The Tel Kabri wall and floor paintings offer a unique opportunity for the investigation of Middle Bronze Age (MBA) exchange. Achieved through a visually Aegean style and virtually unrelated to any Near Eastern iconographic program, the paintings are physical manifestations of systems of trade and political interconnection. Through art historical formal analysis, the present research draws comparisons from the Kabri paintings to similar ones from the across the ancient Near East, specifically Tell el-Dab’a, Qatna, and Alalakh, and related them to the Aegean style, typified by paintings from Akrotiri, Thera. A world-systems and peerpolity interaction theoretical interpretation of the formal analyses offers an explanation for appearance of such cosmopolitan images at a Canaanite palace as examples of regional competitive emulation and high culture complex. This identification of the wall and floor paintings as representations of political and administrative operations allows the present research to discusses a more profound function of the Kabri paintings within the context of Canaanite palatial economics—a subject of limited modern scholarship. The international flare of the wall and floor paintings clashes with the self-sufficient nature of other palatial economic elements at Kabri, requiring an investigation into regional settlement patterns and traditional administrative systems to rectify the economic duality. Ultimately, the present research uses the Kabri wall painting fragments, which have been thoroughly researched with respect to their Aegean connections, in a novel manner to propose a deeper understanding of the motivations, attitudes, and achievements of MBA trade and exchange as observed through Canaanite palatial economics.


Morrow, Kara

Second Advisor

Samei, Siavash


Archaeology; Art and Art History


Classical Archaeology and Art History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Theory and Criticism


Middle Bronze Age, Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, Canaanite, Ancient Trade, Ancient Economics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2021 Christine Weber