiguation of Hittite religion wit-

14. In light of recent discoveries, the increasing influence of Hurrian culture on Hittite Anatolia should come as
no surprise; see, for instance, the discovery of nearly 2,000 cuneiform tablets written primarily in Hurrian
at the site of Ortaköy (Hittite Sapinuwa) near Çorum (Gates 1996).

FIGURE 10.3. Enlarged drawing of four-wheeled cart of Ali


ar type from Karum Kane


II cylinder seal.
(After Littauer and Crouwel 1979; Moorey 1986.)




[image: image56.tif]



nessed in the rock-cut reliefs of Yazılıkaya where the Anatolian Weathergod is represented in
the iconography by the Hurrian deity Te




Bearing all this in mind, we should recall that the Ali


ar relief sherd is still incomplete.
However, despite the fact that no bulls or oxen are visibly linked to the wagon on the sherd,
the presence of several other fragments with oxen in relief provide good reason to believe they
once existed as part of the overall motif.


One relief sherd (Schmidt 1933: fig. 85, b166), in
fact, depicts a pair of yoked oxen that nicely fit the motif suggested by Leinwand (1988).
While this is the one sherd that comes from a different portion of the mound (square G8), the
presence of yoked oxen and a mounted wagon at Ali


ar adds further support to her suggestion,

15. We are also reminded that


arruma, who is often syncretized with the Stormgod of Nerik (KUB 21.27 + rev.
iv 42


; see Haas 1970: 107 ff.; but cf. Deighton 1982: 103, n. 4), as well as with the Stormgod of Zippalanda
(Popko 1994: 32–33), is represented at Yazılıkaya as the son of Te


up (the Stormgod of


atti) and


epat (the
Sungoddess of Arinna). For more on the idea of reconfiguration in Hittite religion, see Gorny 1996: 70–71.

16. Further evidence for this motif comes from a colossal statue of the Stormgod recently discovered in a field
near Adana. The white limestone statue is nearly 3.0 m in height and portrays the god on a black basalt base
in the form of a chariot drawn by bulls. While the chariot depiction represents a technological and chrono-
logical evolution from the use of a wagon, the basic motif remains the same. The statue is apparently late as
the base has a hieroglyphic and a Phoenician inscription, presumably bilingual, which is similar to Karatepe
inscriptions, perhaps the work of Urikki-Awariku (cf. Ipek, Tosun, and Toko


lu 1999).

FIGURE 10.4. Enlarged drawing of four-wheeled cart of Ali


ar type from Karum Kane


II cylinder seal. (After
Littauer and Crouwel 1979; Moorey 1986.)

spread one pica long

[image: image57.tif]


and fits in well with textual materials that describe similar scenes. Of special note in this con-
nection are the festivities associated with the Weathergod at Zippalanda.


The types of vessels on which relief representation appears can be very different. Several
of the Ali


ar specimens, for example, come from the neck of a bottle-shaped jug while another
comes from a bowl.


The best example of a relief vessel, however, is from a large complete
vase that was found at the Old Hittite period site of Inandık.


The ornamentation on this
extraordinary vessel was composed of four registers of human figures, each depicting some

17. See, for instance, KBo 13.214 rev. 4 10 + 1 ff. where, after riding in a wagon to Zippalanda and performing
offerings in the temple of the Weathergod, the Hittite king mounts a chariot and rides off to either Katapa or
Ankuwa. The representation on the sherd may then be that of the Hittite king as he rides in a wagon to one
of the cities on the cult itinerary.

18. Three pieces labeled d 2100 come from the neck of a bottle-shaped jug (Osten 1937a: figs. 153, 154)
while d 2996 (Osten 1937a: fig. 157) comes from a large bowl.

19. See footnote 8, above.

FIGURE 10.5. Distribution of relief sherds at Ali


ar Höyük (after Gorny 1995c: fig. 6).




[image: image58.tif]



aspect of the cult.


The representation of music, processions, and worship on the sherds is a
strong indication of the relief sherds’ cultic character. Stylistically, the vessels from all three
sites represent a similar style and must have come from the same period.

While the Inandık vase was important in and of itself, what gave its discovery special sig-
nificance was the discovery of an Old Hittite clay cuneiform tablet from the period of




ili I in the northern part of the temple (Balkan 1973; T. Özgüç 1988: 71, 110–11). Since the
vessel would then have to be contemporary with the tablet or of a slightly later date, it is pos-
sible to supply an Old Hittite kingdom date in the sixteenth century not only for the Inandık
vase, but also for the whole group of similarly executed vessels.

It should be noted, however, that numerous examples of relief ware were found in the
excavation of Bo


azköy’s Upper City (Neve 1992: fig. 78; also Parzinger and Sanz 1992: 62–
63, pls. 66–68). Since the Upper City is essentially an Empire period construction, the discov-
ery of so many pieces would seem to create a problem for our date in the Old Hittite Kingdom
period. Parzinger and Sanz note, however, that these pieces were fashioned in the Old Hittite
and Early Empire period (Parzinger and Sanz 1992: 62–63) but had a long life-span with
many of the vessels apparently continuing in use all the way into Upper City Period 3
(between ca. 1240 and 1220


; for dates see Parzinger and Sanz 1992: 72–73). The pres-
ence of Old Hittite ceramic vessels of this type is also consistent with the discovery of other
Old Hittite materials in the area such as tablets and seals (Neve 1992: 30, also fig. 83). The
longevity of such materials undoubtedly results from a purposeful preservation based on the
value accorded the materials for historical or cultic reasons. This archaic style of relief ware
is no longer attested, however, in Upper City Period 2 (Parzinger and Sanz 1992: 63), perhaps
as a result of the destruction that befell the city at the hands of the usurper Kurunta in the reign
of Tud


aliya IV (Neve 1992: 19).
The date of the Ali


ar relief fragments must then, based on analogy, be set somewhere in
the Old Hittite Kingdom, a date already proposed by Bittel (1955: 32). The same conclusion
was later reached by Boehmer whose recent publication on the relief ceramics uses the same
logic for placing the Ali


ar relief ware in the Hittite Old Kingdom.


An exception is a single
piece that differs significantly enough from the other Ali


ar examples that it is thought to be
contemporary with the Early Hittite Empire sherds from Bo


azköy (above).


20. It may be objected at this point that, based on the two clear depictions of sexual intercourse on the vessel,
the Inandık vase is more characteristic of a (possibly royal) wedding scene. From what we can tell, such
scenes are not known in the Hittite cult. T. Özgüç, however, calls it a “sacred marriage” (1988: 100 ff.) and
states that “all of these cannot represent anything but cult scenes.” In this respect, such activities are proba-
bly tied to the divinities’ role as the guarantor of health and prosperity throughout the Hittite lands.

21. Boehmer (1983)

places sherds c 2623 (musician with cymbals, p. 128), d 2517 (offering bearer?, pp. 22–
24), d 2997b (“alter ?” p. 31), d 2100, fig. 36 (god, p. 34), d 2997a (wagon, p. 37), b 166 (bull, p. 40), d 1896
(two horse heads, p. 45), and d 2518 (cow, p. 47) in the Old Hittite period. In the course of the project, piece
d 2997a was found to join ASC 201. The resulting combination shows a wheeled wagon with vertically
slatted sides.

22. The one example that seems to fall outside of this early period is a sherd depicting a deer with back-turned
head and bulging pupils which dates to around 1400 (Osten 1937a: 114, 116, fig. 156, d 2996; cf. Boehmer
1983: 59). A similarly styled deer is also known from a complete vase now in the Cleveland Museum of
Art (see Turner 1986: 36, no. 24; also see photograph of the same piece in the

Bulletin of the Cleveland


One point of note in the manufacture of the Inandık vase is an enclosed tubular channel
around the wide everted rim of the vessel. The channel connects spouts that are molded in the
shape of a bull’s head and allows fluids to empty through the bull’s mouth into the vessel’s


Such vessels seem to have been relatively common at Anatolian sites and may have
been used for mixing liquids in the various types of rituals commonly found in the Hittite
cult (Gorny 1995a). While no complete vessels of this type were found at Ali


ar, several
fragments of similarly constructed vessels were unearthed there.


Additional vessels of this
type are also known from Alaca Höyük (Ko


ay 1951: pl. 70, 1a–b, 2a–b); Ma


at (T. Özgüç
1982: 152, pl. 87, 1a–b); and Eskiyapar (T. Özgüç 1988: 117, 145, pl. 29, D3); and Yörüklü.


