Ancient Pottery from the Middle Bronze Period.
This set of vessels is dated to the Middle Bronze Age IIB-C (1750- 1550 BC). The Middle Bronze Age marked an important change in the history of the Land of Israel after the decline of the Intermediate Bronze Age (24th – 20th Century BC).
In this time many settlements were abandoned, a wave of new settlers and new established cities began to sweep the land.
One of the dominant characteristics of the Middle Bronze Age was the construction of developed fortification systems around the established cities (Among the important cities in Canaan during the period are Jericho, Beit She’an, Hatzor, Lachish and more).
Along with the development of urban life, there was also a significant development in the field of material culture, with the advent of ceramics of a very high quality.
The Middle Bronze Age is of historical-cultural importance mainly due to its identification with the ” Patriarchs period” described in the Bible. For many generations scholars have dealt with the question of the historical background of Abraham’s journey from Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan, and have attempted to date it within the period.
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. (Genesis 25)
Although an answer to this question has not yet been obtained with certainty, it can be determined with some degree of certainty that the stories of the patriarchs (including those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) echo the real-cultural context of the Middle Bronze Age.
This set of pottery includes a bowl and a pitcher which are dated to the second part of the Middle Bronze Age (MB IIB-C), corresponding to the Patriarchs stories and the Canaanite period.
Both vessels represent the general development of the ceramics that occurred during this period: The bowl shown in the set is from a shallow round-sided type, and has a simple rim and a shallow ring base.
The juglet in the set, meanwhile, is a great example of the “Dipper pitcher”, and has an elongated oval-shaped body and a pinched mouth. These vessels in the set present examples of items that were very common during the Middle Bronze Age: the use of clay bowls of this type was common in meals in which food was served in these wide, shallow bowls. As for the Dipper juglet, it was a very common tool by which water was scarce.
This set of ancient vessels is a typical example of vessels that were in the Canaanite household during the period of the Patriarchs, as described in the book of Genesis.