Dissertation Weekly #12

19 07 2012

For this installment I am moving on to my Late Bronze chapter, which I rewrote after going through all of the pottery that I scanned while in Jordan.  I have already discussed a possible floor level in B4 and the sanctuary in B5, which are the two main Late Bronze phases on the site.  Today I want to write briefly about pottery.  A complete undecorated chalice was found in association with the metal figurine in B5, as I mentioned in a dissertation weekly from last summer.  Here is the drawing of the chalice:

Chalice from the LB sanctuary in B5

The brief mention of the chalice in B5 is an introduction into the sentence for this week:

There are two more unique forms represented, two sherds from a painted chalice and a Cypriote White Slip II milk bowl sherd.

These sherds come from D2, which is a square excavated on the southern perimeter of the tell in an attempt to identify a supposed glacis.  Despite the lack of a glacis much high quality fineware from the Middle Bronze Age and the Late Bronze Age were found here (perhaps indicating important remains from these periods further upslope below the Iron II remains).  This second chalice is much higher quality than the one in the LBII sanctuary, with bichrome paint and light slip.  It has direct parallels in the Late Bronze burial caves found by Dr. Pat McGovern as part of the Baq‘ah Valley Project.  The other interesting find from this square is the piece of a Cypriot milk bowl, evidence of the importance of Safut in the local trade network.  The form is clearly an import and not a locally made imitation and belongs to the White Slip II group that dates in Cyprus from the Late Cypriote IB2-IIA1 (LBIC-LBIIB in Jordan, 14-13th centuries BCE).

Chalice sherd from D2

Color image of the chalice from a 3D scan

Cypriote Milk Bowl from D2

Dissertation Weekly #7

28 05 2011

We just returned from Lebanon and are trying to get back into our daily routine.  Soon I hope to have a blog post or two on the trip, but for now its time for the weekly dissertation sentence.  Before leaving for Jordan I finished my Late Bronze chapter, so a sentence from it seems appropriate.

Locus 18 is described as a “white hard packed surface” (Peterson 1982: 5).

Despite its simple nature this sentence is of monumental importance.  Locus 18 is a floor with material on top of it dating to the Late Bronze Age II.  This floor is located in B5 and I was able to determine 3 walls that are associated with it, along with objects associated with ritual (including a bronze deity figurine, ceramic chalice, and burnt grain).

I have my first architectural phase!  So, after writing my Middle Bronze and Late Bronze chapters (and currently working on my Iron Age I) chapter I can give a brief summary of the beginning phases at Safut.

  • MBIIC – Phase 1 only pottery
  • LBIIB – Phase 2 sanctuary room in B5
  • 13th-12th century BCE – Phase 3 transitional pottery on floor level in B4
  • Iron Age I – Phase 4 floor level in B6 with associated whole pottery forms