Ayelet Gilboa

Ayelet Gilboa
University of Haifa | haifa · Department of Archaeology and Zinman Institite of Archaeology

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79
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Publications

Publications (79)
Article
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Tel Shiqmona is a small site situated on Israel’s Carmel coast, presently on the southern outskirts of the city of Haifa. This paper results from an ongoing stratigraphic, contextual and artifactual analysis of the Bronze and Iron Age occupation at the site, excavated by Joseph Elgavish in the 1960s and 1970s. We present here one of the late Iron A...
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The study of silver, which was an important means of currency in the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages (~ 1950–600 BCE), provides a large and extendable dataset for silver provenance. In this paper, nine silver hoards from the Southern Levant dating to the Iron Age IIB‒C (eighth, seventh, and early-sixth centuries BCE) are discussed in an effo...
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We respond to Hani E. Elsayed-Ali's critique according to which silver-copper alloys produced in the Southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age III (∼1200‒1150 BCE) do not constitute forgery, as we proposed. We argue that the technical analyses of weight and reflectance suggested by Elsayed-Ali are not reliable stand-alone means for the identificat...
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The current study presents Ag isotopic values of 45 silver artifacts with known Pb isotopic composition from the Southern Levant. These items originate from seven pre-coinage silver hoards, dating from the Middle Bronze Age IIC to the end of the Iron Age (~1650–600 BCE). These are the earliest silver artifacts analyzed for Ag isotopes; all former s...
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Excavations at Tel Dor, a Phoenician site on the northern coast of Israel, produced one of the most varied and best-stratified assemblages of Cypriot Iron Age ceramics ever found outside Cyprus. A long-term investigation of the nature of socio-economic liaisons between Dor and Cyprus, inter alia, by identifying through ceramic typology and petrogra...
Article
The study of silver, which was an important mean of currency in the Southern Levant during the Bronze and Iron Age periods (~1950–586 BCE), revealed an unusual phenomenon. Silver hoards from a specific, yet rather long timespan, ~1200–950 BCE, contained mostly silver alloyed with copper. This alloying phenomenon is considered here for the first tim...
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The extent of pollution and human mobility in the Iron Age in the southern Levant is estimated in this study through lead (Pb) and strontium (Sr) concentrations and isotopic compositions in human tooth enamel. The concentrations of Pb and other trace metals (Cu, Co, Cd, Zn) and Pb/Ca along with Ba/Ca ratios are used to determine background levels o...
Article
During the Persian (or Achaemenid) period, simply band-painted bowls, plates, jugs, table amphorae and hydriae are documented in the Levant — in particular in the coastal regions — as one of the most common groups of decorated ceramics. Vessels of this style — mostly drinking vessels — were recorded in significant quantities at most coastal sites i...
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The ceramics and pigments of Late Bronze Age (LBA) painted Canaanite pottery were studied using ceramic petrography and three microbeam methods: pXRF, LA-ICP-MS and EPMA. The analyses focused on specimens from Tel Esur in Israel’s northeastern Sharon Plain, which has yielded a well-preserved assemblage of the 15th/14th centuries BCE. We studied pai...
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The aim of the Tel Dor joint Sea and Land Project is to reassess and expand understanding of the maritime interface of Iron Age Dor. During 2016 and 2017 five features excavated under water provided new data about the development and chronology of this interface. The results support a revised dating and interpretation of previously excavated struct...
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When and why did the Phoenicians initiate long-term connections between the Levant and western Europe? This is one of the most hotly debated questions in ancient Mediterranean history and cultural research. In this study, we use silver to answer this question, presenting the largest dataset of chemical and isotopic analyses of silver items from sil...
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Microbeam Analyses using EPMA, pXRF, LA-ICP-MS and FT-IR were conducted in this study of Late Bronze Age (LBA) White Slip II ware (WS-ware) imports at the Canaanite site Tel Esur (Tel Esur WS). The WS-ware is typically decorated with black-brown geometric patterns painted over a white slip layer. The study of the WS-ware provides useful information...
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Past fish provenance, exploitation and trade patterns were studied by analyzing phosphate oxygen isotope compositions (δ18OPO4) of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) tooth enameloid from archaeological sites across the southern Levant, spanning the entire Holocene. We report the earliest evidence for extensive fish exploitation from the hypersaline...
Article
Hazor, a key Iron Age II site in the southern Levant, was excavated by Yigael Yadin in the 1950s and subsequently by Amnon Ben-Tor. The Iron Age II stratigraphic sequence established proved very influential and nearly canonical; it was interpreted as representing periodic building-and-destruction cycles. The three superimposed ‘cities’ thus reconst...
