New PDF release: Elefsis: The Archaeological Site and the Museum

By Kalliopi Papaggeli

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Extra info for Elefsis: The Archaeological Site and the Museum

Sample text

5l). 5m). 5n) (Porter and McClellan 1998: 29). Occurring less frequently are bowls which stand on three tubular feet. 6f). Approximately 100 such vessels were uncovered in the monumental Tomb 302 at Jerablus Tahtani (Peltenburg in press a). They were also found in the Hypogeum at Tell Ahmar, where they featured a variety of stem lengths (Thureau-Dangin and Dunand 1936: pl. 23, 5–14). Besides these pedestalled bowls, globular-shaped, short-necked jars also appear on high stemmed bases of varying lengths in the Ahmar Hypogeum assemblage.

It seems that at the end of Phase 5, many settlements were abandoned or experienced dramatic decreases in population and settlement size. Environmental degradation or some kind of socio-political collapse may have taken place that precipitated this decline in settlement, although we cannot precisely define the nature of the upheavals. Whatever the reasons for its settlements’ decline, the northern Euphrates Valley of Syria was not abandoned altogether. Architectural and artifactual remains at several sites indicate that occupation continued without a significant break during this phase, and that local populations continued to support themselves, albeit on a less intensive scale, with the resources of the fields and pastures of their hinterland.

Careful observations of scatter densities and the distance which sherds extend from the site may yield valuable information about the nature and intensity of land use. Wilkinson’s survey of the sherd scatter found around Tell es-Sweyhat is one such study (Wilkinson 1994: 491–2; 2003: 117–18). By measuring the sherd scatter zone around the site he concluded that the fields within a 3–4 km radius from the site had been manured and cultivated. Moreover, the fact that the majority of diagnostic sherds were dated to the late third millennium (Phase 5) indicated that manuring practices did not take place until quite late in the history of this settlement’s occupation, when Sweyhat had reached its largest size and population density (Wilkinson 2004: 68).

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Elefsis: The Archaeological Site and the Museum by Kalliopi Papaggeli

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