Classification of Canaanite Fabrics from Tell el-Dabca


Scientific investigations of Canaanite vessels imported to the site of Tell el-Dabca started in the 1970s by the late Joan Huntoon with NAA-analyses. After her early death this project was inherited and published by Patrick McGovern.

Very early in their investigation of the Canaanite pottery ceramicists raised the suspicion that beside imported also locally produced pottery was found amongst these Middle Bronze Age shapes. However, the mixtures of these fabrics were so similar that a differentiation with the naked eye seemed impossible. Thus simultaneously with the NAA samples over 400 samples were taken for further analyses, covering the periods from the early 12th to the middle of the 18th dynasties. Later on, it was decided to investigate these samples by petrography.

In the frame of the SCIEM 2000 project fabrics of Canaanite imports and their possible imitations were grouped macroscopically and comparable samples from the Levant were collected. In the recent years these samples were investigated petrographically and their results are currently prepared for publication.

Drawing of K2817-31 (drawing: K. Kopetzky)
Macroscopic image of sample K2817-31 (photo: K. Kopetzky)
PPL thin section photo of K2817-31 (© OREA/ÖAI archive)