The new archaeological joint project on the site of Qurayyah, north-west Arabia: results of the first two excavation seasons
Keywords:Qurayyah, Bronze Age, Hellenistic/Roman period, 14C dates, Standard Qurayyah Painted Ware
A joint multidisciplinary research project of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and the University of Vienna, the investigations of Qurayyah — through systematic and stratigraphic, controlled excavations integrated with a comprehensive programme of radiometric determinations — have, for the first time, produced a reliable chronological frame for this major 'urban' oasis of North Arabia. A new GIS-based plan was drafted. Preliminary results indicate the formation of the permanent settlement took place during the end of the third millennium cal BC, significantly earlier than previously thought. Metallurgical activities on top of the local rock plateau characterize the first settlement on the site. In addition, the dates for the production of Standard Qurayyah Painted Ware (SQPW, formerly known as 'Midianite pottery') point to the early part of the Late Bronze Age as the incipient phase of its production. Manufacture of this bichrome painted assemblage is well documented through the exploration of a furnace for ceramics of this period. An additional pottery class, Red Burnished/Barbotine pottery, is confirmed as being earlier than SQPW and present on the site since, at the latest, the beginning of the second millennium BC. A Hellenistio/Roman-period building, possibly a residence and workshop, is documented in the residential area of the site. Geomorphological investigations have focused on the agricultural landscape of the human-made oasis through selected sampling of key locations of the water collection system in Qurayyah and its immediate surroundings.
Asscher Y., Lehmann G., Rosen S.A., Weiner S. & Boaretto E. 2015. Absolute dating of the Late Bronze to Iron Age transition and the appearance of Philistine culture in Qubur El-Walaydah, southern Levant. Radiocarbon 57/1: 77–97.
Bawden G. & Edens C. 1988. Tayma painted ware and the Hejaz Iron Age ceramic tradition. Levant 20: 197–213.
Ben-Shlomo D. & Van Beek G.W. (eds). 2014. The Smithsonian Institution Excavation at Tell Jemmeh, Israel, 1970–1990. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
Bronk Ramsey C. 2017. OxCal v4.3.2. Available at https://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/oxcal.html
Cotty M. 2010. Bowl no. 208. In A.M.A.-T. Al-Ansari, Qaryat al-Fâw. Page 359 in A.I. Al-Ghabban, B. André-Salvini, F. Demange, C. Juvin & M. Cotty (eds), Roads of Arabia. Archaeology and history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paris: Louvre Éditions.
Dayton J.E. 1972. The Midianite pottery. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 5: 25–37.
de Maigret A. 1999. The Arab nomadic people and the cultural interface between the ‘Fertile Crescent’ and ‘Arabia Felix’. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 10: 220–224.
Fujii S. 2009. Flint bowlets. A comprehensive review from Wadi Abu Tulayha, MaΚan Region. Neo-Lithics 2: 20–28.
Fujii S. 2016. Wadi Ghubai and Wadi Mohorak sites: Protohistoric burial fields in the Tabuk Province, northwestern Arabia. Pages 115–134 in M. Luciani (ed.), The Archaeology of North Arabia. Oases and landscapes. Proceedings of the International Congress held at the University of Vienna, December, 5th–8th 2013. (OREA Archaeological Series, 4). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Al-Ghazi A.S. 2010. The Kingdom of Midian. Pages 211–217 in A.I. Al-Ghabban, B. André-Salvini, F. Demange, C. Juvin & M. Cotty (eds), Roads of Arabia. Archaeology and history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paris: Louvre Éditions.
Glueck N. 1967. Some Edomite pottery from Tell el-Kheleifeh. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 188: 8–38.
Hanisch-Gräfe H., Hausleiter A., Intilia A. & Kose A. 2008. Archaeological observations at Qurayyah. Spring 2008. Pages 19–38 in A. Bussas, M. Grottker, P. Keilholz, K. Wellbrock, A. Patzelt, M. Engel ... P. Schneider, Report on archaeological and hydrological investigations at Qurayyah (Tabuk province) and on archaeological and geo-archaeological investigations at Dumat al-Jandal (al-Jawf province), 2008. Report presented to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Berlin/Riyadh. [Unpublished].
Hatton T. 2016. Auswertung eines GPS: Festpunktfeldes als Grundlage fur archaologische Ausgrabungen in Qurayyah, Saudi-Arabien. Bacherlorarbeit, Hochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden. [Unpublished].
Hauptmann A. 2007. The archaeometallurgy of copper. Evidence from Faynan, Jordan. Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer.
