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Israel Finkelstein

Bene Israel
Culture and History of the
Ancient Near East

Founding Editor

M. H. E. Weippert

Editors-in-Chief
Thomas Schneider

Editors
Eckart Frahm, W. Randall Garr, B. Halpern,
Theo P. J. van den Hout, Irene J. Winter

VOLUME 31
Bene Israel

Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and the Levant


during the Bronze and Iron Ages in Honour of
Israel Finkelstein

edited by

Alexander Fantalkin and Assaf Yasur-Landau

LEIDEN • BOSTON
2008
This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bene Israel : studies in the archaeology of Israel and the Levant during the Bronze
and Iron ages in honour of Israel Finkelstein / edited by Alexander Fantalkin and
Assaf Yasur-Landau.
p. cm. — (Culture and history of the ancient Near East ; v. 31)
Includes index.
ISBN 978-90-04-15282-3 (alk. paper)
1. Bronze age—Palestine. 2. Iron age—Palestine. 3. Excavations (Archaeology)—
Palestine. 4. Palestine—Antiquities. 5. Bronze age—Middle East. 6. Iron age—Mid-
dle East. 7. Excavations (Archaeology)—Middle East. 8. Middle East—Antiquities.
I. Fantalkin, Alexander. II. Yasur-Landau, Assaf. III. Finkelstein, Israel. IV. Title.
V. Series.

GN778.32.P19B45 2008
933—dc22

2008014960

ISSN 1566-2055
ISBN 978 90 04 15282 3

© Copyright 2008 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Hotei Publishing,
IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated,


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printed in the netherlands


CONTENTS

Acknowledgments ....................................................................... vii


List of Figures ............................................................................. ix
Introduction ................................................................................ xv

Urban Land Use Changes on the Southeastern Slope of


Tel Megiddo during the Middle Bronze Age ............................ 1
Eran Arie

The Appearance of Rock-Cut Bench Tombs in Iron Age


Judah as a Reflection of State Formation .................................. 17
Alexander Fantalkin

Trademarks of the Omride Builders? ........................................ 45


Norma Franklin

Continuity and Change in the Late Bronze to Iron Age


Transition in Israel’s Coastal Plain: A Long Term
Perspective ................................................................................... 55
Yuval Gadot

Permanent and Temporary Settlements in the South of the


Lower Besor Region: Two Case Studies .................................... 75
Dan Gazit

The Socioeconomic Implications of Grain Storage in


Early Iron Age Canaan: The Case of Tel Dan ........................ 87
David Ilan

A Re-analysis of the Archaeological Evidence for the


Beginning of the Iron Age I ...................................................... 105
Yitzhak Meitlis
vi contents

Reassessing the Bronze and Iron Age Economy: Sheep and


Goat Husbandry in the Southern Levant as a Model Case
Study ........................................................................................... 113
Aharon Sasson

Settlement Patterns of Philistine City-States ............................. 135


Alon Shavit

Levantine Standardized Luxury in the Late Bronze Age:


Waste Management at Tell Atchana (Alalakh) .......................... 165
Amir Sumakaxi Fink

Desert Outsiders: Extramural Neighborhoods in the Iron Age


Negev .......................................................................................... 197
Yifat Thareani-Sussely

A Message in a Jug: Canaanite, Philistine, and Cypriot


Iconography and the “Orpheus Jug” ......................................... 213
Assaf Yasur-Landau

Index ........................................................................................... 231


Plates ........................................................................................... 247
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

As the editors of present volume, we would like to express our thanks


to a number of colleagues who had contributed significantly to its
accomplishment. Inbal Samet spared no effort, helping immensely in
preparation the manuscript for publication. Alon Shavit and Gocha
R. Tsetskhladze has offered advice and help in a number of crucial
points of the project. Baruch Halpern and Ephraim Lytle have read
the entire manuscript, kindly providing their valuable comments, while
Benjamin Sass, Eric H. Cline and David Ilan have kindly commented
on several papers.
We were privileged to have on our side Michiel Klein Swormink,
Michael J. Mozina, and Jennifer Pavelko from the Brill staff, whose
professional and dedicated work made the usually complicated task of
producing an edited volume considerably simpler. Likewise, we would
like to thank the editorial board of Brill’s Culture and History of the
Ancient Near East series. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, this
project could never has been materialized without the enthusiastic par-
ticipation of our contributors. We have greatly enjoyed working with
such knowledgeable, reliable and responsive colleagues as have come
together for the present volume.

A.F.
A.Y.-L.
LIST OF FIGURES

Arie
Fig. 1. The excavated area on the southeastern slope of
Tel Megiddo (after Guy and Engberg 1938: Fig. 2) ...... 249
Fig. 2. Spatial distribution of the Middle Bronze tombs on
the southeastern slope (after Guy and Engberg 1938:
Pl. 1) ................................................................................ 250

Franklin
Fig. 1. The Mason’s Masks ........................................................ 251
Fig. 2. The Megiddo—Palace 1723 .......................................... 251
Fig. 3. Samaria—the Omride Palace ........................................ 252

Gadot
Fig. 1. Map of central Coastal Plain with settlements dated to
Late Bronze and Iron Age I periods .............................. 253
Fig. 2. Reconstructed plan of Palace 4430 at Aphek ............... 254
Fig. 3. Locally made Egyptian-styled vessels found at
Aphek .............................................................................. 254
Fig. 4. Philistine finds from Aphek that were manufactured at
Ashkelon .......................................................................... 255
Fig. 5. Types of cooking-pots found at Aphek X12 and at
Tell Qasille XII–X .......................................................... 256
Fig. 6. The transformation of sociopolitical order in the
Yarkon-Ayalon basin ....................................................... 257
Fig. 7. The Late Bronze-Iron Age transformation at Israel’s
central Coastal Plain viewed as a furcative change ....... 257

Ilan
Fig. 1. The site of Tel Dan. Iron Age I remains were found in
all areas excavated .......................................................... 258
Fig. 2. A plan of Area B, Stratum VI. Note the large
numbers of pits .............................................................. 259
Fig. 3. A plan of Area B, Stratum V. Note the small
number of pits and large number of pithoi, relative
to Stratum VI (Fig. 2) ..................................................... 259
x list of figures

Fig. 4. A stone-lined pit in Area B (L1225) containing a


secondary deposit of refuse, most prominently
fragmented ceramic vessels. This is of the more
common cylindrical variety .......................................... 260
Fig. 5. Unlined pits sunk into an earlier consolidated Late
Bronze Age pebble fill .................................................. 260
Fig. 6. A stone-lined pit in Area M (L8185) with the more
unusual “beehive” shape .............................................. 261
Fig. 7. A row of pithoi lining a wall—their most frequent
position in Iron Age I sites ........................................... 261
Fig. 8. “Galilean” pithoi ........................................................... 262
Fig. 9. Collared-rim pithoi ....................................................... 262
Fig. 10. Tel Dan Stratum IVB, Area B, L4710: a possible
feed bin abutting a wall (left) ........................................ 263

Sasson
Fig. 1. Sites mentioned in the text ........................................... 264
Fig. 2. Geographic regions of the Land of Israel ................... 265

Shavit
Fig. 1. The southern Coastal Plain and the boundaries of the
settlement complexes .................................................... 266
Fig. 2. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the
number of settlements during the 10th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 267
Fig. 3. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex
in the Tel Miqne-Ekron region during the
10th century BCE ......................................................... 267
Fig. 4. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the
number of settlements during the 9th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 268
Fig. 5. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the
number of settlements during the 8th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 268
Fig. 6. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the
number of settlements during the 7th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 269
Fig. 7. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of
Tel Miqne-Ekron during the 7th century BCE ........... 269
list of figures xi

Fig. 8. The populated area in the region of Tel


Miqne-Ekron during the different phases of the
Iron Age II .................................................................... 270
Fig. 9. The settled area at Tel ¶afit-Gath and the
surrounding sites during the various stages of the
Iron Age II .................................................................... 270
Fig. 10. The settlement complex of Tel ¶afit-Gath: the
number of settlements during the 8th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 271
Fig. 11. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of
Tel ¶afit-Gath in the 8th century BCE ....................... 271
Fig. 12. The settlement complex of Tel ¶afit-Gath: the
number of settlements during the 7th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 272
Fig. 13. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number
of settlements during the 10th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 272
Fig. 14. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number
of settlements during the 8th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 273
Fig. 15. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of
Tel Ashdod in the 7th century BCE ............................ 273
Fig. 16. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number
of settlements during the 7th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 274
Fig. 17. The settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon: the
number of settlements during the 8th century BCE
according to settlement size .......................................... 274
Fig. 18. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of Tel
Ashkelon in the 7th century BCE ................................ 275
Fig. 19. The settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon: the number
of settlements during the 7th century BCE according
to settlement size ........................................................... 275
Fig. 20. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin:
the number of settlements during the 10th century
BCE according to the settlement size .......................... 276
Fig. 21. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex
of the Na˜al Besor basin during the 10th
century BCE ................................................................. 276
xii list of figures

Fig. 22. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin:


the number of settlements during the
9th century BCE according to settlement size ............ 277
Fig. 23. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin:
the number of settlements during the 8th century
BCE according to settlement size ................................ 277
Fig. 24. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex in
the Na˜al Besor basin during the 7th century BCE ... 278
Fig. 25. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin:
the number of settlements during the 7th century
BCE according to settlement size ................................ 278

Sumakaxi Fink
Fig. 1. Toilets in Nuzi (after Starr 1937–1939; 163, Fig. 24).
Reprinted by permission of the publishers from
Nuzi: Report of the excavations at Yorgan Tepa
near Kirkuk, p. 163, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, Copyright © 1939 by the
president and fellows of Harvard College ................... 279
Fig. 2. The Level IV palace at Tell Atchana, where Woolley
excavated four restrooms and three bathrooms
(after Woolley 1955: Fig. 44). Reprinted by
permission of the Society of Antiquaries of
London .......................................................................... 280
Fig. 3. The toilets in room 5 of the Level IV palace (after
Woolley 1955 Pl. XXVa). Reprinted by permission
of the Society of Antiquaries of London .................... 281
Fig. 4. The Oriental Institute University of Chicago
Expedition to Tell Atchana (Image by E. J. Struble) ... 281
Fig. 5. The west wing of Area 2: Local Phase 2 (Image by
E. J. Struble) .................................................................. 282
Fig. 6. Rooms 03-2077 and 03-2092 in Square 44.45 (Image
by E. J. Struble) ............................................................. 283
Fig. 7. Restroom 03-2092 during the excavation (photo by
N.-L. Roberts) ............................................................... 284
Fig. 8. Drain 03-2039 (photo by N.-L. Roberts) ..................... 285
Fig. 9. Plaster inside drain 03-2039 (photo by
N.-L. Roberts) ............................................................... 286
Fig. 10. Wall 03-2091 (photo by N.-L. Roberts) ....................... 286
Fig. 11. Jug R03-1542 (photo by N.-L. Roberts) ....................... 287
Fig. 12. Plate R03-1851 (photo by N.-L. Roberts) .................... 287
list of figures xiii

Thareani-Sussely
Fig. 1. Map of Iron Age II sites in the Beersheba Valley ...... 288
Fig. 2. Tel {Aroer—general plan .............................................. 289
Fig. 3. Tel {Aroer, Area D—general plan ................................ 290
Fig. 4. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1003 and 1411—pottery
assemblages ................................................................... 291
Fig. 5. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1417—pottery assemblage ...... 292
Fig. 6. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1417—pottery assemblage ...... 293
Fig. 7. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1421—pottery assemblage ...... 294
Fig. 8. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1421—pottery assemblage ...... 295
Fig. 9. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1443—pottery assemblage ...... 296
Fig. 10. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1443—pottery assemblage ...... 297
Fig. 11. Tel {Aroer, Area A—general plan ................................ 298
Fig. 12. Tel {Aroer, Area A—selected pottery ........................... 299
Fig. 13. Tel {Aroer, Area A—selected pottery ........................... 300
Fig. 14. Æorvat {Uza—general plan .......................................... 301
Fig. 15. Tel {Aroer—southern Arabian inscription from
Area D bearing the letter ‫ ח‬......................................... 302

Yasur-Landau
Fig. 1.
1. The “Orpheus Jug.” After Loud 1948: Pl. 76: 1 .......... 303
2. A krater from Ashdod, Stratum XIII. After Dothan
and Zukerman 2004: Fig. 19: 3 .................................... 303
3. A krater from Ekron, Stratum VI. After Dothan and
Zukerman 2004: Fig. 19: 2 ........................................... 303
4. A jug from Azor. After Dothan 1982: Fig. 48 .............. 303
5. A strainer jug from Tell {Aitun. After Dothan 1982:
Fig. 29 ............................................................................ 303
6. A LHIIIC stirrup jar from Kalymnos. After Mountjoy
1999: Fig. 464: 19 .......................................................... 303
Fig. 2.
1. A krater from Lachish, Fosse Temple III. After
Tufnell, Inge, and Harding 1940: Pl. XLVIII: 250 ...... 304
2. A bowl from Lachish Level VI. After Aharoni 1975:
Pl. 39: 11 ........................................................................ 304
3. An inscribed jug from Lachish, Fosse Temple III.
After Keel and Uehlinger 1998: Illustration 81 ........... 304
4. A jar from Megiddo Stratum VIIB. After Loud 1948:
Pl. 64: 4 .......................................................................... 304
5. A jug from Megiddo. After Guy 1938: Pl. 134 ............ 304
xiv list of figures

6. A collar-necked jar from Kalymnos. After Mountjoy


1999: Fig. 463: 14 .......................................................... 304
7. A figurine from Revadim. After Keel and Uehlinger
1998: Fig. 89 .................................................................. 304
Fig. 3.
1. A krater from Enkomi. After Wedde 2000: No. 644 ... 305
2. A pyxis from Tragana. After Wedde 2000: No. 643 .... 305
3. A seal from Tiryns. After Yasur-Landau 2001:
Pl. Ca ............................................................................. 305
4. A stirrup jar from Syros. After Wedde 2000:
No. 655 .......................................................................... 305
5. A krater from Aradippo, Cyprus. After Yasur-Landau
2001: Pl. Ce ................................................................... 305
6. A krater from Ashkelon, courtesy of Prof. L. E. Stager,
Director of the Ashkelon Excavations .......................... 305
7. A figurine from Ashdod, Stratum XII. After
Yasur-Landau 2001: Pl. XCIXa .................................... 305
Fig. 4.
1. A painted shard from Megiddo. After Schumacher
1908: Pl. 24 .................................................................... 306
2. A zoomorphic vessel from Megiddo. After Loud 1948:
Pl. 247: 7 ........................................................................ 306
3. A tripod vessel in the Metropolitan Museum. After
Iacovou 1988: 72, Fig. 33 .............................................. 306
4. The lyre player on the “Orpheus Jug” ......................... 306
5. A kalathos from Kouklia-Xerolimani T.9:7. After
Iacovou 1988: 72, Fig. 70 .............................................. 306
6. A plate from Kouklia-Skales. After Iacovou
1988: 27 ......................................................................... 306
7. A jar from Megiddo Stratum VIA. After Loud 1948:
Pl. 84: 5 .......................................................................... 306
INTRODUCTION

