This complete bowl has a simple shape with a straight rim and rounded bottom. It bears two horizontally incised lines and a single handle, placed horizontally, in the shape of an ear. This small container was likely used to process food in the kitchen as it bears fire marks.
Discovered during the excavation of a group of domestic habitats associated with shell processing areas, the bowl is dated by Carbon-14 to the late 2nd millennium (1531-1131 BCE).
During the Bronze Age period in Qatar a sedentary way of life was maintained. Important seasonal settlements existed on the east coast at Lusail and on the island of Bin Ghanim (Al Khor). The dwellings consisted of semi-subterranean huts, with floors dug into the ground and low walls barely above ground level. They were probably covered with grass or reed thatch.
The economy was based on animal husbandry, fishing, but also the collection of murex shells which allowed for the artisanal production of a very popular purple dye. Extremely expensive, this dye was sold to the elites in neighbouring regions including Bahrain and Mesopotamia (Iraq). Qatar was within the cultural sphere of the Dilmun civilisation (2300-1200 BCE), which had important settlements in Bahrain and along the Arabian coast to Kuwait.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT - REGION/GULF/WORLD
The Bronze Age is marked by important technological and social advances, including the development of advanced metal working and production. It is characterised in particular by the use of bronze, an alloy mainly composed of copper and tin. This new metal was very strong, and its colour reminiscent of gold. It was used to make weapons, ornaments, tools and cult objects.
During the Bronze Age many civilizations developed large cities with complex bureaucracies, highly controlled and specialised economies, large armies, public buildings and massive infrastructure. The development of literacy (writing) means that this period was the dawn of history, and for the first time we learn the names of places, people and their gods, and the events that took place at this distant time.
PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH
TIXIER, J., 1980, Mission archéologique française à Qatar 1976-77, 1977-78, vol. 1.
INIZAN, M. L. et al., 1988, Mission archéologique française à Qatar, vol. 2: Préhistoire à Qatar. Edens, Ch., 1999, "Archeology of Late Bronze Age Purple Oye Production in the Arabian Gulf ", Iraq 61, pp. 71-88.