The distribution pattern of the relief sherds at Ali


ar may also be of some significance
(fig. 10.5). With the exception of the relief fragment found in square G8 (b166), the location
of findspots for the other relief sherds attributed to the Old Hittite period (at least sixteen
pieces) are all clustered in the vicinity of the so-called Mansion, a multi-roomed building on
the terrace which seems to have been of some importance during the Old Hittite Kingdom and
early Hittite Empire periods (fig. 10.6; cf. Gorny 1990: 366–69; 1996). The largest group (nine
sherds in all) came from squares S-U 28 and R-U 27–31 just east of the Mansion and north
of Building B.

The concentration of Old Hittite relief sherds in this limited space may provide us with
some clues about the area’s functional character. In particular, if one accepts the premise cited
above that the relief sherds have special relevance to the Hittite cult, the density of sherds in
the area between the Mansion and Building B may well suggest the presence of a religious
sanctuary somewhere in the vicinity, perhaps associated with a much larger complex of build-
ings to which both the Mansion and Building B apparently belonged.


Unfortunately, a

23. For further discussion concerning this type of vase, see T. Özgüç 1988: 84–85, color pl. H, nos. 3–4, pl. 41;
Boehmer 1983: 45–54, esp. figs. 40–44.

24. Osten 1937a: 121, fig. 163, e 1721 (note that e330 is also of a similar style).

25. Two large relief vases were recently uncovered at a spot known as Huseyindede in north-central Turkey. The
site is near Yörüklü in the northern part of the Sungurlu district (Çorum province). Most of the fragments
of these two relief vases were recovered, making it possible to restore the vessels nearly completely. The
two vases resemble the Inandik vase (above) with scenes displayed in decorated bands characterized by
brightly colored figures in high relief. Based on analogy to other such pieces, the Yörüklü vases probably
date to the reign of




ili I (1650–1620


). Of note is the fact that the smaller of the two vases depicts
two somersaulting acrobats leaping over a bull, which is reminiscent of the famous scenes from the Minoan
Palace at Knossos. However, since the vases apparently predate the Minoan Palace frescoes, they may pro-
vide important new evidence for cross-cultural links, perhaps even Anatolian influences on Minoan civili-
zation (cf. Ediz et al. 1999).

26. The Mansion and Building B seem to have been the westernmost part of a larger complex of buildings that
probably focused on an interior courtyard. This can best be seen in Osten’s plan of the Mansion (Osten
1937a, pl. 18). The remainder of the building was apparently destroyed during the Phrygian renovations of
the seventh century

b.c. More of the complex may still be located in the vicinity as a large structure with a
stone foundation can still be seen in the remains of a tunnel von der Osten dug directly below square O 31
(Osten 1937b: 12, fig. 81).

Museum of Art 72: 248). Note, however, that Muscarella questions the authenticity of the Cleveland vase
(pers. comm.).



FIGURE 10.6. Plan of the so-called Mansion at Alivar Höyük (after Osten 1937a: pl. 17).

[image: image59.tif]


massive disturbance of the site by later Iron Age settlers has, so far, made this impossible to
substantiate in archaeological terms. If, however, we are to take this line of reasoning a little
further, and we accept the linkage of the ox-dawn cart motif on specialized ceramic vessels
with the cult of the Stormgod, it would suggest the possibility of a sanctuary located in this
area of Alivar that might have been dedicated to such a deity.

One might argue that if we accept the equation of Alivar Höyük with the ancient Hittite
city of Ankuwa, we might posit a connection between the Mansion and the goddess Katahha
who is known to have been the patron deity of that town (Ünal 1980: 477–78; 1984: 87–107).
The prominence of her cult in the city of Ankuwa might lead us to believe that any temple or
cultic area found at Alivar would most likely have been dedicated to her.27 Hittite texts from
Bogazköy show, however, that several Weathergods were also worshipped in Ankuwa, among
which was the Weathergod of Zippalanda and the Weathergod of the Rain.28 Thus, based on
our previous discussion, it is plausible to understand the presence of the relief sherds on the
Alivar terrace as indicating the approximate location of an artifice dedicated to some manifes-
tation of the Weathergod.

In the end, if Alivar can be equated conclusively with Ankuwa, the Mansion may well turn
out to have housed the worship of other deities,29 although the Weathergod remains the most
likely candidate for its primary occupant. A temple for the Weathergod in the vicinity of the
Mansion would not, however, exclude the possibility of a temple dedicated to a patron deity
such as Katahha on another part of the terrace or, more likely, on the ravaged citadel mound.30

It is also conceivable, on the other hand, that Katahha could have shared a temple with this

27. A temple is attested for Katahha at Ankuwa in an AN.TAH.SUM festival text (KUB 11.27 vi 3u).
28. A Rain Festival was known at Ankuwa to which this particular deity may have been connected. See KUB 30

73 (NH colophon for AN.TAH.SUM Festival) and KBo 22.214 (colophon). For more on the Rain Festival,
see Ünal (1984: 102–3), and more recently Jakob-Rost (1990: 35–39). Other deities known to have been
worshipped at Ankuwa include Istar (Sausga) of the fields (KUB 27.1 ii 49), the Stormgod of the Heavens
(dU ANE KUB 11.27), Stormgod of the houses (dU ÉTIM), the Sungod of the Earth of Ankuwa (KBo 34.203
iii 11u, Zawalli, divinity of Ankuwa (KUB 5.6 ii 65–57), and a variety of other general gods (for a complete
list, see del Monte and Tischler 1978: 21–22; 1992: 6–7).

29. The halentuwa, a building now understood to be a “palace” or “residence,” is known to have housed mul-
tiple temples. Puhvel notes the appearance of halentuwa in ritual text KUB 32.13 ii 3 (1992: 15–19) as the
equivalent (ibid., I 2) of the Hurrian word hikkali (Ugr. hkl , and Heb. Hekal) which translates as “palace”;
also see Popko’s description of the halentuwa as a residence (1994: pp 18 ff. and 24 ff.). For examples, see
KUB 11.34 vi 51–52, INA É DIM URU halen[tu]was É.DINGIR.MES-ya humandas, in the temple of the
Stormgod and all the temples of the halentuwa; KUB 30.34 iv 4–5, kinuna Éhalinduwas É.DINGIR.MES-ya
parkunut, and now he has cleansed also the temples of the halentuwa: KUB 30.34 rev. 7–8, nu eshananza
linkiyaz Éhalinduwa É.DINGIR.MES le epzi, may bloodshed [and] perjury not seize the temples of the hal-
entuwa. Also see Puhvel (1992: 19) where he notes that in this context the habitual plural is significant.
Also see Singer (1975: 65–84; 1983:111–12).

30. Once again, this can not be substantiated by archaeological finds because the citadel at Alivar was much dis-
turbed by the later Iron Age occupants who leveled the top of the mound for their new constructions. Very
few remains dating to either the Hittite Old Kingdom or the Hittite Empire have been preserved from the cit-
adel. The discovery of the Old Hittite relief sherd mentioned above in G 8, however, provides evidence of
at least a Hittite Old Kingdom settlement on the citadel mound. Empire period biconvex seals found in asso-
ciation with the citadel walls point to an even later thirteenth century settlement (Gorny 1993: 163–91).



Weathergod and that relief-ware vessels come from activities held in a building with a double
adyton such as is suggested for Temples I and V at Bogazköy (Bittel 1970: 57). We hope that
future excavations will help to clarify this situation.

1 It has been suggested, in fact, that Katahha was the consort of the Weathergod of Zippalanda, making the
suggestion of a multiple adyton more appealing (see Popko 1994: 30, 35). It should be noted however, that
KUB 11.27 vi 1u–7U seems to indicate that the temple of Katahha was separate from the halentuwa and
apparently existed as an entity unto itself.


I would like to thank Dr. Harry Hoffner who graciously allowed me to use the files of the
Hittite Dictionary for this paper.


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adyton such as is suggested for Temples I and V at Bogazköy (Bittel 1970: 57). We hope that
future excavations will help to clarify this situation.

31. It has been suggested, in fact, that Katahha was the consort of the Weathergod of Zippalanda, making the
suggestion of a multiple adyton more appealing (see Popko 1994: 30, 35). It should be noted however, that
KUB 11.27 vi 1u–7U seems to indicate that the temple of Katahha was separate from the halentuwa and
apparently existed as an entity unto itself.


