Ware/Ware Family: Southern Levantine Mortaria Ware

Name, Origin, Date

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Southern Levantine Mor...

Israel-Palestinian Aut...

late 3rd-mid-1st c. BCE

Middle Hellenistic, La...

General Information

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Southern Levantine Mortaria Ware (SLMW) is a coarse, crumbly, pinkish to brown ware slipped in a thick, cream brown slip  used predominantly in the manufacture of Hellenistic ledge and especially hanging rim mortaria, and braziers with vertical lugs. It is produced from the coastal loess in the region of Ashkelon, but differs from the site's local plain and cooking wares in its firing process and surface treatment. Thin section analysis shows that firing temperatures are lower than that for cooking pots and plainwares, estimated to cluster at temperatures in the range of 700–800°, resulting in good preservation of chalk and bioclasts and in some cases preserving optical properties (Shapiro 2022:324). SLMW is the equivalent of Ashkelon Mo...

Vessels  2

Bowl, large
late 3rd-mid-2nd c. BCE
Middle Hellenistic

late 2nd-mid-1st c. BCE
Late Hellenistic

Break Photos  0

Petrographic Samples  1

late 2nd-mid-1st c. BCE

Polarized Light?


Coarse, crumbly pinkish to brown (7.5–10YR 7/4) ware with gray and white inclusions and larger proportions of sand and shell, slipped a pale cream-brown (10 YR 8/3–10YR 7/4). Although the fabric is coarse, it has a thicker slip and is noticeably smoother to the touch than mortaria fabrics typical of the Persian and early Hellenistic periods, such as White Ware. 

Earlier/Alternative Names

Site Distribution

Ashkelon (Israel-Palestinian Authority/Southern Coastal Plain)

Associated Petrofabrics

Associated Kilns/Workshops


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  1. Anastasia Shapiro. "Petrographic Analysis" in Ashkelon 9: The Hellenistic Period. Final Reports of The Leon Levy Expedition 9. University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns, 2022, 324–334 , Figure 18.3.