The Zooarchaeology of Southern Phoenicia: An Animal View on Cross-Mediterranean Interactions

Phoenicia was at the centre of an extensive Mediterranean trade network during the Iron Age. The flow of goods and ideas through this network to its Levantine hub is observed in the movement of pottery, artistic styles, and other manifestations of material culture. New animals and animal-related cultural knowledge must also have been introduced to Phoenicia, but we are ignorant at this stage as to the hows, whys, and wherefores of such bio-cultural flow. Recent excavations at the important southern Phoenician sites of Tel Dor, Tell Keisan, Tel Akko and Achziv have employed systematic, high-resolution faunal recovery techniques that enable a multi-site zooarchaeological study of the Phoenician homeland. The proposed study will address the subject of biocultural change in Iron Age Phoenicia by testing the hypothesis that increasing Mediterranean connectivity resulted in greater diversity of livestock phenotypes and husbandry strategies, access to distant fisheries and exotic fish, and importation of animal butchery and consumption practices. 

The research is led by Dr. Irit Zohar, Mr. Ghavin Deonarian, and Ms. Sierra Harding.

The project is funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF Grant 252/19 to Nimrod Marom).