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Raphael Greenberg

More than two decades have passed since Ben-Tor’s pioneering compilation and discussion
of Early Bronze Age (EB) Palestinian cylinder seals and sealings (Ben-Tor 1978). During this
time, the number of glyptic finds has more than doubled, and the number of flat-carved geo-
metric and cultic seal impressions of the EB II–III—included in Ben-Tor’s Classes I and III—
has increased fivefold, approaching a total of 250 (e.g., Lapp 1989; Esse 1990; Ben-Tor 1992,
1994; Mittmann 1994; Greenberg 1996, forthcoming). Nonetheless, the following fundamental
issues left unresolved by Ben-Tor have not been systematically addressed: (a) The chronol-
ogy of the EB II–III seal impressions has not been refined; (b) their function has not been
ascertained; and (c) their specific provenance has not been established.

New evidence presented since 1974, when Ben-Tor’s corpus was compiled, casts important

light on issues




. As for issue


, the question of function, the solution seems tantalizingly
close at hand. The key to all three issues is the understanding that seal impressions are not arti-
facts in themselves; each different seal-impressed sherd represents the jar or pithos to which it
was affixed. It is these vessels, nearly always identifiable as northern Canaanite


metallic ware
jars or pithoi, that comprise the subject of the following pages.


It is a curious and significant fact that, to date, not one cylinder seal impression of the
EB II–III (Classes I, III) can be associated with a complete vessel, nor even with a rim. Thus,
ceramic morphology offers little in the way of chronology, and dating relies largely on other
considerations, such as ceramic fabric and stratigraphic context (insofar as stray sherds may
be dated by their context). Recent finds appear to provide ample evidence for the dating of the
sealings to both EB II and EB III. Finds from well-defined EB II contexts come from Beit


(Esse 1990: 30–31), Tel Dan (Greenberg 1996: 149), and Qiryat Ata (Golani 1996;
Greenberg forthcoming) as well as from sites that were abandoned before the onset of EB III
(e.g., Tel Kinnerot—Fritz 1990: 23–24; Beit Ha ºEmeq—Beck 1976; Givon 1993). The very
large collection of seal impressions from Khirbet ez-Zeraqun, representing more than one
half of the entire corpus (Mittmann 1994), seems mostly to originate in EB III contexts
and can be associated with pithoi common in Zeraqun EB III levels (although at least some

1. The term northern Canaan is used to denote the area currently comprising northern Israel, northwest Jordan,
southeast Syria, and southern Lebanon. There are occasional finds from more southerly sites (e.g., Lapp
1989), but these should be seen as offshoots of what is fundamentally a northern phenomenon.




seal-impressed sherds could be residual, from EB II strata thus far inferred only on the basis
of finds in fills—H. Genz, pers. comm.).

The attribution of the seal impressions to both EB II and EB III conforms with what is known
of the chronology of the vessels to which they were affixed. Metallic ware jars, thin-walled and
no more than 60 cm in height, were produced mainly in EB II. Pithoi, thick-walled and 80–
105 cm high, were produced both in EB II and EB III (Greenberg and Porat 1996); thus it seems
quite likely that the production of the seals spanned the transition between the two periods.

Circumstantial evidence can be adduced to narrow the chronological range within EB II–
III: numerous restorable pithoi representing the final phase of occupation at Khirbet ez-Zeraqun
are consistently unsealed (with the exception of one jar, its rim removed, impressed with a
unique variant of the cultic-type seals); of the 126 vessels represented by the Zeraqun sealings,
only the one mentioned above could be even partly restored (H. Genz, pers. comm.). Two
restorable late EB III pithoi, one at Hazor (Area A, L. 636) and one at Tel Dan (Area A, L.
18), are not sealed (Greenberg 1996: fig. 3.32:10; 1997: fig. II.4); the same is true of pithoi
found at Beit Yera


(E. Eisenberg, pers. comm.). It would thus seem safe to conclude that the
seal-impressed vessels do not belong to the latest phases of settlement at these sites, but to a
somewhat earlier phase. The lack of restorable sealed vessels in EB II strata at the above-men-
tioned and other sites could be attributed to (a) the generally small exposures excavated in this
period; (b) the absence of EB II destruction layers at some sites (e.g., Tel Qashish); and (c) the
apparently smaller number of seals produced in this period (assuming EB III Zeraqun repre-
sents the high-water mark of seal production and distribution).

Thus a gradual increase in the application of cylinder seals to metallic ware jars and pithoi
may be posited, following their introduction in EB II. The use of sealings peaks in early
EB III, then rapidly declines before the end of the period.


As cylinder seals were applied to the ceramic vessels before firing (but after the comple-
tion of all other aspects of vessel-forming, including pattern-combing), the provenance of the
seals may be assumed to be identical to that of the jars themselves; and as the vessels to which
virtually all the geometric and cultic impressions from northern sites were affixed were of
metallic ware, studies of the provenance of such ware are pertinent to this discussion.

Petrographic studies of metallic ware, conducted by Naomi Porat and Yuval Goren, have
shown that all analyzed metallic ware vessels from EB II–III contexts in northern Israel are
comprised of a similar association of raw materials derived from Lower Cretaceaous formations
which crop out from the Hermon foothills and the flanks of the Naphtali hills and northward,
into Lebanon (Greenberg and Porat 1996). This would suggest that the seal-impressed vessels
originated from ceramic workshops situated on the northern margins of the Hula Valley or
northward (but not too far north, in view of the absence, so far, of Class I and III seals on
metallic ware in Lebanon).

In order to confirm this attribution, Porat examined seal-impressed sherds with both geo-
metric and cultic motifs from six widely separated sites in northern Israel, using petrographic
and trace element analyses (these will be presented in a forthcoming report). The analyses
demonstrated that sealed sherds from Tel Dan, Beit Yera


, H. ºEn


or (near


anita), Beit Ha
ºEmeq, Qiryat ºAta, and Tel Qashish (figs. 11.1, 11.2) were all of similar Lower Cretaceous

spread one pica long



FIGURE 11.1. Selection of analyzed cylinder seal impressions of Classes I (1–3, 5, 7, 8) and III (4, 6, 9)
from Beit Ha ºEmeq (1–2), Tel Qashish (3–4), Beit Yera


(5–6), and Tel Dan (7–9).

[image: image60.tif]



clays and tempers. This again suggests a single zone of production for the sealed vessels. In
view of the distance to the nearest plausible clay sources from sites such as Beit Yera


(50 km,
as the crow flies) and Tel Qashish (80 km), the suggestions regarding local production of seals
in the Jezreel Valley (Ben-Tor 1992: 160) or by itinerant potters at Beit Yera


and other sites
(Esse 1990: 32*) no longer seem tenable. Figure 11.2 illustrates the congruence in the distri-
bution maps of metallic ware and of Class I and III flat-carved cylinder seal impressions.


The fragmentary nature of the evidence bars confident assertions about the function of cyl-
inder seals. Nonetheless, with a corpus of more than two hundred sealings amassed over several
decades, the question of function cannot be avoided.

At the purely technical level, the seal impressions usually served to mask and strengthen
the join between the wheelmade neck and handmade body of the jars—a function often filled,
in unsealed jars, by applied rope-decoration (e.g., Ben-Tor 1975: fig. 10:4, 5, 7, 8; Givon

FIGURE 11.2. Map of northern Canaan showing area of intensive distribution of metallic ware and sites yield-
ing Classes I, III cylinder seal impressions of EB II–III. [Hatching indicates the approximate extent of mass dis-
tribution of metallic ware; dots represent known findspots of EB II, III cylinder seal impressions (Classes I, III)].


[image: image61.png]



1993: fig. 15:2). In this, the sealed metallic ware jars differ significantly from their EB I fore-
runners (e.g., ºEn Shadud and Megiddo—Braun 1985: figs. 34, 35) and their EB IV Syrian
successors (Mazzoni 1984: 20; 1993: figs. 8–10), on which seals were applied either randomly
or on the rim itself.

Beyond this technical aspect, the cylinder seal impressions may be assumed to have been
related to some aspect of the economic role of the vessels. Past interpretations have attempted
to associate seals either with the content of the vessels or with the circumstances of their manu-
facture (e.g., Ben-Tor 1978: 101–4; Mazzoni 1984, 1993; Esse 1990; for discussions of similar
problems in Cyprus, the Aegean, and the Near East, see Webb and Frankel 1994; Aruz 1994;
Pittman 1994). These approaches must be reexamined in light of the identification, presented
above, of a single zone of production for the seal-bearing jars. Fundamental to whatever
approach is taken is the recognition that no regular pattern has yet emerged in the distribution
of either geometric or cultic motifs, nor any predictable association of specific motifs with spe-
cific sites. Even among the 126 different sealings at Zeraqun, the vast majority are types well
known from other sites in northern Canaan, and only a small number of new types have been
identified (Mittmann 1994:15; H. Genz pers. comm.). This can only mean that all the motifs
conveyed a limited, fixed set of meanings, universally understood at all sites, and lacked con-
notations specific to the sites and contexts in which they were recovered.

