Ceramic production and social complexity in fourth millennium Canaan: A case study from the Halif Terrace.
AuthorDessel, J. P.
AdvisorDever, William G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation discusses the relationship between ceramics and culture change. The ceramic assemblage is understood as a barometer of culture change, rather than a cause of such change. Using a ceramic assemblage from fourth millennium southern Canaan, a ceramic typology is developed which allows for the identification and measurement of change within the entire ceramic assemblage. Chapter One reviews the potential of ceramic analysis for sophisticated archaeological interpretations. An analytical methodology is offered which organizes ceramic assemblages into productions traditions, integrating the four basic ceramic attributes, form, ware, decoration and manufacturing technique. Productions traditions in turn reflect how ceramic production is organized. Chapter Two presents an archaeological and historical overview of the Halif Terrace and southern Canaan. The evidence from the Halif Terrace provides a means by which to reinterpret such issues as, the development of the ceramic industry from the Chalcolithic to the Early Bronze I, the transition from the Chalcolithic to the Early Bronze I, the nature of the Egyptian presence in southern Canaan, and the reassessment of the internal periodization of the Early Bronze I. Chapter Three presents the ceramic data from the Halif Terrace. Each of the ten ware types identified on the Halif Terrace are described. Petrographic and quantitative data are presented, as are regional ceramic distribution patterns. Each form type is then described in an integrated fashion. Chapter Four discusses the use of ceramic production traditions in order to identify changes in social organization. Two basic levels of ceramic production are found at the Halif Terrace, the household level and the workshop level. The function of the products associated with each level of organization is distinct and related to social organization in which it is embedded. In light of the Egyptian material found at the Halif Terrace, the Egyptian presence in fourth millennium Canaan is reexamined. The traditional models used to explain the Egyptian role in Canaan are no longer considered viable. Neither trade nor conquest adequately account for the type and quantity of Egyptian material in Canaan. Rather, there are political and ideological reasons for the establishment of an Egyptian network of sites in southern Canaan.
Degree ProgramNear Eastern Studies