Book: Framing Archaeology in the Near East
Chapter: New Social Perspectives on Intermediate Bronze Age Burial Practices at Jericho
Dame Kathleen Kenyon excavated a large Intermediate Bronze Age cemetery at Jericho in the 1950s. She identified several types of shaft tombs, distinct by their location, shape, body treatment and repertoire of grave goods placed inside them. In this paper I re-examine the burial practices and the grave offering distribution, considering the cultural context and cognitive aspects that influenced the creation of the archaeological record. I argue that the burial record teaches of a social complexity and a separation based on gender and age, and attempt to define which social group was buried in each of the tomb types. This study strengthens the argument for the great importance given to burial and its rituals during the Intermediate Bronze Age.