Category Archives: Archaeology

Archaeological theory: progressive-evolutionary and scientific evolutionary

Addressing the question of culture change, the progressive-evolutionary approach interpreted archaeological data within schemes that have dominated much of anthropology. These schemes placed cultures on a scale of linear, progressive development from “primitive” to “sophisticated”, or “savage” to “civilized”, with … Continue reading

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Archaeological theory: culture history

The integration of archaeology and history has never been easy, especially as some of the main theoretical approaches to archaeology have been quite hostile to considering historiographical insights and linking their endeavour to the often messy task of history writing. … Continue reading

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Determining use of artefacts

As part of my contribution to the book The Five-Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant I outlined in simple words some of my thoughts on determining the use of artefacts recovered in archaeological excavations. This is the central part of … Continue reading

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People in history

I was recently asked to comment on an article by Israel Finkelstein, which discussed the history of Ancient Israel. As could be expected, the article had some good points, reference to archaeological conclusions, declarations of scholarly consensus where no consensus … Continue reading

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Pottery reconstruction

While I was writing my dissertation I was wishing again and again that more archaeological excavations would restore pottery and give a detailed report on the pottery found. For only by restoring the pottery can we know how many vessels … Continue reading

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The aim of archaeology

During my archaeological studies at university I only got a cursory introduction to the history of the discipline. But we learned that it started mainly with the collection and subsequent classification of artefacts. Just as others in the early 19th … Continue reading

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The Samaria ostraca and family relationships

The Samaria ostraca were found during the Harvard excavations at Samaria from 1908-1910. These potsherds with ink-writing were found in the courtyard of the palace. Sixty-seven had a readable inscription. It seems that they recorded some sort of tax or … Continue reading

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