Hausleiter A. 2014. Pottery groups of the late 2nd/early 1st millennia BC in northwest Arabia and new evidence from the excavations at Tayma. Pages 399–434 in M. Luciani & A. Hausleiter (eds), Recent trends in the study of Late Bronze Age ceramics in Syro-Mesopotamia and neighbouring regions. Proceedings of the International Workshop Held in Berlin, November, 2–5, 2006. (Orient Archäologie, 32). Berlin: Rahden.
Hausleiter A. & Eichmann R. 2018. The archaeological exploration of the oasis of Tayma. Pages 2–53 in A. Hausleiter, R. Eichmann & M. Al-Najem (eds), Tayma I. Reports 1. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Hüneburg L.S. 2016. GIS-gestützte geomorphologische Kartierung und Analyse im Umfeld der archäologischen Stätte Qurayyah (Saudi-Arabien), BSc thesis, Freie Universität Berlin. [Unpublished].
Hüneburg L.S., Hoelzmann P., Knitter D., Teichert B., Richter C., Lüthgens C., Alsaud A.S. & Luciani M. (forthcoming). Living at the wadi: Integrating geomorphology and archaeology at the oasis of Qurayyah (NW Arabia). Journal of Maps.
Ingraham M.L., Johnson T.D., Rihani B. & Shatla I. 1981. Saudi Arabian Comprehensive Archaeological Survey Program: Preliminary report on a reconnaissance survey of the Northwestern Province (with a note on a brief survey of the Northern Province). Atlal 5: 59–84.
Intilia A. 2016. Qurayyah Painted Ware: A reassessment of 40 years of research on its origins, chronology and distribution. Pages 172–256 in M. Luciani (ed.), The archaeology of North Arabia. Oases and landscapes. Proceedings of the International Congress held at the University of Vienna, December, 5th–8th 2013. (OREA Archaeological Series, 4). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Kleiman S., Kleiman A. & Ben-Yosef E. 2017. Metalworkers’ material culture in the Early Iron Age Levant: The ceramic assemblage from Site 34 (Slaves’ Hill) in the Timna Valley. Tel Aviv 44/2: 232–264.
Liu S., Rehren T., Pernicka E. & Hausleiter A. 2015. Copper processing in the oases of northwest Arabia: Technology, alloys and provenance. Journal of Archaeological Science 53: 492–503.
Luciani M. 2014a. Qurayyah in northwestern Arabia. Archaeological research between Levant and Hejaz. Poster presented at the 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, June 9–13, 2014, University of Basel. Abstracts book: 153. Available at https://univie.academia.edu/MartaLuciani (accessed 5/9/2016).
Luciani M. 2014b. Key issues in the investigation and study of Late Bronze Age pottery. Pages 1–17 in M. Luciani & A. Hausleiter (eds), Recent trends in the study of Late Bronze Age ceramics in Syro-Mesopotamia and neighbouring regions. Proceedings of the international workshop held in Berlin, November, 2–5, 2006. (Orient Archäologie, 32). Berlin: Rahden.
Luciani M. 2016. Mobility, contacts and the definition of culture(s) in new archaeological research in northwest Arabia. Pages 21–56 in M. Luciani (ed.), The archaeology of North Arabia. Oases and landscapes. Proceedings of the International Congress held at the University of Vienna, December, 5th–8th 2013. (OREA Archaeological Series, 4). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Luciani M. 2018. Pottery from the ‘Midianite Heartland’? On Tell Kheleifeh and Qurayyah Painted Ware. New evidence from the Harvard Semitic Museum. Pages 392–438 in L. Nehmé & A.M. Jallad (eds), To the Madbar and back again: Studies in the languages, archaeology, and cultures of Arabia dedicated to Michael C.A. Macdonald. Leiden/New York: Brill.
Luciani M. (forthcoming, a). Transitions in material culture of the 2nd millennium BCE: The Middle Bronze to Late Bronze Age shift seen from northwest Arabia. In A. Hausleiter (ed.), Material worlds: Interdisciplinary approaches to contacts and exchange in the ancient Near East. Proceedings of the workshop held at ISAW, New York, on March 7th, 2016.
Luciani M. (forthcoming, b). On the formation of ‘urban’ oases in Arabia: New evidence from the north west. In Luciani M. (ed.), The archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula 2: Connecting the evidence. Paper presented at the 10th ICAANE Workshop, Vienna, April 25, 2016. (OREA Archaeological Series). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Luciani M. & Alsaud A.S. 2016. Joint Saudi Arabian-Austrian archaeological expedition at Qurayyah. 2016 campaign. Second Weekly Report, 18 November 2016. Report submitted to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Riyadh. [Unpublished].
