Are material culture changes between late Bronze and early Iron Age inhabitants of Lachish, in modern day Israel, the result of immigrants settling the region, or an in situ evolution of practices by the same indigenous peoples? The research objectives are to: 1) assess dental affinity of an Iron Age Lachish sample relative to its Bronze Age predecessor, and 2) compare data in both groups with European and North African comparative samples to estimate biological affinity within the Mediterranean area. In the process, two competing hypotheses are tested; one postulates continuity and the other population replacement between the Bronze and Iron Age. Using the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System, dental trait frequencies were compared to determine inter-sample phonetic affinities. The results suggest: 1) biological continuity between the Lachish Bronze and Iron Ages, and 2) a marked level of heterogeneity with closer affinity to some Egyptian and Phoenician groups within the Mediterranean Diaspora. These findings lend support to one of many competing theories identifying the ancient Lachish peoples, while providing an increased understanding of the Bronze and Iron Age transition in the Levant, which is often considered one of the most intriguing and volatile periods in the Near East.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2012
Table of Contents
1. Introduction -- Research problem and project development -- Methodological approach -- Objectives and goals of the study -- Research questions -- Hypothesis -- Significance -- Organization of thesis -- 2. Bronze and iron ages in Palestine -- Terminology -- Chronology -- Background: pottery and chronology -- Philistine pottery -- The chronological debate -- The modified conventional chronology -- The low chronology -- Geographic setting of Palestinian settlements -- The Bronze Age in Palestine -- Settlement and burial patterns -- Subsistence patterns -- The Iron Age in Palestine -- The Canaanites -- The Philistines -- The Israelites -- 3. Lachish -- Archaeological background -- Stratigraphy -- Archaeology: early Bronze (EB- ca. 3300-2300 B.C.E.) -- Middle Bronze (MB- ca. 2000-1550 B.C.E.) -- Late Bronze (LB- ca. 1550-1200/1098 B.C.E.) -- Construction -- Foreign relations -- Trade -- Industry -- Agriculture -- Philistine pottery and Lachish -- The end of the Bronze Age at Lachish -- The Iron Age (ca. 1200/1109-586/520 B.C.E.) -- Level V -- Level IV -- Level III -- Level II -- Who are the peoples of ancient Lachish? -- Affinity studies in Lachish and surrounding regions -- 4. Methodological background -- Dental anthropology -- Microevolutionary research and dental analysis -- Dental morphological study -- Advantages of using teeth as a research tool -- Disadvantages of using teeth as a research tool -- Current dental morphological methods -- 5. Materials and methods -- Materials : samples used in study -- Iron age skeletons -- Bronze age skeletons -- Comparative samples -- Methods -- Data collection -- Quantitative MMD -- Isolation-by-distance -- 6. Results -- Traits frequencies -- MMD -- Lachish bronze age sample (LCB) -- Lachish Iron Age sample (LCI) -- Isolation-by-distance -- 7. Discussion -- Egypt and Lachish -- Nubia and Lachish -- Isolation-by-distance -- Who are the peoples of ancient Lachish? -- 8. Conclusions and future research -- Literature cited -- Appendix.
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