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Peter Fischer

PROFESSOR

Department of Historical
Studies
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
J548
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Peter Fischer

Research projects

1. The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Excavations at the Late Cypriote city of Hala Sultan Tekke. Director: Peter M. Fischer (http://www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=420)

2. The Swedish Jordan Expedition. Excavations at the city of Tall Abu al-Kharaz (Jabesh Gilead of the Old Testament). Director: Peter M. Fischer (http://www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=433)

3. The Swedish Palestine Expedition. Excavations at the city of Tell el-Ajjul, Gaza. Director: Peter M. Fischer (http://www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=423)

4. The Collapse of Bronze Age Societies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Sea Peoples in Cyprus? Swedish Research Council project 2016–2019 (http://www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=2206)

1. The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition

Hala Sultan Tekke near modern Larnaca is a Late Bronze Age city of more than 25 ha, maybe as large as 50 ha, and consequently one the largest, possibly the largest, Late Bronze Age harbour city in Cyprus. One of the aims of this field project is the investigation of the cultural remains which are associated with the "crisis year" and which corresponds to the "Sea Peoples phenomenon" at the end of the Late Bronze Age (= end of Late Cypriote IIC and IIIA, the period around 1200 BCE). Another task is the search for and the investigation of the periods which antedate the most recent occupational periods, that is Middle Cypriote III to Late Cypriote IIC1 (roughly 1650-1200 BC).

For more detailed up-to-date information from the seven seasons of excavations (state 2016), see website above.

2. The Swedish Jordan Expedition

During the last two decades of the Swedish excavations at the ancient city of Tall Abu al-Kharaz in the Jordan Valley substantial remains from the Early, Middle and Late Bronze Ages have been revealed (in absolute terms: c. 3200–700 BCE). The early Iron Age city of Tell Abu al-Kharaz was most likely identical with Jabesh Gilead of the Old Testament (before 1000 BCE), which has been the primary burial place of Saul, the first king of Israel according to the biblical narratives.

For more detailed up-to-date information from the seventeen seasons of excavations (state 2016), see website above.

3. The Swedish Palestine Excavation

Tell el-cAjjul which lies just south of the modern city of Gaza is one of the most important Middle and Late Bronze Age cities in Palestine. It flourished from roughly 1650 to around 1300 BCE. Excavations produced the highest numbers of scarabs, both imported and locally produced, anywhere in the Levant. Other imported objects came from the Mycenaean and Minoan spheres of cultures, Cyprus, Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Swedish-Palestinian excavations were carried out there in 1999 and 2000. Due to the instable political situation in the area excavations came to a halt after October 2000. UNESCO has been informed about the irreparable destruction of this most important Bronze Age city, the largest in Gaza.

For more detailed up-to-date information from the excavations (state 2016), see website above.

4. The Collapse of Bronze Age Societies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Sea Peoples in Cyprus? Swedish Research Council project (2015-01192) running from 2016 to 2019

The aim of the project is to investigate the causes of disruption in international trade and eventually the total collapse of the sophisticated Bronze Age civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BCE. Hypotheses explaining this severe cultural crisis involve the appearance of invading peoples, the “Sea Peoples”. This Sea Peoples phenomenon might have been initiated by south-eastward migration starting in Italy, continuing over the Mediterranean and the Balkans to Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean islands and eventually ending in the Levant and Egypt. It has been proposed that rapid climate change around 1200 BCE has been the decisive factor which lead to the south-east migration. Migration might have been caused by this climate change, which might have resulted in famine, but there are other factors to consider such as a changed rule, altered social conditions, increased social mobility and economic motives at the end of the “Mycenaean palatial period”. The nucleus of the project is the study of the economic, political and climatological situation in Cyprus, the centre of international trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. Bronze Age trade with Cypriot copper from its rich ores – copper was one of the most coveted products at that time – involved not only the entire Mediterranean but also the remainder of Europe. The study of a changed situation in Cyprus and finds which relate to the Sea People phenomenon, e.g. objects which originate in central Europe/Italy/the Balkans, will lead to a greater understanding of the general crisis.

For a list of selected publications, visit http://www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=9