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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Department of Near Eastern Studies is concerned with the languages, literatures, and civilizations of the ancient, medieval, and modern Near East. The Department offers specialized training in Archaeology, Art History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Iranian Studies, Judaic and Islamic Studies, Comparative Semitics, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic and Persian.

Cover page of Locating Middle Islamic Dhiban on the Mamluk imperial periphery

Locating Middle Islamic Dhiban on the Mamluk imperial periphery

(2010)

This article is a brief preliminary report on the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project's research on the Middle Islamic settlement. The article describes architecture, artifacts, coins, and the results of radiocarbon testing of organic remains to determine the site's settlement history. The article discusses Dhiban's role in the Mamluk empire's economic management of the Levant.

Cover page of Hoarded Treasures: The Megiddo Ivories and  the End of the Bronze Age

Hoarded Treasures: The Megiddo Ivories and the End of the Bronze Age

(2009)

The magnificent collection of ivories found in an annex of the Stratum VIIA palace at Megiddo is often cited as illustrative of the internationalism characterizing the Late Bronze Age. This article re- examines the ivories from both a stylistic and archaeological perspective to provide a new reconstruction of their acquisition and deposition. Considering the diversity of the ivories’ styles, their incomplete and unreconstructible nature, and the presence of a large, articulated animal skeleton on top of them, I propose that the assemblage is best viewed within an interpretive framework of hoarding and ritual deposition at the end of the Bronze Age.

Cover page of Authority, polity, and tenuous elites in Iron Age Edom (Jordan)

Authority, polity, and tenuous elites in Iron Age Edom (Jordan)

(2004)

The strategies political elites implement to garner political authority and legitimacy in emergent polities are scrutinized in a case study from Iron Age Edom, located in modern southern Jordan and the south-east corner of the State of Israel. Edom provides a productive context in which to conduct this investigation as local elites managed a fractious polity consisting of unstable segmentary identities, while at the same time, remaining loyal to the successive Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian empires that dominated them. This tenuous position required elites to maintain a flexible elite identity while promoting broader metaphors of attachment (e.g. Edomite) among their disparate constituents. This case study ultimately moves toward an understanding of political polities, not as disembodied entities (e.g. States), but as embedded phenomena within the societies they comprise.