2. From the Prehistory of Upper Mesopotamia to the Bronze and Iron Age Societies of the Levant. Volume 1


Iamoni Marco, Rebaudo Ludovico, Zanini Franco


Iamoni Marco


The Neolithic-Chalcolithic transition in Upper Mesopotamia.
Subsistence strategies, economy, society and identity

Frangipane Marcella

Changes in Upper Mesopotamian societies from the Halaf to the Late Chalcolithic period. A comparative analysis of different Neolithic and Chalcolithic developmental models in the Near East

Taranto Sergio

The role of the husking tray in the late Neolithic communities of Northern Mesopotamia. A first experimental analysis

Benitti Carlo

The Halaf tradition in Upper Mesopotamia: some questions about socio-economic background and identity

Breu Adriá, Gómez Anna, Faura Josep-Miquel, Rosell-melé Antoni, Molist Miquel

Insights into the use of late Halaf vessels. Organic residues in pottery from Tell Halula (Syria)

Baldi Johnny Samuele

Evolution as a way of intertwining: regional approach and new data on the Halaf-Ubaid transition in Northern Mesopotamia

Iamoni Marco

The social landscape of Upper Mesopotamia: a preliminary overview of the Late Chalcolithic evidence from the Eastern Upper Tigris region

Vacca Agnese, Moscone Daniele, Rosati Paolo

Managing survey data from Helawa, Erbil Plain (Kurdistan Region of Iraq)

Prezioso Emanuele

Cognitive Archaeology and the ‘Ancient Mind’: Mesopotamian motifs in the formation of Egyptian elites in the fourth millennium

Da Silva Ferreira Nelson Henrique

Herding and farming symbiosis: a dialogic exercise on the manifestation of a universal topos in Sumerian and Roman primary cultures

The Levant in the Bronze and Iron Age:
crossroad or frontier between different cultures?

Maeir Aren M.

A ‘Repertoire of Otherness’? Identities in early Iron Age Philistia

Caselli Alessandra

Cult and ritual in Early Bronze Age I Southern Levant: fragmented or connected landscape?

Avrutis Vladimir Wolff

Imported artefacts from an Early Bronze Age I burial ground at Nesher-Ramla Quarry (el‑Khirbe). Two cases of interregional goods’ transitions

D’Andrea Marta

Ebla and the South: reconsidering inter-regional connections during Early Bronze IV

Calabrese Agata Maria Catena

The ancestor worship in the third millennium BCE

Kallas Nathalie

Distinction and affinity. The dualism of foreign features in the MBA Levantine palatial architecture

Puljiz Ivana

Gold jewellery as a marker of cultural interaction in Middle Bronze Age Qaṭna

Spinazzi-Lucchesi Chiara

A reassessment of spinning bowls: new evidence from Egypt and Levant

Turri Luigi

Geopolitics of the Orontes valley in the Late Bronze Age

De Pietri Marco

From Thebes to Arslantaş: ivory iconography through Egypt, Ugarit, Byblos and Megiddo

Álvarez García Juan

Transmission and reception of Babylonian knowledge in Ugarit. A preliminary study

Montesanto Mariacarmela

More than a pile of sherds: functional analysis and social behaviour during Iron Age Alalakh


This volume contains 21 papers presented at Sessions 1 (The Neolithic–Chalcolithic transition in Upper Mesopotamia. Subsistence strategies, economy, society and identity; key note speaker M. Frangipane) and 2 (The Levant in the Bronze Age: crossroad or frontier between different cultures?; key note speaker A. Maeir) of the 5th edition of the “Broadening Horizons” Conference, which was held at the University of Udine from 5th to 8th June 2017. Broadening Horizons is an international meeting that aims to offer an opportunity for relatively informal discussion, especially (though not exclusively) for young/early career archaeologists specialized in the ancient Near East and disciplines relevant to the main theme of each congress session. All the papers have passed a double blind peer-review process and provide significant contributions on a number of topics – among which material culture (e.g. pottery tradition and architecture), settlement pattern, social changes, cultural transmission and economic dynamics – that are of fundamental importance for the archaeology of Mesopotamia and the Levant.

