Fishing for Meaning: The Significance of Net Weights, Fishhooks and Netting Needles in Mortuary Contexts at Tell el-‘Ajjul

Abstract

Many of the items found in funerary assemblages can be understood as objects employed in the performance of funerary ritual or as luxury products reflecting the social status of the deceased. Other utilitarian items seem to fall outside these spheres, and while they may be indicative of former lifestyle or profession, they may also hold symbolic significance. This paper presents one such group, a range of fishing-related items from tombs at Tell el-‘Ajjul in the Southern Levant. Confined to a small number of burials dating to the Late Bronze Age, associations with Egyptian-style material and links to objects and practices back in Egypt suggest that this phenomenon may be related to growing Egyptianization of local elites in the Gaza region or even more direct forms of personnel exchange.

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Sparks, R. T., (2013) “Fishing for Meaning: The Significance of Net Weights, Fishhooks and Netting Needles in Mortuary Contexts at Tell el-‘Ajjul”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 5(2), p.33-47. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v05i2_sparks

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Rachael Thyrza Sparks (University College, London)

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