We are honoured to present to Prof. Israel Finkelstein this collection of


studies concerning the archaeology of Israel and the Levant. Profes-
sor Finkelstein holds the Jacob M. Alkow Chair in the Archaeology of
Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University. He is widely
regarded not only as one of the leading scholars in the archaeology of
the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages but also as a leader in the
application of modern archaeological evidence to the reconstruction
of biblical Israelite history. His pioneering work has been frequently
recognized and widely acclaimed.
Professor Finkelstein’s scholarship is not, however, the genesis of this
Festschrift, the first in his honour. His scholarly achievements will no
doubt be honoured in due time by a more august array of international
researchers. Likewise, although the fact that Israel Finkelstein will cele-
brate his 60th birthday next year was doubtless taken into consideration,
it was not necessarily the main impetus for producing of this volume.
Rather, this Festschrift is born from and intends to honour Israel Finkel-
stein the teacher. Each of the twelve contributors to this volume was
at one time a graduate student of Israel, mostly at Tel Aviv University.
While continuing to conduct new research, publish excavation reports,
and meet the arduous task of organizing the Megiddo project, Israel
never loses sight of his students. Generous with his time and infectious
with his energy, throughout the years Israel has done everything possible
to hone the skills of his students, encouraging each of us to find our
own paths in the field and we have all benefited immeasurably from his
focused guidance. It is a tribute to his integrity that Israel takes pride
in the fact that some of his students’ views are overtly opposed to his
own. As a result, it should come as no surprise if the authors of the
papers in this volume not infrequently disagree with their teacher on
matters of archaeological method, historical interpretation or chronol-
ogy. In essence, this lack of consensus is the best imaginable way to pay
tribute to two of our teacher’s guiding principles: intellectual honesty
and a healthy skepticism of communis opinio.
xvi introduction

The twelve articles contained within not only express a wide range
of informed opinions, but also pursue research across a broad spectrum
of interests, from subsistence economies to the symbolic realm of ico-
nography. Their geographic scope, however, is limited: they all focus on
Israel and the Levant, the region held dearest by Israel Finkelstein.
Questions concerning city boundaries and their implications for
our understanding of urban frameworks are investigated by both Arie
and Thareani-Sussely, who point out that the evidence for extramural
settlements during the Bronze and Iron Ages suggests a kind of urban
sprawl in times of relative peace and stability. A case for change in land
use is presented by Arie, who argues that during Middle Bronze Age
II–III, the southeastern slope of Tell Megiddo was no longer used as
an extramural cemetery. Traces of walls, masonry tombs, and infant
jar burials suggest that during this period there was a change in land
use, and the area became a neighborhood. Burying the deceased under
the floors of buildings and courtyards was a common practice in the
period. It is possible that the area was reused as a cemetery when the
urban area constricted during the Late Bronze Age. The discovery of
an extramural neighborhood at Megiddo increases the estimated size
of the site to 13.5–15 ha. Moreover, it calls for a reevaluation of the
total areas of other Middle Bronze Age sites, which in turn could have
a significant impact on population estimates for the period.
Thareani-Sussely discusses the multicultural and multifunctional nature
of extramural neighborhoods in the late Iron Age II in the Negev.
The complex sociopolitical reality in the area during the 8th and 7th
centuries BCE allowed the development of extramural neighborhoods
adjacent to settlements. Rather than serving squatters and the urban
poor, solidly built structures outside the walls of {Aroer are connected
with commercial activities; one structure, for example, is identified as a
caravanserai. A different function is suggested for extramural structures
at Æorvat {Uza and Arad, interpreted as houses for the family mem-
bers of the garrisons stationed at the forts. Thareani-Sussely describes
extramural neighborhoods not as the impoverished margin of the
ancient city but as “a place of interaction between various population
groups from different origins and social classes: merchants, caravaneers,
nomads, and local population—all integral parts of the ancient urban
community.”
The concentration of a large number of people in a city created
challenges of waste management, and Sumakaxi-Fink addresses the
introduction xvii

architecture of restrooms in the houses of the well-to-do residents of


Alalakh. The role of toilets as “standardized luxury” and an integral
part of elite architecture is seen in use of fine building materials such as
orthostats, carefully applied plaster, and ceramic tiles. The presentation
of several restrooms in various degrees of preservation at the site, as
well as numerous parallels for different types of toilets from the Levant,
will be of use for the identification of such installations at other sites.
Gazit, following the traditional chronology and understanding of the
Iron Age, presents a comparative study of settlement activity in Iron
Age IB and the Byzantine period, based on the results of a survey
undertaken south of the Lower Besor region. According to Gazit, the
sudden appearance of the Iron Age IB settlement system in the Besor
region during the second half of the 11th century BCE, followed by
its disappearance after a period of some three generations, can by
explained by the political and economical gap that was formed in south
Canaan after the breakdown of Egyptian administration in the final
days of the 20th Dynasty. On the other hand, in his opinion, during
the Byzantine period, state systems possessed complete territorial control
over both cultivated and wilderness territories.
Meitlis investigates the beginning of Iron Age I culture in the high-
lands. He considers the similarity between the characteristics of Late
Bronze material culture and those of Iron Age I, the lack of Late
Bronze architectural remains under most Iron Age I sites, and several
cases in which Late Bronze pottery imports co-exist with Iron Age I
pottery, as evidence for a very early appearance of Iron Age I culture.
Whether or not one accepts his chronology for the earliest appearance
of vessels typical of the Iron Age in the central highlands, it is never-
theless possible that some processes connected with the emergence of
Israel started, as Meitlis suggests, “at an earlier phase than has been
posited in the past, and continued for a much longer period than has
been suggested.”
The socioeconomic implications of grain storage in Iron Age I are
discussed by Ilan, who concentrates as a case-study on the storage
facilities of Tel Dan (Strata VI–IVB). Ilan points out that these facilities
underwent significant changes over the course of Iron Age I. These
changes may serve as a clear indicator of socioeconomic and politi-
cal change at the site and in the region as a whole. Indeed, the early
phase at Tel Dan (Stratum VI) was characterized by a combination of
many grain pits and some pithoi, which might have been a function
xviii introduction

of poor security. In Stratum V, most grain storage was transferred to


above-ground containers (mostly pithoi), while pits seem to have been
limited to one per household. It is possible that such a combination
may reflect an improvement in security conditions. On the other hand,
during the last phase (Stratum IVB), pits continued to be confined to
one per household, but pithoi became few again. Ilan goes on to sug-
gest that during this phase, part of the grain may have been stored in
above-ground facilities that belonged to individual households, while
other portions may have gone to a central storage place. This is believed
to indicate increasing centralization of economic and political control
during the last phase of the period.
Sasson reassesses the Bronze and Iron Age economies of the southern
Levant, based on his analysis of sheep and goat husbandry. Accord-
ing to Sasson, zooarchaeological finds from the periods discussed point
to a conservative household economy, clearly a function of a survival
subsistence strategy. This strategy pursued the optimal utilization of
resources balanced by a minimization of risk in order to maintain long-
term survival. The immediate goal of the survival subsistence strategy
would have been to preserve flock and territorial size at an optimum
level without endangering the ecological resource base (i.e., water, pas-
ture) and, according to Sasson, the reason this strategy was employed
is that scarcity, not surplus played a central role in the lives of ancient
populations. Based on the zoo-archaeological record of caprine (sheep
and goats) from 68 Bronze and Iron Age southern Levantine sites,
Sasson suggests that the mechanism for coping with scarcity included
maximizing subsistence security while reducing risks and minimizing
fluctuations in the resource base. In most sites examined by him, the
relative frequency of sheep does not exceed 67% and this pattern occurs
in all periods as well as all geographical regions in Israel. According to
Sasson, it reflects a survival subsistence strategy that strived for balance
between the demand for wool, produced of sheep, and the demand for
herd security maintained mostly by goats. Likewise, Sasson recognizes
an additional pattern of exploiting caprine for all of their products.
This pattern stands in contrast with theories on specialization in pro-
duction of meat, milk or wool in the Southern Levant and, according
to Sasson, points to a self-sufficient economy and optimal exploitation
of subsistence resources.
Gadot uses the “longue durée” approach to explore continuity and
change in the Late Bronze Age to Iron Age transition in Israel’s central
introduction xix

Coastal Plain. Relying on a nuanced analysis of this lengthy period,


Gadot postulates that new sociopolitical organizations emerged along
the Yarkon-Ayalon basin during the Late Bronze-Iron Age three times
in succession. According to Gadot, the first system was created by the
Egyptians who turned Jaffa into one of their strongholds in Canaan,
and the plains along the Yarkon River into royal or temple estates.
However, when the Egyptian system came to a violent end, the area
was marginalized and no single centralized social group had control
over the land. Only when the Philistines immigrated into the region
from the south was a new sociopolitical order established again. Gadot
concludes that in the area discussed, the initiation of a new social
order was always brought about by an external political power taking
advantage of fragmented local social groups in order to exploit the
region economically.
Shavit presents an investigation of the urban landscape through the
lens of regional studies. Following his survey of Iron Age sites in Philistia,
he addresses the apparent anomaly of the emergence of urban centers
with almost no surrounding hinterland. This is an exceptional phenom-
enon in the landscape of ancient Israel, where urban settlement is usu-
ally a part of a multi-tiered settlement pattern. Based on parallels from
the Late Bronze Aegean, Shavit suggests that Aegean concepts of urban
settlement, imported by the Philistine migrants in the 12th century BCE
had a long-lasting influence on the hinterlands of Tel Miqne-Ekron,
Tel ¶afit-Gath, Tel Ashdod, Tel Ashkelon, and Gaza. Shavit describes
the Philistine centers as “city-villages” or “quasi-cities,” isolated from
their surroundings, with inhabitants who subsisted mostly on agriculture,
and with an economy that did not rely on a hinterland.
Fantalkin’s article deals with the appearance of burial practices con-
nected to the use of rock-cut bench tombs in Iron Age Judah. In his
opinion, the present scholarly consensus, which sees these tombs as a
phenomenon characterizing both the United Monarchy and the King-
dom of Judah, fails to explain the fact that these tombs are attested
in the Judean core area only as early as the 8th century BCE, while
in other areas, such as the Judean foothills (the Shephelah) and the
Coastal Plain, the development of such tombs is dated significantly
earlier. Fantalkin hypothesizes that the aggressive expansionist policy of
Aram-Damascus, which resulted in the decline of Gath and the tem-
porary weakening of the Northern Kingdom in the second half of 9th
century BCE, may have paved the way for Judah’s expansion into the
xx introduction

area of the Shephelah and the latter’s integration into the Kingdom
of Judah. In this scenario, the widespread appearance of bench tombs
throughout the Kingdom of Judah during the 8th and 7th centuries
BCE may be seen as a sign of state formation as lowland elite burial
practices were adopted by newly created Judahite urban elites.
Franklin investigates anew the well-known Iron Age palaces at Sama-
ria and Megiddo. According to her, both palaces share a distinctive
set of architectural characteristics, which when view together with her
re-analysis of the stratigraphy at Samaria and Megiddo, highlights
the fact that their construction may be safely dated to the 9th century
BCE. Two significant features present at both palaces are the use of
specific masons’ marks and the utilization of the short cubit as the unit
of measurement; these provide, in Franklin’s view, a clue to the identity
of the builders.
Yasur-Landau explores the iconographic message in what is arguably
the most famous ceramic find from Megiddo, the “Orpheus Jug”. Yasur-
Landau argues that the figural iconography on the jug suggests that it is
not purely Philistine in origin. Cypriot imagery may have influenced the
style of the animal and human figures on the “Orpheus Jug,” demon-
strating new contacts with Cyprus at the end of the 11th century BCE.
However, the topic of the scene is neither Cypriot nor Philistine, but
belongs to a long tradition of Canaanite representations of sacred trees
and animals, relating to Ashera or Astarte. These traditions continued
at Megiddo, unhindered, into the Iron Age, an active manifestation of
Canaanite cultural identity, while at Philistia representations of trees
and animals were suppressed by the Philistine imagery of the bird,
symbol of an Aegean Goddess.
The twelve authors included here, a symbolic metaphor, represent
in fact only a fraction of Israel’s many students. Professor Finklestein’s
ongoing commitment to the training and guiding of students will no
doubt continue to produce a steady flow of new archaeologists. More
“Bene” and “Benot” Israel indeed.

Alexander Fantalkin
Assaf Yasur-Landau
Tel Aviv 25.03.2008
URBAN LAND USE CHANGES ON THE SOUTHEASTERN
SLOPE OF TEL MEGIDDO DURING THE
MIDDLE BRONZE AGE

Eran Arie

They always say time changes things, but you actually


have to change them yourself . . .
Andy Warhol

Introduction

One of the goals set forth by the directors—one of which is Israel


Finkelstein—of the Expedition of Tel Aviv University to Megiddo
was to launch a “renewed investigation in areas previously excavated,
intended to deal with stratigraphic, chronological, architectural and
historical problems which remained unsolved by former excavations”
(Finkelstein et al. 2000: 3). As a team member of this expedition I will
suggest a solution for one of these problems.
Most research dealing with material from the Middle Bronze tombs in
Megiddo ignored the tombs on the slope (Kenyon 1969; Tufnell 1973;
Hallote 2001). In other studies the latter were only partially investigated
(Wright 1965: Chart 5; Dever 1976: Chart 2; Gerstenblith 1983: 26),
but they were never examined independently. This article explores the
chronological, stratigraphic, and spatial aspects of these tombs in order
to understand what occurred on the southeastern slope of Tel Megiddo
during that period. The two main research questions are:
1. What were the land uses of the southeastern slope of Tel Megiddo
during the Middle Bronze Age?
2. Are we actually familiar with the extramural cemetery of the
Middle Bronze II–III in Megiddo?
2 eran arie

The Excavations of the Southeastern Slope

Prior to the beginning of the excavations at Megiddo by the University


of Chicago Expedition, an area was prepared for the depositing of
debris from the excavations (Guy and Engberg 1938: 2). C. S. Fisher
had excavated the southeastern slope for that purpose in 1925, and his
successor, P. L. O. Guy, enlarged the dump area in 1927 after debris
had filled it (Fig. 1). During the last expansion of this area between
1930 and 1932, the well-known Early Bronze stages were revealed.
The published plan of the dump grounds presents only about half
of its area and the only documentation available for the rest of the
area is an aerial photograph taken from the famous balloon (Guy and
Engberg 1938: Pl. 2). In all, an area of ca. 15,000 m2 of the grounds
used for the dump was excavated and approximately 125 tombs were
discovered. In addition to the tombs, several architectural elements were
found in Squares Q-S/15–16. The finds were assigned to three strata
distinguished from those of the tell by the prefix ES (Eastern Slope).
Due to the excavation methods that characterized the field work
conducted in Palestine during the 1920s and the 1930s, the results of
the excavation of the southeastern slope of Tel Megiddo are difficult to
reexamine. Many finds were not published, and others were collected
selectively and not systematically documented. The excavations of the
University of Chicago Expedition on the slope concentrated mainly on
the tombs, and it seems that the architectural elements were overlooked.
As described by Guy and Engberg: “there were few buildings or other
remains of high interest in the area, so the work went quickly” (Guy
and Engberg 1938: 2). Furthermore, some of the sparse architectural
finds that were documented (ibid.) were never published.
Ever since the southeastern slope of the tell was excavated, it has been
interpreted as part of the extramural cemetery of the city. All activity
that took place in this area from the Early Bronze Age to the Iron Age
I and even later has always been considered funerary (Guy and Engberg
1938: 135; Broshi and Gophna 1986: 75; Kempinski 1989: 189; Gonen
1992a: 41, 87; Hallote 1994: 22). It should be noted that during 1927,
while the northwestern part of the slope—where most of the Middle
Bronze II–III1 tombs are concentrated—was being excavated, the

1
The terminology used here is: Middle Bronze I: 2,000–1,800; Middle Bronze II:
1,800–1,650; Middle Bronze III: 1,650–1,500; after Ilan 1995: 298; cf. Bietak 2002:
41, Fig. 15.
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 3

Middle Bronze strata on the tell (in Area BB) with their wealthy tombs
had not yet been explored. At this stage of the excavations, Guy and
his team were not aware of the widespread Middle Bronze Age burial
custom of interring under house floors and courtyards. I believe that this
was the reason Guy and Engberg regarded the Middle Bronze burials
of the slope as isolated tombs lacking architectural context. Since then,
the area has been regarded as part of the Middle Bronze cemetery.