Insofar as the issue of content is concerned, the sealing of the pot could (a) indicate stan-
dardization of volume, (b) comprise an a priori dedication of specific pots for a specific type
of content (best wine, temple oil, priest’s tithe, and the like), or (c) have a general protective
intent. The central production of the seal-bearing jars would indicate the existence of either a
central authority commissioning the seals and controlling weights and measures (for possibil-


, above), or—what is more likely—a high degree of cultural uniformity and integration,
permitting the widespread use of similar symbols to denote similar functions at each site.
There is no evidence yet for a central store for sealed jars, or for the ingathering of vessels to
a specific site.

lf considered as a potter’s device, the seals may be understood as trademarks of different
ateliers in the zone of production. This may well explain their wide and apparently random
distribution and accords with their consistent functional application at the neck-rim join; yet
it leaves unanswered questions such as why most vessels (including all restorable jars found
to date) were not decorated, and what would have been the relation between potter’s seals and
the potter’s marks found on many metallic ware vessels, including jars (e.g., Givon 1993:
fig. 15:1; Greenberg 1996: fig. 3.27:12).

To complicate the issue further, the function and significance of the seal impressions may
have changed over time, in tandem with shifts in the contexts of pottery production between
EB II and EB III. In EB II, northern Canaan manifests features of a centralized scale economy:
within a cultural


that embraced settlement patterns, architecture, and various aspects
of material culture, the pottery industry looms large, with great quantities of metallic ware
bowls, platters, vats, jugs, jars, and pithoi being exported from workshops, possibly in the
vicinity of Mt. Hermon, to points as far as Beit Ha ºEmeq and Tel Qashish (see Greenberg and
Porat 1996). The affixing of seals to EB II metallic ware


, which could be transported with
their contents, might have been commissioned by an agent of authority with the purpose of
marking the content of the jar. Under this configuration, the significance of the sealing could
be understood in a manner similar to that suggested with regard to central stores, such as those



found at the Ebla palace (Mazzoni 1984), or, to cite a later example, the


jars of Iron Age
Judaea (Naªaman 1986).

Metallic ware pithoi, however, had no role in interregional or international trade in perish-
ables. As far as we know, these cumbersome handleless containers were intended mainly as
household installations: ubiquitous, yet rarely found in groups. Their function within the
household is illustrated by part of an EB II kitchen excavated at Tel Dan (fig. 11.3). The sym-
bolic import of seals applied to pithoi has to be understood in the context of the specific sites
where each pithos was located (cf. the seal-impressed cooking pots found at Ebla—Mazzoni
1993: 407). In such contexts, the sealings either conveyed a message regarding the content,
setting it apart from that of other containers, or served to identify the manufacturer of the
vessel itself. The difference may be visualized in modern terms as that between the label on a
mineral water dispenser and the label on a refrigerator.

The onset of EB III marked the end of metallic ware’s virtual monopoly of the ceramic
repertoire in northern Canaan. Sites characterized earlier by a uniform ceramic assemblage
began to show greater diversity. At Hazor, for example, several independent and nearly con-
temporaneous ceramic traditions are attested: (a) common ware bowls, platters, jugs and jars,

FIGURE 11.3. Plan and contents of presumed kitchen at Tel Dan, Phase B7 (EB II); No. 5 is the lower portion
of a pithos.

spread one pica long

[image: image62.tif]



produced in techniques similar to those of the earlier period, but in a coarse, soft-fired fabric
often covered with a peeling red slip (Yadin et al. 1961: pl. 154:11–16); (b) Khirbet Kerak
ware, clearly introduced by potters of Syro-Anatolian descent, used for small bowls, kraters or
large jugs, and stands (Yadin et al. 1961: pl. 155:1–3; Greenberg 1997: figs. III.2:9–12;
III.4:12–22); (c) metallic ware, limited to jars and pithoi (Yadin et al. 1961: pl. 154:17; Green-
berg 1997: figs. II.3:15; II.4); (d) wheelmade ware: bowls, jugs, and bottles reminiscent of
Syrian EB IV forms; (e) imports, apparently from the Lebanese coast (the latter two groups
are described in Greenberg 1997: 21–24).

This diversity appears to be linked to a more sophisticated, cosmopolitan urban phase,
marked by more pronounced social ranking. The metallic ware workshops, forced to compete
for their share in the market, abandoned the broad range of ceramic production and concen-
trated on the single item in which their advantage was preeminent—the meter-high pithos.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, the decoration of these items with cylinder seals was
intended either to enhance their value or to set apart the various metallic ware workshops.
From the consumers’ point of view, the marked pithoi may have been acquired in increasing
quantities to answer the needs of an incipient bureaucracy, as the storage and redistributive
functions of the urban centers gained in importance (cf. the pithos storerooms recently exca-
vated in the Tel Yarmuth palace: Miroschedji 1994: 148–51).

However, the conditions that led at first to the increased use of metallic ware pithoi might
have been the ultimate cause of the demise of cylinder seal production. The symbolic “lan-
guage” of the cylinder seals, universally appreciated in EB II, would not have had the same
broad appeal in the socially and ethnically fragmented EB III. As the production and distribu-
tion of the broad range of metallic ware declined and, with it, the prestige of the metallic ware
ateliers, the cost of supporting both specialist potters and seal engravers might have become
prohibitive. Local workshops began to produce pithoi of a lesser quality on their own, and the
metallic ware market slowly contracted to the immediate environs of the original workshops—
hence the discovery of restorable undecorated metallic ware pithoi in upper Jordan Valley
sites, and of common ware pithoi at sites farther to the south (Megiddo, in which no Type I or
III seal impressions have been found, being a case in point). This ended the remarkable con-
junction of the two highly specialized crafts of seal carving and pithos production.


To sum up, the use of geometric and cultic cylinder seal impressions on Canaanite metallic
ware jars was initiated in EB II by the metallic ware ateliers in the region of Mt. Hermon, per-
haps as a means of controlling the movement of specific goods (on small jars), or as a symbol
referring to content or locus of manufacture (on jars and pithoi). Their broad and apparently
random distribution, closely matching that of the metallic ware repertoire in general, is illus-
trative of the broad appeal and universal appreciation of their symbolism and could be con-
strued as a metaphor for a high degree of social and ideological solidarity in northern Canaan
at this time. By EB III the principal use of the seals appears to have been as a label on widely
distributed metallic ware pithoi. As the demand for these vessels dropped toward the end of
EB III, the production of seals of the geometric and cultic type ceased.

By way of an epilogue it is noted that both Canaanite cylinder seal production and ap-
plication to jars, as well as the metallic ware technique, survived into EB IV, taking varying



trajectories. Among the former, the Class II animal-file seals continued to be used, appearing
on EB III vessels at Numeira (Lapp 1989: fig. 7), at Byblos, and on a probable Byblite import
at Giza (Ben-Tor 1978: 69–79), as well as on an EB IV jar at Beit Yera


(Bar-Adon 1973);
metallic ware metamorphosed into the ubiquitous “combed ware” found in southern Canaan in
late EB III and all along the Syro-Lebanese coast throughout EB III and IV (Mazzoni 1986:
152). Their brief joining of ways in EB II–III northern Canaan remains a fascinating episode,
whose full significance continues to elude us.


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Writing, Proceedings of the International Colloquium, Oriolo Romano, October 23–25, 1991

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Bar-Adon, P.
1973 Rare Cylinder-Seal Impressions from Beth Yera




11 (Dunayevsky volume):

Beck, P.
1976 The Cylinder Seal Impressions from Beth Ha ºEmeq.

Tel Aviv

3: 120–26.

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Research Supplement 22. Cambridge, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research.

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Bulletin of
the American Schools of Oriental Research

295: 15–29.

Braun, E.

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Archaeological Reports, International Series 249. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.

Esse, D.
1990 Early Bronze Age Cylinder Seal Impressions from Beth-Yera




21 (Ruth Amiran vol-
ume): 27*–34*.

Fritz, V.

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Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Givon, S.

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Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology and Regional Coun-
cil Mateh Asher.

Golani, A.
1996 Qiryat Ata.

