The local Iron Age pottery from selected strata at Tel Yin'am, Eastern Lower Galilee, Israel
Tel Yin'am and nearby Khirbet Beit Gan are the only excavated sites in the Yavne'el Valley, which constituted part of an ancient international highway that connected the hinterland of the Hauran (modern-day Syria) with the Mediterranean coast. As one of the few multi-occupational, small rural sites excavated in the Eastern Lower Galilee, Tel Yin'am, which was occupied intermittently from the Neolithic period to the Roman period (6500 BCE–325 CE), provides a critical link in the occupation history and material culture of northern (modern-day) Israel.
Concentrating on critical selected Iron Age strata (1200–732 BC), this study focuses on the mostly unpublished domestic pottery assemblages, subjecting the various ceramic forms to classification and development analysis, and comparing them to contemporary pottery assemblages from proximate and distant, rural and urban sites in Cisjordan and Transjordan. Through diachronic and synchronic analyses, I succeeded in: (1) developing a picture of the ceramic history of domestic types at Tel Yin'am during the Iron Age; (2) providing both relative and absolute dates for this ceramic assemblage; (3) placing the assemblage into the broader ceramic context of the Iron Age in northern Cisjordan and Transjordan; (4) highlighting the important role of roads and ancient highways and how they impacted on the history of Tel Yin'am and its material culture in the Iron Age, thereby closing a gap in the knowledge of the history of rural life and culture in the Yavne'el Valley in the Iron Age; and (5) gaining an understanding of the approximately 500-year history of consistent and changing points of contact between Tel Yin'am and other sites that lay along the highways traversing the northern Lower Galilee.