Competing Material Culture: Philistine Settlement at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the Early Iron Age
AuthorMazow, Laura Beth
AdvisorWright, J. Edward
Dever, William G.
Committee ChairWright, J. Edward
Dever, William G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the changing role of material culture in the expression of identity, using the Philistine settlement at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the Iron I (12th-10th centuries BCE) as a test case. A diachronic analysis documenting strategies of maintenance and adaptation points to the transformation of materials from domestic tools to symbols of social status, which were used to define social boundaries and promote a distinct identity. This occurred in conjunction with the increasing strength of the Philistine presence in the southern Levant.My dissertation focuses on one excavation area, described as the 'elite' zone. I outlined two areas of investigation: the organization of space, and a spatial distribution of the artifact assemblage. Through this analysis, I reconstruct Buildings 351 and 350 as elite residences, and Buildings 353 and 354 as the loci of crafts activities. Furthermore, I suggest that activities associated with Buildings 351 and 350 included elite sponsored feasting, and argue that the interconnected construction of these buildings with Buildings 353 and 354 implies an integrated function.In the final part of my analysis, I interpret change over time by contextualizing the foreign, i.e. Philistine and local, i.e. Canaanite material culture assemblages as a means to investigate diachronic variation. My research demonstrates that the traditional focus on foreign origins has obscured our understanding of these objects by removing them from their local contexts. Developments included a shift in the role played by the Philistine pottery, from a domestic assemblage associated with an immigrant populations' adjustment of traditional methods of daily practices, to a fine-ware assemblage, where it was used to express a concept of elite identity. The model I propose views change as a reflexive process involving both group and individual interactions.
Degree ProgramNear Eastern Studies