The Khirbet Kerak Ware figurine: a new component in the Kura-Araxes cultural assemblage

Nadeshda Bladt Knudsen*, Raphael Greenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent excavations of Khirbet Kerak Ware contexts at the type site of Khirbet el-Kerak/Tel Bet Yerah and re-investigation of earlier finds from this site have permitted the technological and typological identification of a distinct category of zoomorphic figurines, associated exclusively with the characteristic red-black burnished Khirbet Kerak ceramics. Comparative study shows affinity between these figurines and similar objects found in different parts of the Kura-Araxes cultural community, from the Levant to the Iranian plateau. Consisting solely of horned cattle, we suggest that zoomorphic figurines represent a significant aspect of the Kura-Araxes cultural tradition in its expansion along the margins of the West Asian political and economic cores, during the final phase of the ‘secondary products revolution’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-286
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


FundersFunder number
Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University
Israel Museum and Israel Antiquities Authority curators Alegre Savariego
Israel Science Foundation310/12


    • Khirbet Kerak Ware
    • Kura-Araxes
    • southern Levant
    • traction complex
    • Zoomorphic figurines


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