On the Origins of the Tel Nami Pyxides

Michal Artzy, Gur Peled, Anastasia Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Nami project included several sub-sites, among them the Late Bronze Age (LB) IIb–c necropolis in Nami East. The cemetery is situated c 50 m east of the main tell. Nami was a focal point of trade linking a north–south maritime trade route with an east–west terrestrial one. The settlement was dated by excavations to the Middle Bronze Age IIa and the LB IIb–c, the last of the 13th and early 12th centuries bce. Among the numerous finds in the LB IIc Nami necropolis, were a number of the ceramic shape named alabastron, or pyxis. They are not homogenous in shape, size, ware and decoration. Neutron Activation Analysis and Petrographic analyses of the ware established that they also do not share provenance. While the earliest appearance of the shape was in the Aegean, eventually a small version of the pyxis became more common in the southern Levant’s necropoleis, and is found at Nami, where it was placed near the crania in burials. The analyses carried out on samples from the cemetery of Nami, showed that some of the pyxides were produced in the vicinity of the site, or in the general area. Others, however, were imported from Transjordan. Those include examples of plain and decorated ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
JournalPalestine Exploration Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Palestine Exploration Fund 2021.


  • Cemetery
  • Late Bronze
  • Provenance
  • Pyxides
  • Tel Nami
  • Trade routes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Archaeology


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