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The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant c. 8000–332bce , edited by Margreet L. Steiner & Ann E. Killebrew, 2014. Oxford: Oxford University Press; ISBN 978-0-19-921297-2 hardback £110, $175; xxiv+886 pp., 160 figs., 18 tables

Change log



There has never been a unified or holistic approach to study of the ancient Levant. Within Syria-Palestine (and indeed the East Mediterranean and Near East more broadly) a wealth of academic traditions, disciplinary boundaries, ideologies and agendas have combined with potent modern political divisions to create a scholarship which can often feel fragmented. One of the stated aims of this weighty handbook is to bridge such divisions and be ‘a comprehensive volume on the archaeology of the whole Levant spanning the time from the Neolithic to the Persian period’ (p.2). This ambitious scope is further broadened by the decision to include Cyprus within the volume’s definition of the Levant, reflecting the island’s close cultural, economic and often political links with the mainland. This bold move goes some way towards softening one of the most potent boundaries in the region’s scholarship – that between Syro-Palestinian and Mediterranean/Classical archaeology – and in that respect it is a welcome one.



4301 Archaeology, 43 History, Heritage and Archaeology

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)


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