Pottery Groups of Middle Bronze Megiddo

A major role in the construction of the Megiddo Middle Bronze pottery


typology belongs to the finds retrieved from over two hundred tombs in
Area BB by the Chicago Expedition. In the report, tombs and finds were
grouped together solely according to their absolute levels (Loud 1948),
and therefore never represented coherent chronological strata. Kenyon
(1969) and Gerstenblith (1983) reexamined the ceramic material from
these tombs in order to gain stratigraphic and typological information.
Gerstenblith, dealing only with the Middle Bronze I material, detected
four ceramic phases (1–4) representing the emergence of the Middle
Bronze urban culture. Kenyon, who worked on the Middle Bronze II–III
ceramic finds, divided this long period into eight ceramic groups (A–H),
which she then assigned to respective stratigraphic phases in Areas BB
and AA. Despite the fact that some of the tombs dated by Gerstenblith
to the Middle Bronze I were dated by Kenyon to the Middle Bronze
II, these studies are the most important typological researches of the
Middle Bronze pottery of Megiddo.
Although the researches detected twelve ceramic phases in all, it is
now clear that only nine pottery groups can really be identified in the
ceramic evidence. Beck showed that in contrast to the four ceramic
phases of Middle Bronze I in Aphek, Gerstenblith was able to point
out only three real pottery groups in Megiddo (1/2, 3, 4) (Beck 2000:
239–254; Cohen 2002: 87; Kochavi and Yadin 2002: 196–225). 2
Kenyon’s identification of Group D was based on the appearance of
Cypriot import (Kenyon 1969: 31), but Gerstenblith demonstrated that
Cypriot vessels had already appeared in her earlier Group 4 (Gersten-
blith 1983: 28). Furthermore, Kempinski (1974: 151), who dealt with
Kenyon’s Groups F and G (Kenyon 1969: 34–35), argued that the two

2
The earliest phase at Aphek is missing in Megiddo; see Beck 1985: 193.
4 eran arie

should be combined into one group. Table 1 presents the nine pottery
groups of Middle Bronze Megiddo in their stratigraphic context, in view
of the main researches on the stratigraphy of Middle Bronze Megiddo
(Loud 1948; Kenyon 1958: 51*–60*; Epstein 1965: 204–221; Kenyon
1969: 25–60; Dunayevsky and Kempinski 1973: 161–187; Gerstenblith
1983; Ilan, Hallote, and Cline 2000: 186–222).

Division of the Slope Tombs according to Ceramic Groups

The Chicago Expedition dated twenty-five tombs on the southeastern


slope to the Middle Bronze Age (Guy and Engberg 1938: 140).3 How-
ever, this assignation is far from being a straightforward one; three
tombs (T.244, T.252, T.255) were dated to the Middle Bronze Age
intuitively because they were close to other accurately dated Middle
Bronze tombs, although no indicative pottery was found in them (Guy
and Engberg, 1938: 56–60). Two other tombs (T.46, T.50) were dated
to the Middle Bronze Age according to pottery, but not a single vessel
or sherd from them was published (Guy and Engberg, 1938: 52–54).
Furthermore, Gonen redated two tombs (T.251, T.258) to the Late
Bronze Age (Gonen 1992: 88). Therefore, only 18 tombs, which most
likely date to the Middle Bronze Age, are dealt with here (Fig. 2).4 In
order to reexamine the different land uses of the southeastern slope of
Megiddo during the Middle Bronze Age, each tomb of the slope was
examined separately, and each tomb was affiliated with Kenyon and
Gerstenblith’s pottery groups. When affiliating a ceramic group with a
tomb was not possible since sufficient indicative pottery was not avail-
able, only a subdivision of the Middle Bronze Age was established. Once
the chronology of the tombs was established, several analyses, which
were combined with stratigraphic and spatial investigations, made it
possible to comprehend changes in land use on the southeastern slope
of Megiddo during the Middle Bronze Age.

3
Two additional tombs (T.644 and T.645) that were also dated to the Middle Bronze
Age are not located on the southeastern slope and are therefore not examined here.
4
While the Middle Bronze Age scarabs retrieved from Megiddo were examined
several times, those from the tombs in the southeastern slope were never studied sys-
tematically. Although this examination is beyond the scope of this article, these scarabs
fit the chronological affiliation presented in Table 2 (Daphna Ben-Tor, personal com-
munication). See also Tufnell 1973: 69–82; Ward and Dever 1994.
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 5

Table 1. Middle Bronze pottery groups in their stratigraphic context


Stratum Loud Gerstenblith Kenyon Dunayevsky Epstein Ilan et al. Current
1948 1983 1958; 1969 and Kempinski 1965 2000 terminology
1973 Area F

XIV MB I Phase G: XIVB: EB IIIB: IBA


(1850– EB–MB: Temple 4040
1800) partly filled and Altar 4017;
Temple XIVA: MB
4040 I: partly
filled Temple
4040 and
“Pavement”
4009
XIIIB MB I Phase H: MB IIA: filled MB I
(1800– Phase 1/2: MB I; Temple 4040
1750) MB IA Phase J: MB and buildings
I–MB II around the
sacred area
Phase 3:
XIIIA Phase K MB IIA: filled Phase I:
MB IB
(AA*): MB II: Temple 4040 earliest
PG–A; and buildings phase of
Phase L around the Temple
Phase 4:
(AB*): PG–B sacred area and 2048
MB IC
Wall 3182
XII MB II Phase M MB IIA: Level MB I–MB
(1750– (AC*): end Western Palace, F-12 II
1700) of Temple cult chamber
4040; surrounded by
Phase N: stelae and Wall
PG–C 3182
Area AA: Gate
4103
XI MB II Phase O MB IIB: Palace Phase II: Level MB II
(1700– (AD*, AE*): 5051, cult second F-11
1650) PG–D chamber and phase of
wall Temple
Area AA: 2048
rampart and
Gate 4109
X MB II Phase P MB IIB (= MB MB III
(1650– (AF*, AG*): IIC): Palace
1550) last phase of 5019 and
MB II: earliest Temple
PG–E, F/G 2048
Area AA:
Building 2005
IX MB II End of Phase LB I: Temple Level LB I
(1550– P: 2048 and F-10
1479) PG–H Palace 2134

* Kenyon phases in Area AA


PG – Pottery Group
6 eran arie

Tables 2–3 present the division of the Middle Bronze tombs on the
southeastern slope according to ceramic groups. While in Table 2 the
tombs are arranged according to their numeric order, in Table 3 they
are organized by ceramic groups and tomb types.

Table 2. Database of the Middle Bronze tombs of the southeastern slope


Tomb No. Pottery group Burial type
(Gerstenblith/ Kenyon)
24 B Shaft tomb
42 E Shaft tomb
43 MB II–III Rock-cut pit tomb
44 MB II–III Rock-cut pit tomb
45 E Rock-cut pit tomb
49 F/G Rock-cut pit tomb
51 E–F/G Masonry chamber tomb
53 E–F/G Rock-cut pit tomb
56 MB II–III Masonry chamber tomb
233 E–F/G Rock-cut pit tomb
234 E–F/G Rock-cut pit tomb
247 E–F/G Jar burial
253 E–F/G Jar burial
254 MB II–III Simple pit tomb
257 MB II–III Jar burial
868 E–F/G or LB I Simple pit tomb
911 911A1: 1/2, 3, 4 (?) Shaft tomb
911 D: 3
912 912 B: 1/2 Shaft tomb
912 D: 3

Table 3. The tombs according to type and ceramic groups


MB I MB II–III (Kenyon 1969)
(Gerstenblith Total
1983) MB II MB II–III MB III
(1/2, 3, 4) (A, B, C) (A, B, C, E, (E, F/G)
F/G)
Simple pit 1 1 2
Rock-cut pit 2 5 7
Jar burial 1 2 3
Masonry 1 1 2
chamber tomb
Shaft tomb 2 1 1 4
Total 2 (11%) 1 (6%) 5 (28%) 10 (55%) 18 (100%)
11% 89% 100%
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 7

Intrasite, Intersite, and Diachronic Analyses of the Slope Tombs

Almost all of the Middle Bronze tombs that were excavated on the
summit of the mound (in Area BB) were found below floors and
courtyards of buildings. They included a wide range of tomb types
(Loud 1948: 119–132); most were of individual interments and only
some contained several skeletons. There is a resemblance between the
tomb types dated to Middle Bronze II–III in the northwestern part of
the southeastern slope (Squares Q–S 15–16) and those excavated on
the tell. In both cases masonry chamber tombs, cist tombs, simple pit
tombs, and jar burials were found. The lack of rock-cut pit tombs on
the tell is probably a result of the absence of bedrock levels on the
artificial mound and does not symbolize social or cultural diversity.
I believe that the existence of intramural mortuary practices on the
southeastern slope of Tel Megiddo is an indicator to the similarity
between land uses of this area and of the summit of the tell during
the Middle Bronze Age II–III.
Hundreds of tombs excavated in Israel shed light on the mortuary
practices of the population of Canaan during the Middle Bronze Age.
One of the most characteristic types is the jar burial; nearly all of these
burials across Israel were excavated below walls, floors, and courtyards
of buildings (Hallote 1994: 226–239; Ilan 1996: 248). Masonry chamber
tombs, on the other hand, were found only in a limited number of sites
(Gonen 1992: 153), Megiddo being the most important to date. When
stratigraphic circumstances allowed, it seems that these were always
built below floors of buildings (Ilan 1992: 122–124; Kempinski 2002:
51–54). Consequently, it looks as if the two tomb types reflect, almost
always, interments under floors and courtyards of private houses.
In the Middle Bronze II–III, mass-burial caves were the most com-
mon type of tomb in extramural cemeteries (Hallote 1995: 106). It is
therefore unlikely that the greater part of the southeastern slope of
Megiddo, had it been the extramural cemetery of the site, would have
contained only one tomb of this type (T.24). It is highly improbable
that the southeastern slope of Megiddo should demonstrate a ratio
between mass-burial caves and individual interments that is almost
opposite to that of extramural cemeteries of most other sites. This
comparison between the mortuary practices on the slope and those of
Middle Bronze Canaan provides a second clue for the domestic nature
of the slope during the Middle Bronze Age II–III.
8 eran arie

The number of tombs on the southeastern slope dated to Middle


Bronze Age is significantly lower than the number of tombs from the
Intermediate Bronze Age and the Late Bronze Age found in the same
area. The eighteen tombs dated to the Middle Bronze Age must be
weighed against the more than fifty tombs of the Intermediate Bronze
Age,5 and a similar number of tombs that were ascribed to the Late
Bronze Age (Guy and Engberg 1938: 139–141, Table I). Kempin-
ski and Gonen noted this anomaly; Kempinski tried to solve it by a
cultural change he identified in the population of Megiddo during
the Middle Bronze Age (Kempinski 1989: 192), while Gonen offered
no explanation (Gonen 1992: 41). I propose that the decrease in the
number of tombs in the transition from the Intermediate Bronze Age
to the Middle Bronze Age, followed by an increase during the Late
Bronze Age, suggests that there was another use for this area during
the Middle Bronze Age.
Further evidence for the function of the area during the Middle
Bronze Age is given by the fact that while the Intermediate Bronze
and Late Bronze Ages tombs are distributed almost evenly over the
excavated area, the Middle Bronze tombs are concentrated in only
two main spots (see Fig. 2). This remarkable phenomenon reinforces
the assumption of different land usage on the slope during the Middle
Bronze Age.

Stratigraphy and Spatial Distribution of the Slope Tombs

Only in three cases did the excavators of Megiddo examine the strati-
graphic connections between tombs and architectural remains retrieved
above them. In all three of them reexamination of the data may imply
that the architectural elements situated in the vicinity of the Middle
Bronze Age tombs has to be re-dated to the same period:
Tomb 247 is a jar burial of an infant. The jar was found in an
“extensive bed of rock chippings upon which Room 238 (in Stratum
ES II) was built, and part of the jar was directly under the southeast
corner of that room” (Guy and Engberg 1938: 57). Although the exca-
vators proceed to argue that Room 238 dates to the Late Bronze Age,

5
Some of which were reused during the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age I.
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 9

it seems more reasonable that, as was the case with many other jar
burials of the Middle Bronze Age, the infant in Tomb 247 was buried
underneath the floor and walls of Room 238, which must therefore be
dated to the Middle Bronze Age as well.
Tomb 254 is a simple pit tomb of a child, found underneath the
center of a constructed room. The excavators thought that “the occu-
pation of the room and the burial of the child cannot be far in time;
perhaps the child was buried in its former home” (ibid.: 59). In my
opinion, had the excavators known about Middle Bronze burial customs
(especially of children) under the floors of houses they would have dated
the house and the tomb to the same period.
The excavators report that the roof of Room D in Tomb 911 had
been broken when a cistern or a silo was built above it. They believed
that this silo was abandoned and filled during the Middle Bronze II
(ibid.: 68). Although Tomb 911 is located in the southern part of the
excavated area, this is another example for a domestic use of the slope
during the Middle Bronze II–III.
Besides these three examples one more case should be mentioned:
Tomb 51 is a masonry chamber tomb. Although the excavators men-
tioned no stratigraphic relation to its superstructure, the plan and
photograph of the tomb (ibid.: Pl. 1; Fig. 54) suggest that it was built
alongside a wall. As aforementioned, masonry chamber tombs were
always built below floors of buildings. Thus the wall that appears on
the plan and photograph is probably a wall of the building into its
floor Tomb 51 was excavated. This may imply that both the wall and
the tomb were built at the same time.
The spatial distribution of the tombs on the southeastern slope (Fig. 2)
also implies a change in land use during the Middle Bronze Age. The
tombs are concentrated in two areas. The first is in the southern part
of the excavated area, where mass-burial caves are concentrated. These
tombs date from the Middle Bronze I until the end of the Middle
Bronze II (Kenyon Pottery Groups A–B). The second area is located
on the northwestern part of the slope, where individual interments first
appeared during the Middle Bronze II, and continued to exist until the
end of the Middle Bronze III. Middle Bronze III tombs appeared only
in the northwestern part (almost all of individual interments).
Furthermore, three significant facts concerning the architectural
elements on the northwestern part of the excavated area of the slope
should be considered:
10 eran arie

• This excavated “corner” is the richest in architectural remains.


• This is the highest area excavated on the slope and it is only ca.
10 m lower than the Middle Bronze strata excavated in the adja-
cent Area BB (Loud 1948: Figs. 398–401).
• The walls in Squares Q–S-15–16 are clearly parallel to the edge
of the mound.
A single tomb (T.868) that was found on the southern part of the slope
is probably one of the earliest tombs of the Late Bronze Age, when
people started again to burry in this part of Megiddo after a gap dur-
ing the Middle Bronze II–III.

