Although potmarks were discovered at many archaeological sites in the Near East and Egypt, interpretations of their functions vary. Despite the diversity of techniques used in potmark production (e.g. incised, painted, impressed, applied), applied potmarks were especially neglected in research, and attracted attention mostly through the so-called ram’s head applications. A recent systematic study of potmarks from the Bronze Age contexts in Lebanon has revealed not only that applied marks do exist, but they appear frequently and come in a variety of forms and combinations. Contacts between the Levant and Egypt in the Bronze Age are known both from written sources and analysis of archaeological material. The latter includes ceramic vessels imported to Egypt, some of which bear applied potmarks. This paper investigates the Early Bronze Age applied potmarks in Lebanon through a contextual lens, as well as applied potmarks found on imported vessels in Egypt. As a result, this paper offers new insights on the function of applied potmarks and the exchange practices between Egypt and Lebanon in the Early Bronze Age.
potmarks; Early Bronze Age; Lebanon; Egypt
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