This project is dealing with the synchronisation of the relative chronologies of selected sites from the Levant with the relative chronology of Tell el-Dabʿa. Aside from pottery, small finds, historical texts and the results of scientific analyses will be taken into account.



The goal of this project is the synchronisation of relative chronologies and modern stratigraphic excavations along the Levantine coast (Israel, Lebanon and Syria) from the period of the Middle and Early Late Bronze Age (ca. 1950–1450 BC) with the relative chronology and stratigraphy of Tell el-Dabʿa, thus embedding them in the framework of the historical chronology of Egypt. In addition to the existing historical texts, scientific results such as 14C dates and pumice analyses will be incorporated.

The excavation site of Tell el-Dabʿa is located in the north-eastern Nile Delta, at the most easterly of the ancient branches of the Nile. Due to its favourable geographical position, people started to settle there at the end of the Middle Kingdom in the Middle Bronze Age and turned the place into a major trade centre of its time. A mixture of Egyptian and Middle Bronze Age material culture formed the material culture of Avaris (the ancient Egyptian name of this city). This fact, as well as the historical link of the ancient city by two datum lines (a stele dating to the 5th year of the reign of Sesostris III and the conquest of Avaris/Tell el-Dabʿa at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty) to the Egyptian chronology, makes this excavation ideal for the proposed project.

Whenever possible, the comparative studies will be carried out on site of the respective excavations in coordination with the excavators and specialists. Special attention will be paid to the occurrence of Egyptian ceramics in the Levant, which so far either have been ignored or not identified as such.

In addition to the material from current excavations, significant antiquarian finds from various museums will be re-examined to evaluate these in the light of new chronological considerations. A particular focus will be the funerary material from the Middle Bronze Age tombs of Byblos (in the National Museum of Beirut) and the Egyptian material or imitations of Egyptian material from Tell el-Ajjul (some of it housed in Jerusalem and London).

Principal investigator