The cooking pots of Tall Zira´a. A typological and functional analysis of the corpus of finds from the Early Bronze Age to the late Iron Age
The thesis concentrates on the finds of prehistoric cooking pots of the Tall Zirā'a, an archaeological tall in North-Jordan, containing evidence of continuous settlement from the Early Bronze Age to the Islamic periods. Since 2001, the settlement mound has been archaeologically opened up under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Vieweger from the Biblical Archaeological Institute Wuppertal; since 2004 also by the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land in the context of the "Gadara Region Project".
Because of its settlement without any cultural gaps, the Tall Zirā'a provides almost ideal conditions for examining an object through the ages. Even if cooking pots might not necessarily meet aesthetic demands as compared to other kinds of pots or vessels, their examination is more than worthwhile due to the high technical requirements of material and production. This also raises the question of how the potters have mastered their task in the different ages. Furthermore, cooking pots provide crucial cultural insights into one of the most important spheres of everyday life.
The thesis is mainly developed on grounds of the archaeological finds. In its main chapter, it conducts a typology of the cooking pots and assembles them chronologically on the basis of statistical analysis and extensive comparisons with the finds of selected archaeological sites east and west of the Jordan. Here, also baking trays, often neglected in other research, are examined in detail. Other chapters of the thesis deal with the material, the production and the use of cooking pots, as well as their occurrence in selected buildings of various purposes and ages. In its more theoretical sections, the thesis reflects on the basic principles of archiving archaeological material, methods for the study of pottery finds, and the problem of rearranging broken fragments.