Urban Developments and Land Use Changes

Discussing land use on the slope of Megiddo, one must mention the
expansion of the city during its one of the most conspicuous period
of urbanization. The construction of the lower city (the terrace) of
Megiddo has recently been dated to the beginning of the Middle Bronze
II (Ilan, Franklin, and Hallote 2000: 83). This process shaped the tell,
bringing it to its present form and size (the upper mound reaching
ca. 8 ha and the terrace, ca. 4 ha). These vast earthworks enabled the
expansion of the city toward tracts that had previously not existed.
Wall 220, also referred to as Wall K (Guy 1931: Fig. 14) (Fig. 2) was
excavated on the southeastern slope (Guy and Engberg 1938: Pl. 1), and
interpreted as the foundation of an outer city wall built when the city
was at its largest. Guy dated this wall to the 10th century BCE, though
on what basis is unclear. A retaining wall (Wall 94/F/15) dated to the
Middle Bronze II that was unearthed by the renewed expedition of
Tel Aviv University in Area F,6 located on the terrace, was understood
as the continuation of Wall 220 (Ilan, Franklin, and Hallote 2000: 80).
Both walls were part of the infrastructure of the terrace and were built
in order to support the considerable weight of the embankment. It
seems that Guy, excavating on the southeastern slope, was not aware
that he was digging through the Middle Bronze embankment. If so,
the borderline of the terrace must be drawn in a larger scale, and the

6
Retaining wall 94/F/15 was dated to the Middle Bronze II on the basis of the
latest pottery retrieved from the fill behind it (Loci 96/F/26 and 96/F/29) and dated
to this period (Ilan, Franklin, and Hallote 2000: 78).
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 11

connecting point between the lower city and the upper mound was
in a southern point from the excavated area on the slope (as Guy’s
reconstruction of the city during the 10th century BCE). This means
that the Middle Bronze tombs found in Squares Q-S-15–16 were west
of the retaining wall, and, thus, actually built on the terrace.
If this reconstruction is indeed true, most of the architectural remains
excavated by the Chicago Expedition in Squares Q-S-15–16 should be
interpreted as a living quarter constructed during the Middle Bronze
II–III on the southeastern edge of the newly built terrace. Following its
construction, the custom of multiple burials in caves ceased completely.
The three mass-burial caves from the Middle Bronze I–II, located on
the southern part of the slope, may indicate that in the first phase of
the Middle Bronze Age this area was used as part of the extramural
cemetery of Megiddo. After the embankment was constructed, the
cemetery was transferred to another location, and a living quarter was
erected on the upper part of the embankment; only at the beginning
of the Late Bronze Age was the area of the slope once again used as a
cemetery. It looks, therefore, as if the Middle Bronze II–III extramural
cemetery of Megiddo has not yet been found.
The urban land use of part of the slope during the Middle Bronze
II–III as a neighborhood requires a short discussion of the actual size of
Megiddo during this period. Three anchors are relevant to this estima-
tion: the retaining wall on the southeastern slope (Wall 220) (Guy and
Engberg 1938: Pl. 1); the retaining wall in Area F (Wall 94/F/15) (Ilan,
Franklin, and Hallote 2000: Fig. 4.9); and the architectural remains in
Area N of the renewed expedition (Peersmann 2006). Area N is located
at the foot of the northwestern side of the tell, approximately 100 m
to the north of the spring. Of four levels detected in the excavations,
three were dated to the Middle Bronze III. All three elements were
built to an approximate height of 137 m a.s.l. If we drew a virtual
circumferential line around Tel Megiddo at this height, we would find
that the size of Megiddo at its peak, during the Middle Bronze III,
reached approximately 13.5 ha–1.5 ha more than the accepted size
of 12 ha. This calculation affects the size of the population propor-
tionately. Furthermore, habitation on slopes of mounds was probably
a wide phenomenon, and should be taken into account when dealing
with urban rank-size hierarchy and population estimates (cf. Broshi and
Gophna 1986: 86; Finkelstein 1992: 208).
12 eran arie

Social and Cultural Significance

Burial assemblages—when found sealed—represent cultural values and


social organizations in the best manner, because they reflect a frozen
point in time (Chapman and Randsborg 1981). The importance of
Middle Bronze burial assemblages is particularly noteworthy because
of their extensive distribution and the abundance of finds they display
(Hallote 1995: 93–94). Diversity in burial types most probably reflects
social variability (Ilan 1992: 133–135), adding further meaning to the
assemblages they yield. The fact that so many tombs were found in
urban areas under living surfaces might shed light on the tight link
between life and death. I believe that the land use changes that took
place on the slope of Tel Megiddo, after it had served as a cemetery
for hundreds of years (until the construction of the ramparts in the
beginning of Middle Bronze II), have social and cultural significance.
Earthworks that sealed earlier remnants dating to the beginning of
the Middle Bronze Age are identified at additional sites as well. The
strong rampart of Tel Dan, which was constructed during the end of
the Middle Bronze I, seals small domestic buildings that were part of
a village (Ilan 1996: 163–164). Underneath their floors three jar buri-
als (Tombs 902b–902d) and a cist tomb (Tomb 23) were found (ibid.:
167–168, 203–204). A similar phenomenon was observed at Tel Lachish
where poorly built walls of buildings were uncovered below the Middle
Bronze rampart (Tufnell 1958: Pls. 5: 3–5, 90). Under these walls three
pit tombs (Tombs 145, 157, 173) dated to the Middle Bronze I were
unearthed (ibid.: 62). In both cases, the tombs found below architectural
remains facilitate the identification and dating of this phenomenon.
In Yoqne{am, City Wall 415, which was dated to the Middle Bronze
Age I, sealed earlier rock-cut Burial Cave 2489 dated to the earliest
phase of Middle Bronze I (Livneh and Ben-Tor 2005: 11–16). It seems
that also in nearby Tel Ma{amer three shaft tombs from the Middle
Bronze I–II found during construction works near the tell were covered
by a rampart (Druks 1982: 1, Fig. 1, Pl. I: 4). In addition, three tombs
(Tombs 9, 13, 17) from the earliest phases of Middle Bronze II exca-
vated at Beth-Shemesh were sealed by the city wall that was erected
in a later phase (Grant 1929: 25–26). It might also be that Tomb 1181
from Hazor was sealed by the fortification of the city, although their
stratigraphic relationship is debated (Maeir 1997: 317–319; contra
Yadin 1972: 201–206).
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 13

It should be noted that while the examples from Dan and Lachish
illustrate a situation of earthworks covering domestic buildings under
which tombs were dug, at Megiddo, Yoqne{am, Tel Ma{amer, Beth-
Shemesh, and perhaps at Hazor, fortifications from the Middle Bronze
Age sealed isolated burials that were part of extramural cemeteries.
During the enlargements of these cities, while constructing the huge
earthworks, parts of these cemeteries were covered. In both cases,
once the earthworks had been constructed, access to the tombs was
denied and they were neglected until revealed in the archaeological
excavations.
The builders of the great Middle Bronze ramparts invested essential
resources such as time, raw material, and labor in their construction.
Bunimovitz and Finkelstein defined these earthworks as a symbol of
power and a testimony to conspicuous consumption (Bunimovitz 1992:
225–228; Finkelstein 1992: 212–214). The military role of these struc-
tures was called into question and they were interpreted as a mark of
social and political status, which can now be explained against the
background of competition between Canaanite city-states as part of
peer polity interaction. The construction of earthworks contributed to
the integration of social solidarity of the different groups in the cities,
and to the intensification of the power of social elites, which, in turn,
enabled the development of stratified urban societies (Bunimovitz
1992: 228).
In light of this context, the covering and sealing of the tombs by
the Middle Bronze ramparts must be reexamined. In my opinion, it
seems that sealing the tombs, thus keeping them from being accessed,
reinforces the assumption that the construction of these earthworks
was imposed on their builders by social elites. It seems logical that the
people who were buried in these tombs were not ancestors of these
elites. The sealing of the tombs is further evidence for the irrational-
ity of the construction of these earthworks, and it emphasizes, once
again, the existence of a central authority that controlled the gathering,
concentration, and allocation of the limited resources available.
The land use change that took place in Megiddo during the Middle
Bronze II—from a cemetery to a domestic neighborhood—testifies to
social elites competing over and aspiring to political power. This was
manifested in the form of massive constructions motivated by the desire
for control and domination, while neglecting the dead. New habitation
at the time of the recently erected rampart (during the Middle Bronze
14 eran arie

II–III) probably attests to another phenomenon relating to the demo-


graphic growth in Middle Bronze population. During the beginning of
the Late Bronze Age, when the population of Megiddo was reduced
and the size of the city had decreased respectively, the southeastern
slope was once again used as a cemetery.
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 15

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London.
THE APPEARANCE OF ROCK-CUT BENCH TOMBS
IN IRON AGE JUDAH AS A REFLECTION OF
STATE FORMATION

Alexander Fantalkin

Introduction

The emergence of statehood in Judah has been the subject of numerous


studies over the last few decades.1 Although the matter is still debated,
the archaeological data collected so far supply, in my view, no clear
evidence for the existence of a fully developed state in Judah before
the late 9th–early 8th centuries BCE.2 In what follows, I will point out
several factors that agree with the archaeological record and which may
also be interpreted as reliable signs of statehood in Iron Age Judah.
The main issue I wish to concentrate on is the appearance of burial
practices connected with the use of so-called bench tombs in Iron Age
Judah. The consensus among most scholars is that rock-cut bench tombs
are a Judahite phenomenon, characterizing both the United Monarchy
and the Kingdom of Judah. Such a reconstruction, however, fails to
provide a reasonable explanation for the fact that bench tombs in the
Judean core area (the Jerusalem Hills) appear only in the 8th century
BCE, while in other areas such tombs arrive significantly earlier. Is
there a connection between the appearance of bench tombs throughout
the Kingdom of Judah during the 8th century BCE and its emergence
as a fully developed state? I argue that the widespread appearance of

1
References regarding the emergence of statehood in Judah are numerous; for
collections of essays addressing the subject, see, e.g., Lipi…ski 1991; Finkelstein and
Na aman 1994; Levy 1995; Fritz and Davies 1996; Handy 1997; Gitin et al. 1998;
Vaughn and Killebrew 2003; see, also Finkelstein and Silberman 2001; 2006; Halpern
2001; Na aman 2002; Routledge 2004: 114–132; Herzog and Singer-Avitz 2004;
Fantalkin and Finkelstein 2006.
2
For a number of alternatives and different perspectives, cf. Jameson-Drake 1991;
Finkelstein 1999; Cahill 2003; Herzog and Singer-Avitz 2004; Mazar 2005; Fantalkin
and Finkelstein 2006; Na aman 2007.
18 alexander fantalkin

bench tombs throughout the Kingdom of Judah during the Iron Age
IIB is a reflection of state formation, accompanied by the creation of
new elites, who apparently adopted this burial practice. But first a few
introductory notes are necessary.
The intensive research of rock-cut bench tombs in Iron Age Judah,
as well as of relevant biblical sources, has resulted in numerous sum-
maries, which offer a wide range of chronological, architectural and
sociological viewpoints (e.g., Loffreda 1968; Brichto 1973; Ribar 1973;
Abercrombie 1979; Spronk 1986; Lewis 1989; Bloch-Smith 1992a;
Ussishkin 1993; Barkay 1994; Burkes 1999: 9–33; Yezerski 1999; Fried-
man and Overton 2000; Schmidt 2000; Wenning 2005). This extensive
database, developed since the undertaking of the Survey of Western
Palestine in the 1870s, provides considerable information regarding
burial customs of the inhabitants of Judah during the monarchic period.
Recent summaries include nearly 300 rock-cut bench tombs dated to
that period (Barkay 1994; Yezerski 1995), and archaeology is likely to
increase this number.
From a typological perspective, bench tombs may be divided into
several main groups (for the most up-to-date summary, see Yezerski
1999). The first attempt to demonstrate continuity in development
between the different types of bench tombs was made by Loffreda who
discerned five basic types and three sub-types, arranged typologically
and chronologically from the simplest to the most complex (Loffreda
1968: 265–287). However, Loffreda’s evolutionary scheme is misleading
since it has been shown that some types existed simultaneously (e.g.,
Borowski 1994: 46). According to Barkay (1994: 162; 1999), the typo-
logical differences between rock-cut bench tombs may reflect various
dwelling types in Judah, as well as the social status of those interred. In
addition, the simultaneous existence of several typological-architectural
groups probably attests to regional differences as well (Yezerski 1999).
But despite architectural differences, rock-cut bench tombs most prob-
ably reflect an identical conceptualization of the afterlife (cf. Osborne
2007; Suriano 2007).3
The absolute dates of the bench tombs are based on limited ceramic
finds; those discovered looted are dated by stylistic comparison with

3
For the purpose of the present article, the typological differences between bench
tombs are insignificant, since all cases (including so-called arcosolium type) share a com-
mon concept of a bench on which the deceased was laid.
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 19

securely dated tombs. A number of similar elements in the funerary


architecture of neighboring countries may provide additional informa-
tion for the absolute chronology of bench tombs in Judah (Ussishkin
1993: 303–316). A few inscriptions that were found in several caves may
serve as further supporting evidence for the accepted chronology. Their
chronology and paleography have been discussed sufficiently elsewhere
(e.g., Naveh 1963; Dever 1969–1970; Cross 1970; Lemaire 1976; Zevit
1984; Hadley 1987; Ussishkin 1993: 241–254; Mathys 1996).4
The distribution of bench tombs, at least during the 8th–7th centu-
ries BCE, corresponds, on the whole, to the territory of Judah at that
time (Yezerski 1999).5 Concentrations of a number of burial caves from
the same period in one place may indicate cemeteries. These have
been discovered proximate to large and medium-sized settlements. In
addition to Jerusalem, where the density of burial caves is the largest,
bench tomb cemeteries are known from numerous other Judahite sites
(for the list of cemeteries, see Barkay 1994: 114, n. 55 with earlier ref-
erences). On the other hand, sometimes a single cave is found in the
hinterland, unaccompanied by any other architectural remains. Such
caves, as Barkay (1994: 105) points out, should most likely be attributed
to farms, the remnants of which have disappeared over time.

Discussion
Can Bench Tombs in Iron Age Judah Serve as an Indicator of Social Rank?
Any scientific investigation of the burial customs of ancient societ-
ies should first consider the finds themselves (the tombs and their
contexts) as well as historical sources, if such exist. Such evidence is
obviously not sufficient to create a complete picture of the significance
and implications of an ancient society’s burial customs. It is a difficult
task to analyze funeral finds in an attempt to uncover what light they
may shed on societies with complex social and economic hierarchies

4
Parker’s (2003) recent suggestion that it is possible to interpret a considerable part
of Iron Age graffiti found in caves in Judah as expressions of refugees hiding away from
enemies does not diminish the chronological value of these inscriptions in establishing
the absolute chronology of the bench tombs.
5
The presence of bench tombs in Transjordan (e.g., Meqabelein, Sahab, and
Dhiban) is of minor significance compared to that in the Cisjordan and does not
weaken Yezerski’s main argument.
20 alexander fantalkin

(cf. Binford 1971; Chapman and Randsborg 1981; Morris 1987; 1992;
and see in general Pearson 1999).
When dealing with burial practices in complex societies, particularly
in cases such as Iron Age Judah, where the number of known burials is
impressive, one should always keep in mind that despite their visibility
in the archaeological record, these remains might represent only a
small portion of an ancient population. It is very likely that the major-
ity of the population of Iron Age Judah used simple pit graves, which
left no trace in the archaeological record (De Vaux 1965: 58; Spronk
1986: 239; Bloch-Smith 1992a: 149–150; Hopkins 1996: 129–132;
Barkay 1999: 100). Thus, rock-cut bench tombs discovered in Jerusalem
represent, according to Barkay (1990: 103), only about 1.5% of all
the deceased in the city during the Monarchic period.6 It seems that
most of Jerusalem’s population (most probably consisting of the lower
classes), as in other parts of the Land of Israel, were buried in simple
pit graves. The existence of this custom is firmly attested in the Bible
(e.g., 2 Kings 23: 6; Jer. 26: 23; 31: 39–40).7 From an archaeological
perspective, on the other hand, the evidence for this practice is scarce,
and so far it has been found only at Lachish (Tufnell 1953: 171–249).
The limited survival of such practices in the archaeological record
should not come as a surprise, however, since a similar pattern is attested
toward the end of the Second Temple period. So far, only four sites in
Jerusalem from this period have yielded a limited number of simple pit
graves, consisting of a shallow pit ca. 0.5 m deep (Kloner 1980: 244).8

