Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Biblical and/or Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, PhD

First Advisor

Randall W. Younker

Second Advisor

Paul J. Ray

Third Advisor

Paul Z. Gregor



Several scholars have debated the traditional and low chronology of the Iron Age in Southern Levant using pottery as one of their main pieces of evidence. Both approaches disagree in regards to the dates assigned to the early Iron Age II pottery. To achieve a better understanding of the problem, the still rudimentary knowledge of Iron Age II pottery in Transjordan needs to be improved. Since 1992, Tall Jalul—the largest tell site in the central Jordan plateau—has been due for a comprehensive study of its ceramic assemblages. The site produced Iron Age IIA-C pottery in stratified layers, and it has the potential to contribute to the enlightenment of the debate mentioned above. Therefore, Tall Jalul’s Iron Age II pottery and its chronological horizons require a more robust study, in conjunction with historical sources.


The methodology used in this discussion is a comparative analysis of Iron Age IIA, IIB, IIC of Jalul ceramics with those of Tall al-‘Umayri and Tall Hisban and other relevant sites in the region when necessary. The method used to convey this analysis includes the selection of Jalul pottery from Field G4 that is relevant for a typological and chronological study; and a typological examination of this pottery.

The Results

The Courtyard and Pottery Room in Field G4 differ in their stratigraphy and ceramic accumulation. The Courtyard Room displays three phases of ceramic development: Iron Age IIA and earlier forms, Iron Age IIB, and a transitional subperiod of Iron Age IIB-IIC. This is consistent with the stratigraphy, which rests mainly on the architectural development of the building. Meanwhile, the Pottery Room contains a solid transitional subperiod Iron Age IIB-IIC and a probable phase of Iron Age IIB. Both rooms display a similar repertoire, but the Pottery Room seems to have undergone a different process of accumulation of both the debris and the pottery, especially during Iron Age IIB-IIC. Judging by the number, quality, and variety of vessels found in the Pottery room, it seems safe to conclude that its residents belonged to a wealthy family, which used this room as a storage room. The existence of Moabite ceramics is substantiated by the parallels of multicolor painted pottery, and square rimmed cooking pots (7CPSSvTe). Their parallels at Tall Mādabā, Khirbat al-Mudayna on the Wadi ath-Thamad, Tall Jawa, Baluʿa, Hisban, Tall Al-Hammam, Dibon, and Tall Mādabā, indicate that there is a geographical closeness with the Moabite territory. Discounting body sherds, nine types of vessels (10BoFSiTe, 1BoRSvS, 11CPRSiTe, 28JuRBsS, 42JuRFeR1, 37JuXBsR1, 48JuXXX, 1KSSiTe, 1PFXXX) with multicolor paint show that there was an important cultural influence starting during the Iron IIB and extending to Iron IIC. As regards Jalul’s registry of red slipped burnished ware, it seems at least in both the Courtyard and Pottery Rooms that this type of pottery precedes the appearance of painted pottery that appears mainly during Iron Age IIB-IIC. Finally, the list of parallels indicates that several types have a long life, sometimes more than two centuries, while others have a shorter range of time. Therefore, the idea of an assemblage for a particular period lasting less than a century seems unfeasible.


The typological study of Jalul ceramic assemblage from Square G4 shows that Phase 3 contains Iron IIA or earlier forms. Phase 2 contains Iron IIB pottery types, some of which are typical Jordanian pottery. In this phase there is also some red burnished ware that seems to precede the appearance of multicolor pottery. Phase 1 seems to be a transitional subperiod Iron Age IIB-IIC. This phase contains most of the multicolor painted pottery. The parallels of painted pottery and square rims suggest their probable connection with Moabite ceramic. The particularities and distinction of this type of pottery show that during the Iron Age IIB occurred an influx of new cultural material that can be associated with sociological changes. Besides the more distinctive Moabite traits, there are other forms that form part of the Iron Age IIB pottery horizon which is seen in the Iron IIB room at Umayri and the Iron IIB forms found at Hesban and Madaba.

Subject Area

Jalul, Tall (Jordan); Pottery, Ancient--Jordan--Jalul, Tall; Jordan--Antiquities


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