Assessing Ancient Vertical Integration: Copper Production in Early Bronze Age Southern Levant

Author(s): Aaron Gidding

Year: 2015


In the later part of the Early Bronze Age (~2800 BCE - 2500 BCE) the collapse of the first "urban" settlements was beginning. That collapse led to a period predominantly identified with ruralism and pastoralism, the Early Bronze IV (~2500 BCE - 2000 BCE). Within this context, the site of Khirbat Hamra Ifdan (KHI) was founded and sustained as a copper manufactory in the peripheral Faynan district of southern Jordan, unprecedented in scale and close to the source of copper ore. Before the foundation of KHI, copper production had been disparate across the southern Levant, with multiple sites showing evidence of local production. This revelation highlights a conundrum regarding how an export oriented commodity like copper would flourish in the face of the social collapse occurring across the rest of the Levant and neighboring regions as the Early Bronze Age came to a close. Typically one would expect such an intensification to be impossible in the face of urban collapse. This paper will review data for copper production during the Early Bronze Age and present a revised argument describing the relationship of the copper production and distribution system originating in Faynan to the surrounding region.

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Assessing Ancient Vertical Integration: Copper Production in Early Bronze Age Southern Levant. Aaron Gidding. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398236)

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Spatial Coverage

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