Metalworkers’ Material Culture in the Early Iron Age Levant: The Ceramic Assemblage from Site 34 (Slaves’ Hill) in the Timna Valley

Sabine Kleiman, Assaf Kleiman, Erez Ben-Yosef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The article deals with a rich ceramic assemblage retrieved during the survey and excavations of Site 34 (Slaves’ Hill) in the Timna Valley. Two main aspects of the assemblage are discussed: (1) its contribution to determining the relative and absolute chronology of the copper production sites in the Timna Valley (e.g., Sites 2, 30 and 200); and (2) the daily life of metalworkers (copper smelters) in the early Iron Age as reflected in their material culture. A detailed analysis of hundreds of indicative sherds demonstrates that the pottery assemblage can be typologically defined as belonging to the Iron I, and that activities on the isolated hilltop were limited to copper production. This strengthens the hypothesis that habitation took place in nearby transient encampments. Radiocarbon dating of short-lived samples allows fixing the pottery assemblage to within a tight timeframe, providing important evidence for the continuation of Iron I pottery tradition into the second half of the 10th century BCE. This, together with the presence of imported Qurayyah Painted Ware, places Site 34 in a key position for studying the early Iron Age in the Arabah Valley and adjacent regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-264
Number of pages33
JournalTel Aviv
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Copper production
  • Iron I
  • Metalworking
  • Qurayyah Ware
  • Timna Valley

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