BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF A LATE BRONZE AGE SKELETAL ASSEMBLAGE FROM KATARET ES-SAMRA, JORDAN
Two tombs from approximately the Late Bronze Age IB and IC (ca. 1400–1300 B.C.E.) were discovered at Tell Kataret es-Samra, Jordan and excavated in 1978 and 1985. Until this thesis, the skeletal remains had not been fully studied, with only an unsystematic osteological description of Tomb 2 published in 2017. The Late Bronze Age signals a period of transition within the Near East during which many Mediterranean and Levantine civilizations underwent notable political, economic, and settlement shifts theoretically related to growing global trade and the impact of the Egyptian empire. The LBA IB and IC in particular represent the height of Egyptian power and influence in the Cisjordan. Despite many Late Bronze/Early Iron Age cemetery excavations in the southern Levant, little skeletal material has been studied, and those assemblages that have been studied produced only nominal descriptions rather than an interpretive and analytical perspective. Bioarchaeological data can provide a novel perspective on both the health and diet effects of social change, and the information derived could provide a new understanding of this period of Jordanian history. This thesis establishes an updated MNI for both tombs, as well as a systematic study of skeletal lesions that can illuminate physiological stress and malnutrition in addition to morbidity and mortality patterns more successfully than a descriptive report.
East Carolina University