Potters' Canaanean flint blades during the Early Bronze Age

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A sample of glossed and non-glossed Canaanean blades from the Early Bronze Age Ib-II site of Qiryat Ata, northern Israel, was the subject of a use-wear analysis. This research comprised microscopic analysis and a series of experiments based on the microscopic usewear detected to reconstruct the function of the archaeological Canaanean blades. Two main activities were reconstructed in the analysis: one related to plant processing, including cereal harvesting and threshing; and the other, which is the focus of this article, was related to pottery processing. Several experiments using experimental flint blades were carried out, including processing clay on a potter's wheel, and processing by hand. The results indicated that the microscopic traces on the blades were produced by contact with moist coarse-tempered clay, especially for smoothing by hand, as in the initial stages of pottery processing and shaping. Reconstructing the potters' use of Canaanean blades indicated that ceramic tools were locally produced at Qiryat Ata. Reconstruction also contributed to the understanding of the complexity involved in models related to Canaanean blade production and distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalMediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Canaanean blades
  • Early bronze age ia-II
  • Moist coarse-tempered clay
  • Potters' flint tools
  • Pottery production
  • Qiryat ata
  • Use-wear analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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