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Pots, People, and Politics: A Reconsideration of the Role of Ceramics in Reconstructions of the Iron Age Northern Levant

Matthew R. Whincop


This study aims to reconsider current reconstructions of the Iron Age Northern Levant and the role that ceramics studies have played in these interpretations. The author presents a regional ceramic typology for the Iron Age (including the Persian period)and undertakes an analysis of the distribution patterns of this typology across the Northern Levant. An alternative interpretation of the ceramic data is offered, before being compared with the conventional historical model. This alternative reconstruction focuses on theories of practice, and foodways, whilst appreciating the dynamic manner by which material culture is used to constantly negotiate and consolidate social structures. In the end, the study offers one perspective on the compatibility of archaeological data and the historical text, and makes some final recommendations for their correlation.