Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 8, No 1 (1995)

Mortuary Archaeology and the Middle Bronze Age Southern Levant

Rachel S. Hallote
Issued Date: 28 Jan 2008


This article seeks to understand better the mortuary materials of the Southern Levant in the Middle Bronze Age (MBA). Previous studies of the MBA have investigated burial and settlement remains without differentiation. The mortuary data have therefore never been treated to the sorts of analyses that they require. The approach employed here is based on understanding that funerary artifacts were deposited intentionally, while most other archaeological remains were not. When the intent behind depositions of funerary artifacts is considered, it becomes possible to discuss the shifting priorities and perspectives of the populace. Once this intent is acknowledged, the patterns that emerge from the mortuary remains reveal several new points about the MBA. First, there appears to be a linkage between the placement of burials and ancestor reverence, which underscores the importance of family and clan relations at this time. Secondly, an association between burial location and territorial claims emerges. Finally, a gradual shift in societal priorities becomes visible during the course of the MBA.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v8i1.93


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