Wooden table from a tomb
Canaanite, about 1800-1700 BC
From Jericho, Israel
A rare survival of wooden furniture
During the first half of the second millennium BC Canaanite culture flourished. Architecture, art and craftsmanship achieved high levels of accomplishment and sophistication. This level of skill is rarely seen in objects made of perishable materials, but it is certainly apparent in the unusually preserved wooden furniture from the tombs at Jericho. The dry climate there preserved many perishable materials which have normally been lost.
Not only does the furniture display sophistication and elegance stylistically, but in terms of its construction it illustrates all of the advanced techniques of joinery employed by the modern carpenter. It also gives a rare insight into the nature of household objects and daily life at this period, even though many of the items may have been made exclusively for the tomb.
The tomb in which this table was discovered consisted of a shaft dug into the ground with a burial chamber at the bottom.
Caroline R. Cartwright, 'The Bronze Age wooden tomb furniture from Jericho; the microscopical reconstruction of a distinctive carpentry tradition', Palestine Exploration Quarterly 137, 99-138, 2005
K. Kenyon, Excavations at Jericho,, vol 2 (British School of Archaeology Jerusalem, 1965)
J.N. Tubb, Canaanites (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)