Investigation of new data from recent Ben-Gurion University excavations at Mitzpe Sde Hafir and Israel Antiquities Authority excavations at Yeroḥam—Naḥal Avnon, two late EB I sites in the Western Negev and Central Negev Highlands, respectively, has revealed two zones of complex and transformational nomadic encounter with sedentary society at a pivotal phase of Egypto-Levantine connectivity during the late 4th millennium BCE. A comparative multivariate statistical analysis of ceramic assemblage profiles from these two desert sites and phases of Egypto-Levantine colonial relations at Tel Erani revealed unexpected correlations with chronological and social-evolutionary implications. Viewed within a holistic frame that considers the overall material profiles of these sites, the interplay between nomadic agency and Egyptian socio-economic and cultural influence in the region was evidently stimulative in the formation of new structures of desert-sown interaction.
Early Bronze Age; EB I; pottery; interactions; contact zone
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