Lh Iiialh Iiib

8

10

3

7

2

LH IIIB

7

3

unknown

1

1

Total

16

19

3

9

Table 6.5

Age periods at Hazor. The large number of Mycenaean finds which cannot be dated more securely than LH IIIA2-LH IIIB prevents any statement on the longevity of use of Mycenaean vessels. The only observation to be made with certainty is that Mycenaean ceramics appear to have been present at Hazor during all three Late Bronze stratigraphical periods. Because such pottery also seems to have been deposited in every period, we can assume that this material did not arrive at the town in one batch, but over a substantial length of time.

The contextual distribution of the chronological Mycenaean ceramic phases is presented in Table 6.5. Again, the uncertain stratification of most of the stylistically early vessels, as well as the imprecise dating of many of the later pots prevent a differentiation between the various chronological styles regarding their find context. The only observation to be made on the basis of Table 6.5 is that LH IIIA2 and LH IIIB vessels were used in houses as well as in temples and tombs.

At Hazor, Mycenaean rhyta or kernoi have not been found and the class of ritual vessels identified in chapter 2 is absent in Table 6.6. It is clear from this table that Mycenaean storage vessels are much more abundant at Hazor than dinner vessels. Both categories of vessels are fairly widely distributed: they occur in most of the trenches with substantial remains from the Late Bronze Age. The absence of Mycenaean dinner vessels from area C seems remarkable, in view of the relatively wide distribution of such vases. This part of the city of Hazor has been interpreted as an area with manufacturing activities as well as storage and food preparation and consumption.38 At first glance, the absence of Mycenaean dinner vessels in such an environment seems to be in contrast to area F, which has produced three such vessels. However, only one of these (cat. no. 36) came from a domestic context, while two (cat. nos. 16, 17) were found in a tomb. In area D, two dinner vessels (cat. nos. 10, 11) likewise had a fu-

38 Daviau 1993, 223-243. Three potter's wheels, loom dence for industrial activities. Shrine 6136 in the west-

weights and spindle whorls constitute the main evi- ern part of the area was the focus of ritual activities.

site area

dinner

storage

figurines unknown

unknown

1

area A

2

2

6

area B

1

area F

3

20

2

area H

3

1

area C

5

1

area D

4

5

1

area BA

1

Total

12

34

5 7

Table 6.6

context

dinner

storage

figurines unknown

domestic

2

13

21

funerary

4

15

ritual

2

11

settlement

4

4

2

unknown

2

2 3

Total

12

34

5 7

Table 6.7

nerary context.

As is also clear from Table 6.7 below, it

seems that Mycenaean dinner vessels were not

widely used in the domestic life of the inhabitants of Hazor.

In view of the wide distribution of Mycenaean storage vessels at Hazor, it is of significance that such pottery is absent from area H. The three Mycenaean vessels from the area of the temple (cat. nos. 45-47) are all dinner vessels, while a figurine (cat. no. 1003) has been found there as well. From Table 6.7 it becomes clear that Mycenaean storage vessels are absent from religious contexts in general. To the two dinner vessels from such contexts may be added the cup of cat. no. 45, which was found in the courtyard of the stratum 2 temple in area H and to which a general 'settlement' context has been assigned. In combination with the evidence that Mycenaean dinner vessels were not widely used in domestic contexts, their frequency in ritual contexts indicates that these vases were used for activities of a special nature. It is also clear from Table 6.7 that funerary ceremonies were among these activities.

Apart from their absence in clear cultic circumstances, Late Helladic storage vessels have been found in all other types of context. Moreover, they occurred in all areas, except for area H, which indicates that they were widely used among the inhabitants of Hazor. Mycenaean figurines do not seem to have been used in funerary ceremonies. Their presence in domestic contexts seems to indicate that these idols were used in the daily life of the inhabitants at Hazor.39 The bovine figurine from the temple of area H (cat. no. 1003) suggests that these objects possessed a ritual or magic significance.

