Faience beads from Early Bronze Age contexts at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel

Adi Eliyahu Behar, Shira Albaz, Itzhaq Shai, Aren M. Maeir, Haskel J. Greenfield

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A total of thirty-eight beads, including one pendant securely dated to the Early Bronze Age III, were recently unearthed at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. The beads were subjected to analysis by FTIR spectrometry in order to identify the mineralogy and materials used for their making. Among the various materials identified, such as carnelian, steatite and shells, twenty-five were made of faience. The microstructure and chemical composition of two faience beads were analyzed by electron microscopy and are the focus of this short report. Results show that cementation glazing was most likely used for one, whereas efflorescence glazing was most probably used in the production of the other. These preliminary results shed light on the variability that existed in manufacturing procedures and choice of raw materials for the production of early vitreous materials during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Beads
  • Early Bronze Age
  • FTIR
  • Faience
  • Microstructure analysis
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath


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