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In this rich and elegantly presented interdisciplinary study, the theme is the impact of iron technology on the material and cultural life of ancient Israel. The author argues that iron itself and the processes of ironworking functioned as dominant cultural symbols, conveying meanings about significant transformations that established Israel's social and religious identity. This wide-ranging monograph is particularly valuable for its integration of material about ironworking in traditional African societies, anthropological theories on symbolism and archaeological information on the development of iron technology in the Near East.