It is difficult to establish with certainty whether the restriction of Mycenaean dinner vessels to spe-

39 Ceramic figurines of local manufacture have also been Yadin et al. 1958, Plate 89 no. 15 (room 6117); 1960, found in domestic contexts, for example in area C; see Plate 127 no 14 (room 6235).

site area

linear

patterned

decorated

area A

3

6

1

area B

1

area F

17

6

area H

1

2

area C

3

1

2

area D

6

3

area BA

1

Total

31

18

Table 6.8

cial activities applies to all periods at Hazor in which these vases were used. If the cup of cat. no 45 is indeed Mycenaean, its find spot in stratum 2 of temple H may point to religious use of a Mycenaean dinner vessel already in the first phase of the Late Bronze Age, even though it has been found in the courtyard, quite far from the actual temple.40 Other finds from clear contexts dating to the first phase of the Late Bronze Age are unknown.41 In the LB IIA levels of temple H, fragments of a Mycenaean bowl (cat. no. 46) were found in the main cult hall. In the LB IIB temple in area H a Mycenaean stemmed cup (cat. no. 47) was found, while another stemmed cup (cat. no. 40) was recovered from the corresponding stratum in the vicinity of the temple in area A.42 It appears that Mycenaean dinner vessels were used in religious circumstances in all three phases of the Late Bronze Age. Their limited occurrence in domestic contexts during LB IIA and LB IIB, however, shows that the use of this functional class of ceramics was not exclusively confined to religious activities.

As stated above, the decoration of the Mycenaean vessels at Hazor can be considered fairly standard. As is evident from Table 6.8, pots with pictorial decoration are absent at Hazor, nor have zoomorphic vessels been discovered.43 Likewise, Mycenaean coarse or plain ware vessels are absent from this site.44 It is evident from the figures in Table 6.8 that most of the Mycenaean pots at Hazor are decorated with lines only.45 All excavated areas with substantial Late Bronze Age remains have produced vessels with linear and patterned decoration, which suggest that none of these types were restricted to specific social groups at Hazor. However, it is of interest that in areas A and H vessels with patterned decoration occur more often than linear decorated pots. As stated above, these areas are considered to have served special, official functions. The predominance in these areas of Mycenaean vessels with pat-

40 Yadin et al. 1989, 240. Locus 2174 is situated in the "open space" outside the LB I propylaeum.

41 A possible exception is the sherd of cat. no. 51, found in a pit probably dug during LB I. However, the fragment is too small for it to be assigned to a specific pot shape.

42 The temple in area A does not seem to have been in use during the last phase of the Late Bronze Age, see

Ben-Tor et al. 1997, 102-110. The area probably served religious functions after the abandonment of the temple, see Yadin 1972, 127.

43 Of the amphoroid krater of cat. no. 10 only the rim was found. Since many of these vessels are pictorially decorated, it is possible that this was the case for this particular vase as well.

44 The term 'decorated' is used when the precise decoration is not known.

45 The fragmentary nature of many of the Mycenaean finds argues for caution in this respect. Linear fragments may have belonged to vessels that were more elaborately decorated.

site area

linear

patterned

decorated

Domestic

12

3

1

Funerary

12

7

Ritual

1

2

Settlement

5

4

1

unknown

2

2

1

Total

32

18

Table 6.9

terned decoration may indicate that such ceramics were considered more suitable for such special areas, while linear vessels were used by many inhabitants of the city.

A similar conclusion may be drawn from the figures in Table 6.9. The proportion of vessels with patterned decoration is higher for funerary contexts than for domestic contexts and for circumstances which have been labelled 'settlement' in general.46 In contexts with clear religious associations, Mycenaean pots with patterned decoration are more frequent than vessels with linear decoration.47 The difference in use between linear and patterned vessels is most likely related to vessel type. Of the eighteen patterned Mycenaean pots, eight are dinner vessels, while only six are storage pots; there are four patterned fragments.48 This suggests that the relative restriction in the use of Mycenaean dinner vessels may, at least partly, be connected to their more elaborate decoration.

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