Excavations and Surveys in Israel

15: 31–33.

Greenberg, R.
1996 The Early Bronze Age Levels. Pp. 83–160 in



: A Chronicle of the Excavations, the Pottery
Neolithic, the Early Bronze Age, and the Middle Bronze Age Tombs,

eds. A. Biran, D. Ilan,
and R. Greenberg. Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College.

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Forthcoming The Cylinder Seal Impressions. In

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Greenberg, R., and Porat, N.
1996 A Third Millennium Levantine Pottery Production Center: Typology, Petrography, and Prove-

nance of the metallic ware of Northern Israel and Adjacent Regions.

Bulletin of the American
Schools of Oriental Research

301: 5–24.

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1989 Cylinder Seals and Impressions of the Third Millennium


from the Dead Sea Plain.

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1984 Seal Impressions on Jars from Ebla in EB IVA–B.


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Studies in the History and
Archaeology of Palestine,

Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Palestine
Antiquities, vol. 2. Aleppo: Aleppo University.

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Aspects of Art and
Iconography: Anatolia and its Neighbors. Studies in Honor of Nimet Özgüç

, eds. M. J. Mellink,
E. Porada, and T. Özgüç. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu.

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1994 Tel Yarmut. 1993 (Notes and News).

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Mittmann, S.
1994 Hirbet ez-Zeraqon, Eine Stadt der fruhen Bronzezeit in Nordjordanien.

Archäologie in Deutsch-

2 (1994): 10–15.

Naªaman, N.
1986 Hezekiah’s Fortified Cities and the LMLK Stamps.

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental

261: 5–21.

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1994 Towards an Understanding of the Role of Glyptic Imagery in the Administrative Systems of

Proto-Literate Greater Mesopotamia. Pp. 177–203 in

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the Intemational Colloquium, Oriolo Romano, October 23–25, 1991,

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Rachel S. Hallote


While the ceramics of the Middle Bronze Age (MB) tombs of Megiddo have often been
used to date the architectural strata of the site, the tombs themselves, and their placement
under floors of houses, have seldom been scrutinized. A careful examination of the tombs and
the architectural strata with which they were associated will lead to several conclusions about
the dating of the Megiddo strata and about cult in the MB.

Megiddo has always stood out in the archaeology of the southern Levant as a site of great
importance. Because of its location, historic significance, impressive cultural remains and
complex history of excavation, modern scholarship has had cause to carefully examine the site.
Megiddo has been excavated several times, from the German work of the early twentieth cen-
tury (Schumacher 1908; Watzinger 1929), to the current joint Tel Aviv and Pennsylvania State
University excavations, with the University of Chicago’s formative work in between (Fisher
1929; Guy 1931; Engberg and Shipton 1934; Lamon 1935; May and Engberg 1935; Guy and
Engberg 1938; Lamon and Shipton 1939; Loud 1939, 1948), as well as Yadin’s smaller-scale
explorations (Yadin 1970). The result of so many different expeditions, each with its own
methodology, has produced complicated reconstructions of the ceramic and architectural

Kenyon’s attempts to clarify the ceramic sequence of the Bronze Age strata (1958, 1969)
succeeded in fine-tuning some aspects of these periods that were left cloudy by the main
Chicago publication (Loud 1948), but ultimately her work led to many more questions and
conflicts. The approach suggested here may help in sorting out both the chronology and the
content of the strata. Instead of tackling the issues through traditional ceramic and architec-
tural studies once again, the approach to be taken here is more oblique and only involves one
period, MB, ca. 2000–1550


This approach reexamines the contexts of the tombs excavated in the MB levels of the
Chicago excavations. The presence of the tombs, coupled with the lack of any temple struc-
ture in these levels, suggest that private religious rituals, including those relating to death and
burial, temporarily superseded public temple worship. We begin by stating some questions
that have been raised, but only partially solved, by previous scholarship on the site. For
instance, what was the chronological extent of the temple sequences of Area BB? Was the
transition from the MB to the Late Bronze Age (LB) abrupt or smooth at Megiddo? Why did
Loud treat the tombs found on the tell as if they were simple stratigraphic remains, and
why, in refining the pottery sequence from the site, did Kenyon specifically utilize the tomb




materials, even while acknowledging that their dates relative to the strata needed rethinking?
The answers to these related questions suggest a connection between the gap in the temple
sequence and the abundance of tombs in domestic areas.



The first question involves the temples of Area BB, Temple 4040 of the Early Bronze Age
(EB) period, and Temple 2048 of the LB. Loud was the first to assume that a now lost MB
temple once existed, based on the evidence of the earlier and later temples, and also based on
the presence of a group of standing irregular monoliths in Stratum XII (Loud 1948: 92). The
possibility of a missing MB religious structure was taken up in various forms by Kenyon
(1969) and Thompson (1970). Yet when the preconception that an MB temple should exist is
laid aside, one can recognize that a public cultic structure was not as necessary as it had been
in the preceding periods and would be again in the following periods. In fact, the religious
practices of MB demonstrate a cultural discontinuity that is also visible in many aspects of the
material culture of the southern Levant ca. 2000


(see Gerstenblith 1980, 1983). At
Megiddo as well as at other sites, public religious architecture was temporarily replaced due
to a privatization of religion which was physically represented by the placement of tombs
within domestic structures.

Although EB Temple 4040 and associated Altar 4017 appear in the Chicago plan of Stra-
tum XIV (Loud 1948: fig. 395), they had already gone out of use. The date of this complex has
been argued over repeatedly. Kenyon suggested that it belonged to the EB IV/MB I period, her
architectural phase G, and that it continued in use through Phase K and ceramic group B of the
MB IIB period and was abolished by Phase L (see table 12.1). Others have dated it to the
MB IIA period. However, in a discussion of some small-scale excavations at Megiddo,
Dunayevski and Kempinski (1973) demonstrated that this temple fits firmly into the Early
Bronze Age, as did Esse (1991: 87–89). Contrary to Kenyon’s suggestions, the structure was
probably no longer standing in the Middle Bronze Age.

Because it was such a substantial complex, some of its ruins were almost certainly still
visible during the next period of settlement, either as an abandoned mound or possibly as an
organic place of worship.


The plan of Stratum XIV (MB IIA) depicts the interior of the temple
as partially filled in (Loud 1948: pl. 395). Rather than implying a separate phase of use, this
stage could represent the preparations for rebuilding the area, which was becoming predomi-
nantly domestic. By Stratum XIIIA even the southern part of square N13, where the temple had
been located, contained walls of domestic units. Thus, while 4040 was probably recognized as
a former temple in MB IIA, it was in a ruined state and almost certainly was not used as an
official place of worship.

Some past studies of the next temple, LB Temple 2048, have attempted to push its date
into the MB (see below), so that there would not be a chronological gap between the last phase
of 4040 and the first of 2048. This would mean that there was no break in Area BB as a temple
area. Similarly, the presence of the irregular monoliths of Stratum XII has been used as an

1. Compare Jewish worship at the western wall of an ancient temple mount today.



argument for a lost temple structure. However, a reexamination of the evidence does not sup-
port these interpretations.

Kenyon was the first to propose the now accepted idea that the “ghost walls” of 2048,
which appear in Stratum IX (Loud 1948: fig. 401) were only foundations dug into this earlier
stratum, which suggested that 2048 was not actually constructed until the LB period. She fur-
ther suggested that there was a gap in the occupation of Megiddo due to the campaigns of
Thutmosis III in the early LB II, and that 2048 was built only after occupation had resumed
(Kenyon 1969: 49–53). Her classification of the Stratum IX walls as foundations dug down
from a later level is accurate, but the notion of a gap must be questioned since the MB–LB
transition is a rather smooth one, especially at Megiddo.


Epstein’s study of Area BB is helpful for understanding this transition (1965). Although
she argued for an early dating of 2048, beginning in MB Stratum XII and continuing down
through LB Stratum VIIB, her analysis still contains some important clues to the MB–LB
transition. A problem in Epstein’s discussion is that she relied heavily on the unpublished field

2. See Bunimovitz (1995: 322) on the continuity from MB to LB.

Table 12.1.

