In studying the pottery of the second millennium from Tel Batash in the Shephelah, we traced processes of change and continuity in the organization of pottery vessel production, under the assumption that this organization reflects economic, social and even ideological aspects of the producing society. a transition period can be defined as a period during which change is greater than continuity. This was indeed the case with Stratum VI, the last settlement layer of the Late Bronze Age.

The technological aspects that were examined include the production methods, the kind of clay and its origin and the capacity of the different vessels. The results of the examination shed light on the change and continuity in the ceramic production during this long period, which is characterized by numerous geopolitical changes: the transition from the large centralized city-states of the Middle Bronze Age to a system of small and divided city-states under Egyptian rule, the tightening of this rule during the 19th and 20th dynasties until the appearance of the Philistines in the region and the end of the Egyptian rule. These events and phenomena therefore constitute the context in which we should try and understand the changes and continuity that were identified in the ceramics.

During the Late Bronze Age at Tel Batash, the pottery was characterized by a somewhat diversified number of groups of clay. In spite of the diversity, it was found that the origin of the clay is similar – marl from the Taqia Formation that is located in the region of Tel Batash itself and extends as far as Gezer in the north. It seems that the great diversity in the groups of clay, which are all from the same region, indicates a scattering of household workshops, all of which were included within the domain of the Gezer kingdom. A change occurred in Stratum VI, the end of the Late Bronze Age. About half of the pottery vessels in this stratum are made of loess, which originates south and west of Batash, from an area located within the Gat or Lakhish kingdoms. This change indicates the possibility that during the time of the bolstered Egyptian rule of the 19th dynasty the central authority intervened in the production and distribution of pottery and thus pottery vessels crossed political boundaries between competing city-states. Along with the change in the origin of the clay, there was also a noticeable change in the production methods and there was an increase in standardization, along with typological changes, including the disappearance of long-standing Canaanite types such as carinated bowls. These ceramic changes also reflect the breakdown of the Canaanite identity, a process which intensified at the same time as a result of nomadic and migrating populations.