Ancient Pottery of Transjordan: An Introduction Utilizing Published Whole Forms, Late Neolithic Through Late IslamicRalph E. Hendrix, Philip R. Drey and J. Bjornar Storfjell (Berrien Springs, MI: Institute of Archaeology/Horn Archaeological Museum, Andrews University, 1996) xii + 342 pp., $18.95 (loose-leaf)
More than 35 years ago, Israeli archaeologist Ruth Amiran published Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land. Although we have learned an enormous amount about pottery, including its dating and development, since that time, Amiran’s book, strangely, is still the only overall treatment of the subject. The concise Ancient Pottery of Transjordan, by Hendrix, Drey and Storfjell, does for Transjordan what Amiran’s book did for Cisjordanian pottery (today her title would never refer to the Holy Land; that sounds too theological). Their book does not share the elegance of Amiran’s volume, but that is probably due more to changes in the publishing industry than in scholarship. While Amiran’s book is printed in large format on fine paper with excellent photographs and drawings, the Transjordan volume is a small loose-leaf production printed on uncoated paper. Some may find that this format makes it easier to handle, however. In any event, it will be required reading (and study) not only for students of Jordanian archaeology, but also for Israeli archaeologists. It will be used in the field as well as in the classroom.