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Technological Evolution, Social Processes and Environmental Impact as Reflected in Bronze and Iron Ages Copper Exploitation in Timna, Israel (the Central Timna Valley Project, CTV)

Objective

The proposed project focuses on the complex relationships between past human societies and natural resources and the role technology and technological developments played in human-environment interactions and related social processes. The case study concerns Late Bronze and Iron Age (ca. 1500 – 500 BCE) copper exploitation at Timna, a remote valley in the desert of southern Israel. The project includes several seasons of field work and supplementary laboratory analyses, integrating tools from the Natural Sciences and anthropological perspectives. Several hitherto unexcavated smelting and mining sites will be surveyed and excavated in order to address a number of key issues in the archaeology of the southern Levant, the archaeometallurgy of copper and iron, and sustainability of early industrialized societies. More specifically, the proposed research will address questions concerning innovations in smelting technologies, the introduction of iron metallurgy and its related technological problems, historical issues concerning the nature of 13th – 9th c. BCE emerging desert polities (including the Kingdoms of ancient Israel and Edom) and the impact of the intense copper production on social processes, regional and global political interactions and the economy of the southern Levant throughout that time period. To address these issues, the project will put emphasis on stratigraphy and chronology (utilizing AMS radiocarbon dating, archaeomagnetic dating, and optically stimulated luminescence [OSL]), and on micro-archaeological investigation of metallurgical installations (utilizing portable XRF in the field, and several microscopic tools in the laboratory). As part of the project an online digital database will be implemented in order to facilitate the management of field and laboratory data and to eventually make the data, together with the project results and conclusions, available to the scientific community and the broad public.

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG
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Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Lea Pais (Ms.)