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Abstract

The remains of potters’ workshops, dating to the Early Bronze and Late Bronze ages, came to light during the 1930s British excavations at Tel Lachish, Israel. In the course of a recent petrographic study, well-preserved microfossils were identified in thin-sections of unfired sherds and prepared clay from these workshops. Subsequent specialist micropalaeontological analyses for both calcareous foraminifera and nannofossils were carried out in order to address a number of archaeological questions. When combined with the micropalaeontological analysis of new out-crop samples in the vicinity of the site, it is clear that clays derived from the late Eocene to early Oligocene marls and chalks, exposed at the base of the tell, were extensively used by both the Early and Late Bronze Age potters. In addition, the study has brought to light new information about their activities, particularly with regard to their choice and use of raw materials over time. We also provide new nannofossil-based age constraints on the upper Bet Guvrin Formation and the lower part of the Lachish Formation in the Lachish area.

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