A note on chalcolithic ossuary jars: A metaphor for metamorphosis

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Secondary burial in ceramic ossuaries is a well known characteristic of the Chalcolithic period of the Southern Levant. A wide range of suggestions have been put forward regarding the meaning of these vessels. The paper focuses on a particular subset of these vessels—ossuary jars—and suggests that they symbolize cocoons and embody a concept of death as a prolonged process of metamorphosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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