9. The Political Economy of Early Bronze Age Copper Production at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan (Jordan): Implications for Southern Levantine Urbanism

Transitions, Urbanism, and Collapse in the Bronze Age - Essays in Honor of Suzanne Richard - Jesse C. Long, Jr.

Aaron Gidding [+-]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Aaron David Gidding is a Lecturer and Associate Researcher in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is interested in the application of digital methods in archaeological research and the role of metals in the development of early complex economies.
Thomas E Levy [+-]
University of California, San Diego
Thomas Levy is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Judaic Studies at the University of California,San Diego (UCSD) where he holds the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaelogy of Ancient Israel and Neigboring Lands. With over thirty years of archaeological field experience in Israel and Jordan, Levy’s current research focuses on the Iron Age historical archaeology of Edom in southern Jordan. He is Associate Director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) at UCSD's California Insitute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Levy is editor of Archaeology, Anthropology and Cult: The Sanctuary at Gilat, Israel (Equinox Publishing, 2006) and co-editor, with Thomas Higham, of The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (Equinox Publishing, 2005). His most recent book, with his wife Alina and the Sthapathy brothers of Swamimalai is Masters of Fire: Hereditary Bronze Casters of South India (German Mining Museum, 2008). Levy is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Description

This paper examines the political economy of the terminal phase (2600 ¬– 2000 BCE) of the southern Levantine Early Bronze Age through a study of characteristic bar-shaped ingots. The focus of the analysis is at the site Khirbat Hamra Ifdan (KHI), which is the best-preserved metal production facility dating to the Early Bronze Age in the southern Levant (Levy et al. 2002). KHI offers a detailed picture of the organization of ingot production during the Early Bronze Age and is used to contextualize bar-shaped ingots found in other locations. Comparing the metrology of the ingots from KHI to ingots found at sites in the Negev Highlands offers important details on the copper trade network. In conjunction, the two datasets highlight a non-centralized political economy that nevertheless was able to develop a long-distance exchange network marketing copper as a commodity intensively for the first time in the region. The analysis highlights that the ingots share a consistent design, but lack metrological consistency associated with currency.

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Citation

Gidding, Aaron; Levy, Thomas. 9. The Political Economy of Early Bronze Age Copper Production at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan (Jordan): Implications for Southern Levantine Urbanism. Transitions, Urbanism, and Collapse in the Bronze Age - Essays in Honor of Suzanne Richard. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. May 2021. ISBN 9781781797204. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=37727. Date accessed: 25 Sep 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.37727. May 2021

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