6
This is based upon Broshi’s estimates (1974; 1977; 1990; see also Broshi and Fin-
kelstein 1992). It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss the reliability of methods
for estimating population size based on archaeological finds (cf. Lipschits 2003); but in
fact, even if Broshi’s estimates, especially for Jerusalem, are exaggerated (cf. Na aman
2007 with earlier references), there is still an enormous gap between the number of
preserved caves and the estimated number of inhabitants.
7
It should be noted that some of these biblical references may also point to the
existence of mass burials in the vicinity of Jerusalem. These may have been used at
times of exceptional mortality brought on by epidemics, earthquakes, or significant
military conflicts. From an archaeological perspective this practice may be observed in
the case of Lachish (Tufnell 1953: 193–194). An additional example of mass burials
attested at Area D in Ashdod, where the communal burial pits were located within the
dwelling units, remains unclear; although, most probably, these mass burials should be
connected to the assault of Sargon II (Bachi and Ben-Dov 1971: 92–94; Bloch-Smith
1992a: 29; Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz 2001: 250, n. 18). The existence of collective
burial pits outside the city of Rome (so-called puticuli), confirmed by literary sources and
archaeology (Hopkins 1983: 207–210; Morris 1992: 42), may provide a good parallel
for communal burial pits that presumably existed in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
8
These simple pit graves should not be confused with the so-called Qumran-type
graves (Schultz 2006 with further references), recently discovered at Beth Zafafa (Zissu
and Moyal 1998; cf. also Puech 1998; Hachlili 2000).
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 21

Even though it is obvious from a demographic point of view that most


of the ancient population must have used archaeologically invisible pit
graves, this fact is often overlooked during discussions of burial customs.
For instance, concerning burial practices near the end of the Second
Temple period, several scholars believe that the gathering of bones in
ossuaries was a ritual practiced by the Jewish nation as a whole (Kloner
1980: 252; Hachlili 1994: 187). The scarcity of rock-cut tombs, in com-
parison to the assumed population size, suggests, however, that mainly
the aristocracy practiced this burial custom, while the majority of the
population, unable to purchase a family rock-cut tomb and ossuaries,
is likely to have been buried in simple pit or cist graves.9
The assumed simultaneous existence of many simple pit graves and
the concentration of groups of rock-cut bench tombs in the vicinity
of numerous Judahite cities during the Late Iron Age (8th–7th and the
beginning of 6th centuries BCE) may be examined in accordance with
Saxe’s “Hypothesis 8.” According to Saxe (1970: 119), “to the degree
that corporate group rights to use and/or control crucial but restricted
resources are attained and/or legitimized by means of lineal descent
from the dead (i.e. lineal ties to ancestors), such groups will maintain
formal disposal areas for the exclusive disposal of their dead, and con-
versely.” Saxe’s method was modified by Goldstein, who had already
pointed out that considering the wide range of variability in cultures,
the major problem found in the applications of “Hypothesis 8” is “the
low probability that certain groups, even when in similar economic and
environmental conditions, will symbolize and ritualize aspects of their
organization in precisely the same way” (1979: 61). In line with trends
in New Archaeology, Saxe’s attempt to construct a body of theory
about the sociological significance of burial, formulated as a set of eight
hypotheses tested by statistical method, received a great deal of atten-
tion from the postprocessual critics of the 80s (for a recent summary,
reopening the previous debate, see Morris 1991 with earlier references;
and Pearson 1999: 29–30). The general outcome of this critique was
expressed by Morris in the following manner: “while Saxe’s theories
clearly have relevance, they are always only one among many arguments
being voiced about funerary behaviour” (1991: 148). While I accept
this postulate, I still find it appropriate to scrutinize the emergence of
Judahite rock-cut bench tomb cemeteries, most probably accompanied

9
For additional discussion, see Regev 2000; Peleg 2002.
22 alexander fantalkin

by simple pit graves (not always necessarily in the immediate vicinity of


the rock-cut caves), in the light of several of Saxe’s claims. In both cases
there is a clear tendency toward exclusive disposal of the group’s dead
by creating well-defined areas, which function as formal cemeteries. It
is reasonable to assume that this spatial organization points to monopo-
lization of crucial but limited resources by the members of the group
buried in rock-cut bench tombs. These limited resources included the
land and the water, as well as the bedrock suitable for hewing tombs,
and were further limited by their necessary proximity to the city.10 The
biblical tradition of family burials (cf. 2 Sam. 17: 23; 21: 14; 2 Kings
14: 20; 23: 30) and the archaeological evidence for prolonged use of
rock-cut bench tombs agree with the assumption that monopolization
of power was achieved through inheritance. On the other hand, the
second, much larger group, the archaeological evidence of which is
scarce, consisted of simple pit graves. It is most probable that unlike
the former group, disposal of this group’s dead in well-defined bounded
areas was not related to lineal descent. In this case such linkage, if it
existed at all, was probably more generalized: All those buried in a
particular field belonged to a distinct group connected by “mythologi-
cal” ancestors (Patriarchs? Eponyms? Heroes?). Assuming that crucial
yet restricted resources, at least within city limits, were monopolized by
the population buried in rock-cut bench tombs, it may be suggested that
the emergence of formal cemeteries consisting of simple pit graves was
inspired by the elites buried in rock-cut bench tombs in an attempt to
organize the immediate space, shared by both groups.11 This brings us
to the conclusion that every possible reconstruction concerning burial
customs during the period of the Late Monarchy, based on the database
of rock-cut bench tombs, must take into account the assumption that
they mostly reflect the customs of a wealthy elite population. Such an
observation appears to be in accordance with Tainter’s conclusions
regarding the importance of energy expenditure in mortuary practices
(i.e. the overall amount of energy expended on disposing the body,
including body treatment, grave construction, funeral duration, and
material contributions to the funeral), as a good indicator of social rank
(Tainter 1978; see, however, McHugh 1995: 8–13 and Pearson 1999:

10
For a wide range of material and social issues, such as access to natural resources,
management of waste, and proximity to kin and social equals, which might have
appeared because of the population’s agglomeration within the cities, see, e.g., Fletcher
1995; Morgan and Coulton 1997.
11
According to Tubul (2007: 195–196), there may be even a deliberate semantic
distinction between the use of the two plural forms for the word “grave” in the Bible.
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 23

31, 74–5). To sum up, the numerous rock-cut bench tomb cemeteries
attested near Judahite cities during the Late Iron Age may reflect the
high “vertical” position of the deceased, united by belonging to elite
status “corporate” groups, which in turn reveals their “horizontal”
social position (cf. Carr 1995).

Can Bench Tombs in Iron Age Judah Serve as an Indicator of State Formation?
The affiliation of 8th–7th-century Judahite bench tombs (at least those
near the cities) with urban elites is of particular significance, though
the importance of this fact is not always clearly acknowledged.12 The
transformation of traditional Judahite culture of the 10th–9th centuries
BCE, characterized by patrilineal and individual kinship, to an elite one
near the end of the 8th and during the 7th centuries BCE was demon-
strated in two extensive studies (Halpern 1991; 1996; see also Simkins
2004).13 According to Halpern, the emergence of the monotheistic
urban elite, which gained ascendancy in Judah under Kings Hezekiah,
Manasseh, and Josiah, is reflected inter alia in Israelite burial customs.
Halpern notes that Israelite rock-cut tombs prior to the 7th century
BCE were multichambered, with space for at least four generations,
and as such, may reflect what he calls “clan section.” In the 7th century
BCE this type was replaced by a single-chambered type, where “the
old clan sections were breaking down as tomb groups; the extended
family now cared individually for its own dead” (Halpern 1996: 326).14
I agree with Halpern’s suggestion that 8th–7th-century Judahite bench
tombs mainly reflect newly created urban elites; however, his suggestion
regarding the change in burial practices in the 7th century BCE lacks
evidence in the archaeological record. Firstly, it is virtually impossible
to differentiate typologically between Iron Age burial caves of the 8th

12
For the general acceptance that rock-cut tombs probably reflect the higher
classes, see De Vaux 1965: 58; Spronk 1986: 239; Bloch-Smith 1992a: 149; Kletter
2002: 38.
13
In fact, quite a similar approach may be detected already in Causse’s works (1934;
1937). According to him, the establishment of the monarchy led to increased social
differentiation, and as a result of it a “group” collective mentality of the tribal and
early Monarchic period was replaced by a more individualistic way of thinking toward
the end of the monarchy and thereafter.
14
For a view that in both the urban and rural environments these tombs might
have represented extended families, see Barkay 1999. According to him, it is hard to
accept Faust’s reconstruction regarding the differences in family structure between cities
and villages during the Iron Age II. Faust (1999a) suggested that extended families
are represented in the rural sector, while nuclear families dwelt in most of the small
four-room houses in the urban sector.
24 alexander fantalkin

and 7th centuries BCE (Yezerski 1999: 263). Secondly, it is a well-known


fact that the vast majority of the single-chambered tombs were used
by many generations, since the skeletons were removed to the so-called
repositories. Thus, for instance, the repository of one of the caves at
Ketef Hinnom, established toward the end of the Iron Age, yielded
the remains of about 100 individuals (Barkay 1992: 371; 1999: 97).
Another example comes from a 7th-century-BCE cave on the western
slope of Mount Zion where the remains of 43 individuals were identi-
fied (Arensburg and Rak 1985). Besides this, multichambered bench
tombs are attested toward the end of the Iron Age, especially in the
area of Jerusalem. Ample demonstration of this practice may be seen,
for instance, in the elaborate tombs of St. Ètienne Monastery in Jeru-
salem. Halpern apparently confused his attribution of multichambered
Late Bronze/Iron Age I caves with the Israelite clan sections (Halpern
1996, 297, n. 17). Those caves, maintaining the Late Bronze tradition,
have nothing to do with the “proto-Israel” of the Iron Age I or inhabit-
ants of Judah of the Iron Age IIA. Despite this, Halpern is correct in
pointing out that there is a change in Judahite burial practices during
the final stages of the Iron Age. However, the real change is not in the
shift between multichambered rock-cut tombs to single-chambered ones,
but between the lack of rock-cut bench tombs in the central highlands
during the Iron Age I and IIA and their sudden appearance during
the Iron Age IIB (8th–7th centuries BCE).
The lack of burials in the central highlands of Palestine during the
Iron Age I has recently been addressed by Kletter (2002). According
to him, this is a meaningful phenomenon, which together with the
change in settlement patterns and diet habits may serve as an additional
indicator of a radical change in the central highlands between the
Late Bronze Age and Iron Age I.15 In fact, the same lack of burials is
attested during the Iron Age IIA, mid-late 10th–9th centuries BCE,16
at least in the Judean Highlands.
In what follows, my main objective is to find a reasonable explana-
tion for the striking dissimilarity in the appearance of burial practices

15
Bloch-Smith’s critique of Kletter’s suggestion is not convincing since the number
of Iron Age I burials attested in the central highlands and gathered by her is extremely
small (Bloch-Smith 2003: 424; 2004). Faust (2004), on the other hand, suggests that the
lack of Iron Age I burials in the central highlands points to an ideology of simplicity
and egalitarianism among the “proto-Israelites.”
16
For suggested chronology, see Herzog and Singer-Avitz 2004; Fantalkin and
Finkelstein 2006.
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 25

connected with the use of rock-cut bench tombs throughout different


parts of the Land of Israel. The main question that should be addressed
is why bench tombs in the Judean core area (the Jerusalem Hills) do
appear only during the 8th century BCE, while in the coastal area—the
Shephelah and even the northern Negev—this practice was adopted
considerably earlier?
Previous explanations, based on scholarly consensus regarding the
historicity of the United Monarchy in the days of David and Solomon,
fail to explain this dissimilarity. According to these explanations, the
Shephelah, for instance, in accord with biblical testimony, must be seen
as a part of the United Monarchy. In turn, that would imply that already
in the 10th century BCE the use of rock-cut bench tombs was attested in
the areas ruled from Jerusalem, the kingdom’s capital. Thus, according
to Barkay: “Judah had its own development in this field (bench tombs,
A.F.); it seems that besides the most general connections, it is impossible
to pinpoint a continuous typological development of the burial caves,
as well as no link can be found between those in Judah and those in
other regions of the country where the neighboring kingdoms existed”
(1994: 162; translated from Hebrew, A.F.).
A similar opinion is expressed by Yezerski, according to whom the
distribution of bench tombs within the borders of Judah suggests that
“. . . the architectural tradition of burial caves was quite well-established
in Judah at the beginning of Iron Age II” (i.e. already in the 10th century
BCE, A.F.) (Yezerski 1999: 257; cf. also Amit and Yezerski 2001: 192).
It seems that from a factual perspective it is difficult to accept these
statements, which contradict available archaeological data. Indeed the
numerous examples of bench tombs seem to be quite well established
at the beginning of the Iron Age IIA, and even as early as the Late
Bronze Age and Iron Age I, though they are admittedly outside the
proper Judean core area. These occur mostly at sites in the Shephelah
(Bloch-Smith 1992a: 41–52), but also along the coast (ibid.; Badhi 2000;
Mazar 2000). The most important point, however, is that sites like Tell
Eitun in the Shephelah reveal clear continuity between rock-cut bench
tombs of the Late Bronze Age and those of the Iron Age (Ussishkin
1973; Edelstein and Aurant 1992 with earlier references).17 This evidence

17
It seems that a similar situation may have existed at Tel alif, which was occupied
continuously from the Late Bronze Age until the Late Iron Age (Seger 1993: 557–559).
So far, all excavated and published tombs from Tel alif are dated exclusively to the
Iron Age IIA–IIB. Unlike the Judean core area, however, their initial appearance in
26 alexander fantalkin

accords well with the first appearance of bench tombs during the Late
Bronze Age (14th–13th centuries BCE) in the region discussed, given
their limited distribution in areas of the southern Coastal Plain (Tell
el- Ajjul) and the Shephelah (Gezer, Lachish, Tell Eitun, and Tell
el-Far ah [S]) (Gonen 1992: 22–3, 124–130).18 In Barkay’s opinion it
is impossible to find a direct and continuous link between these Late
Bronze rock-cut bench tombs and those that begin to appear in Judah
from the 10th century BCE, since this burial custom developed in Judah
independently (1994: 163). Conversely, Bloch-Smith suggests that all the
elements of the standard Iron Age IIB bench-tomb type were already
present in the region toward the end of the Late Bronze Age (1992a:
41–52, 137; 1992b: 217). Though acknowledging the fact that there is
a clear continuity in burial practices from the Late Bronze Age through
the Iron Age I and II, at least in the regions of the Shephelah and the
southern coast, Bloch-Smith apparently considers the 10th–9th BCE
Shephelah within the boundaries of the United Monarchy (1992a:
15; 1992b; 2002: 123).19 Both Barkay and Bloch-Smith, despite the
differences in their approaches, fail to explain why bench tombs began
to appear in the Judean Highlands during the 8th century BCE and
not sooner. The available data, however, suggests that there is a link
between the adoption of this custom by newly emerged 8th-century-
BCE Judahite elites and the conversion of Judah from a dimorphic
chiefdom to a fully developed state (cf. Finkelstein 1999).