Marco Iamoni is a research fellow at the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the University of Udine. He has been working in the Middle East since 1999, with excavations and surveys conducted in Syria (in particular at Qatna and Palmyra), Oman, Lebanon and Iraq (Kurdistan Region). He has authored several scientific works, among which a monograph entitled “The Late MBA and LBA Pottery Horizons at Qatna. Innovation and Conservation in the Ceramic Tradition of a Regional Capital and the Implications for Second Millennium Syrian Chronology” published in 2012 by Forum Editrice as the second volume in the series “Studi Archeologici su Qatna”. He has recently begun two joint research projects in Lebanon (the Northern Lebanon Project) and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (the Asingeran Excavation Project), that involve direct field investigations regarding his two current major research areas: the development of Bronze Age societies in the Levant and Western Syria, and the onset and rapid growth of socio-economic complexity in Upper Mesopotamia.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 24
  • Publication
    A reassessment of spinning bowls: new evidence from Egypt and Levant
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020)
    Spinazzi-Lucchesi, Chiara
    Spinning bowls are known especially from Egypt, but several examples have also been found in the Palestine area; they are spread from the Middle Bronze Age to the Late period. According to the traditional view the most ancient spinning bowls are those from Egypt, which do not predate the Middle Kingdom, while the Palestinian specimens were derived from the Egyptians’, but some evidence challenges this dating. A spinning bowl kept in the Museo Egizio in Turin was traditionally dated to the New Kingdom, but it shows several features which suggest an earlier dating. Study of Schiaparelli’s excavation notes and comparison with similar objects from Tell el-Farkha suggest that a Predynastic date is more plausible. Egyptian spinning bowls were thus probably introduced at least in late Predynastic times. Excavations in Jordan have shown that in that area these items existed as early as the late Chalcolithic period. Different types of morphologies and specimens that are only partially preserved can make the identification of these bowls quite challenging.
      278  241
  • Publication
    From Thebes to Arslantaş: ivory iconography through Egypt, Ugarit, Byblos and Megiddo
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020)
    De Pietri, Marco
    The Levant has always been a crucial zone for contacts between Egypt and the ancient Near East. During the Late Bronze Age (the ‘international period’) and the Iron Age, pharaonic Egypt, the Hittite empire, and later the Neo-Hittite and Aramaic states shared many occasions of exchange and interaction, testified both by texts and artefacts: among them, luxury objects like ivories. This paper aims to retrace the circulation of some iconographic motifs of different origins attested on the ivories of Arslantaş/Hadātu (near the border of modern Syria and Turkey), comparing this material with other ivories found in sites of the Levantine area (Ugarit, Byblos, Megiddo): a journey through precious items from Egypt to Anatolia, across the Levant throughout the Bronze and Iron Age, to the rediscovery of those people who, despite geographical distances, travelled, circulated and interlaced relationships.
      347  282
  • Publication
    Gold jewellery as a marker of cultural interaction in Middle Bronze Age Qaṭna
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020)
    Puljiz, Ivana
    In 2009 and 2010, the Syrian-German mission excavated the richly furnished Tomb VII at Qaṭna which yielded an inventory dating to the Middle Bronze Age IIA-IIB. The inventory comprised a large assemblage of gold jewellery including pendants, rings, toggle pins and long bands. While some of these jewellery items represent types already known from Syria and the Northern Levant, other types from Tomb VII have previously been attested only in the Southern Levant. Hence, the jewellery assemblage from Tomb VII is composed of types referring to both the Syrian/Northern Levantine and the Southern Levantine region. In this study, a selection of the gold jewellery from Tomb VII will be discussed against the background of similar items from other sites in the Syro-Levantine region. This approach aims at embedding the assemblage from Tomb VII into its wider cultural context which will ultimately illuminate how the interregional relations between the Syro-Levantine states are reflected in the material culture of the ruling class of Middle Bronze Age Qaṭna.
      228  184
  • Publication
    Geopolitics of the Orontes valley in the Late Bronze Age
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020)
    Turri, Luigi
    The Orontes valley is a heterogeneous area located at the border of the humid Mediterranean zone and the dry Syrian steppe: surrounded by mountains, it has narrow valleys, deep gorges, marshes, extensive fertile plains, and marked differences in climate. All these factors have greatly influenced settlement in the region throughout its history. Their effects were exacerbated by the chaotic political situation that characterized the valley during the Late Bronze Age, when, along the river, the Great Powers of the time found themselves in direct contact for the first time. The paper tries to analyze how the region’s morphology and natural environment affected both the local settlements and areas of foreign influence.
      249  290
  • Publication
    Distinction and affinity. The dualism of foreign features in the MBA Levantine palatialarchitecture
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020)
    Kallas, Nathalie
    The Middle Bronze Age in the Near East was a period of particular commercial and political developments. Numerous polities rose in the Levant as a result of internal and external triggers. The material culture and finds from this area, which had no fixed boundaries or clear identity, reveals a continuous and vibrant interaction and exchange with the stronger surrounding cultures. This is clearly reflected in the architecture of the excavated palaces. A mélange of local and foreign features could be identified: Aegean frescoes, Egyptianizing wall paintings, Mesopotamian architecture and Anatolian building technique. The architecture of these palaces was used by the Levantine Elites to communicate their political power and reach to their peers. But what was the intention and motivation of the various elites to integrate selected foreign features in the architecture and decoration of their palaces? This paper seeks to answer this question by identifying the preferences and the choices of foreign styles and features. Through defining the local or regional trends, some insights are gained about the nature of the relationship between the Levantine polities and their neighbors, and the various zones of influence.
      238  280