Storage, Surplus and Wealth at a Chalcolithic Site in Israel

Author(s): Emily Hubbard

Year: 2015


Excavations at Tel Tsaf, Israel have provided evidence of large mudbrick silos, animal pens and potential feasting activities. Tel Tsaf dates to the earlier part of the Chalcolithic period which spans from c. 5200-3600 BC and marks a transition from egalitarian villages to the eventual cities of the Early Bronze Age in the region. Towards the end of the Chalcolithic period social stratification becomes more visible within the archaeological record as evidenced by hoards of copper items in caves, formal off-site cemeteries and, shrines or ritual sites. Large-scale storage also becomes visible during the Chalcolithic period. In this contribution, I combine micromorphological analysis from Tel Tsaf, with published architectural, faunal and botanical evidence, to discuss and clarify the interconnectedness of storage, surplus and wealth. Social and economic theories play key roles in this discussion. A clearer conceptual framework of the complex relationships among storage, surplus and wealth contributes to our understanding of the changes seen in the Chalcolithic period of the region, and also has important implications for addressing similar issues in pre-historic societies elsewhere.

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Cite this Record

Storage, Surplus and Wealth at a Chalcolithic Site in Israel. Emily Hubbard. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398053)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Surplus Theory Wealth

Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;