Part I. The Nature of the Ceramic Industry 15
Evidence for Mass Production 15
The Potter's Wheel 18
The Single Wheel 19
The Double Wheel 20
Miscellaneous Fabrication Equipment 25
Potters' Jars 25
Hand Tools 25
The Kiln 26
The Vertical Kiln 27
The Horizontal Kiln 31
Pottery Workshops 33
Workshop Industry Production 34
Urban Industry Production 39
Potters' Marks 45
Potters' Guilds 48
Summary and Conclusions 49
Part II. The Diffusion of ceramic Style 51
Spatial Diffusion of Ceramic Style 54
The Example of Bé 55
Trends toward Standardization 58
Commercial Sale of Ceramic Wares 60 A Proposed Model for the Commercial Sale of Ceramic Wares in Ancient Palestine 70 Secondary Agencies for the Expansion Diffusion of Ceramic Wares 77
Relocation Diffusion of Ceramic Style 81
Itinerant Potters 81
Relocating Potters 82
Spatial Style Variability 84
Temporal Variability of Ceramic Style 85
Factors Affecting Temporal Style Change 86 A Proposed Model for the Temporal Variability of Ceramic Style 87
Vessel Lifespan 88
Pottery and the Customer 89
Typical Household Assemblages 90
Lifespan of Household Pottery 91
Summary and Conclusion 92
Index of Authors 123
1. Provenience of Palestinian domestic wares from
Tell el-Hesi and Gezer 96
2. Household assemblages for four families in
Greek vertical kiln 106
9. Schematic cross-section of a horizontal
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I was first challenged with the problem of the diffusion of ceramic style in ancient Palestine by my thesis advisor, Professor John S. Holladay, Jr, of the University of Toronto. After six months of diligent research I was able to provide what I believe is a reasonable answer to the question of why ceramic style was similar across Palestine and why that style changed through time in much the same manner in different locations. The results of this research became one chapter in my Ph.D. thesis (Wood 1985:78-220). The present monograph is an expanded version of the original study, which was restricted in scope to the terminal phase of the Late Bronze Age.
Before the problem of the diffusion of ceramic style can be broached, it is first necessary to understand the ceramic industry of ancient Palestine. Thus, the study is divided into two parts: the first dealing with the nature of the ceramic industry and the second dealing with the spatial and temporal diffusion of ceramic style.
I am indebted to Professor Holladay for his guidance and helpful comments during the initial stages of the research. Special thanks go to Rüdiger Vossen of the Hamburgisches Museum für Völkerkunde and Ruben Reina of the University of Pennsylvania for providing illustrations of the transport and sale of ceramics in contemporary cultures. Professor David Clines of Sheffield made many emendations to the final proofs. A number of individuals and institutions were kind enough to grant permission to reproduce copyrighted material for which I am grateful. They are: William Anderson of the University of Pennsylvania, École Biblique et Archéologique Française, Haverford College, Israel Antiquities Authority, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wenner-
Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. I also wish to express my gratitude to my wife Faith for her unwavering support, for her able assistance on several research trips to various libraries and for typing the manuscript.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania August 1990
A large part of archaeological research in Palestine is devoted to the excavation, processing, analysis and documentation of pottery. The focus, however, has been almost exclusively on the pottery itself, to the neglect of the sociology of pottery, that is, the relationship between pottery and its cultural and economic environment.1 This has resulted in a restricted view of the role of ceramics in ancient Palestine and has limited the use of ceramic data in archaeological analyses. In order to make the maximum use of ceramic data, the overall system of pottery making and its related activities must be reconstructed (van der Leeuw 1977:75; Rice 1987:168).
Stanley Casson was one of the earliest, if not the first, Near Eastern scholar to recognize the importance of a sociological approach to the study of pottery:
Since archaeologists are by nature and origin academic, except for a few rare spirits ... they tend to create from the material archaeological remains which they study a world which, here and there, may be ever so little out of touch with reality. In the study of ceramics this is especially evident. The survival of pots and potsherds on ancient sites, and the organization of their study almost into a science, has given an importance to pottery which far exceeds that given to other material... But one aspect of ceramic seems to me to have received slight attention. I know of almost no literature or research which deals with the economic aspect of pot-making (1938:464-65).
1. The methodology of pottery fabrication in ancient Palestine has received considerable attention: Kelso and Thorley 1943; Kelso 1948; Franken 1969,1971; Hammond 1971; Johnston 1974a, 1986; Glanzman 1983; Edwards and Segnit 1984. These studies, however, do not move beyond the fabrication process itself to ask questions concerning the type of workshop that produced the pottery, the manner in which pottery and pottery styles were diffused throughout the country, the use of pottery in a typical household, etc.
Casson also realized the potential of ethnographic research for properly understanding the role of pottery in antiquity (1938:473).
In the recent past there has been an increased awareness of the importance of the sociology of pottery.1 Frederick Matson, one of the pioneers in this area, has stressed the need for a better understanding of the cultural context in which ceramics were made and used, otherwise 'they form a sterile record of limited worth' (1965:202; cf. 1972:212; Rice 1987:168).
In this two-part study, I shall attempt to reconstruct the sociological system in which pottery functioned in the Bronze and Iron Ages in Palestine. In Part I the industry itself will be examined: the technology of the potters, which will give insight into who was practicing pottery making and for what purpose, the organization of the potters, and the spatial distribution of the craft. In Part III shall take up the complex matter of the diffusion of ceramic style.
Both archaeological and ethnographic data are utilized in the study. Properly used, ethnographic analogy is the most viable means of gaining insight into practices of the past (Schiffer 1978:239; Binford 1983:23-24, 104; Wylie 1985:107). There are two types of ethnographic analogy: continuous and discontinuous. In continuous analogy, the phenomenon being studied can be linked to the past by an unbroken tradition which has continued since antiquity. In areas where this is not the case, analogies from other regions which have similar ecological, environmental and cultural characteristics ('discontinuous' analogies) may be utilized (Binford 1967:2-3; Gould 1978:255; 1980:55-56).
Realizing the value of ethnographic data, and that traditional workshops are fast disappearing in the face of encroaching technology, ethnographers have produced a plethora of studies on traditional pottery making in recent
Sufficient ethnographic studies have been conducted in various parts of the world to demonstrate that there are cross-cultural generalizations concerning the relationship of ceramics to environment and culture (see particularly Arnold 1985; van der Leeuw 1977). Since these generalizations are universal in nature they apply to the past as well as the present (Arnold 1985:ix-x, 14-16). It is therefore methodologically correct and, in fact, imperative, to use ethnographic analogies
not only from the Mediterranean area, but from other parts of the world as well, to interpret archaeological data from Palestine. By bringing together these two bodies of information, namely the archaeological and the ethnographic, a rather complete picture of the ceramic industry and the day-to-day usage of pottery in ancient Palestine is obtained (van der Leeuw 1977:7s).1
Our methodology throughout will be first to examine the archaeological data concerning the particular aspect of ceramics under investigation. Secondly, we shall appeal to ethnographic evidence from cultures still making and using pottery for utilitarian purposes to interpret and supplement the archaeological data. From a synthesis of these data, two hypotheses will be offered concerning the role of ceramics in the Bronze and Iron Ages in Palestine: one to explain the commercial manufacturing-distribution system and one to explain temporal style change.
1. For an example of how archaeological and ethnographic information can be combined to reconstruct an ancient ceramic industry, see Peacock 1982.
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