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Department of Archaeology

Friday, 2 June, 2023 - 13:15
Event speaker: 
Sara Carrion Anaya, UCL

The Early Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the Edom Lowlands Region in southern Jordan is characterised by sociocultural, economic and political changes that were part of a shifting process that was deeply linked to the changing control of copper in the Faynan district over time, which was one of the most important sources of copper ore in antiquity. During the 10th-7th BCE southern Levantine polities (Israel, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, Edom) reached the apex of ancient social complexity, which has been referred to as secondary state formation. The aim of the present project is to document and study the traditions of ceramic manufacture and usage at several previously surveyed and/or excavated settlement sites dating from the Early Bronze Age III-IV to the Early Iron Age located in the Faynan district.

The research will focus on characterising the chemical and mineralogical composition and determining the provenance and examining the technological steps and skills involved in the manufacture of the ceramics. An ‘integrated approach’ will be taken to combine the data obtained by several different scientific techniques including the macroscopic study of the ceramics, thin section petrography analysis and other compositional analytical techniques (pXRF, LA-ICP-MS, SEM-EDS, XRD). The aim is to shed light onto the organisation of pottery production at a local (site) and regional (Edom Lowlands Region) levels at every given period, which will contribute to better understand the evolution of pottery-making traditions over time by documenting any possible changes in the composition, technological skills and distribution patterns. The observations made are also expected to address the nature of any possible trade and exchange networks with other communities from an intra-regional and supra-regional (interactions with other regions such as the Beersheva Valley in Israel) perspective by comparing the published data from that of other southern Levantine sites. The role played by pottery production in the development of copper metallurgical production and in the configuration of the so-called ‘complex’ societies will also be discussed by incorporating the data obtained into the theoretical debate and interpretations of the sociopolitical structure and socioeconomic dynamics of southern Levantine communities in each period.

Event location: 
McDonald Seminar Room
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