This chapter introduces the corpus of objects that form the core of the book. Because the large majority of works has been excavated at sites outside the Levant, scholarship has concentrated on questions of attribution and location of production. The chapter presents a case for a generally Levantine attribution for most of the ivories and metalworks and for their initial use and significance within this Levantine context. Encapsulating the narrative flow of the individual chapters, it also sketches the basic argument that these works belonged to communities of stylistic practice that catalyzed collective memories and community identity in both the Iron Age Levant and elsewhere in the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean.
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