Canaanite jars from Memphis as evidence for trade and political relationships in the Middle Bronze Age
University of Cambridge
Department of Archaeology
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Ownby, M. (2010). Canaanite jars from Memphis as evidence for trade and political relationships in the Middle Bronze Age (doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.15961
Trade between two regions often necessitates that the respective parties are political entities. This was indeed the case for trade between Egypt and the Levant during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 2000-1550 BC, MBA) and Late Bronze Age (ca. 1550-1200 BC, LBA). Scientific analyses of Canaanite jars, transport vessels, from the site of Memphis, Egypt provided an ideal proxy for examining the relationship between trade and politics. During the MBA, Levantine peoples were present at the site of Tell el-Dabca in the eastern Nile Delta. However, archaeologically there is little evidence for contact between these peoples and the Egyptians at Memphis. Results of comparison of MBA Canaanite jars from both sites suggest the political situation fostered trade with the Levant and limited interaction with the Egyptians. During the LBA, Egyptian kings controlled territory in the Levant. A comparison of MBA and LBA Canaanite jars from Memphis revealed that the political changes in some cases affected the trade partners but not in others. Further, the production of the jars appeared to have altered in some regions. These results suggest that the affect of political situations on trade can vary, from only minor changes, to the complete exclusion of trade partners and the introduction of new trade contacts. However, the influence of lucrative trade networks on political developments was also illustrated. The utility of provenance studies of ceramics for understanding the complex relationship between trade and politics was confirmed.
Egypt, Levant, Petrography, Ceramics
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.15961