2017-2018 Grant in Aid of Research

The Collared Pithos of Jordan

Trisha E. Broy

The collared pithos is a very tall ovaloid-ceramic storage vessel peculiar to the Iron Age Levant, and particularly prevalent in the central highlands of Israel. In this region the form appears shortly after or near the time of the settlement of the Israelites and disappears by the time of the divided monarchy. It is a closed form that typically stands about one meter tall and has a rounded point base. The pithos is roughly 50 cm in diameter at its widest point, making it half as wide as it is tall. Due to the terra incognita nature of the Jordanian data preceding the last few decades, the overwhelming majority of past studies on the collared pithos focused almost exclusively on the form as it is known from Israel. Until the thorough and independent examination of the vessel in Jordan can be included, the overall understanding of the collared pithos is incomplete. Excavations in Jordan have begun to reveal a different chronological scope and evolution of form than is observed in Israel. Although any hard division between the regions is somewhat artificial, they are not so interdependent as to have identical ceramic horizons. My doctoral study endeavors to bridge the research synthesis gap and comprehensively examine recovered collared pithoi from all available Iron Age archaeological sites in Jordan before comparing and contrasting them with similar examples from Israel for the sake of “global” analysis. Through this inquiry, it should be possible to establish a stratigraphically-based chronology and typology for the form in Jordan.