An Advanced Method of Laser Ablation MC-ICP-MS for Provenance Studies in Archaeometallurgy: Chalcolithic Metal Objects from Israel as a Case-Study
Irina Segal and Ludwik Halicz
Keywords: copper, Feinan, Timna, Sinai, arsenical bronze, ores
This study presents the analysis of Chalcolithic copper-based artifacts, found in the Peqi‘in and Quruntul caves and from the Camel Site. These artifacts were re-analyzed using LA-MC-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation–Multiple Collector–Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), enabling the study of the archaeometallurgical provenance of small and corroded artifacts. It was determined that all of the artifacts from the Camel Site are similar to those from the Sandal and Peqi‘in caves, Nahal Mishmar and Wadi Fidan.
Rescue Excavations at the Early Bronze Age Site of Qiryat Ata––Area N
Keywords: settlement, stratigraphy, ceramic type frequencies, quantitative analysis, basalt bowl, limestone bowl, grinding slabs, querns, metal chisel, cylinder seal impressions, bone tools
The excavations in Area N revealed building remains attributed to four phases, dating to EB IB (General Strata III–II) and EB II (General Stratum I). In Phase 4, structures with rounded outer corners were uncovered, characteristic of EB IB and early EB II in the southern Levant. During Phases 3–1, dated to EB II, smaller and more compact spaces were created, pointing to ongoing renovations in the buildings. These complex architectural remains may represent evidence of social organization at a time when the site was apparently a fully urbanized settlement. The ceramic finds fit in well with the pottery corpus of EB IB and EB II pottery previously documented at the site. The flint assemblage (studied by Hamoudi Khalaily) represents a typical Early Bronze Age repertoire. The faunal assemblage (studied by Nuha Agha) complements previous zooarchaeological research at the site and contributes to the overall picture of the animal economy in EB IB and EB II in the region.
Faunal Remains from the Early Bronze Age Site of Qiryat Ata—Area N
Keywords: archaeozoology, osteology, economy, domestication, bones, horns, cutting marks, gnawing marks, skinning
The assemblage consists of animal remains recovered from clear stratigraphic EB IB (N = 64) and EB II (N = 66) contexts. The identified remains were of livestock—sheep, goats, cattle and pigs—and a few wild animals, such as mountain gazelle and fallow deer. The age of the cattle remains in the EB II phase attests that most animals reached maturity; hence, their value was in secondary products, such as milk and/or labor, rather than their meat. In both periods, hunting of wild animals played only a marginal role in the economy of the site. These finds revealed that the transition from the early EB IB village to the EB II urban settlement was gradual.
Molluscs from the Early Bronze Age Site at Qiryat Ata––Area N
Keywords: malacology, shells
This report discusses 35 malacological remains excavated at Qiryat Ata––Area N. Most of the specimens originated in EB II contexts, a few from surface loci. The malacological evidence indicates contacts with the Mediterranean during EB II, as well as exploitation of nearby Nahal Qishon. Twelve shells of the species Cerastoderma glaucum display an artificial, worked hole that may have been part of a necklace.
Rescue Excavations at the Early Bronze Age Site of Qiryat Ata––Area S
(with a contribution by Hamoudi Khalaily)
Keywords: stratigraphy, cylinder seal, bitumen, ceramic disc, spindle whorls, groundstone objects, Canaanean products
The excavations in Area S, within the Early Bronze Age site of Qiryat Ata, revealed four settlement phases, all of which are associated with EB II (General Site Stratum I). Phase 4 consists of several beaten-earth surfaces and a few architectural remains. Two adjacent and nearly complete structures (Structures 1 and 2) were exposed in Phase 3; they appear to have been part of a much larger building complex. In Phase 2, a large architectural unit was unearthed (compound? insula?), comprising several buildings of irregular plan around an open courtyard; the nature of this compound may indicate a public function. Phase 1 included architectural additions and modifications to the pre-existing Phase 2 compound. The architectural remains are evidence of social organization, and the site appears to have been a fully urbanized settlement. The ceramic finds from Area S represent a homogenous assemblage, typical of EB II in northern Israel, as is the flint assemblage. The faunal assemblage indicates primary reliance on domesticated species in the EB II economy of the region.
