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BIC Excellence Award

Shechem I
The Middle Bronze IIB Pottery

By Dan P. Cole

Shechem I
Hardback, 203 pages £41.00
Published: 1984
ISBN: 9780897572064
Format: 280mm x 215mm
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Subjects: American Schools of Oriental Research, Archaeology
Series: ASOR Archaeological Reports

This is the first volume of the final report on the site of Tell Balatah, biblical Shechem. Work at the site spanned the years 1956-1973, a period when significant changes in field methodology were developing in Palestinian archaeology. Dr. Cole's study of the MB IIB ceramic corpus is prefaced by an introduction to the field technique as it was employed at Shechem, especially as it pertained to the recovery, sorting, and analysis of sherds from each soil deposit. The analysis of the Field VI ceramic sequences presented here will be of crucial importance in studying the chronology and history of the MB II period in the Levant. A report of interest, not only for its reportage of excavation results, but also for the methodological questions it raises.

List of Plans, Tables, Figures, and Sections




1.       Introduction

The Preservation and Reporting of Sherds

The Separation and Interpretation of Loci

The Classification of Materials

2.       Middle Bronze IIB at Shechem

The Field VI Strata

The Loci Selected for Analysi

3.       The Pottery: Typological and Comparative Analysis

Classification of Types and Forms

Platter Bowls

Deep Bowls

Globular Bowls

Necked Bowls

Carinated Bowls

Miniature Bowls

Bowl Bases

Flat-bottom Cookpots

Holemouth Cookpots

Upright-rim Cookpots

Dipper Juglets

Piriform Juglets

Cylindrical Juglets


Large Jars

Small Jars

Small Jar and Jug Fragments

General Comments on Wares, Pastes, and Surface Treatments

4.       Summary Conclusions

Diagnostic Ceramic Types and Forms

Comparative Sites

Geographical and Historical Considerations

Catalogue of Shechem MB IIB Pottery

Notes on Drawing and Descriptive Conventions

The Pottery Classified by Type and Form, Plates 1-45

Strata XX-XVIIs: Selected Pottery, Plates 46-49


Shechem I is an indispensable tool for the study of the Middle Bronze Age in Syria-Palestine. The primary material which it presents serves to define the ceramic boundaries of the Middle Bronze IIB Period, and thus it contributes to a sharper definition of the debate about the nature of the MB IIA transition to MB IIB and the validity of the term MB IIC.--Douglas L. Esse, The University of Chicago in Journal of Near Eastern Studies Vol. 47, No. 4

Cole's major achievement in Shechem I is to demonstrate when certain ceramic forms first appear in the relative sequence at Shechem. We must, of course, allow for the limited Shechem database, as well as for the possibility of regional variations or new material from elsewhere that may insert nuances into the picture. Nevertheless, Cole has provided a demonstration that soundings and sherds--when carefully controlled--can produce reliable and useful results in ceramic chronology. For the larger picture of Shechem and cultural development in the Middle Bronze Palestine, we shall have to await further volumes in this series.--William G. Dever, University of Arizona in BASOR 276

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 203 pages
 280mm x 215mm

BIC Code:
  HIS002000, SOC003000
 American Schools of Oriental Research


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