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Research Fund for Philipp Stockhammer

Jun 04, 2013

Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer has been awarded another research fund. The British Mediterranean Archaeological Trust supports the Cluster member to continue the work of the former research project D2 “Materiality and Practice”.

In his sub-project “Tell es-Safi/Gath and Tel Beth Shemesh: Aegean-Levantine relations before the Philistines”, Stockhammer will investigate the Aegean relations of the communities at Tel Beth-Shemesh and Tell es-Safi/Gath in the 14th and 13th centuries BCE from the the Aegean-type pottery found at these settlements. Both sites are situated in the south of the modern state Israel in the hill land between the coastal plain and the central mountain ridge and are only 13 km away from each other. Both are the subject of ongoing long-term research projects which have already given rise to new insights into the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age life at these settlements. The excavations at both sites have provided a rich and highly interesting corpus of Aegean-type imports of the 14th/13th century which have not or not been comprehensively studied and published so far. Up to now, the significance of Aegean-type pottery for the inhabitants of the settlements has mostly been discussed for the contexts of the 12th century BCE, when Tell es-Safi/Gath is considered to be one of the major Philistine cities with a large corpus of Aegean-type pottery, during which period the inhabitants of Tel Beth-Shemesh seemed to have consciously avoided the acquisition and use this pottery of foreign inspiration as part of a process of boundary marking. These different attitudes at each sites have long been reduced to the idea of the migrant “Philistines” versus the local “Canaanites”.

However, recent research has demonstrated that even the so-called “Philistine” settlements show a blending of Aegean-type and Canaanite-type material culture and practices. This process needs to be understood as the result of a complex cross-cultural entanglements that was already present during the Late Bronze Age before the assumed migration of an unclear number of individuals from an Aegean cultural background. In his project, Stockhammer will investigate whether the willingness of local actors to appropriate Aegean-type pottery had been similar at both sites before 1200 BCE with the aim of gaining insight into why it seems to be so different afterwards. He will analyse the extent and character of the appropriation of Aegean-type pottery in both sites in the Late Bronze Age in order to understand more clearly the developments after the increase of influence of actors with Aegean traditions at Tell es-Safi/Gath during the 12th century.

Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer is a Postdoctoral Researcher and head of the project MC8.2 "Innovation Management – Bronze Age Entanglements between Asia and Europe" at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context". Besides, he is affiliated with the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory at Heidelberg University.


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  • Philipp Stockhammer, Photo by Victor S. Brigola