Consuming Passions

A Contextual Study of the Local Consumption of Mycenaean Pottery at Tell el-Ajjul


  • Louise Steel University of Wales, Lampeter



Mycenaean pottery, patterns of trade


This paper re-examines the little known corpus of Mycenaean imports to Tell el-Ajjul. Specifically, it evaluates the evidence for the incorporation of this imported pottery within everyday life and death at the site, in order to assess the extent to which it impacted on local culture. While Mycenaean imports denote privileged access to the luxury commodities of Mediterranean trade in the later second millennium BC, the main axis of external contacts in the Gaza region is constructed within the context of the Egyptian New Kingdom state. Localised patterns of trade, especially with Cyprus and the Jordan valley, are more apparent in the context of the southern limits of the Levant. Egypt, however, was the major cultural referent in the construction of local identities. This is reflected in the range of Mycenaean pottery found at Ajjul which largely parallels that found in Egypt.

Author Biography

Louise Steel, University of Wales, Lampeter

Louise Steel is a Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Her postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh focused on issues of consumption of Mycenaean pottery in Cyprus and the Levant. Since 1998 she has co-directed excavations at the LBA site of el-Moghraqa as part of the Anglo-Palestinian Gaza Research Project.



How to Cite

Steel, L. (2002). Consuming Passions: A Contextual Study of the Local Consumption of Mycenaean Pottery at Tell el-Ajjul. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 15(1), 25–51.