Tel alif is attested from at least the 9th century BCE (Biran and Gophna 1970;
Borowski 1992; 1994). The presence of possible 9th century BCE bench tombs at
Tel Ira (Beit-Arieh et al. 1999: 129–169), orbat Anim (Yezerski and Lender 2002),
Zahiriyye (Yezerski 1999: 258 with earlier references), and Khirbet Za aq (ibid.: 257–258)
is in line with the assumption that during the Iron Age IIA this burial practice was
concentrated outside the proper Judean core area; and see below.
18
It should not be forgotten that there is disagreement over the appearance of rock-
cut bench tombs within the context of the Palestinian Late Bronze Age. According to
Waldbaum (1966), trapeze-shaped bench tombs with dromoi, which were exposed at
Cemetery 500 at Tell el-Far ah (S), were inspired by Aegean (Mycenaen) prototypes.
Stiebing (1970) and Gonen (1992: 22–23, 124–130), however, have suggested that the
rock-cut bench tomb, as a type, originated in Cyprus and its appearance in Late Bronze
Palestine shows Cypriot influence (see also Gilmour 1995).
19
Bloch-Smith’s views should not be confused with those of Spronk (1986). Accord-
ing to Spronk, there are no typical Israelite graves even in the Iron Age II. Spronk’s
theory, however, appears to be unacceptable. Despite the continuity between the Late
Bronze and Iron Age burial practices, at least in the southern coast and the Shephelah
there is no other alternative but to see the vast majority of 8th–7th centuries BCE
bench-tombs as the clear Judahite type (cf. Yezerski 1999).
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 27

Scholars who recognize the appearance of bench tombs as a purely


Judahite phenomenon, characterizing both the United Monarchy and
the Kingdom of Judah, tend to disregard the archaeologist’s inability
to pinpoint a political entity that fits the definition of a state in anthro-
pological-sociological terms (cf. Wright 1977; Spencer 1990), which
supposedly existed in Judah by the 10th century BCE. Archaeological
evidence concerning Jerusalem, the kingdom’s capital, in the days of
David and Solomon and up to the late 9th – early 8th centuries BCE,
has so far revealed data insufficient to support the existence of a devel-
oped state, characterized by hierarchically organized administrative
specialization (cf. Spencer 1998: 17). A recently suggested “view from
the border” (Bunimovitz and Lederman 2001: 144–147 with earlier
references; cf. also Blakely 2002), which shifts the focus from the prob-
lematic core of the Judahite polity, i.e. Jerusalem in the early Iron Age
IIA, to its periphery, offers no real help. According to this approach, the
crystallization of the United Monarchy during the reigns of David and
Solomon may be detected in monumental building activity revealed,
for instance, at Tel Beth Shemesh, located at the border zone with
Philistia. Bunimovitz and Lederman argue that this may indicate that
the emergence of governmental organization in Judah took place much
earlier than the 8th century BCE (2001: 145; cf. Finkelstein 2002a).
Pushing their evidence still further, one might suggest that the early
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in the Shephelah is in line with
the assumption that the earliest traces of statehood, including growing
social inequality, will be particularly visible at the borders. It seems,
however, that applying the “border approach” to Iron Age IIA Judah
would be avoiding the real question. Jerusalem, the supposed core of
the “border approach,” is no longer terra incognita, and has not been so
for some time (Ussishkin 2003a; Na aman 2007). In Barkay’s words:
“in more than 120 years of archaeological investigation in Jerusalem,
not one tomb has been found that may be dated to the golden age of
the Israelite monarchy, the tenth century BCE” (1992: 371). In fact,
the same holds true not just for the tombs: archaeologically, early Iron
Age IIA Jerusalem is represented merely by meager pottery and pos-
sibly also by the stepped stone structure found in the City of David
(Steiner 2001: 42–53; Finkelstein 2001: 108). In this regard, it is worth
mentioning that applying Max Weber’s “patrimonial model” to the
emergence of the United Monarchy in the Land of Israel (Stager 1985;
1998; Master 2001; cf. Schloen 2001: 49–73, 360, passim) would not
28 alexander fantalkin

be of help either. Although this explanation may fit numerous cases in


the ancient Near East, it does not explain the lack of archaeological
evidence for the existence of even a patrimonially operated state that
ruled over vast territories from Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE.20
It seems that, given the present state of research, one should look for
an alternative explanation.
In my opinion, the available archaeological data suggests that there
is no clear evidence for the existence of a fully developed state in Judah
before the late 9th–early 8th centuries BCE.21 This does not negate or
deny the existence of a political entity of some sort in the central high-
lands during the 10th and the better part of the 9th centuries BCE,22
but it does limit its scope. Most probably, local chiefs/kings/rulers,
as in previous periods (cf. Bunimovitz 1989; Na aman 1992; 1996a;
Finkelstein 1993; 1996), ruled from a few small mountain strongholds
(such as early Davidic rulers in Jerusalem) over the sparsely inhabited
surrounding region (Ofer 1994; 2001; Lehmann 2003), which included
a few agricultural hamlets, while the majority of the population con-
sisted of pastoral or semi-pastoral groups (Zadok 1996: 722; Finkel-
stein 1999; 2001; 2003; Finkelstein and Silberman 2001: 238–240).

20
Perhaps the most suitable parallel that could bridge the gap between the idea of
a great United Monarchy and the lack of archaeological evidence in Jerusalem may
come from the Carolingian Empire. The administration of this early medieval empire
was focused on a series of palaces (such as Aachen, Paderborn, and Ingelheim), which
the emperors, who stood at the heart of a system of patronage, visited as part of their
peripatetic routine (Moreland 2001: 396). But even in this case, already during the
reign of Charlemagne (768–814 CE), the royal government was increasingly based at
Aachen (ibid. with earlier references), implying the necessity of establishing a perma-
nent core-base. This parallel, however, should not be examined cautiously with regard
to the historicity of the United Monarchy, due to the fact that, inter alia, the biblical
narrative describes Jerusalem as being a capital of the kingdom already during the
reign of King David, and as a large and rich city, especially during the glorious reign
of King Solomon.
21
It should be noted that based on various interpretations of the same archaeologi-
cal data, different scholars have reached opposite conclusions concerning the status of
Jerusalem (for a rather minimalist, middle-way approach, see Jameson-Drake 1991;
Knauf 1991; Niemann 1993; Na aman 1996a; 2007; Steiner 1998; 2003; Finkelstein
1999; 2001; Ussishkin 2003a; Finkelstein and Silberman 2001; 2006; for the opposite
view, see Cahill 2003; Kletter 2004; Faust 2005; Mazar 2005).
22
The reference to the “House of David” in the Tel Dan inscription (Biran and
Naveh 1993; 1995), as well as possibly on the Mesha Stele (Lemaire 1994), definitely
point to the existence of a political entity of some sort in the Judean Highlands already
during the 10th–9th centuries BCE. The suspicions raised by some that the Tel Dan
inscription is fabricated are not convincing (for the latest attempt, see Gmirkin 2002
with earlier references).
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 29

With regard to the absence of Iron Age I highland burials, Kletter


has recently pointed out that it “may indicate a relatively poor society,
without a developed class structure and consolidation of wealthy, upper
classes. It does not mean complete lack of classes, only that distances
between ranks were not large” (2002: 39). Indeed, it is a well-known
fact that a certain degree of inequality is inherent even in the most
egalitarian groups (Hamilakis 2002: 14 with earlier references). What
appears to be of particular importance, however, is that the assumed
accumulation of power through the hands of the highland chiefs in
Jerusalem, which may have started during the early Iron Age IIA, was
not accompanied by the appearance of rock-cut tombs, which began
to appear only later on.23 We do not know how the Tell Eitun or Tel
alif inhabitants defined themselves in the 10th–9th centuries BCE:
maybe it was as tribes of Judah or Simeon, or perhaps their true names
were entirely different.24 In any case, their affiliation with the authority
ruling in the area of the Jerusalem Hills looks problematic. Based on
the archaeological evidence alone, the elite population of the southern
Shephelah apparently continued to be buried in rock-cut bench tombs
following the tradition prevalent in these areas since the Late Bronze
Age. Perhaps what we see here is the renewal of a “New Canaan” of
Philistia and the Shephelah, which lasted at least through the better
part of the 9th century BCE.25 It would be logical, then, to assume that
the integration of the southern Shephelah into the Kingdom of Judah
did not take place before the end of the 9th century BCE (cf. Thompson
1992: 292, 409–410).

23
It is worth noting that unlike in the Judean Highlands a modest number of Iron
Age IIA rock-cut caves are attested to the north of Jerusalem in the Benjamin Pla-
teau. A few examples were reported from Gibeon (Dajani 1953; Bloch-Smith 1992a:
168–169) and Tell en-Na be (Badé 1931; McCown 1947: 77–100; Bloch-Smith 1992a:
195–196, 207). It is tempting to explain such an “early” appearance of these tombs in
this particular area with the rise of the early Israelite polity which was concentrated
around Gibeon (Finkelstein 2002b). According to Finkelstein (ibid.), this presumably
Saulide polity was assaulted by Shoshenq I in the late 10th century BCE.
24
Bloch-Smith (1992a: 51–52): “It is unclear how early the bench tomb was adopted
by the Judahites or when the bench burying population in the southern highlands first
identified itself as Judahite. Therefore, for the twelfth and eleventh centuries BCE,
the burial evidence illustrates only that the cultural group burying in bench tombs
was concentrated in the Tell Aitun to Tell Halif region of the Shephelah.” It seems,
however, that on the whole this observation appears to be correct during the Iron Age
IIA as well, with possible extension to the northern Negev.
25
The term “New Canaan” here is in accordance with a reference to the “New
Canaan” that lasted in the northern valleys until Shoshenq’s campaign (Finkelstein
2001: 108; 2002b; 2003).
30 alexander fantalkin

According to Finkelstein, however, the “missing link” in Judah’s


state formation may be found in the 9th-century-BCE Shephelah and
in the Beersheba Valley (Finkelstein 2001). He states that there is no
alternative but to attribute the massive building activity of Lachish IV,
Beer-sheba V, and Arad XI to the Kingdom of Judah. If this was the
case, the periphery of the kingdom had already shown signs of state-
hood prior to the 8th century BCE. Finkelstein’s main reasoning in
looking for the transitional phase in the history of Judahite statehood
is based on the reasonable assumption that “it is illogical that Judah
sprang into life from a void; there must have been a transition phase
between the two stages: the sparsely settled tenth century and the
densely settled late-eighth century” (ibid.: 106). According to him, this
transition phase was achieved within a few decades in the first half of
the 9th century BCE, under Omride dominance, and as an outcome
of Omride political and economic ambitions (ibid.: 110–112). Although
such a reconstruction might be possible (Fantalkin and Finkelstein 2006:
28–30), it still takes us back to the “view from the border” (Bunimovitz
and Lederman 2001). It seems to me that the same argument made for
the case of 10th-century-BCE Jerusalem should apply to the 9th century
BCE as well. Thus, as with 10th-century-BCE Jerusalem, the meager
archaeological remains for 9th-century-BCE Jerusalem make it difficult
to accept Jerusalem’s control over the Shephelah and the Beersheba
Valley during the better part of the 9th century BCE.26 It seems that
in order to bridge the gap between the establishment of Lachish IV,
Beer-sheba V, and Arad XI, which might have been affiliated with the
Judahite state, and the two contrasting archaeological pictures in the
history of Jerusalem (the meager remains from the 10th–9th centuries
versus the impressive remains from the 8th–7th centuries BCE), one
should look for a stronger hypothesis than those previously suggested.
I accept that the transformation from an Amarna-type dimorphic
entity to the Judahite state was sudden and rapid (cf. Barfield 2001:
36–38). There are several reasons, however, for believing that this

26
Using the Low Chronology perspective (Finkelstein 1999; 2002a, both with earlier
references), one may attribute Jerusalem’s stepped stone structure, a small part of a
casemate wall, and a few other occupational remains to the 9th century BCE (cf. Reich
et al. 2007); nevertheless, these elements are insufficient evidence for the existence of
a capital of a large state (Steiner 2001: 42–53, 113–116). Moreover, Finkelstein states
that even an (early?) 8th-century-BCE date for the stepped stone structure is plausible
(2001: 106).
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 31

transformation was achieved not at some time during the first half
of the 9th century BCE but rather near the end of that century. Two
major factors seem to contribute to this significant event, which cre-
ated a new paradigm shortly thereafter. The first is the short period of
decline for the Northern Kingdom, throughout the days of Jehu and
Jehoahaz, when Israel was pressed by Aram-Damascus. The second is
new developments in the region of the Shephelah. During the 10th
century BCE, this area seems to have been dominated by Ekron, at
least until its destruction, perhaps in the course of Shoshenq’s campaign
(Finkelstein 2001: 111; 2002b: 116). Thereafter, it is most plausible
that Gath controlled the area of the Shephelah and maybe the Beer-
sheba Valley as well,27 at least until the decline of Gath in the course
of Hazael’s campaign.28 If the historicity of this event is accepted,29
the Judahite expansion into the area of the Shephelah might be seen
not as the outcome of Omride policy, but as an independent Judahite
move, fully exploiting a new opportunity, apparently in the days of
Jehoash. The assumed growth in the number of settlements in the hill
country to the south of Jerusalem in the 9th century BCE (Ofer 1994:
102–104) provides additional corroboration for this suggestion. In this
regard one should also reconsider the historical role of Amaziah and
Uzziah in the establishment of Jerusalem’s rule over the territories of
the Shephelah and the Beersheba Valley. It seems that the aggressive
expansionist policy of Aram-Damascus, resulting in the decline of
Gath and the temporary weakening of the Northern Kingdom, may
have paved the way for Judah’s expansion and transformation into

27
In both cases it is plausible that their power spread in the north up to the Yar-
kon area. If one looks for the core—periphery relationships in the southern part of
the Land of Israel, the core, at least during the 10th and perhaps most of the 9th
centuries BCE, should be placed in Philistia (Knauf 2000: Fig. 4). I cannot accept,
however, Knauf ’s suggestion (ibid.: 85) that during the early Iron Age II “Jerusalem
should have prospered under the conditions of the Rift Valley trade system together
with Philistia.”
28
A major destruction layer recently uncovered at Gath (final Stratum A3) points to
the late-9th- century-BCE horizon and was reasonably assigned to Hazael’s campaign
(Shai and Maeir 2003; Maeir 2004; Ackermann et al. 2005).
29
The historicity of the conquest of Gath by Hazael king of Aram Damascus
(2 Kings 12: 17) is accepted by many scholars (Na aman 1996b: 176–177; 1997: 127;
Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz 2001: 242 with earlier references; see also Schniedewind
1998). However, as rightly pointed out by Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz (2001: 242): “A
reconstruction of a wide-scale Hazael campaign in the south should await additional
support; historical and/or archaeological.”
32 alexander fantalkin

a real regional power (cf. Fantalkin and Finkelstein 2006: 30–32). If


this assumed Judahite expansion actually took place, it is necessary to
hypothesize a possible confrontation with Ashdod for control over the
southern trade network, which Judah apparently won.30
In archaeological terms, such a scenario would mean that Lachish V,
for instance, was not integrated within the Kingdom of Judah. There
are more reasons to believe that it was under Gath’s jurisdiction. Fin-
kelstein states, however, that both Levels V and IV must be affiliated
with Judah. According to him, Lachish V developed, without interrup-
tion, into the fortified city of Level IV, which is the forerunner of the
impressive late-8th-century-BCE Judahite city of Level III (Finkelstein
2001: 109). However, according to Aharoni (1975: 12, 26–32, 41), the
cult room discovered at Lachish V was found destroyed. Remains of
the destruction were also reported from Area S (Ussishkin 1997: 319;
2004: 77). In view of the Low Chronology, Level V might be placed
in the first half of the 9th century BCE (Finkelstein 2002a; Ussishkin
2004: 78; Fantalkin and Finkelstein 2006: 21–22).31 One may infer,
then, that the possible destruction of Level V is connected with the
expansion of the Kingdom of Judah, which may have taken place in
the last third of the 9th century BCE. Most recently, however, Ussish-
kin (2004: 77) has suggested that the ash remains uncovered in Area S
are the product of domestic activity rather than traces of destruction.
Moreover, according to him, the destroyed sanctuary discovered at Level
V is Aharoni’s fanciful reconstruction and no such structure existed
(Ussishkin 2003b). It seems, however, that in any event Lachish became