Animal-Based Economy and Local Ecology: The Early Bronze Age II Fauna from Qiryat Ata––
Edward F. Maher
Keywords: zooarchaeology, consumption patterns, economic strategies, environment, butchery marks
The species exploited at Qiryat Ata are dominated by domestic animals, the most common being sheep and goats. Very few wild animals are present in the assemblage, comprising less than 6% of the identifiable remains, including fallow deer, wild pig and sea turtle.
A Middle Bronze Age Tomb at ‘Atlit
Eilat Mazar and David Ilan
Keywords: Mediterranean coast, cemetery, burial, alabaster, scaraboids
The tomb comprises one square chamber; its opening was not preserved. The skeletal remains within the tomb indicate the existence of at least several burials. Large concentrations of artifacts were discerned in the tomb’s corners, a common phenomenon in Middle Bronze Age tombs. The pottery dates to the Middle Bronze Age, and includes local pottery and imported pottery, from Cyprus, inland Syria and Egypt. Other finds include stone vessels, metal objects, beads and scarabs. Clearly, this assemblage reflects a society with wide-ranging trade connections and a maritime orientation.
Middle Bronze Age IIA and Later Settlement Remains near Yehud on the Coastal Plain
Edwin C.M. van den Brink, Oren Shmueli, Eli Yannai, Liora Kolska Horwitz and Eyal Vadaei
Keywords: Tell el-Yahudiya, typology, weights, Canaanean sickle blades, archaeozoology
Three areas (A–C) were excavated and six archaeological strata were identified. Area A yielded sparse remains of the late Byzantine (Stratum I), Persian (Stratum II) and transitional Iron Age II/Persian (Stratum III) periods. Area B yielded the poorly preserved remains of a pottery kiln of the vertical or up-draft type, dated by pottery to the late Byzantine period. Area C yielded three strata (VI–VIII) with sparse remains dating from MB IIA. The pottery included local wares and imports from Cyprus, analogous to the finds from the Palace III phase at Afeq, between the end of MB IIA and the beginning of MB IIB. Earlier pottery finds date to the Chalcolithic period and the Intermediate Bronze Age. The lithic collection from the site is very small (N = 123), including knapped limestone items and some ground-stone tools. Two sickle blades date clearly to the Middle Bronze Age, and other stone artifacts date to the Chalcolithic period and the Intermediate Bronze Age. The bone assemblage was small, pointing to the predominance of domestic animals, cattle being the most common species. Scanty remains of beasts of burden, camel and an equid (donkey?), were also found at Yehud.
New Archaeological Finds from Kursi-Gergesa
(with a contribution by Gabriela Bijovsky)
Keywords: Sea of Galilee, Christianity, religion, monastery, church, pilgrims, cemetery, burial, anthropology, numismatics, metal, polilychnos, art, Christ, Christian iconography, expulsion of the Persians
Two areas were opened (Areas C, D), exposing a stepped tunnel, a bathhouse and a cemetery. The stepped tunnel, which was unearthed in the 1970–1971 season of excavations, was found to end in a narrow leveled space, above which was a vaulted entrance leading to a spacious underground room. A compact Roman–Byzantine bathhouse was exposed, comprising five distinct units: a water-supply unit, a heating installation (
), heated-water pools, a hot room (
) and a cool room (
). It is evident that the bathhouse was connected to the hostel building excavated in 1970–1971. The pottery from the bathhouse was similar to that of the adjacent hostel building, including fragments of bowls, cooking pots and oil lamps. Based on the stratigraphic and ceramic evidence, the bathhouse operated in the second quarter of the seventh century CE. The discovery of the bathhouse sheds light on the secular functions of the monastery at Kursi-Gergesa. Behind the apse wall of the church at Kursi were uncovered three tombs and a cist tomb. The tombs contained the disarticulated bones of several dozen humans (studied by Yossi Nagar). Mixed with the skeletal remains were ceramic-bowl and lamp fragments; glass vessels and beads (studied by Natalia Katsnelson); engraved iron rings and bronze jewelry; buckles, bells and chain fragments; iron weapons and tools; incised bone plaques; and four coins, three of them perforated (studied by Gabriela Bijovsky). The burials seem to represent a communal tomb (of pilgrims?), buried at the site in the late Byzantine period (late sixth–early seventh centuries CE), possibly following a tragic historical event (epidemic? massacre?).
