The discovery of 17,000 tablets at the mid-third millennium BC site of Ebla in Syria has revolutionized the study of the ancient Near East. This is the first major English-language volume describing the multidisciplinary archaeological research at Ebla. Using an innovative regional landscape approach, the 29 contributions to this expansive volume examine Ebla in its regional context through lenses of archaeological, textual, archaeobiological, archaeometric, geomorphological, and remote sensing analysis. In doing so, they are able to provide us with a detailed picture of the constituent elements and trajectories of early state development at Ebla, essential to those studying the ancient Near East and to other archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, and linguists. This work was made possible by an IDEAS grant from the European Research Council.

part 1|127 pages

Town Archaeology

chapter 1|14 pages

A Long Journey

Fifty Years of Research on the Bronze Age at Tell Mardikh/Ebla

chapter 2|17 pages

The Royal Palace

Functions of the Quarters and the Government of the Chora

chapter 4|16 pages

Popular Iconographies in a Courtly Environment

Clay Figurines from Royal Palace G and the Coroplastic of Inner Syria during EB IVA

chapter 5|22 pages

Centralization and Redistribution

The Pottery Assemblage of Royal Palace G

chapter 6|20 pages

Form and Content

A Preliminary Functional Interpretation of the Storage Jars from Royal Palace G

chapter 7|29 pages

Working for the Elites

The Pottery Assemblage of Building P4

part 2|96 pages

Regional Archaeology

chapter 8|32 pages

Exploiting Diversity

The Archaeological Landscape of the Eblaite Chora

chapter 9|20 pages

Trends in Village Life

The Early Bronze Age Phases at Tell Tuqan

chapter 10|23 pages

Assembling the Evidence

Excavated Sites Dating from the Early Bronze Age in and around the Chora of Ebla

part 3|34 pages

Textual Evidence

chapter 12|9 pages

Defining the Chora of Ebla

A Textual Perspective

chapter 14|17 pages

Of Plants and Trees

Crops and Vegetable Resources at Ebla

part 4|51 pages

Geomorphology and Remote Sensing

chapter 15|4 pages

A Land in its Setting

Remote Sensing Satellite Imagery for the Characterization of the Eblaite Chora

chapter 17|8 pages

From Wetland to Desert

A Geomorphologic Approach to the Eblaite Chora

chapter 18|10 pages

A Thin Basis

The Soil Landscape of Ebla and Tell Tuqan

part 5|117 pages

Archaeometry and Bioarchaeology

chapter 24|10 pages

Forests Near and Far

An Anthracological Perspective on Ebla

chapter 25|18 pages

Exploiting Animals

The Zooarchaeological Evidence through the Early Bronze Age at Ebla

chapter 26|19 pages

Natural Resources, Technology and Manufacture Processes at Ebla

A Preliminary Assessment

chapter 27|6 pages

Just at that Time

14C Determinations and Analysis from EB IVA Layers

chapter 28|3 pages


In Search of an Explanatory Model for the Early Syrian State of Ebla