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Iron Age silver in the Levant has attracted scholarly attention regarding its function as currency. Scholars debate whether hacksilber can be interpreted as representing a pre-monetary economic system, using pre-portioned silver exchanged in standardized weights, which inspired the invention of coins. In this study, four Iron Age silver hoards from...
Article
Full-text available
Iron Age silver in the Levant has attracted scholarly attention regarding its function as currency. Scholars debate whether hacksilber can be interpreted as representing a pre-monetary economic system, using pre-portioned silver exchanged in standardized weights, which inspired the invention of coins. In this study, four Iron Age silver hoards from...
Presentation
Full-text available
The 2016 and 2017 underwater excavation seasons, part of the Dor Joint Land and Sea Expedition, have produced new data which challenges our current understanding of the maritime interface of Iron Age Dor. The massive, ashlar-built coastal walls at the southern edge of the tell previously interpreted as quays were found to be land structures. These...
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Among the painted pottery types in the Levant during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E., the "East Greek" class is especially conspicuous and usually assumed to have been produced in Ionia. This pottery is the subject of a comprehensive research project, examining it from typological, analytical, and other perspectives. Our conclusion is that th...
Article
The understanding that fine mesh sieving is the optimal procedure for the recovery of minute finds poses two challenges for archeologists of historical periods: it is costly and time consuming, and it puts into question the value of data collected in excavations where sieving was conducted minimally or not at all. That hand picking causes loss of d...
Presentation
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This paper presents new and unpublished coastal and underwater Bronze Age assemblages from Tel Dor. We focus on finds originating from two areas: the well-built ashlar stone walls at the south bay, currently partially submerged under the sea and interpreted by Avner Raban as Late Bronze and Iron Age quays; and the massive walls in the “Love Bay” in...
Article
Excavations at Tel Dor, the major Iron Age port town along Israel's Carmel coast, have yielded an outstanding number of early Iron Age Egyptian jars and amphorae, most probably shipped by sea. Currently this is the largest such assemblage ever found outside Egypt and it requires an explanation. The basic premise in this paper is that ceramics carri...
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Excavations at Kommos, Crete, have unearthed hundreds of fragments of Iron Age Levantine transport jars—an unusual phenomenon in the Iron Age Mediterranean. Though usually termed “Phoenician,” their origin has never been demonstrated by fabric analysis. This article presents such an analysis, employing petrography and chemistry. To a large extent,...
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Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remain...
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1 Kings 4 relates that Dor, the major port-town on Israel's Carmel coast, constituted part of the Solomonic state. This formed the basis for several historical reconstructions. Here, for the first time, we examine all the relevant archaeological data available after three decades of excavations at Tel Dor. We conclude that indeed, archaeology suppo...
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When did the trade in lucrative spices from South Asia to the West commence? Recent organic residue analyses performed on small early Iron Age (11th–late 10th century BCE) Phoenician clay flasks provide the first concrete archaeological evidence that such sustainable trade took place much earlier than hitherto suspected. The analysis shows that sev...
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In this paper, we present an analysis of an Iron Age I dwelling at the Phoenician site of Dor, on Israel's Carmel coast. We provide a definition for the architectural mental template for this type of house—a Central Courtyard Hash-Plan House. By combining an analysis of the size and layout of the house, and the distribution of artifacts and ecofact...
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This paper presents the results of a study of the cultural and economic changes from a longue durée perspective as reflected in the animal remains from a nearly continuous occupation spanning the early Iron Age through the Roman period at Tel Dor, a harbor town on Israel's Carmel coast. Such long-term zooarchaeological analyses are currently rare....
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As mentioned, the dominance of containers at Dor unequivocally attests that they represent an exchange mechanism that should probably be interpreted along commercial lines. It persisted through approximately two and a half centuries (ca. 1100-850 BCE) and in fact may have been of longer duration. Deposits of the second half of the 13th century BCE...
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We report on the development of a computerized automatic system to illustrate complex archaeological objects. The illustrations are based on 3D scans of the artifacts. The 3D models can be automatically translated, by new algorithms specifically designed for this purpose, into 3D or 2D line drawings; into colored images that emphasize the salient s...
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Small ceramic flasks with thick walls and narrow openings were produced in Phoenicia. These flasks were common in Phoenicia, the southern Levant and Cyprus in the early Iron Age, namely in the 11th-mid-9th centuries BCE. Their shape, size, decoration and find-contexts suggest that they contained some precious materials and were part of a commercial...
