Monday, November 25, 2019

Chalcolithic Culture in the Levant essays

Chalcolithic Culture in the Levant essays The origins of Chalcolithic (approximately 4300-3300 BCE) culture in the Levant are debatable. Arguments exist that the culture developed locally as well as that the culture was intrusive introduced by immigrants to the region. While valid claims can be made for both sides, it is far more reasonable to surmise that Chalcolithic culture formed due to a combinative effect. Certain forms of pottery and methods of working copper show an Iranian influence which may have reached the Levant via Mesopotamia. To say that Chalcolithic culture was entirely intrusive would, however, be premature. The unique nature of Chalcolithic tradition, art and technology does not lend itself to such simple explanation. It would be more feasible to deduce that the advancements made during the Chalcolithic period were brought about by an assimilation of immigrant and indigenous cultures and technologies. While a number of important technological, economic, and social changes may have occurred during this period in the Levant, the most distinguishing feature of Chalcolithic culture was the advancement in copper working. In fact, the name of the period, Chalcolithic, is based on the fact that some dig sites show widespread use of copper; the prefix chalco is based on the Greek word chalcos which translates to copper. Artifacts show that mining and metallurgical skills advanced greatly, as evidenced by copper objects from the Nahal Mishmar Cave of the Treasure which were very skillfully crafted using the lost-wax technique. Copper mines in the Wadi Feinan area of Jordan, south of the Dead Sea, seem to have contributed to the availability of the metal while sites such as Shiqmim show evidence for copper working scattered across much of the site, perhaps indicating that it was a household craft industry. Though copper work was the most defining facet of Chalcolithic culture, other adv a...

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