Khirbet Kerek ware, which appears in the Land of Israel in the first half of the third millennium BCE, has been the topic of numerous studies. These studies dealt with the origin of this type of pottery ware, the routes by which it arrived in the southern Levant and the social significance of its appearance as part of the ceramic assemblage in the north of the Land of Israel, which is defined as the “core region” of its distribution. The Khirbet Kerek ware that was discovered beyond this core region consists of isolated sherds in the assemblages of sites ascribed to the Early Bronze Age, and they have served as proof of the limited distribution of these unique vessels and the restricted scope of trade relations.

These assumptions are being checked by us as part of an extensive petrographic and typological study of the Khirbet Kerek sherds that were found in sites in the region that extends south of the Jezreel valley to the Judean Desert. The petrographic profile of these sherds will make it possible to trace their origin and their ascription to one of the known production centers located in the core region, or to other production centers that have not yet been identified. The purpose of the study is to outline the distribution patterns of the vessels that were manufactured in the different production centers and define the nature of the ties between the site of the core region and the sites located outside of it.