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The destruction level of the much contested Stratum IV at Khirbet Qeiyafa yielded two Cypriot vessels, both of them miniature barrel juglets. Their stratigraphic context and the shape of the one complete specimen indicate that they are among the earliest such vessels ever shipped out of Cyprus. This paper considers these vessels from two major pers...
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Short-lived samples from an iron Age IIA context at Tell el-Qudeirat in northeastern Sinai, identified by many with biblical Kadesh Barnea, were subjected to radiocarbon dating. The results indicate dates that are very high—even higher than those currently adhered to by proponents of the 'high' iron Age chronology. These dates were obtained after i...
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Secondary pit deposits in historical occupations of Near Eastern mounds are usually regarded as uninteresting and are seldom analyzed. We used an integrated approach to study all the artifacts as well as the sediments in a pit at Tel Dor, on Israel's Carmel coast, dating to the 7th c. BCE – a period when the site served as an Assyrian administrativ...
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Tel Dor on Israel’s Carmel coast attracted the attention of archaeologists early and for good reason. The city is mentioned in several ancient records and thus promised to provide answers to a number of antiquity’s more pressing enigmas. Who, for example, were the Škl (Šikila), a group identified in the inscriptions of Ramesses III as belonging to...
Article
The presence of many phytolith-rich layers in late Bronze and Iron Age deposits at Tel Dor, Israel, are indicative of specific locations where plants were concentrated. Detailed studies of six of these phytolith-rich layers and associated sediments from Tel Dor show that the phytoliths were derived mainly from wild and domestic grasses. The most co...
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Many of the sediments analysed from Tel Dor (Israel) show structural alterations indicating that they were exposed to high temperatures. This observation is consistent with the abundant evidence for use of pyrotechnology from the earliest exposed Middle Bronze Age strata through the Roman period. Such structurally altered sediments may well represe...
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The traditional chronology of ancient Israel in the 11th–9th centuries BCE was constructed mainly by corre-lating archaeological phenomena with biblical narratives and with Bible-derived chronology. The chronology of Cyprus and Greece, and hence of points further west, are in turn based on that of the Levant. Thus, a newly proposed chronology, abou...
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The absolute date of the Iron Age I and IIa periods in Israel, and by inference in the Southern Levant at large, are to date among the hottest debated issues in Syro-Palestinian archaeology. As there are no pegs of absolute chronology throughout this range, conventional chronology had been established on proposed correlations of the material record...
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Interpretation of past urban societies in the Near East, whose settlements are known mostly as tell sites, is largely based on macro-stratigraphy and on the association of architecture with macroscopic artifacts. Analyses of sediments, common in prehistoric sites, are rare in tell sites. Here we show the results of a detailed geoarchaeological stud...
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Nearly a decade ago, a different chronology than the conventional absolute chronology for the early Iron Age in Israel was suggested. The new, lower chronology "transfers" Iron Age I and Iron Age IIA contexts in Israel, traditionally dated to the 11th and 10th centuries BCE, to the 10th and 9th centuries, respectively. Thus, it places the Iron I|II...
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The Iron Age Dating Project was initiated four years ago in order to suggest a radiometric way out of the apparent stalemate reached in the debate over early Iron Age chronology in Israel. It is based on the conviction that a question of such a tight resolution requires an extensive database, carefully selected from many sites and dated by differen...
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We report on newly developed mathematical and computational tools for morphological description, classification and analysis of archaeological artifacts. The need for such tools is most acutely felt, due to two main factors: (1) The lack of objective, quantitative criteria for shape analysis, classification and comparanda; (2) The overwhelming abun...
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Recently, Stefan Münger proposed that Egyptian so-called 'mass-produced' stamp-seal amulets may be traced to a Tanite origin and dated to the late 21st–early 22nd Egyptian Dynasties. Among these, it has been suggested that some scarabs bear the name of Siamun of the late 21st Dynasty, who ruled in the first half of the 10th century BCE. Since in Pa...
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The debate over the chronology of the early Iron Age in Israel by far transcends Palestinian archaeology, history, and biblical historiography. Chronologies for most of the adjacent regions, and those of entities farther afield, such as Cyprus and Greece, are largely dependent on the Levant. The debate has centered to date mainly on historical cons...
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Phoenician Bichrome pottery has long been considered one of the most conspicuous and early manifestations of the elusive "incipient Phoenician culture." To date, the group has been considered mainly from chrono-typological and technological aspects. The Tel Dor excavations have produced well-stratified deposits of the early Iron Age, including nume...