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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Dr Kamal Badreshany

Schmit, A., Badreshany, K. (Joint First Author), Tachatou, E. & Sader, H. (2018). Insights into the economic organization of the Phoenician homeland: a multidisciplinary investigation of the later Iron Age II and Persian period Phoenician amphorae from Tell el-Burak. Levant 50(1): 52-90.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper details the results of a large-scale multi-disciplinary analysis of Iron Age pottery from a settlement in the core of the Phoenician homeland. The research presented is centred upon a large corpus of Phoenician carinated-shoulder amphorae (CSA) from the later Iron Age II and Persian period contexts at the coastal site of Tell el-Burak. Traditional typological investigations are combined with a focused archaeometric approach including a new quantitative method for the morphometric analysis of amphorae, thin-section petrography, geochemistry and organic residue analyses, aimed at gaining a more detailed understanding of the organization of the Phoenician economy. Despite gradual, but marked typological changes, very little change in the fabrics of these amphorae was noted over the 400-year Iron Age occupation of the site. The research, thus, demonstrates that the production of Iron Age amphorae from Tell el-Burak was highly organized, and was undertaken by long-lived, sustained and centralized modes. The establishment of Tell el-Burak and this new pottery industry coincides with the proliferation of the world’s first great imperial powers, the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Persian empires; the outcomes of this research provide new insights into socio-economic strategies adopted in the Phoenician homeland during this pivotal time.