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Book: Mediterranean Resilience

Chapter: A 12th-Century BCE Shipwreck Assemblage Containing Copper Ingots, from Neve-Yam, Israel

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.41503


A shipwreck assemblage from the Neve-Yam bay is described, reevaluated, and discussed in relation to the associated artifacts recovered at its site, including copper ingots, stone anchors, hematite weights, bronze artifacts, and pottery. Taking into consideration the site formation and postdepositional processes and the possible dating of the various finds, based on their typology, a radiocarbon date, and the suggested provenance of the copper ingots in the ‘Araba Valley, the cargo is dated to the transition period between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age (twelfth century BCE) known as the “crisis years.” The maritime activity and trading routes of metal in the eastern Mediterranean during these years are discussed, suggesting that the Neve-Yam shipwreck provides direct evidence for inland and maritime transport of copper during this time, when evidence for international maritime activity along the Syro-Canaanite-Anatolian coast is scarce. A holistic view from the Middle Bronze Age till Iron Age II is provided, indicating the oscillations of Mediterranean maritime activities, based on the underwater and inland finds from the southern Levant.

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