30
If there is any validity to the story portrayed in 2 Chron. 26:6 (Finkelstein 2002c:
139 with earlier references) it would corroborate the assumed confrontation with the
Philistines for control over the southern trade network in the days of Uzziah, in the
early 8th century BCE.
31
Such a scenario would make it impossible to accept Faust’s suggestion to connect
the massive appearance of slip and burnish on pottery vessels used for food consump-
tion with the formation of the United Monarchy (2002). According to him, the level
of social complexity peaked around 1000 BCE with the formation of the United
Monarchy. This process deepened the gender inequalities, and required a new elabo-
rate treatment of vessels used for “masculine” activities (see also Joffe 2002: 442–443
with earlier references, who attributes the appearance of the red burnished pottery
to the emergent “royal” culture in the 10th century BCE). It seems, however, that
even using the conventional chronology, there is no basis for Faust’s main claim that
the use of slipped and burnished pottery reached its peak at some point during the
10th century BCE. Moreover, the wide distribution of slipped and burnished pottery
all over the southern Levant, including the Phoenician (Bikai 1978; Lehmann 1996)
and Philistine milieu (Bunimovitz and Lederman 2001: 146, n. 59), would undermine
Faust’s reconstruction as well.
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 33

part of the Kingdom of Judah not before the foundation of Level IV.
A new architectural plan, beginning at Lachish IV and continuing
through Level III, may reflect a system of higher-level administrative
control, i.e. the Kingdom of Judah (Ussishkin 2004: 82).32
The same scenario most likely accounts for the foundation of the
fort of Arad XI.33 It seems that the establishment of the administrative
centers at Lachish IV, the fortification system at Beth-shemesh, and the
fortress of Arad XI and their affiliation with the Kingdom of Judah, may
be placed sometime within the last third of the 9th century BCE.34
Keeping in mind the proposed reconstruction, let us return to the
starting point, i.e. the sudden appearance of rock-cut bench tombs
in the Judean core-area. Now, it appears that the integration of the
southern Shephelah into the Kingdom of Judah near the end of the 9th
century BCE led to the dispersion of rock-cut bench tombs throughout
the kingdom and their rapid adoption as the accepted Judahite custom,
and that these tombs characterized mainly a wealthy (elite) Judahite
population from the 8th to the beginning of the 6th centuries BCE.
Such an observation appears to be in line with some of Portugali’s
theoretical speculations on the emergence of statehood in Judah (1994).
Using the “evolutionary” approach of Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman
(1981), as well as Haken’s “synergetics” approach (1985),35 he suggests

32
Such a reconstruction agrees with the suggestion that the Lachish palace (on
Podia A and B) was first built in Level IV (Aharoni 1975: 41; Ussishkin 1996: 35, n.
4; 1997: 319). It should be noted, however, that even if Podium A was built in Level
V (Tufnell 1953: 52–53), the new architectural plan that continued to Level III, started
only in Level IV. However, a certain similarity between the pottery of Lachish V and
IV (Zimhoni 1997: 171) may suggest that, except for the new masters, the local popu-
lation around Lachish did not change.
33
It should be emphasized that though the fort of Arad X is similar in size to Arad
XI, it differs in numerous details: the architectural layout; the type of fortifications;
the erection of the temple; and the construction of a water system (Herzog 2002).
Moreover, the pottery of Stratum X is remarkably different from that of Stratum XI
(ibid.; Singer-Avitz 2002). It seems that unlike Arad X, whose attribution to the King-
dom of Judah must be certain, the suggested status of Arad XI should be examined
with caution.
34
If the fortified administrative center of Beer-sheba V was founded earlier than
Lachish IV and Arad XI (Zimhoni 1997: 206–207; Finkelstein 2001: 112, n. 16), it
could have been dominated by Gath, at least until Gath’s decline toward the end of
the 9th century BCE.
35
For definition and theoretical framework of the “self-organization” paradigm,
which is the core of the “synergetics” approach, see Nicolis and Prigogine 1977;
Prigogine and Stengers 1984; McGlade and van der Leeuw 1997. For the implica-
tions of applying this method to archaeology, see Allen 1982; 1997; Weidlich 1988;
Schloen 2001: 57–58.
34 alexander fantalkin

that the emergence of a monarchy in Iron Age Judah might be seen


as a socio-spatial mutation of the Canaanite and Philistine system of
city-states. Thus, the traditional Israelite societates were “enslaved” by the
newly emerged urban civitas, creating a more complex and hierarchi-
cal system than its prototype (cf. Frick 1985; Gottwald 2001). In this
reconstruction, Portugali apparently refers to the establishment of the
United Monarchy. In light of recent understanding, this theory would
apply rather to the establishment of the Northern Israelite Kingdom
during the 9th century BCE (Finkelstein 1999; 2000; Finkelstein and
Silberman 2001: 149–195).36 His basic conclusions, however, seem to
be useful with regard to state formation in Judah as well. Thus, one
can always suggest that since the use of rock-cut bench tombs in the
Canaanite and Philistine milieu is not connected to state formation
there is no such a linkage in Iron Age Judah. However, if we employ
Portugali’s approach, the adoption of bench tombs by Judah’s new
urban elites may be seen as an imitation/mutation of burial practices
existing among the urban elites in the neighboring Canaanite and Phi-
listine city-states. These burial practices, borrowed from city-states, were
adapted to the newly created system of the national state.37 It seems
that the appearance of numerous rock-cut bench tombs in the Judean
Hills during the 8th–7th centuries BCE, especially around Jerusalem,
may be explained by hypothesizing the formation of a wealthy social
class composed of new executive cadres (high-level positions such as
the king, king’s family, ministers, executive officials, office heads, etc.).38

36
It should be noted that Faust’s (1999b) analysis of the abandonment of the Iron
Age I rural sites in the hill country north of Jerusalem may apply to the rise of the
Kingdom of Israel rather than to the establishment of the United Monarchy. It becomes
particularly clear if one employs the Low Chronology (cf. ibid.: 25, n. 59).
37
In Israel, i.e. the Northern Kingdom, the situation appears to have been different,
because the major urban centers emerged during the 9th century BCE. It is hard to
explain, however, why the urbanization of the Kingdom of Israel was not accompanied
by the emergence of rock-cut tomb cemeteries, as occurred in the Kingdom of Judah
in the 8th century. The known Iron Age II burials from the area of the Kingdom of
Israel, despite their modest numbers (Kletter 2002: 30, n. 7 with earlier references;
Vitto 2001; Braun 2001), may reflect a multi-ethnic society with a variety of burial
practices (Faust 2000; Finkelstein 2000; Finkelstein and Silberman 2001: 191–194).
Perhaps the Assyrian destructions of the late 8th century BCE halted the crystallization
of standard burial practice in the Kingdom of Israel (Bloch-Smith 1992a: 143–144;
Kletter 2002: 30). On the other hand, following the conquest of the Shephelah, the
homogenous Judahite elite quickly adopted the bench tomb burial practice, of course
modifying and standardizing it.
38
Interestingly, the emergence of statehood in Urartu, during the 9th century BCE,
is accompanied by the appearance of elaborate rock-cut funerary caves, which, appar-
ently, served high-level officials (Burney 1995).
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 35

Their appearance serves as the clearest indicator of a newly created


social hierarchy.39 It can be reasonably assumed that the representa-
tives of the peripheral Judahite cities (local elites), as well as wealthy
farmland owners, also rapidly adopted these burial practices (Halpern
1996; Barkay 1999).

Conclusions

It has been emphasized that bench tombs can serve as a reliable indi-
cator in attempting to reconstruct the boundaries of the Kingdom of
Judah near the end of the Iron Age (Yezerski 1999). Their distribution
throughout the kingdom near the end of the Iron Age matches, on the
whole, the spatial distribution of the material finds clearly identified as
Judahite (cf. Kletter 1999). In this paper I have tried to point out several
features that allow us to make a connection between the widespread
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs throughout the Kingdom of Judah
from the 8th century BCE until the Babylonian conquest and Judah’s
emergence as a fully developed state with a material culture of its own.
I suggested that Judah’s expansion into the area of the Shephelah and
the latter’s integration into the Kingdom of Judah near the end of the
9th century BCE might be seen as a major event in Judah’s transforma-
tion into a fully developed state. It should be clearly stated, however,
that the appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in Iron Age Judah does
not itself indicate state formation. It should be considered rather as

39
In addition to the widespread adoption of this burial practice, a parallel trend,
including imitation of certain architectural elements in funerary architecture at the end
of the Iron Age, may be attested as well. Thus, the style of the “Pharaoh’s Daughter”
tomb includes Egyptian elements such as an Egyptian cornice and pyramid. This
tomb appears to have been a result of pure Egyptian inspiration (Ussishkin 1993: 319).
Further examples illustrating Egyptian inspiration are the headrests in Cave No. 2 at
St. Ètienne Monastery in Jerusalem. In Barkay’s opinion, these headrests were shaped
like the hairstyle of the Egyptian goddess Hathor (1994: 150–151). It can be reasonably
assumed that in both cases the imitation of Egyptian elements by the local elite was
the source for inspiration (so-called elite emulation, and see Higginbotham 2000: 6–16
for a general explanation of this phenomenon). Accepting this explanation, perhaps
we are able to date the above examples more precisely to the last quarter of the 7th
century BCE, bearing in mind that during that period Judah became an Egyptian
vassal following Assyrian withdrawal from the region (Freedy and Redford 1970: 478,
n. 79; Miller and Hayes 1986: 38; Na aman 1991; Fantalkin 2001: 128–147). Although
the uncertainty of this reconstruction should be definitely emphasized, I see no basis
whatsoever for Bloch-Smith’s (2002: 129) suggestion to attribute the tomb of “Pharaoh’s
Daughter” to the 9th century BCE.
36 alexander fantalkin

just one of the signs of statehood in Iron Age Judah, in addition to


the appearance of monumental architecture, urbanization, widespread
writing, literacy, etc. (cf. Finkelstein 2002b with earlier references). Thus,
as I have argued that during the formative stages, the elites of the
newly emerged Judahite state adopted this type of burial. Thereafter,
this modified burial practice became normative and ritualized and, as
such, was characterized by uniformity in both the belief in the afterlife
and the material expression thereof.

Acknowledgments

I wish to express my gratitude to E. Bloch-Smith, S. Bunimovitz, I. Fin-


kelstein, R. Greenberg, B. Halpern, E. Lytle, C. Morgan, N. Na aman,
O. Tal, D. Ussishkin, and I. Yezerski for their valuable comments on this
article. Any responsibility for the ideas expressed here is mine alone.
appearance of rock-cut bench tombs in iron age judah 37

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TRADEMARKS OF THE OMRIDE BUILDERS?

Norma Franklin

Two 9th-century sites hold the key to the chronological conundrum of


the period: Samaria, the royal capital, and Megiddo, its sentinel empo-
rium. Together they epitomize the power of the Northern Kingdom
of Israel during the 9th century BCE.

Samaria

Samaria, a rocky hill-top site, first developed in the Early Iron Age as a
lucrative oil and wine production center (Stager 1990: 93–107; Franklin
2004a: 189–202). Its earliest monumental buildings were erected by
Omri in ca. 880 BCE, when he chose this economic hub as the capital
of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 16: 23–24).
The Harvard Expedition (1908–1910) first excavated the site; G. Schu-
macher, who had just terminated his excavation at Megiddo, initially
served as the temporary director until G. Reisner assumed the position in
1909. C. Fisher, who later became the first director of the Oriental Insti-
tute’s expedition to Megiddo, was appointed excavation architect. The
Harvard Expedition was intent on revealing the city founded by Omri
and so they concentrated their excavation on the summit. There they
revealed a monumental building, which they immediately identified as
the 9th-century “Palace of Omri” on the basis of the passage in 1 Kings
16: 23–24 (Reisner et al. 1924: 35, 60–61).
The second expedition to Samaria, the Joint Expedition (1931–1935),
was directed by J. W. Crowfoot, but it was K. Kenyon who continued
excavations on the summit (Crowfoot et al. 1942). The Joint Expedition
accepted the overall stratigraphic interpretation offered by the Har-
vard Expedition agreeing that there was no monumental architecture
prior to the “Palace of Omri,” which they renamed Building Period I
(ibid.: 7).
46 norma franklin

In fact, during Building Period I, the natural rocky summit of


Samaria delimited a royal compound—the “Palace of Omri”—isolated
from its surroundings, on top of a 4-m-high artificial rock-cut scarp.
To the west of the royal compound there were other Building Period
I ancillary buildings, while immediately below the Omride palace two
subterranean tombs where hewn into the bedrock. These tombs have
recently been recognized as belonging to the Omride kings (Franklin
2003: 1–11). These elements, when viewed together, testify to Building
Period I having been of a longer duration than previously thought,
spanning the Omride dynasty in its entirety and at least a part of the
Jehu dynasty (Franklin 2004a: 189–202). That is, the following period,
Building Period II, was not the continuation, embellishment, and execu-
tion of an unfinished Building Period I blueprint, rather it signified
a new era, a new regime during which time the summit of Samaria
became a strictly administrative center (see Addendum).

Megiddo

Megiddo is a multilayered tell occupied continuously from the 3rd mil-


lennium BCE until the Persian period. G. Schumacher was the first to
excavate the site (1903–1905) and expose the Iron Age levels (Schum-
acher 1908). The second expedition was instigated by the Oriental
Institute of Chicago (1925–1939), directed initially by C. Fisher (who
had served as the architect for the Harvard Expedition to Samaria) until
he was forced to retire due to ill health, and succeeded by P. L. O. Guy
(1927–1935). It was during Guy’s tenure that a monumental building,
Palace 1723, was revealed in the south of the tell (Guy 1931; Lamon
and Shipton 1939). The Chicago Expedition originally attributed Palace
1723 to the early part of the 10th century BCE but it was later down
dated slightly by Yadin who associated it with the building activities of
Solomon (Yadin 1960: 62–68). In addition, Stratum IVB (to which the
palace was attributed) had been amalgamated by Albright with Stra-
tum VA to form the composite Stratum VA–IVB (Albright 1943: 2–3).
Following a re-analysis of the data it has become apparent that there
was no premise for establishing Stratum IVB as a separate stratum,
irrespective of whether it is paired with Stratum VA or not. Accord-
ingly, the architecture from Stratum IVB has now been reassigned to
either one of the phases of Stratum V or to Stratum IV (IVA). Palace
trademarks of the omride builders? 47

1723 is now recognized as belonging to one of the earliest phases of


Stratum V (Franklin 2006).
Eventually, Stratum V, including Palace 1723, was partially dismantled
and buried by the builders of Stratum IV, and a new city arose with
a very different layout, topography, and function. The Stratum IV city
became a vast commercial center with stables, storehouses, and court-
yards, all contained within a city wall and built according to a specific
blueprint (see Addendum; Franklin 2006).

The Omride Palace at Samaria and Palace 1723 at Megiddo

The Masons’ Marks (Fig. 1)


At Samaria, twenty ashlars inscribed with distinctive masons’ marks
have been excavated (Reisner et al. 1924: 119–120, Fig. 47, Pls. 90e,
90f; Crowfoot et al. 1942: 34–35). Only two of the inscribed ashlars
were discovered in situ located in the foundation course of the Building
Period I palace. The other inscribed ashlars were found in secondary
use in Building Period II or later architecture (Shiloh 1979; Franklin
2004a: 201).
At Megiddo some 52 ashlars inscribed with masons’ marks have been
recorded (Schumacher 1908: Tafel XXXe; Lamon and Shipton 1939:
13, Figs. 16: 20, 26: 25, 32; Yadin 1970: 92, Fig. 17; Yadin 1972: 164;
Shiloh 1979; Franklin 2001: 108). Only 19 of the inscribed ashlars
were discovered in situ, all of which were located in the foundations of
Palace 1723 (including Porch 1728). The remaining inscribed ashlars
were found in secondary use in buildings from Strata IV, III, or II.
It is significant that Samaria and Megiddo are the only sites with
these particular types of masons’ marks (contra Shiloh 1979). That is,
44 different masons’ marks out of a total of the 73 excavated examples,
or 8 out of the 17 basic known characters have been recorded at both
sites (Franklin 2001: 110–111, Fig. 1). The marks are always inscribed
on large, roughly hewn ashlars devoid of marginal drafting.1 These

1
Only one ashlar inscribed with a masons’ mark has marginal drafting. It is an
ashlar used as a “strengthening corner” on the western foundation pier of Gate 1576.
The ashlar is in secondary use and acquired its marginal drafting as an aid in aligning
the structure correctly.
48 norma franklin

plain, roughly hewn ashlars (with no interspersed fieldstones) were the


standard type of ashlar used in the foundation courses of the monu-
mental buildings there. In fact these “plain” ashlars are the typical build-
ing blocks used by the Building Period I (Samaria) and the Stratum V
(Megiddo) builders. They differ from the Building Period II (Samaria)
and Stratum IV (Megiddo) ashlars, which were often embellished with
drafted margins (Franklin 2004a; 2006).
In short, an analysis of the findspots of the inscribed ashlars when
viewed together with the stratigraphic information at both sites con-
firms that these ashlars, inscribed with the distinctive masons’ marks,
originate in the Stratum V palace (1723) at Megiddo and the Building
Period I palace at Samaria.

