Iron I pottery workshop at Ben-Gurion University

Today, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a very interesting workshop on Iron Age I pottery from the Northwestern Negev, organized by Prof. Gunnar Lehmann (prof. as of yesterday!!), from Ben-Gurion University.
The workshop, which was held at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheba, including two lectures (by David Ben-Shlomo on the Iron I materials from Tel Jemmeh; and by Mario Martin on a petrographic study of the pottery from the Iron I/II Negev Highland sites [with some very interesting results regarding the origin of the handmade “Negebite” pottery and the wheelmade ones as well]), and then a hands-on survey of a very nice selection of Iron I (and early IIA) pottery from a series of sites in the NW Negev, including:
Qubur el-Walayda; Tel Sera; Nahal Patish (and see here a description of our visit to this site a few years ago); Tel Jemmeh; Tell el-Farah (South); as well as a few other small sites in the general region.
The viewing of the assemblages demonstrated how micro-regional features are extremely important in analyzing pottery assemblages, and that each region (and subregion) has unique features and characteristics.
It was a fascinating and enriching day – and I hope we have many other such opportunities in the future.

Thanks to Gunnar!

Aren

12 thoughts on “Iron I pottery workshop at Ben-Gurion University

  1. I wonder what those “very interesting results” regarding the origin of the Early Iron IIa Negevite pottery might be? A northern or Philistine location for its origin?

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  2. arenmaeir

    Mario told us that the Negebite pottery is not local to the Negev highlands, but rather either made in NW Negev and/or Shephelah, and the main group made apparently in the Faynan region (including copper slag and prills used as temper!). The same goes for much of the wheel-made wares from the Negev sites. This has very important implications for the role of the highland sites – he suggest that this demonstrates that they are connected to the trade in copper between the Arabah and the Gaza region.
    Aren

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  3. Pingback: Finkelstein Shown Right Once Again « Against Jebel al-Lawz

  4. Michael Welch

    Dear Dr. Maeir, Hi!!! Would this be further proof to Dr. Thomas Levy and his team that this region was controlled by David and Solomon at this time? With Much Gratitude and Admiration, Michael

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  5. arenmaeir

    Michael,
    That of course depends on the dating of the Negev sites (whether 10th or 9th cent.) and of the Faynan mining activities (ditto). Otherwise, everything is simple…

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    1. Michael Welch

      Dear Dr. Maeir, Hi!!! I know that as of April of 2006 according to Dr. Faust most scholars, Drs. Cohen, Haiman, A. Mazar, Meshel, Dever, Halpern, Stager and others, still hold to the traditional view of connecting the Negev sites phenomenon with the United Monarchy. I was just wondering if you had heard anything specific from Dr. Levy. With Much Gratitude and Admiration, Michael

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      1. arenmaeir

        Michael,
        The dating of the Iron Age settlements (“forts”) in the Negev Highlands is currently under debate. While in previous years the question was whether they were 11th or 10th cent. (the latter connected to the “United Monarchy”), Israel Finkelstein and others are now arguing for a 9th cent. date for these sites, suggesting to disconnect them from the “United Monarch”. See, e.g., Boaretto et al. 2010, Radiocarbon 52/1: 1-12, where 9th cent. BCE 14C dates are suggested for the “Atar Haroah” site (one of these sites).
        Bottom line – the question is still under debate!

        Aren

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      2. arenmaeir

        Michael,
        And one more thing: in my view, majority opinions are nice, but in the end, they are not what decides what is right or wrong. I’m not completely sure which of the opinions is correct, but simply because “most” believe a certain way – cannot serve as a reason to accept or deny a viewpoint…

        Aren

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  6. Michael Welch

    Dear Dr. Maeir, Hi!!! I agree. I was repeating what Dr. Faust said in his article. He used the word most. When he wrote his article in April of 2006, the Faynan Region had been down dated two or three centuries. I am mostly interested in the slag and prills aspect that you mentioned. I was wondering if you knew of any discussion the scholars have had with Dr. Levy and his team. Maybe Dr. Martin has been discussing his findings with Dr. Levy and his team? If you happen to find out anything, please let us know. Thank you for all of your time. With Much Gratitude and Admiration, Michael

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  7. I know that in the past Tom and Neil Smith have been fairly cautious about equating what we have in Faynan to Negebite ware — Neil prefers to simply call the Faynan examples “hand-made wares” — so it’s interesting that the slag-tempered hand-mades are the main group in the Negev highlands. I’ll have to ask Neil what he thinks the next time I talk to him.

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