Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, MA: Archaeology

First Advisor

Randall W. Younker


Problem. The seasons at Tall Jalul conducted between 1992-2007 yielded 77 terracotta fragments of objects commonly called figurines. These figurine fragments are styled after humans and animals. This present study has two major objectives: (1) to catalog the 77 exemplars of various types found at Tall Jalul and (2) to analyze that catalog with respect to factors such as figurine type, date, geographical locus, and archaeological context. -- Method. Forty-two fragments out of the total 77 were examined in the Horn Archaeological Museum at Andrews University. Those that have been allocated to the Department of Antiquities of Jordan were examined through available drawings at the Horn Archaeological Museum. The primary source for dating was through the pottery typology of the ceramics found in the same locus as the object. All available field loci reports were consulted as to the date of the pottery, geographical locus, and archaeological context. A secondary method of dating was the use of parallels from published excavation reports from Israel and Jordan. This was employed for all figurines but especially for those figurines that were surface fines or for when the field loci reports were incomplete. No final reports have been published, and only preliminary dates could be established for all the figurines. As to the hue, value, and chroma of each figurine, the Munsell Soil Color Chart was consulted. The figurines in Table 1 are listed in chronological order under “Object No.” by year. They are divided into 12 basic categories based on the classification of Holland and are listed in chronological order under these classifications. Concerning classification order, humans are first, female, then male, followed by animals, bovinae, then horses, concluding with the classification miscellaneous/unidentified. Figurines are introduced under their object number and type, followed by a description and then parallels. -- Results. The figurines found at Tall Jalul represent various aspects of the material culture of the inhabitants of the site. Cultic activities are represented by plaque and possible pillar figurines. Other cultic figurines would include heads to the horse and rider figurines; however, in many cases the purpose of the object is uncertain. In summary no particular interpretive model can solely be used. Thus, figurines representing humans and animals, as well as vessels with anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs, might have played different cultural roles. No special indication for pointing to the potential symbolism and function of the figurines has been discovered at Tall Jalul. Human figurines, some 29 examples, comprise the majority of all figurines found in the first eight seasons at Tall Jalul. Females (16 examples) represent the largest group among the humans followed by 10 males. Among 21 examples of animal figurines, Horses (13 examples) represent the largest group among the animals. Then follow fragments of Bovinae (4 examples). As to the dating, most examples so far have been discovered in earth loci. In these cases pottery typology has been the method for dating with parallel dating as a secondary means. Many figurines, because of iconographic characteristics and style, can be dated to the Late Iron II/Persian period. -- Conclusions. Over the course of the past 15 years several fields at Tall Jalul have been excavated. These fields have been labeled A-G and include large segments of the area of the tell. All fields have yielded figurines. Both anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines have been found. Preliminary dating of most figurines is to the Late Iron II/Persian period.

Subject Area

Figurines, Ancient--Jordan., Figurines, Ancient--Catalogs., Terra-cotta figurines, Ancient--Jordan., Terra-cotta figurines, Ancient--Catalogs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.


Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."