Description of Kenyon’s Megiddo Stratigraphy (Adapted from Kenyon 1969)

Date Stratum Cultic features Architectural phase Ceramic group

Post-ca. 1480
(Thutmosis III)

VIIA Temple 2048 S —

Gap Gap Gap Gap Gap

Late 16th century VIIB — R —

(Early LB) VIII — Q —

IX — — —

X — — H (including bichrome)

— — G


XI Monoliths O E

XIIA Monoliths N D

XII Monoliths M C



MB IIA Later than XIIIB Temple 4040 J —

EB IV/MB I XIIIB Temple 4040 — —

XIV Temple 4040 H —

XV Temple 4040 G —



diaries of the excavators, which she took at face value, even while showing that the published
material should not be wholly trusted. In fact, the field diaries are somewhat anecdotal and
asystematic for these periods and should not be used as reliably as they have been for later
periods (cf. Esse 1992).

References in these diaries to what seemed to be dumps led Epstein to postulate an earlier
temple, or an early phase of Temple 2048 in MB (Epstein 1965: 204–5, 208–9). However, she
did not take into account the mixture of levels that took place due to the excavation techniques
of the Chicago team. It is well known that the excavators were attempting to peel layers off a
large area that was not built up in a manner suitable for such a strategy. The scale and speed
of the project prevented a more detailed approach and led to some mixture of materials from
different strata (see below). Furthermore, the ceramics of the loci that Epstein calls into ques-
tion as possibly MB could instead comfortably belong in the MB IIC/LB I and LB I periods
(Epstein 1965: 210–13; Loud 1948: pl. 235:20). Because she still followed the dating of the
strata published by Loud, she did not recognize that Stratum X represents an MB–LB transi-
tional phase, or that Stratum IX is solidly LB (table 12.2).

Within her discussion, Epstein points to the core of the issue for these strata. She acknowl-
edges the continuity from Stratum XII all the way down to Stratum VIIA in Area BB but
assumes that the change in plan that is first recognizable in Stratum XII is due to the establish-
ment of Temple 2048 (Epstein 1965: 213). However, this new plan is actually due to the
change from MB IIA (Stratum XIII) to MB IIB (Stratum XII), as seen in table 12.2. Following
this architectural shift, there is a great degree of continuity visible in the plans of Strata XII,
XI, and X, again suggesting that the transition from MB to LB is a smooth one. Similar obser-
vations can be made for these strata in Area AA.


This MB–LB continuity has been discussed before for Megiddo as well as for other sites.
When differences between MB and LB are suggested, they often have historical bases, not

3. The new excavations at Megiddo conducted by Tel Aviv University and Pennsylvania State University will
most likely confirm the hypothesis of a smooth transition from MB to LB at Megiddo, particularly through
the evidence uncovered so far from the northern lower terrace, Area F. This area, which had not been previ-
ously excavated, contains an apparently unbroken sequence of MB and LB remains.

Table 12.2.

Chronologies of Megiddo

Stratum Features Loud Kenyon Current proposal

VII Temple 2048 LB I LB II LB IIA




XII Change in plan; standing monoliths MB IIB MB IIB MB IIB


XIV Absolute end of Temple 4040 MB IIA MB IIA MB IIA



archaeological ones.


In fact, the only significant new feature found in Megiddo’s Area BB dur-
ing the MB and LB strata is Temple 2048, in Stratum VIII. At that point the western house com-
plex had mainly gone out of use, although the structures to the east continued with little change.
Thus MB and LB can best be distinguished from each other not by new settlement patterns, new
houses, or new technologies, but by the reintroduction of public religious architecture.


Since no large temple structure existed at Megiddo in the MB, it is logical to investigate
whether or not religious rituals of the period can be discerned archaeologically in any other
way. In fact, rituals were carried out in private, domestic contexts, not public, formal ones.
The main physical manifestation of MB religion at Megiddo and elsewhere is funerary
remains. A discussion of the tombs and their associated strata will underscore the importance
of mortuary ritual in MB, which in turn will clarify the private nature of religious ritual.

There have been many discussions of Megiddo’s MB strata and associated tombs. Kenyon
(1958; 1969) formed a new interpretation of the published data by reconstructing the contents
of all the tombs of the EB, MB, and LB periods and dividing their ceramics into her lettered
groups (see table 12.1). She chose this particular approach to the site because she believed that
there was more clarity in the ceramic assemblages of the tombs than in the ceramic assem-
blages of the settlement levels (Kenyon 1969: 25). This argument has been both criticized and
defended in several debates which only further complicated the understanding of the site (see,
for instance, Thompson 1970; Dunayevski and Kempinski 1973; Williams 1975: 906–51;
Cole 1984; Bienkowski 1989; Kempinski 1989). One of the main contributions of Kenyon’s
work was the division of the MB tombs into the eight ceramic groups, the first of which rep-
resents the MB IIA period, and the following seven, the MB IIB period. Kenyon’s results have
been indispensable to ceramic studies; however, her overseparation of the material has not
assisted in understanding the MB of Megiddo as a whole.


Kenyon tended to view the ceram-
ics in isolation and only looked at their architectural contexts after completing her typology.
This omission of contexts from the most important sections of her two studies led to errors in
the reconstructions of architectural phases, which she based on the dates of the tomb ceramics
alone (Kenyon 1969: 43–60). We now attempt to reunite the MB tombs with their contexts.

Megiddo is one of many examples of a southern Levantine site where burials are com-
monly found under the floors or courtyards of domestic structures. The tombs of the tell (as
opposed to the shaft-and-chamber tombs on its slopes) include masonry constructed tombs,

4. See for instance Weinstein 1981. Weinstein examines sites where there are no destructions dating to the
reign of Ahmose, only destructions dating to Thutmosis III. These sites, as well as some others that he did
not list, not only do not have a gap in occupation between MB and LB, but also demonstrate the direct con-
tinuity described for Megiddo. Additionally, he lists a separate group of sites with destructions and gaps at
the time of Ahmose—the MB–LB transition. Thus the destructions and changes of culture that took place
did not occur all at once, but rather spanned a long period of time. For further discussion of the end of the
MB in archaeological and historical terms, see Bienkowski 1989; Dever 1990; Hoffmeier 1989, 1990; Bun-
imovitz 1995.

5. Kenyon divided the MB pottery from the Jericho tombs into similar groups (see Kenyon 1960, 1965).



simple pits, stone-lined pits, and infant burials in store jars (see Hallote 1994: 191, 240–54;
Ilan 1995: 122). There are a total of 150 burials published in Loud 1948

that date to MB, span-
ning Strata XIV through X. Of these, fifty-four date to MB IIA, eighty-one to MB IIB, and
only fifteen date to MB IIC. In many cases, the information on both burial type and number of
individuals interred in each tomb was not properly recorded and can only be reconstructed
through the photographic and negative records, published and unpublished, which themselves
are not complete. Often no information is available at all. Therefore, burials of unknown type
account for 56%, 48%, and 33% of the burials of MB IIA, MB IIB, and MB IIC respectively.
It is likely that most of these were simple pits. Figure 12.1 compares the frequency of tombs
of each type by period. Figure 12.2 suggests that the majority of the sixty burials for which
this information was available were single inhumations, while fig. 12.3 represents the break-
down of burial by age for the same sixty burials.

A key characteristic of the MB burials at Megiddo and contemporary sites is their place-
ment under the floors of houses. Although this crucial fact was even recognized by Kenyon
(1958: 59), she downplayed it in her chronological reconstruction. The fact that these tombs
were under floors was never given sufficient attention before now, partly because of the lack
of precision in the excavation mentioned above (Loud 1948: 1). The series of floor levels usu-
ally found in domestic areas in use for long periods was built up very slowly, with minimal
architectural changes of significance. Houses probably stayed in use for generations, with
walls removed, replaced, or added gradually during the centuries of occupation. Therefore,
when the Chicago excavators of Megiddo attempted to “peel” the strata off the various areas
of the mound one at a time (Fisher 1929: xi), they removed what they considered to be the
entirety of the latest MB IIA phases. In doing so, they inadvertently removed walls that were
in use for many consecutive phases. After the removal of most of the walls, all that remained
of the lower, earliest MB IIA phases were scraps, such as those that appear in the plans of

FIGURE 12.1. Frequency of tomb types by period.

[image: image63.tif]



Strata XIV and XIII B (Loud: pls. 395, 396). This often makes associating individual tombs
with specific structures and floors impossible.

However, it is clear from sites throughout the Levant that tombs were commonly dug into
floors of the domestic structures that were concurrently in use (see Hallote 1994: 51, 61; see
also Ilan 1995: 124; 1996). Like the houses, these tombs were probably reused for several
generations. It is likely that the floor levels of the rooms would rise, but the openings to the
tomb shafts would remain at least partially visible (see fig. 12.4). Therefore, in archaeological
terms, these tombs are contemporary with the floors above them, the very floors that appear to
be cut by their shafts.

