Mario Gavranović, Daniela Heilmann, Aleksandar Kapuran and Marek Verčík (eds.), Spheres of Interaction. Contacts and Relationships between the Balkans and Adjacent Regions in the Late Bronze / Iron Age (13th–5th Centuries BCE)
Perspectives on Balkan Archaeology 1
VML Verlag Marie Leidorf, Rahden/Westfalen 2020
Available in print
The proceedings of the second Perspective on Balkan Archaeology (PeBA) conference entitled Spheres of Interaction address questions of contacts and relationships between the Balkans and adjacent regions in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Aligning with the main aim of the PeBA initiative – to promote interaction of specialists in pre- and protohistory of the Balkans – the fourteen papers in this volume span a vast chronological and spatial range, from the Early Bronze Age to the height of the Classical world in the 5th century BCE, and cover a broad area of southeastern Europe, from the Adriatic coast and the Carpathian Basin to the Struma River Valley and the Thermaic Gulf. Their diverse geographic and diachronic settings as well as the varied methodological and theoretical approaches offer a new synopsis of contacts and relationships between the Balkans and the adjacent regions reflecting the background of past and present narratives.
The range of topics discussed includes cultural and socio-economic interactions, individual mobility and migrations of groups and the questions of how different communication or economic networks affected connectivity and how these different types of networks can be traced in the archaeological record. The papers included in this volume thus reflect the current state of archaeological investigations within this research area, highlighting a number of new excavations and discoveries that help us gain a more comprehensive picture of the Bronze and Iron Age societies in this part of Europe.
Mario Gavranović is archaeologist and heads the research group ‘Urnfield Culture Networks’ at the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences.
The initiative Perspectives on Balkan Archaeology (PeBA) represents a network of junior and senior scientists with research focus on the Bronze and Iron Ages in Southeastern Europe. For further information visit: https://pebasite.wordpress.com/
Bettina Bader, Tell el-Dabʿa XXIV. The Late Middle Kingdom Settlement of Area A/II. A Holistic Study of Non-élite Inhabitants at Tell el- Dabʿa. Volume 1: The Archaeological Report. The Excavations from 1966 to 1969
Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Vienna 2020
Tell el-Dabʿa XXIV presents the final excavation report of three late Middle Kingdom settlement layers at the site of Tell el-Dabʿa in the Egyptian Nile delta.
These settlement layers comprise a number of dwellings, which belonged to non-elite people judging by their size and remaining inventories, who lived in the marsh-like environment in the north of Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (ca 1830–1700 BC). Beside the mud brick architecture typical for ancient Egyptian housing, storage facilities such as rounded silos, open air hearths, industrial ovens, and irregular alleyways were unearthed.
The houses are systematically described and analysed in combination with the associated finds. These finds include pottery and stone vessels, stone tools such as querns and grinders, chipped stone tools and a few other items made of faience. A small number of objects made of hard rock imply that they must have been imported because such stones do not exist in the delta. Importantly animal bones inform us about the diet of the people living there, whilst imported pottery vessels from the Levant and Upper Egypt show these exchange networks. This book provides a much-needed primary source for late Middle Kingdom settlement archaeology, a topic generally neglected in the literature.
In addition, the book describes a settlement type so far not represented in the known repertoire, namely a self-organised settlement with individual dwellings not uniform in size or lay-out. Such lay-outs stand in contrast to intentionally founded settlements following a rigid plan in rows with orthogonal streets and regular blocks of houses as known from Lahun in Northern Upper Egypt or from the forts in Nubia. Moreover, due to the fact that three successive settlement layers are presented, it is possible to follow the development of the settlement over a period of more than 100 years. In this way the book adds information to the current corpus of settlement types.
Bettina Bader is Egyptologist and heads the research group ‘Material Culture in Egypt and Nubia’ at the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences.