A Lesbian Amphora From Tel Qudadi

Gee, I didn’t know amphorae had sexual orientation. Science Daily (and other places) has a report on 8th – early 7th century BCE Tel Qudadi. Tel Qudadi is on the shore of the Mediterranean, within the Tel Aviv megalopolis. Here the abnormally interesting part,

One of the key finds, say researchers, is an amphora (a large jar used to transport oil or wine) which hails from the Greek island of Lesbos. The existence of the artefact, together with a re-assessment of the local ceramic assemblage of Tel Qudadi, has helped researchers to re-calculate the timeline of the site’s operation. Amazingly, it seems to be the earliest example of the Lesbian amphorae discovered so far in the Mediterranean, including the island of Lesbos itself.

As the article points out, one amphora does not indicate an ongoing trading partnership or even a recognized trade route. Put it is as least suggestive of something. The article implies that the amphora came from Lesbos and is, therefore, not a local imitation. Having not as yet read the underlying technical papers, I’m not sure if this is based on scientific analysis or the intuitions of the archaeologists.
The journalistic reports follow Alexander Fantalkin and Oren Tal’s November 2009 Palestine Exploration Fund, paper “Re-discovering the Iron Age Fortress at Tell Qudadi in the Context of the Neo-Assyrian Imperialistic Policies,” 188-206 and their recent, 2010, BABESH: Annual Papers on Mediterranean Archaeology 85:1-12, paper “Reassessing the Date of the Beginning of the Grey Series Transport Amphorae from Lesbos” 1-12.

4 thoughts on “A Lesbian Amphora From Tel Qudadi”

  1. I’m not sure if this is based on scientific analysis or the intuitions of the archaeologists.
    Hmm, we archaeologists intuit pretty well, truth be known.
    All best wishes for a particularly Abnormal and Happy 2011.
    Judith

  2. Judith,
    I never thought otherwise. I even think that learned intuition is very valuable when there is little else to go on. But sometimes there are interesting surprises. The Aphek origin of a tablet containing the text of a letter addressed to the governor Aphek from the governor of Ugarit comes to mind. Why was this physical tablet made of clay from the Aphek area rather than clay from Ugarit? Until very recently, every one “intuited” that it was make in Ugarit. And Happy 2011 to you!.

  3. Is it typically in Mediterranean studies to refer to an object distinguished as being from Lesbos as “lesbian” rather than “lesbosian” (or even “lesvosian”)?

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