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Altorientalische Forschungen

Ed. by Novák, Mirko / Hazenbos, Joost / Mittermayer, Catherine / Suter, Claudia E.


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Volume 42, Issue 1

Issues

In Search of Identity: The Contribution of Recent Finds to Our Understanding of Iron Age Ivory Objects in the Material Culture of the Southern Levant

Liat Naeh
Published Online: 2016-03-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/aofo-2015-0006

Abstract

Since the time of their discovery, archaeologists and art historians accepted the Samaria ivories to be of Phoenician origin. Considered alien and idiosyncratic artifacts in Samaria, the ivories were deemed unrepresentative of local material culture. As a result, other Iron Age ivories subsequently discovered in the Levant were also regarded as Phoenician. This article aims to shed light on the thinking behind the ethnic labeling of these ivories, and its lingering, detrimental implications that prevent finds from being viewed as indigenous material culture. A brief review of relevant archaeological finds from both old and recent excavations at the sites of Jerusalem, Rǝḥov, and Hazor will show that there is in fact substantial evidence to anchor Iron Age ivories within the southern Levant. In the process, new suggestions regarding continuity from the Bronze to the Iron Age will be made by addressing the use of different raw materials and the repertoire of images depicted on inlays.

Keywords: Samaria; Nimrud; Ivory; Bone; Wood; Bible; Archaeology; Bronze Age; Iron Age; Levant; Phoenicia; Israel

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About the article

Published Online: 2016-03-11

Published in Print: 2015-06-01


Citation Information: Altorientalische Forschungen, Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 80–96, ISSN (Online) 2196-6761, ISSN (Print) 0232-8461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/aofo-2015-0006.

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