Dr. James Osborne received his doctorate in archaeology from Harvard University in 2011, specializing in Near Eastern Archaeology. He was a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins in 2012-2014.

Levantine Pottery

The ceramics shown here derive from the southern Levant, a region that today includes Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. Levantine vessels like these helped Sir Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) invent the seriation dating technique, which places pottery into a chronological sequence based on changes in shape and decoration, and which is now used by archaeologists worldwide. As […]

Iron Age IIA Juglet

This tiny juglet belongs to the early first millennium BCE, or Iron Age IIA period. Historically, this is around the time that Israel was first formed as a state under the United Monarchy of David and Solomon. These little vessels are referred to by two different names. The first is Cypro-Phoenician Ware. This term indicates […]

Late Bronze Age ‘Bilbil’

This tall thin juglet dates to the Late Bronze Age, which dates to roughly 1550-1200 BCE. It belongs to a class of pottery known as Base Ring Ware, which spans the Late Bronze Age, though vessels with white painted decoration like this one tend to be late within that range. This time period in the […]

Early Bronze Age Oil Lamp

This vessel that looks like a bowl with its rim folded in on four sides is an ancient oil lamp. We can tell that it was used, too: the folded-in rim has created four spouts for the lamp’s wicks, and the lip of each of these spouts has been blackened from the flames. Throughout the […]

Abydos Ware Juglet

This juglet dates to the Early Bronze II period, or the first centuries of the third millennium BCE. Before baking the vessel in the pottery kiln, the potter dipped the jar in a liquid solution of clay suspended in water, with the result that the vessel is coated in a thin red paint-like layer known […]

Ghassulian Cornet

This vessel is called a cornet, and dates to the Chalcolithic period (or ‘Copper Age’), ca. 4500-3300 BCE. Because of its easily identifiable shape, the cornet is one of the most distinctive members of a ceramic assemblage known as the Ghassulian Culture, after the site in Jordan where it was first identified, Teleilat Ghassul. Chalcolithic […]

Middle Bronze Age Jug

This vessel is a jug, but unfortunately its neck and handle have broken off and we are left with only the body. This particular jug shape is highly characteristic of the Middle Bronze Age, or the first half of the second millennium BCE. However, within this span of time the jug undergoes a gradual change […]