The societies that developed in the eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age produced the most prolific and diverse range of stone vessel traditions known at any time or anywhere in the world. Stone vessels are therefore a key class of artefact in the early history of this region. As a form of archaeological evidence, they offer important analytical advantages over other artefact types - virtual indestructibility, a wide range of functions and values, huge variety in manufacturing traditions, as well as the subtractive character of stone and its rich potential for geological provenancing. In this 2007 book, Andrew Bevan considers individual stone vessel industries in great detail. He also offers a highly comparative and value-led perspective on production, consumption and exchange logics throughout the eastern Mediterranean over a period of two millennia during the Bronze Age (ca.3000–1200 BC).
• Scope of the analysis is uniquely wide, covering the entire eastern Mediterranean across two millennia • Deliberate shifts in analytical scale from the highly contextual and detailed to the broadly comparative • Addresses an overarching concern with the relationship between material cultural and regimes of value in society
1. Introduction; 2. Agreeing on things; 3. Moving people, objects and ideas; 4. Making stone vessels; 5. The third millennium BC; 6. The earlier second millennium; 7. The later second millennium; 8. The rough and the smooth: stone vessels from a comparative perspective; 9. Forging value and casting stones; Appendix.
Review of the hardback: '… should be in every serious library.' American Journal of Archaeology