Imported fine ware in Palaestina secunda: Geographic, economic, and ethnic aspects

Uzi Leibner, Chaim Ben David

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Archaeological documentation of imports in a given region can contribute to our knowledge about ancient economy and society. This paper deals with imported fine ware between the fourth and seventh centuries in northern Israel, later known as Palaestina Secunda. Samples of imports from two field surveys covering dozens of rural sites in the region are presented and compared with published assemblages from excavated sites. An analysis of these findings indicates that such vessels were first imported to the region in the fourth century from North Africa and Cyprus and were followed by imports from Asia Minor from the ffth century on. The quantities of imported wares, found at sites ranging from large poleis to the smallest and most remote villages, indicate that these vessels were not limited to the higher social strata but were common and widely accessible. Contrary to previous opinions, the findings show that Jews did not avoid using imported pottery during this period. It seems, however, that Samaritans avoided using these imports, probably due to their stringent purity laws. The paper concludes with a discussion of the economic implications that may be drawn from this phenomenon of abundant imports.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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