Luciani M. & Alsaud A.S. (in press). Qurayyah 2015. 1st Report on the Joint Saudi Arabian-Austrian Archaeological Project. Atlal 27: 1–46.
Luciani M. & Machel L. (forthcoming). Square Q3: results of the 2011–2014 Campaigns. In A. Hausleiter, R. Eichmann, M.H. al-Najem & S.F. al-Said, Report on the 2014 excavation campaign at Tayma. Atlal.
Luciani M., Binder M. & Alsaud A.S. (this volume). Life and living conditions in north-west Arabia during the Bronze Age: First results from the bioarchaeological work at Qurayyah. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 48: 185–200.
Luciani M., Hausleiter A., al-Njem M., Messal S. & Lüth F. 2015. Saudi-Austrian Joint Archaeological Project at Qurayyah. Geomagnetic Survey 2015. Report presented to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Riyadh. [Unpublished].
Lüthgens C. (forthcoming). Fractured springs. In L.S. Hüneburg, P. Hoelzmann, D. Knitter, B. Teichert, C. Richter, C. Lüthgens ... M. Luciani, Living at the wadi: Integrating geomorphology and archaeology at the oasis of Qurayyah (NW Arabia). Journal of Maps.
Parr P.J. 1988. Pottery of the late second millennium B.C. from North West Arabia and its historical implications. Pages 73–89 in D.T. Potts (ed.), Araby the blest. Studies in Arabian archaeology. (Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies Publications, 7). Copenhagen: Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of Copenhagen, Museum Tusculanum Press.
Parr P.J. 2004. John Dayton and the founding of the Seminar for Arabian Studies. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 34: xvii–xviii.
Parr P.J., Harding G.L. & Dayton J.E. 1970. Preliminary survey in N.W. Arabia, 1968. Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, University of London 8/9: 193–242.
Reimer P.J., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck W., Blackwell P.G., Bronk Ramsey C. ... van der Plicht J. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine 13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55/4: 1869–1887.
Rothenberg B. 1988. The Egyptian mining temple at Timna. Researches in the Arabah 1959–1984. The Arabah Project sponsored by Stiftung Volkwagenwerk and Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies. (Institute of Archaeology, University College, London). London: Thames and Hudson.
Rothenberg B. & Glass J. 1983. The Midianite pottery. Pages 65–124 in J.F.A. Sawyer & D.J.A. Clines (eds), Midian, Moab and Edom. The history and archaeology of Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and north-west Arabia. (Journal of the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series 24). Sheffield: Journal of the Study of the Old Testament Press.
Schmid S.G. 2000. Die Feinkeramik der Nabatäer. Typologie, Chronologie und kulturhistorische Hintergründe. Pages 1–200 in S.G. Schmid & B. Kolb, Petra ez–Zantur II. 1. Ergebnisse der Schweizerisch-Liechtensteinischen Ausgrabungen. (Terra Archaeologica, 4.) Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.
Al-Shehry M.M. 2014. FaΉΉār dādān Ήilāl al-mawsamayn al-Ήāmis 1429 H wa-l-sādis 1430 H. Dirāsah taΉlīliyyah. (Silsilat dirāsāt ΜaΓariyyah muΉakkamah 27). Riyadh: al-hayΜah al-Κāmmah li-l-siyāΉah wa-l-ΜāΓār [Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities].
Singer-Avitz L. 2014. The date of the Qurayyah Painted Ware in the southern Levant. Antiguo Oriente 12: 123–148.
Tourtet F., Daszkiewicz M. & Hausleiter A. (forthcoming). Pottery from Tayma: Chronostratigraphy, archaeometric studies, cultural interaction. In M. Luciani (ed.), The archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula 2: Connecting the evidence. Paper presented at the 10th ICAANE workshop, Vienna, April 25, 2016. (OREA Archaeological Series). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Zorn J.R. 2001. Wedge- and circle-impressed pottery: An Arabian connection. Pages 689–698 in S.R. Wolff (ed.), Studies in the archaeology of Israel and neighboring lands in memory of Douglas L. Esse. (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations, 59). (The American Schools of Oriental Research Books, 5). Chicago/Atlanta: American Schools of Oriental Research.
How to Cite
Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK