Abstract

This article examines the development and spatial distribution of loom weights in Tel Reḥov and its vicinity during the twelfth through eighth centuries BCE. Non-perforated cylindrical weights (“spools”), dated to the early twelfth century BCE, are discussed in relation to their appearance in the Mediterranean world. Clay weights of the eleventh and tenth centuries were replaced during the tenth and mainly the ninth century BCE by specialized production of gypsum weights, only to be replaced again by clay weights in the eighth century BCE. The ninth-century textile industry (mainly of linen) at Tel Reḥov exceeds household needs and probably reflects commercial activity within the Northern Kingdom of Israel and perhaps beyond, towards the Phoenician coast and Cyprus. A relationship between weaving and ritual activities is suggested.

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