New article on ground stone production technology and metal technology

A new article has just appeared, spearheaded by Jeremy Beller, which deals with using manufacturing marks on ground stone objects to study the spread of metal technology in the Southern Levant during the Early Bronze Age.

This is one more result of the very productive grant that Haskel Greenfield and I received a few years ago from the Canadian SSHRC.

The full title of the article is:

Beller, J. A., Greenfield, H. J., and Maeir, A. M. 2021. Evaluating Manufacture Marks on Ground Stone Objects as a New Proxy for the Spread of Metal Technology in the Southern Levant. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 40(Part B): 103233.

For the next 50 days (counting from Nov. 2nd, 2021), the article can be downloaded for free at:,rVDBY7cc

Here is the abstract of the article:

In the southern Levant, metal technology was first represented by exotic and prestige items during the Chalcolithic. Later, in the Early Bronze Age, metal implements were gradually adopted for domestic tasks. Since metal tools are rare in the archaeological record, the spread of metal technology can be traced through proxy measures, such as butchering marks on faunal remains. This study tests whether the marks made by metal and stone implements on a soft-stone medium can be distinguished from one another. It further examines a sample of manufacture marks on soft-stone artifacts from the Early Bronze Age site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel in order to determine whether metal technology had been integrated into the manufacture of ground stone objects. The results indicate that manufacturing marks on soft-stone objects can indeed be used as a proxy for tracking the spread of metallurgy, but also that metal implements had not been utilized in the manufacture of ground stone objects at EB III Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath.