“Edomite Identity and Authority: Negotiating Power and Place along the Incense Road”
ACOR-CAORC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021–2022
University of California, Los Angeles (U.S.A.)
Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Andrew Danielson received his PhD in Levantine archaeology from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is currently a lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. He is the field director of the Town of Nebo Archaeological Project, excavating the site of Khirbat al-Mukhayyat in Jordan. His research examines cross-cultural interaction and identity negotiation in the borderland regions of the southern Levant. Currently, he is examining power dynamics in the later Iron Age kingdom of Edom within the context of long-distance economic trade networks.
During the late Iron Age (ca. 730–550 BCE), the kingdom of Edom (present-day southern Jordan) dominated the trade networks of the southern Levant— trade networks that provided access to the lucrative aromatics of South Arabia. To maintain authority and social cohesion in this kingdom, opportunistic rulers navigated a tenuous position between the challenges of the arid landscape and its peoples and of their foreign Mesopotamian imperial overlords. Dr. Danielson’s research examines the various strategies taken by these rulers and the dynamic ways in which identity formation and negotiation occurred within the kingdom and along the trade corridors heading west to the Judean Negev. At ACOR, the goal of this project is to complete an academic monograph, an objective that requires immersion within the realia of the environment and topography of Edom to best understand the intricacies of intersite connectedness and accessibility. Ultimately this project seeks to advance knowledge of Jordanian cultural heritage through publication of an investigation of a significant yet often overlooked ancient people.