The silent coast: Zooarchaeological evidence to the development trajectory of a second millennium palace at Tel Kabri

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The second millennium BC palaces along the coast of the southern Levant served as political and ideological centers of small, seaside polities. The seeming lack of literate administration and the evidence for non-intensive subsistence practices suggest, however, that a different political economic infrastructure lay at the foundation of these south Levantine peers to the palaces in Knossos and Mari. An analysis of the faunal remains from the Middle Bronze Age palace at Tel Kabri shows persistence of low-intensity traditional economy as the palace underwent a phase of territorial and cultural growth. Changes in butchery practices and culinary habits at that time resonate elite emulation of their peers across the sea, in resemblance to other fields of material culture. Our conclusion is that a palatial culture, complete with eastern Mediterranean elite trappings, could be grafted in the southern Levant to a stock of traditional and non-specialized economy with no literate administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was partially supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 52/10 and Grant 848/10 ), the Institute for Aegean Prehistory , the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies , and the Zinman Institute of Archaeology . We would like to thank and for Nurith Goshen, Inbal Samet and Alex Ratzlaff, who supervise the excavation of Area D; Guy Bar-Oz for his comments on an earlier version of this manuscript; and Laurel Ames Poolman for her invaluable help in conducting the faunal analysis in the field.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Butchery
  • Canaanite
  • Kabri
  • Levant
  • Middle Bronze
  • Minoan
  • Palaces
  • Zooarchaeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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