FIGURE 12.2. Proportion of single vs. multiple inhumations.

FIGURE 12.3. Age of inhumations.

[image: image64.tif][image: image65.tif]



Kenyon understood that the Megiddo excavators should not have associated tombs with
the floors on which they sometimes rested. But while she acknowledged that tombs were
placed beneath houses, she did not recognize the probability that they were sealed by floors of
their own period. She therefore used burials only as termini post quem, and because of this
concluded that the architecture of Stratum XIV was pre–MB IIA (EB IV/MB I) and that Stra-
tum XIIIA included early MB IIB material (Kenyon 1958: 60; 1965: 49).

She even suggested that in MB IIA, Area BB consisted of a cemetery surrounding an MB
IIA version of Temple 4040 (Kenyon 1969: 43). She based this on a locational analysis of the
MB IIA tombs relative to each other and to the temple mound. This analysis ignored the rela-
tionships between tomb locations and the architecture of the strata to which the tombs had
been assigned since her assumption was that the assignations were incorrect. Kenyon was mis-
led by the absence of the walls that had been peeled off the earlier MB IIA levels, which
caused the loss of their associations with several different phases.

The best surviving features of these first phases of MB IIA are the burials themselves,
which were placed under the floors of the houses and therefore remained untouched and unaf-
fected by renovations. Since they were beneath the floors, they also were not displaced by the

FIGURE 12.4. Plan of Megiddo Tomb 3070. (Adapted from Loud 1948: fig. 400.)

[image: image66.tif]



excavators’ removal of the associated walls and upper layers of floor plaster. The number of
undisturbed burials, combined with the amount of disturbed architecture, is what led Kenyon
to postulate a cemetery in the area in Stratum XIV. A closer look at the situation reveals that
the MB IIA tombs of Stratum XIV are all near walls or wall fragments, that is, under floors of
rooms, near the walls. In Strata XIIIB and XIIIA, where the architecture is less scrappy, many
of the tombs are clearly within rooms. Stratum XIV includes only MB IIA burials, while Stra-
tum XIII includes a few burials of the early parts of the MB IIB as well (see fig. 12.5; also see
Loud 1948: figs. 395–97). Since it is clear that the custom was to place tombs in houses, under
floors that were concurrently in use, it is likely that Strata XIV and XIII were MB IIA strata
and that they consisted largely of domestic areas in Area BB. The MB IIB strata can be viewed
through the means of a similar analysis and include Stratum XII and part of Stratum XI.


In order to understand the connection between the two topics discussed so far— the lack
of an MB religious structure at Megiddo and the presence of tombs in domestic contexts—it
is necessary to view the tombs of Megiddo as a subset of the larger topic of funerary practices
of the MB southern Levant, which in turn is part of the even larger issue of MB religious activi-
ties. Instead of concentrating on the numerical and statistical aspects of tombs, they can be
viewed more productively as evidence of culturally specific symbols, parts of rituals relating
to death (Metcalf and Huntington 1991: 62–75). It has been pointed out that the burial repre-
sents only the middle section of a funeral since rituals relating to death and mourning may well
have preceded and followed the interment (cf. Bartel 1982). Yet the burial is the only feature
of these death rituals that is visible archaeologically. Specific applications of mortuary archae-
ology and theory to the MB southern Levant have been dealt with elsewhere (Hallote 1994,
1995). What is important here is the recognition that ceremonies and rituals relating to death,

FIGURE 12.5. Numbers of MB IIA, MB IIB, and MB IIC tombs in each Megiddo stratum.

[image: image67.tif]



including the burial itself, were significant cultic activities, not only in the Middle Bronze
Age, but in the preceding and following periods as well.

By the Iron Age, death related rituals had been solidified into a “cult of the dead” that is
known from both biblical and Ugaritic sources. The manifestations of this cult have been
described most recently by Bloch-Smith (1992; see also Brichto 1973). Most of its features
can be traced to the Middle Bronze Age if not to earlier periods. These features include the
offering of sacrifices to the dead, the related practice of feeding the dead, burial in one’s home-
town or city, and burial on land associated with family or ancestors, often in family tombs
(Bloch-Smith 1992: 119–27, 148–50). Bloch-Smith has suggested (1992: 131) that family and
clan loyalties were strong enough to lessen the influence of the central government, and that
in response to these loyalties, the eighth and seventh century reformers of the Monarchy
attempted to abolish the cultic practices that emphasized clan, including the cult of the dead.

It is quite possible that this cult originated in the Middle Bronze Age. For example, by the
MB, the practice of feeding the dead was a regular feature of burials. Almost every burial
included food and drink, as well as non-edible offerings. Similar offerings have also been
found in the EB and even earlier tombs, but another, more striking feature of the MB tombs
in light of the Iron Age textual material is the probability that they contained family groups.
A typical MB burial, in either a cemetery or a domestic area, consisted of one to three individ-
uals interred together. Occasionally a tomb would be reopened and another burial added.
These burials do not represent nuclear families but rather several members of an extended kin
group or clan who were interred together. Tombs, especially shaft tombs in nondomestic con-
texts, occasionally would be reopened and burials would be added, presumably alongside
those of ancestors or family members (Hallote 1994: 69–74).

Because of these similarities to the Iron Age cult, the treatment of the dead in the Middle
Bronze Age can be understood as the beginning of the family-oriented worship that character-
ized that later cult. Although ancestor worship clearly existed in the southern Levant in differ-
ent forms in earlier periods (cf. the Neolithic [Banning 1995: 4; Watkins 1992] and EB IV/
MB I [Dever 1987]), the cult of the dead was able to flourish in a more significant manner in
the MB because forms of individual clan worship temporarily overwhelmed public temple
worship at this time.

We have already seen that no temple was present at Megiddo in MB Strata XIV through IX.
During this same period, many tombs were placed under houses, and it is likely that they often
visibly protruded above the floors into which they were set (see fig. 12.4). This day to day vis-
ibility suggests a daily consciousness of a specific religious ritual. The immediate presence of
deceased family members, constant reminders of both beliefs and ceremonies concerning after-
life and death, had an active part in daily household life which was important enough to dimin-
ish the need for a large central temple. The frequent choice of domestic contexts for burial
suggests that communal religion had been superseded by the cult of the dead and probably by
other private rituals as well (Hallote 1994: 224–39).

This underdevelopment of public temple worship in the MB is not unique to Megiddo. In
MB IIB southern Levant it appears that only local shrines existed, far away from the larger,
important cities, and that true temples were not reinstated until the MB IIC–LB IA horizon.
Worship in the MB seems to have been a family or household affair, and the cult of the dead
was one of its most visible physical manifestations. It is likely that this cult propelled the



household worship of the period and helped encourage familial and clan, rather than public
and community, responsibilities.

When subjected to close scrutiny, most temples that have been classed as MB actually
date to the MB IIC period rather than MB IIB proper and continue into the LB with only mini-
mal changes. For instance, the temples at Hazor mainly date to MB IIC. The Double Temple
of Area F dates to MB IIC, as well as the earliest Orthostat Temple, which begins in the MB
IIC and continues with only slight changes into the LB I. The Long Temple of Area A contin-
ues with an unchanged plan from MB II into LB I, again demonstrating the continuity from
the end of MB to the beginning of LB (Yadin 1972: 75–76, 96–98, 102–03). It appears that
for the greater part of MB there were few if any temples at Hazor, which suggests that non-
monumental expressions of religion existed. Similarly, the High Place at Gezer dates to MB
IIC. The temples at Shechem, the Migdal temple, and the Gerazim sanctuary nearby are also
MB IIC structures (Dever 1971: 94–132; G. E. Wright 1965; Boling 1969: 82–103).

Shechem’s casemate courtyard temple complex dates to MB IIB. However, this so-called
temple is built on a domestic plan (G. E. Wright 1965: figs. 58, 64, and esp. 65). Although the
scale is somewhat larger than traditional domestic architecture, the plan is certainly not one of
a temple but better resembles an elite residence. In fact, it has previously been suggested that
part of the reason that the structure was recognized as a temple was because of the later temple
in the area (G. R. H. Wright 1968). This argument is augmented by features within the complex
that belong to domestic, rather than religious structures, such as ovens and tombs (G. E. Wright
1965: fig. 64). In short, the area was not purely a religious precinct but was at least partially
domestic, again suggesting that in the MB, domestic and private life briefly took precedence
over religious and public life.

