REL226: Biblical Archaeology
Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Years:
is happening in the Bible? Adam & Eve up to flood. Farmer/Herder conflict,
is happening in Egypt? Pre-dynastic agricultural villages.
is happening in Mesopotamia? Ubaid culture,
Uruk period. Long-lived legendary heroes in king-list (pre-flood).
Semi-nomadic pastoralists (herders). “Chiefdoms” (central settlements
dominate clusters of smaller sites along wadi banks).
Jordan valley, alluvial fans, wadi courses, Beth Shean valley.
Building materials- large basalt stones, stone-slab paving.
Dwellings- Broad-room house (small side chamber), adjacent courtyard
(sheep pens?), silos.
“Cultic corner” w/ stone statue?
Some subterranean cave dwellings.
Fortifications (walls, gates, etc)- Chains of dwellings w/ shared walls
creates protective outer wall (?)
Water works- Pits dug in wadi bottoms to collect water for when wadi
Temples- En Gedi “broad room” temple (isolated – no settlement) w/ large stone-fenced courtyard, benches along wall, double door, horse-shoe shaped “Holy of Holies” w/ polished standing stone, water basin, evidence for animal sacrifice (?), nearby copper treasure hoard (for use at this temple?).
Mostly hand-built, but some small vessels on potter’s wheel. Lug-handles, rope-like decorations, broad red band,
triangles, nets patterns and stripes. Cornet (“v”-shaped cup w/ long pointed
Economy based on herding. First horticulture: olive trees grown, grapes.
flax, wheat, barley, dates, garlic, onions, pomegranates, lentils, nuts, acorns.
Weapons, Metallurgy: Copper first used – “lost wax” technique. Flint industry
flourishes. Axe and mace heads in copper. Awls for working leather. Basketry,
linen and wool textiles. Shell, Bone, Ivory.
first cemeteries outside settlements.
Dolmen – 3 large stone slabs for table-like tomb.
Tumuli – circular stone cairns (Nawami tombs).
Simple cist graves (hole in ground) for secondary burial.
Pottery Ossuaries (containers for bones).
objects, seals, sculptures, jewelry, etc.): Nahal Mishmar “cave of treasure”
ritual mace heads, antlers, pomegranates, etc. all done in “lost wax”
paintings (incl. elaborate 8-point star fresco). Ivory figurines, basalt stone
figures, “violin-shaped” figurine, pregnant “fertility goddess” (?),
standing stones. Bone & Shell jewelry.
Writing not yet invented, but Sumerian king lists and bible refer to this
En Gedi, Teleilat Ghassul (Ghassulian culture), Megiddo, Golan Heights, Negev (Beer Sheba), Jericho (?)
Copper, Horticulture (olive oil), potter’s wheel, cemeteries, pottery
for Trade, foreign relations: Flint industry, Obsidian (Anatolia), Hematite (Sinai),
(local development vs. migration):
shows local development: Natufian>>Ghassulian.
shows discontinuity in settlement patterns & culture: settlements abandoned,
culture ends.à Flood?