Ware/Ware Family

Black-Slipped Predecessor (BSP)

Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean

Hellenistic

2nd century BCE

Ware/Ware Family: Black-Slipped Predecessor (BSP)

Ware/Ware Family Name, Origin, and Date

Black-Slipped Predecessor (BSP)

Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean

2nd century BCE

Hellenistic

BSP is a fine table ware with a short life-span: it was produced for only about fifty years, from c. 175-125 BCE. In both chemical and mineralogical terms, the clay is identical to that of the slightly earlier Cilician Hellenistic slipped fine ware and ESA; all three likely originated in the same northernmost Levantine coastal region. Some shapes were produced in both BSP and Cilician Hellenistic slipped fine ware, including incurved and everted rim bowls. Other shapes were made in both BSP and its successor ware, ESA, including dishes with upturned rim, platters with offset rim, incurved rim bowls, and bowls with straight wall and out turned rim. The overlaps between shapes, along with the identical clay origins, indicate that in the second century BCE there was a particularly lively, innovative ceramic industry centered along the northernmost Levantine coast. 

In earlier publications BSP vessels have been grouped with ESA vessels as a single ware, sometimes called ESA (Hayes 1985), and sometimes called ETS-1 (Gunneweg, Perlman, and Yellin 1983).

Very clean, hard, dense light yellowish-pink fabric (5YR 7/4–7.5YR 8/4) with no visible inclusions, fully fired. Vessels are covered with a smooth, semi-lustrous slip, applied evenly to all surfaces by dipping. The slip may be fired completely black or a mottled red-black or maroon color. Some vessels are black outside and red inside, probably as a result of stacking in the kiln. Samples of BSP and ESA from Tel Anafa tested by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis fell into the same mineralogical cluster (Slane et al. 1997). Concurrent results were achieved in INAA tests by Gunneweg, Perlman and Yellin (1983) on samples from Gezer, demonstrating that both wares share a common origin.

Site Distribution

'Akko, Harbor (Israel/Northern Coastal Plain)

Gezer (Israel/Shephelah)

Horbat Zefat 'Adi (Israel/Northern Coastal Plain)

Jerusalem, Western City (Israel/Central Highlands)

Khirbet el-'Eika (Israel/Galilee)

Maresha/Marisa (Israel/Shephelah)

Qedesh (Israel/Galilee)

Tel Anafa (Israel/Hula Valley)

Antioch/Antakya (Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean)

Kinet Höyük (Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean)

Vessels 59
Break Photos 32
Petrographic Samples 17
Bibliography
  1. Slane, Kathleen W. Tel Anafa II, ii: The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery: The Fine Wares. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 10.2. Ann Arbor, MI: Kelsey Museum of the University of Michigan, 1997 , Page(s) 139-140.
  2. Andrea M. Berlin and Peter J. Stone.. "The Hellenistic and Early Roman Pottery" in ‘Akko II. The 1991-1998 Excavations. The Early Periods, ed(s). “The Hellenistic and Early Roman Pottery.” In ‘Akko II. The 1991-1998 Excavations. The Early Periods. M. Hartal, D. Syon, E. Stern, and A. Tatcher, eds. IAA Reports 60. Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem: 2016. Pp. 133-202. IAA Reports 60 Jerusalem
Discussion/Questions/Acknowledgements