Glass Finds and Assorted Beads from Three Tombs at Kursi-Gergesa
Keywords: eulogia, Christian pilgrimage, mask molds, secondary blowing, Christian symbolism, Golgotha, St. John the Baptist, saint, art, iconography, millefiori beads, eye beads
Three glass vessels and 45 pieces of jewelry were retrieved from the tombs discovered behind the apse wall of the church at Kursi. Among the vessels is a mold-blown, hexagonal jug with a rare symbolic motif, hitherto unknown from an excavated context. The finds also included two glass pendants, a ribbed bracelet and many beads of varied shapes and sizes, made of glass, carnelian, resin, bone and coral. Two of the beads were decorated: a mosaic-glass bead and a carnelian bead with a drawn pattern. The entire assemblage is typical of the sixth–early seventh centuries CE.
Human Skeletal Remains from Tombs at Kursi-Gergesa
Keywords: anthropology, osteology, epigenetic traits, primary burial, Christians, ethnicity
Human remains were found in three burial chambers and one cist tomb at Kursi, dated to the Byzantine period. Based on anthropological analysis, at least 69 individuals, including infants, children and adults of both sexes, were identified. The finds at Kursi might suggest that the people buried at the site were of foreign origin (pilgrims?).
A Section of the Gezer–Ramla Aqueduct (Qanat Bint al-Kafir) and a Mamluk-Period Cemetery near Moshav Yashresh
Keywords: water installation, hydraulic plaster, flow rate, cemetery, burial customs
The excavation exposed the excellently preserved remains of a section of the Gezer–Ramla aqueduct (Area B), as well as nine pit graves (Areas A, B). This section of the aqueduct, generally oriented southwest–northeast, was exposed along c. 150 m; two maintenance shafts were located along its course. It is the northernmost part of the Umayyad-period aqueduct to Ramla found to date. It may have been a secondary branch that split from the main channel and headed toward the water cisterns in the White Mosque area or the industrial area excavated in a neighborhood south of Ramla. After use of the aqueduct ceased, the area to its north was converted into a Muslim cemetery. The graves were simple pits dug into the ground; no funerary offerings were found. The deceased were positioned in an east–west direction, the head in the west and the face looking south (studied by Yossi Nagar). This method of interment, with the gaze of the deceased toward Mecca, is characteristic of Muslim burial.
Skeletal Remains from the Gezer–Ramla Aqueduct (Qanat Bint al-Kafir)
Keywords: anthropology, cemetery, burial customs
During the excavation of the Gezer–Ramla aqueduct, human skeletal remains were found in simple pit graves, dated to the Late Islamic or Mamluk period. Each grave contained a single individual in primary burial, on their right side, in an east–west direction, with the head in the west facing south. This burial custom is typical of a Muslim population.
Excavations at the Dar el-Gharbiya Neighborhood of Kafr Yasif: A Crusader Estate in the Territory of ‘Akko
(with a contribution by Yael Gorin-Rosen)
Danny Syon and Edna J. Stern
Keywords: Crusader kingdom, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, typology, Acre Ware, molasses jars, sugar production, maritime trade, quantitative analysis, Beirut, Troad area, numismatics, coins, lead token, glass-working furnaces, glass production, industrial area, rural settlement, historical identification, historical documents
Six excavation squares and three test trenches were opened. In Square A, a building was unearthed, probably first constructed in the Byzantine period and reused, probably as a stable, in the Crusader period (twelfth century); the last phase of the building (also a stable?) dates to the Mamluk period (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries). The earliest architectural stratum in Squares B and D dates to the late Byzantine or Early Islamic period, followed by an architectural phase from the Crusader period (the twelfth century); the last phase, including a water system, dates to the Mamluk period. Square C contained a large quantity of pottery, mostly from the Crusader period, but also from the Byzantine and Late Roman periods. Square E yielded fragmentary remains, and Square F yielded massive walls, closely aligned with the Crusader walls in Square A. The finds included pottery dating to the Persian, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Umayyad and Abbasid periods, as well as from the Mamluk and early Ottoman periods. Most of the pottery dates to the main Crusader-period phase (twelfth–early thirteenth centuries) and is domestic in character, including mostly local ware and a few imported wares from Greece and the Aegean region. The glass finds, including dismantled glass furnaces (studied by Yael Gorin-Rosen), date primarily to the late Byzantine and early Umayyad periods.
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