Among the few temples from the southern Levant that do clearly fall into MB IIB are the
temple at Tel Kitan, and its counterpart across the Jordan River at Tell el-Hayyat (Eisenberg
1977: 77–81; Falconer and Magness-Gardiner 1984: 49–74; Falconer 1987: 251–59). These
small temples, which are stylistically similar to each other, may well represent a specific
regional phenomenon of the Jordan Valley, not the culture of the southern Levant as a whole.

The coastal sanctuary at Nahariyah is problematic. Ben-Dor dated the temple he excavated
there to MB IIB (Ben-Dor 1950). Dothan suggested that a nearby structure slightly to the south
predated the temple. Dothan dated the entire site to the “Hyksos” period, and its destruction to
MB IIC–LB I, following Egyptian chronology (Dothan 1956). However, some of the ceramics
Ben-Dor published are clearly MB IIA in character. It is therefore likely that the use of these
structures spanned the Middle Bronze Age. Yet this sanctuary was small and had specific func-
tions. Presumably it was dedicated to the worship of the goddess Asherah of the sea (Ben-Dor
1950: 1–41; Dothan 1956: 14–25). It was not a large public temple and does not indicate that
there was a large-scale public forum for worship in this region.

Tel Kitan, Tell el-Hayyat, and Nahariyah can be understood as anomalous small sanctu-
aries representing individual regional variations. Similarly, the much discussed MB temple at
Tell el-Dabºa is located in Egypt’s Nile Delta, not in the southern Levant, suggesting that,
like the other regional temples, it does not represent the norm (Bietak 1981: 250–53). Except
for these, all the known MB sanctuaries date only to the very end of the period and continue
into the Late Bronze Age.



A few other structures identified as small sanctuaries have been excavated recently. These
include an MB IIA shrine at Kfar Shemaryahu (Gophna and Ayalon 1980: 149; Kaplan 1971:
fig. 11), as well as structures at Tell Haror, Givat Sharet, Na


al Rephaim, and Kfar Rupin
(e.g., Oren 1993: 580;, Edelstein and Greenhut 1990: 120; Edelstein 1993: 1282). These have
yet to be published sufficiently, and the specific dates within MB of many of them are still
unclear. Additionally, these appear to be small, local shrines, often within domestic areas,
implying household use rather than public use. This is clearly the case at Na


al Rephaim
(Edelstein and Greenhut 1990; Edelstein 1993). The presence of such small, private cultic
structures does not undermine the current argument, but in fact demonstrates a second
approach to family-oriented, rather than communal, worship.

The lack of emphasis on public worship described here seems not to be unique to the
southern Levant. A similar phenomenon has been detected by Dabney and Wright (1990) for
contemporary Middle Helladic (MH) Mycenaean society. Within the larger context of palatial
society and state formation, they discussed how burial practices can reinforce allegiance to
ancestors and can demonstrate a focus on individual power. In MH Mycenaean society, as in
the MB southern Levant, cult centers and cult symbolism appear to be underdeveloped and
seem not to be used as a means to control or unify the populace in relation to king and palace,
as they were to be in the Late Helladic.

Although the temporal convergence of this phenomenon in the Aegean and the southern
Levant is probably little more than coincidence, the same principle may well be at work. In the
southern Levant mortuary practices that emphasize lineage and ancestors become prominent
at precisely the moment when communal cult activities are somewhat curtailed. When the
family-oriented cult of the dead began in the MB, it either became popular to the point of tem-
porarily eclipsing temple worship, or alternatively, it grew in importance as a response to an
already dwindling interest in public worship. In either case, the cult continued through the
Late Bronze Age, when temple worship resumed, and into the Iron Age, when the clan ties
that sustained the cult were not only perceived as a threat to communal worship but also as a
threat to the central organization of the state.


Because Megiddo’s role was that of an important Bronze Age center, analysis of its MB
levels is essential for unraveling the social systems of the period. The architectural and ceramic
sequences at Megiddo have helped to establish the smooth nature of the transition from MB
to LB. As the material similarities between these periods become apparent, the fact that the site
did not have an MB temple seems rather incongruous. Since the EB and LB temples were
always located in the same area of the site throughout the Bronze Age, the gap in the temple
sequence during the MB is particularly noticeable and therefore warranted investigation.

A close reexamination of the tombs in the contexts of their strata has suggested that at the
time when no temple existed at Megiddo, tombs were commonly placed under floors of
houses still in use. Furthermore, the entry shafts of these tombs most probably projected part-
way up into the living areas. This constant presence of deceased individuals, almost certainly
members of extended kin groups, reinforces an aspect of the most prominent type of the MB



worship—small-scale clan or family rituals, specifically the cult of the dead, taking the place
of temple worship.

Although other sites may not demonstrate this phenomenon in as sharp relief as Megiddo
does, it is clear that intramural burial begins on a large scale throughout the southern Levant
in the Middle Bronze Age. Furthermore, no site of central importance in the MB has yet been
found with a significant cultic structure that predates MB IIC. Although future excavations at
Megiddo as well as at other MB sites may lead to refinements of this hypothesis, it is likely
that such work will help confirm the relationship between private cultic rituals and the tempo-
rary deemphasis of public temples.


I would like to thank Dr. Samuel Wolff for inviting me to contribute to this volume. Some
of the ideas outlined in this manuscript were first presented in November 1993 in Washington,
DC, at the annual meetings of American Schools of Oriental Research, and later appeared as
a section of my dissertation. Discussions with Baruch Halpern, Israel Finkelstein, David
Ussishkin, J. P. Dessel, David Ilan, and Alex Joffe have helped me greatly in clarifying some
of my arguments, although none of them are responsible for any errors or inaccuracies in this
work. John Larson of the Oriental Institute kindly gave me access to the unpublished photo-
graphs, negatives, field diaries, and plans of the Chicago excavations at Megiddo. I owe my
greatest debt to Douglas Esse, who was my mentor and advisor. It was under his guidance that
I learned how to approach archaeological issues, and I will always feel privileged to have
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Timothy P. Harrison

Ethnographic studies have long drawn attention to the behavioral significance embedded in
the symbolism and rituals expressed in the burial of the dead (Bartel 1982; Metcalf and Hun-
tington 1991). With the calls for a sounder theoretical base in archaeology ringing out in the
1960s, it was not long before attempts to submit archaeological mortuary data to more rigorous
theoretical scrutiny utilizing ethnographic case studies began to appear (see particularly Saxe
1970; and the assembled papers in Brown [ed.] 1971). This early euphoria was soon tempered
by a cautious skepticism, particularly regarding the reliability of ethnographic analogy. In an
important study, P. Ucko (1969) demonstrated the diverse functional and ideological consid-
erations that can accompany a particular method of burial and all too easily obscure the archae-
ological record.

Despite this, and other raised concerns (see particularly Hodder 1980; 1982: 195–201;
Pader 1982; Parker Pearson 1982; and also Braun 1981; with response by Tainter 1981),

archaeological analysis of mortuary ritual has forged ahead,


generating numerous operational
hypotheses. Central to these has been the assumption that the

social persona

, the composite of
the social identities maintained by the deceased in life, will be recognized symbolically at
death. Furthermore, the relative rank of the social position held by the deceased will reflect the
composition and size of the social group recognizing status responsibilities to the deceased
(Binford 1971: 17). Stated simply, the effort expended to bury an individual will be propor-
tional to the ascribed social status of that individual.

The implications for archaeological analysis logically follow. Principally, we might expect
the ceremonial complexity exhibited in a given burial to reflect, at least indirectly, the level of
social complexity experienced by the responsible social group. In a ranked (or nonegalitarian)
society, certain archaeological correlates should be discernible. At least two dimensions of
social personae have been associated with the burial practices of ranked societies:

The first,

superordinate dimension

, must be a partial ordering that is based on

energy expenditure, and other variables of mortuary ritual, and which is


taneously ordered on the basis of age and sex. That is, membership in the

class and some
variability within the class are based on the ascriptive qualities of an

genealogy. . . . The second,

subordinate dimension

, will be a partial

order based on
symbols, energy expenditure and other variables, which generally

will be ordered on the

1. The literature is immense. By way of example, see Tainter 1975, 1978, 1982; Chapman, Kinnes, and Rands-
borg 1981; O’Shea 1984; Chapman 1987; Beck 1995; Carr 1995; and Campbell and Green 1995.




basis of age and sex. That is, beyond the “given” features of

age and sex, variability in
this dimension will reflect achievement through life

histories of individuals. The older an
individual, the greater the opportunity for