January 14, 2010

Origin of Northern Israel Mycenaean pottery in the Argolid (Peloponnese)

Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume 37, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 409-416

A provenance study of Mycenaean pottery from Northern Israel

Sharon Zuckerman

Abstract

The occurrence of imported Mycenaean pottery in the Late Bronze Age southern Levant is one of the most conspicuous aspects of Eastern Mediterranean trade connections during this period. A group of 183 Mycenaean pottery vessels from 14 sites in northern Israel, from both coastal and inland settlement contexts were analyzed by Neutron Activation Analysis. The results indicate that the vast majority of these vessels have a similar profile and can be provenanced to the north-eastern Peloponnese or more specifically, to the Mycenae/Berbati workshop in the Argolid. Possible interpretations of these results are presented and discussed against the historical and cultural background of the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean.

Link

9 comments:

J said...

What is the relationship between the Argolid Mycenaeans and the Dorians?

marnie said...

Just a rather unscientific observation . . .

I came upon a poster of the ceremonial dress of the various tribes of the Palestinian people several years ago (in a cafe in Berkeley, California.)

The costumes seemed to me to be exceptionally colorful, beautifully embroidered and elaborate. Most of the women did not cover their faces and the head coverings seemed to be exceptionally decorative ensembles.

In a perhaps unrelated observation, our family attends Greek dancing competitions.

I've noticed that the women's traditional formal dress from Crete is also very colorful and embroidered. The head coverings can be quite ornate.

The crinoline petticoat (worn under the dress) also seems to be similar between the two.

This may just be recent borrowing , but I wondering if anyone has ever thought of doing a comparative study of embroidery or dress to follow up the pottery study.

terryt said...

As I understand the situation contact between the Mycenaeans and the people of the Levant (and Egypt) has been widely accepted for years. Associated with the 'Sea People', including the Philistines. What this study does is get more specific as to what part of Mycenae the pottery comes from: 'the north-eastern Peloponnese or more specifically, to the Mycenae/Berbati workshop in the Argolid'.

I'm sure we can presume the contact was much wider than simply between the Argolid and Northern Israel. Crete (and Cyprus) lie along the most obvious route between the two.

marnie said...

Thanks. I'm just reading the various hypotheses on wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Peoples

Would you experts have any thoughts on which of the hypotheses the above paper supports?

terryt said...

"Would you experts have any thoughts on which of the hypotheses the above paper supports?"

I'm certainly no expert but the paper deals just with the pottery, in Mycenaean times. As the wiki link points out the Sea People were a real mix, from many different regions of the Mediterranean. But this article shows that some definitely had a connection with the Argolid, which most people have accepted anyway. The Sea People as a whole may have been traders within the Mycenaean hegemony who either overthrew the Mycenaeans or took advantage of their collapse.

marnie said...

"The Sea People as a whole may have been traders within the Mycenaean hegemony who either overthrew the Mycenaeans or took advantage of their collapse."

Just curious as to why it is thought that the "Sea Peoples" are not simply the Mycenaeans or a subgroup?

terryt said...

"Just curious as to why it is thought that the 'Sea Peoples' are not simply the Mycenaeans or a subgroup?"

The evidence is pretty overwhelming that the 'Sea People' were a mix from different regions. The names of tribes include Libyans as well as groups that appear to be Anatolian. And Egyptian portraits of them show a variety of costume.

marnie said...

Thanks terryt, for your comments.

Rodrigo de Luz said...

If you look at the Medinet Abu figures, you can see people and families traveling in bullock carts. They came from Anatolia, no from the Mediterranean islands.