The Temple and the Town at Early Bronze Age I Megiddo: Faunal Evidence for the Emergence of Complexity

Lidar Sapir-Hen, Deirdre N. Fulton, Matthew J. Adams, Israel Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Early Bronze Age is considered to be the period when complex and hierarchical societies first developed in the southern Levant. The appearance of specialization and social complexity is manifested through different aspects of the production stages of animal economy. In this paper, we examine faunal assemblages from two interconnected contemporaneous neighboring sites of differing characters in the Jezreel Valley, Israel: Megiddo, a cult site, and Tel Megiddo East, a town site. Both assemblages are dated to the Early Bronze Age IB (EB IB; 3090–2950 B.C.E.), at the dawn of urbanization in the Near East. The connection between sites, revealed in previous studies of other aspects, is supported by the analysis of faunal remains that reveals intriguing overlaps and divergences. The results of the current study show that the control of resources by the Great Temple in Megiddo also included access to animals and their products, and that it impacted the animal economy in settlements in its hinterland. The impact of this system demonstrates the Great Temple at the center of a larger regional economic organization in the late EB IB that would presage the urban developments of the EB II–III.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of ASOR
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Animal economy
  • Early Bronze
  • Faunal remains
  • Megiddo
  • Social complexity
  • Tel Megiddo East

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