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ASOR Annual 59
Pt. 1, Results of the 2001 Kerak Plateau Early Bronze Age Survey : Pt. 2, Two Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi El- Hol

By Meredith S. Chesson and John Coleman Darnell

ASOR Annual 59
Hardback, 144 pages £8.00
Published: 2005
ISBN: 9780897570718
Format: 280mm x 215mm
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Subjects: American Schools of Oriental Research, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, Egyptology
Series: Annual of ASOR

Part I presents the results from the 2001 research project combining surface surveys and limited test excavations at eight Early Bronze Age (c. 3600-2000 BC) settlement sites identified in a previous survey by Miller (1991) on the Kerak Plateau. The team collected data to determine the suitability of these sites for a future, multi-year research project, and to assess the applicability of an alternative perspective for reconstructing the nature of the earliest walled towns in the southern Levant. Aside from documenting the state of preservation of these sites, the proposed research sought to evaluate propositions about (1) the nature of the chronological development of urbanism within the region, and (2) the relationship between environmental and ecological zones and the scale of urban settlements in the region. Includes 27 figures. Part II is the editio princeps of two early alphabetic inscriptions discovered by John and Deborah Darnell along the Farshut Road, Wadi el-Hol, near Luxor, Egypt. The work includes photographs, drawings and discussions of the inscriptions, together with a discussion of the source of the signs and significance of the find. The authors argue that the discovery of these inscriptions points to the origins of the alphabet in an Egyptian context as long ago as 2000 BC. Includes 22 figures and 13 plates.


List of Figures


Results of Surface Surveys

Results of Test Excavations

Discussion and Conclusions

Appendix A: Summary of Descriptions of Sites Surveyed in 2001

Appendix B: Summary of Impact Assessments on Surveyed Early Bronze Age Sites on the Kerak Plateau

Appendix C: Description of Illustrated Early Bronze Age Ceramics Collected in Surface Surveys

Appendix D: Description of Historic Period Ceramics Collected in Surface Surveys

Appendix E: Description of Ceramics Collected in Text Excavations

Appendix F: Descriptoin of Illustrated Chipped Stone Artifacts and Small Finds


An anthropological archaeologist, Meredith S. Chesson focuses on life in early walled towns in the southern Levant (Israel, Palestine, and Jordan) during the Early Bronze Age. Chesson has directed or participated in archaeological projects in Jordan, Canada, United States, Cyprus, Israel, and Italy. Her edited volume Social Memory, Identity and Death presents ethnographic and archaeological studies of cultural memory and mortuary practices. Chesson currently works as publication co-editor on final reports of the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain's excavations at Bab edh-Dhra`, Feifa, Numeira, and Khirbet Khanazir.

John Coleman Darnell is Professor & Chair of Egyptology and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Yale University. Darnell's interests include Egyptian religion, cryptography, the scripts and texts of Graeco-Roman Egypt, and the archaeological and epigraphic remains of ancient activity in the Egyptian Western Desert. The latter work has led him to his current interest in state formation, the use of rock inscriptions in the creation of "ordered" space, and the economic status of the oases and the desert regions, particularly from the late Old Kingdom through the Third Intermediate Period. In addition to his teaching and research, Darnell has gained considerable experience in the field in Egypt.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 144 pages
 280mm x 215mm

BIC Code:
 American Schools of Oriental Research


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