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Scratching the Surface of Middle Bronze Age Scarabs: Investigating Enigmatic Marks on Stamp Seals from Lachish and Megiddo


Ben-Marzouk, Nadia; Greet, Ben (2024). Scratching the Surface of Middle Bronze Age Scarabs: Investigating Enigmatic Marks on Stamp Seals from Lachish and Megiddo. Near Eastern Archaeology, 87(1):44-54.

Abstract

A distinct feature on many Middle Bronze Age scarabs from the southern Levant is the presence of chromatic marks on the backs of these objects, often described as longitudinal lines. Previous explanations have fallen into one of three proposals: either the product of production-related techniques related to firing and glazing, intentionally applied marks, or the byproduct of use-wear related or depositional practices. To date, no critical investigation of these enigmatic marks has been published and thus no consensus reached. However, through new high-resolution photography of the stamp seals from the sites of Lachish and Megiddo in the southern Levant, a systematic analysis was recently permitted. This paper presents the results from a study on these enigmatic marks and a discussion on what the new photography reveals about previous interpretations and possible new directions for the study of this corpus.

Abstract

A distinct feature on many Middle Bronze Age scarabs from the southern Levant is the presence of chromatic marks on the backs of these objects, often described as longitudinal lines. Previous explanations have fallen into one of three proposals: either the product of production-related techniques related to firing and glazing, intentionally applied marks, or the byproduct of use-wear related or depositional practices. To date, no critical investigation of these enigmatic marks has been published and thus no consensus reached. However, through new high-resolution photography of the stamp seals from the sites of Lachish and Megiddo in the southern Levant, a systematic analysis was recently permitted. This paper presents the results from a study on these enigmatic marks and a discussion on what the new photography reveals about previous interpretations and possible new directions for the study of this corpus.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Institute of Religious Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
290 Other religions
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:March 2024
Deposited On:15 Feb 2024 14:33
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:30
Publisher:American Schools of Oriental Research
ISSN:1094-2076
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/729039
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID186426
  • : Project TitleStamp Seals from the Southern Levant: a multi-faceted prism for studying entangled histories in an interdisciplinary perspective
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