The Derivation of the Masons’ Marks


The Harvard Expedition noted that some of the marks resembled
ancient Hebrew (Sukenik 1957). It would be logical to suppose that the
masons’ marks derived from a Phoenician tradition, however there are
too many dissimilarities for them to be directly related to the Phoenician
alphabet, and no masons’ marks are known from that region. Tantaliz-
ingly, it has been noted that the closest match for the masons’ marks
is with the Carian alphabet (Franklin 2001: 107–116). Eighteen of the
twenty masons’ marks appear in the established Carian alphabet and
two match Carian quarry marks from Egypt (Gosline 1992). However,
if the masons’ marks are related to the Carian alphabet then they
predate by some two hundred years the first known use of the Carian
alphabet. Until now the earliest known use of the Carian alphabet was
in Egypt, rather than in Caria, where it predates the examples in Asia
Minor by two or three centuries (Ray 1988: 150). Some three hundred
inscriptions, written between the 7th and the 4th centuries BCE, have
been recorded in the area of ancient Caria (Shevoroshkin 1994: 131).
Apparently, the Carians borrowed their alphabet (or more precisely:
local alphabets) directly from some archaic Semitic writing system, for
the Carian alphabet has elements of both North and South Semitic
scripts (Shevoroshkin 1991–1992: 117–134). This alphabet is composed
of some 48 letters, although it is thought that only 25 of them were
actually used at any one time or in any one place (Ray 1987: 99; 1990:
56). In Caria there were at least five regional Carian alphabets (Ray
1982a: 78). Additionally, in Egypt the Carian alphabet is known to have
varied greatly over time (Ray 1982b: 181). Therefore, had the masons’
trademarks of the omride builders? 49

marks been derived from an early form of the Carian alphabet they
would have also exhibited chronological or regional variation. However,
the use of “Carian-related alphabetic marks” as masons’ marks may
suggest an ongoing vocational link rather than an ethnic link, for some
of the masons’ marks reappear over a long period of time and are found
in southwest Anatolian, Egyptian, and Persian contexts (Franklin 2001:
107–116). The function of these unique marks is unknown; they may
have served an atropaic purpose or echoed the practices and origin of
foreign construction workers. Furthermore, their apparent concurrent
use, at both Samaria and Megiddo, implies a brief time period.

The Use of the Short Cubit of 0.45 m


The foundations of both the Omride palace at Samaria and Palace
1723 at Megiddo were laid out using the short cubit of 0.45 m as the
unit of measurement.2 When dealing with the layout of a building it is
the exterior measurements that are the crucial ones (Miroschedji 2001:
465–491). For example, the northern foundation wall of Palace 1723
has “setting-out” marks incised into the outermost ashlars in the foun-
dation course (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 20, Fig. 29), and the use of
the short cubit of 0.45 m is most noticeable when the ground plan of
Palace 1723 is studied, for the foundations of the palace were preserved
in their entirety and the complete plan of the building is known.

Megiddo—Palace 1723 (Fig. 2)


• The southern wall of the palace is 48-short-cubits long (ca. 21.25
m; 21.6 m = 48 cubits = 4 rods).
• The western wall of the palace is also 48-short-cubits long, which
can be further broken down into six lengths of 8 short cubits or
three lengths of 16 short cubits.
• The northern wall of the palace is 50-short-cubits long (ca.
22.975 m; 22.50 m = 50 cubits) (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 18:
note 10).

2
There is a greater discrepancy regarding the application of the short-cubit to
the palace at Megiddo in contrast to Samaria. This may be due to the settlement of
Palace 1723, which was built on accumulated Tel debris, as opposed to the Omride
Palace which was built on bedrock. In any event the short-cubit is the measurement
that produces the least discrepancy when applied to these buildings.
50 norma franklin

• The northern wall of the platform of the palace (Platform 1728)


is 16-short-cubits long (ca. 7.7 m; 7.2 m = 16 cubits) (ibid.: 18).
• The eastern wall of the palace is formed by Platform 1728. It
extends the line of the northern wall by a length of 16 short cubits.
Then the east wall runs south for a length of 8 short cubits. The
platform is then set back by 6 short cubits and the east wall con-
tinues south for 16 short cubits. The platform is then once again
set back, now by 10 short cubits, and the east wall of the platform
is finally exposed for 16 short cubits before being recessed by 2
short cubits for a length of 8 short cubits.

Samaria—The Omride Palace (Fig. 3)


The use of the short cubit, particularly multiples of six, eight, and ten
short cubits, is also evident in the ground plan of the palace at Samaria.
Although most of the ashlar masonry did not survive, the fact that the
palace was built on top of an artificially prepared 4-m-high rock scarp
enables the extent of the palace to be defined (Franklin 2004a):
• The long west wall of the palace scarp is 60-short-cubits long (ca.
27 m; 27 m = 60 cubits = 1/2 rope).
• The scarp projects out from the main building line by 12 short
cubits (ca. 5.5 m; 5.4 m = 12 cubits = 1 rod) in the north, and by
16 short cubits (ca. 7.5 m; 7.2 m = 16 cubits) in the south.
• The southern section of the west face extends as far as the
southern scarp a distance of 16 short cubits (ca. 7.5 m; 7.2 m =
16 cubits).
• The building has an enclosed rectangular courtyard, 24 short
cubits (ca. 11 m; 10.8 m = 24 cubits = 2 rods) by 48 short cubits
(ca. 21.25 m; 21.6 m = 48 cubits = 4 rods). The northern section
of the west face (still partially preserved but hidden below later
monumental architecture) appears to have reached the northern
scarp, situated 100 short cubits to the north.
The palaces in Samaria and in Megiddo appear to be unique regard-
ing the use of the short cubit of 0.45 m (Franklin 2004b: 83–92). The
short cubit was also known as the Egyptian short cubit, as it consisted
of six palms and needed to be differentiated from the more common
royal cubit of seven palms (Ben-David 1987: 27–28). The Egyptian
short cubit eventually went out of use following the Third Intermediate
Period and was superseded by the royal cubit (Iversen 1975: 16; Shaw
trademarks of the omride builders? 51

and Nicholson 1995: 174). It should be noted that the second dynasty
belonging to that period is the 22nd “Libyan” Dynasty (Kitchen 1986:
334–337), which partially coincides with the Israelite Omride dynasty
that is credited with inaugurating Building Period I at Samaria.

Addendum

Samaria Building Period II and Megiddo Stratum IV


The ground plan of the monumental architectural elements of Building
Period II (Samaria) and Stratum IV (Megiddo) were constructed using
the popular Assyrian cubit of 0.495 m. This cubit was first attested on
a statue of Gudea, king of Lagash, at ca. 2170 BCE (Dilke 1987: 25),
and it continued in use into the Assyrian period. The Assyrian cubit is
close to the present-day metric standard and thus tends to conform to
modern plans, making it the most easily recognized of all the ancient
measures.
The two Megiddo Stratum IV courtyards, Courtyard 977 (the
Southern Stable courtyard) and Courtyard 1693, both measure 120 by
120 Assyrian cubits. This square unit of measurement is an Assyrian
agricultural land measurement known as an iku. In addition, all the
Megiddo Stratum IV monumental architecture: City Gate 2156, City
Wall 325, and the stable units, were built using lengths of 8, 10, 12, 36,
40, 60, and 120 Assyrian cubits. At Samaria Building Period II while
there were no stable complexes or city gates, there was a casemate wall
system and the “Ostraca House,” both built using the Assyrian cubit
of 0.495 m, with multiples of 2, 4, 25, 30, and 50 (Franklin 2004b:
83–92).
In addition, the ashlar masonry used in these strata at both sites,
most of which is in secondary use, was aligned with the aid of a drafted
margin—a three-sided frame drafted in situ. The evidence for this final
marginal drafting was a layer of limestone chips deposited at the base
of these walls (Loud 1948: 47; Crowfoot et al. 1942: 99.). Moreover, the
alignment of these ashlars was facilitated by the use of red guide lines.
These guide lines were often preserved on the ashlar foundation courses
and observed by the excavation teams at both sites (Reisner et al. 1924:
103–107, 111, Figs. 26, 30, 37; Guy 1931: 37; Crowfoot et al. 1942: 12,
98; Loud 1948: 48). Furthermore, the load-bearing walls and corners
were built of integrated ashlars and fieldstones, often constructed in the
52 norma franklin

Telalio pattern for added strength (Franklin 2006). All these techniques:
the Assyrian cubit, the marginally drafted ashlars, the red guide lines,
and the Telalio wall construction are peculiar to Building Period II at
Samaria and Stratum IV at Megiddo, and noticeably different from
the techniques used in the previous strata at both sites.

Conclusion
The use of the Egyptian short cubit as the unit of measurement is not
unique, but its use on two palatial buildings that also have a unique set
of masons’ marks must alert us to the fact that we have tangible evidence
for the existence of a group of skilled foreign craftsmen working in the
Northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BCE. This hypothesis is
strengthened when the monumental buildings in the subsequent strata
at both sites are seen to exhibit very different structural techniques and
are built using a different unit of measurement.
The question must be raised: Is the simultaneous use of masons’
marks and the Egyptian short cubit the trademark of a foreign work-
force?
The Mesha Stele records that Israelite prisoners of war were employed
as construction workers in Moab (Ahlström 1982: 15; Naxaman 1997:
123). The Assyrians routinely subjugated to servitude their prisoners of
war (Zaccagnini 1983: 260), and the Omride dynasty is also recorded as
having used prisoners of war to further their building projects (Naxaman
1997: 123). Is it possible that this unique set of trademarks was left by
prisoners of war who were used as a labor force by the Omride dynasty,
or were the builders a group of skilled craftsmen commissioned by the
Omride dynasty to build these two palatial buildings?
trademarks of the omride builders? 53

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VA: 117–135.
54 norma franklin

——. 1994. Carian—Three Decades Later. In: Giannnotta, M. E., Gusmani, R.,
et al., eds., La decifrazione del Cario (Monografie Scientifiche. Serie Scienze umane e
sociali). Roma: 131–166.
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salem.
Stager, L. 1990. Shemer’s Estate. BASOR 277–278: 93–107.
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Objects from Samaria (Samaria-Sebaste No. 3). London: 34.
Yadin, Y. 1960. New Light on Solomon’s Megiddo. BA 23: 62–68.
——. 1970. Megiddo and the Kings of Israel. BA 33: 66–96.
——. 1972. Hazor: The Head of All Those Kingdoms (The Schweich Lectures of the
British Academy, 1970). London.
Zaccagnini, C. 1983. Patterns of Mobility among Ancient Near Eastern Craftsmen.
JNES 42: 245–264.
CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN THE LATE BRONZE TO
IRON AGE TRANSITION IN ISRAEL’S COASTAL PLAIN:
A LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE

Yuval Gadot

Dedicated to the scholar who turned “longue durée”


into a Hebrew term.

Introduction

More then eighty years of intense research have passed since the
founders of modern Near Eastern archaeology gathered in Jerusalem
to crystallize the periodization of ancient Israel (Palestine Exploration
Fund 1923). The accumulated mass of unsynthesized archaeological
evidence convinced scholars like Albright that it was time to offer a
broad and unified periodization for the country such that would avoid
“confusion that could lead only to chaos unless the use of centuries was
substituted for that period [Iron Age, Y.G.]” (Albright 1949: 112).
The scores of papers discussing the transition between the Late
Bronze and the Iron Ages that have been published in the elapsed time
(e.g., Albright 1931: 120–121; 1939: 11–23; Wright 1961: 114; Oren
1985: 37–56; Kempinski 1985: 399–407; Ussishkin 1985: 213–230;
Dever 1992: 99–110; 1993a: 706–724; 1993b: 25–35; Finkelstein 1995:
213–239; 2003: 189–195) demonstrate how far we are from a broadly
accepted scheme so optimistically envisioned by Albright and his col-
leagues. There is still dispute over the date for the end of one period
and the beginning of the next,1 and there is no agreement on the

1
See, for example, Ussishkin (1985) who claims that the end of the Late Bronze
Age should be dated to the collapse of the Egyptian control over the land at 1150
BCE, as opposed to Mazar (1990: 290) who ends the Late Bronze Age in the more
traditional date of 1200 BCE, although he acknowledges the continuation of the
Egyptian hegemony over the land for another fifty years.
56 yuval gadot

differences in material culture (Kempinski 1985; Wood 1985: 553), let


alone an accepted reconstruction of the process or the chain of events
leading to the transition between the two periods.2
Dever has summarized the state of affairs in two public lectures. In
the first he claimed that “these changes were so varied from site to site
that a regional approach is necessary; no single typology or paradigm
will comprehend the overall shift from Bronze to Iron Age” (Dever
1992: 107–108).
In the second lecture he added a proposal for future research:
We can make a start by comparing presumably early Israelite sites with
early Iron I sites that are demonstrably Philistine, as well as those that
appear to represent continuing Canaanite influence and culture. (Dever
1993a: 718)
Israel’s central Coastal Plain (The Yarkon-Ayalon basin) is a case in
point: It is a confined geographical region in which Canaanite (Aphek,
Tel Gerisa), Israelite ({Izbet Âartah), Egyptian and Egyptianized ( Jaffa,
Aphek, Tel Gerisa), and Philistine (Aphek, Tel Gerisa, Tell Qasile)
settlements existed side by side simultaneously. This cultural and ethni-
cal meeting point in a geographically confined unit can be studied in
two ways: synchronically, to explore the way different cultural groups
interacted and influenced each other; and diachronically, to follow the
changes that occurred in the region between the 13th and the 10th
centuries BCE. In this article I aim to pursue the latter. Against an
environmental background I will present seemingly contradicting trends
of continuity and change in the material culture and the economical,
social, and political structures existing in the region. The accepted view
is that in the period under discussion the region passed from Canaanite
to Egyptian, and then to Philistine control. Against this historical-politi-
cal reconstruction, the material culture typifying the sites in the region
shows many lines of continuity. An explanation for these contradicting
trends will be sought, and finally an evaluation offered of its implica-
tions for the way this transition should be envisioned.

2
The state of art in the debate over the transition between the Late Bronze Age and
the Iron Age I is not unique. See, for example, the discussion over the Middle Bronze
Age-Late Bronze Age transition: Seger 1975; Dever 1987; 1990; Bunimovitz 1992.
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 57

The longue durée Approach

Studying changes that took place over long periods of time in a


regional context calls for use of the longue durée approach in the spirit
of the Annales School (Braudel 1972; 1980: 25–54; Hodder 1987).
The three-hundred-year span reviewed here should be considered a
middle-term time range. The long-term review will help to expose
the way the natural habitat affected human living conditions and how
this effect was manifested in changes of the social order of the area.
Conceptualizing the region from this point of view allows us to notice
cyclical processes occurring over hundreds of years, thereby creating
a framework and enabling better comprehension of the middle- and
short-term events reviewed later in this paper (Marfoe 1979; Knapp
1992; 1993; Finkelstein 1994; 1995b).
The main characteristic of the natural environment of the central
Coastal Plain (Fig. 1) is the relative abundance of water. The springs
at Aphek are the second most prominent and stable water source in
western Israel after the Jordan River. Avitsur has shown that in the
past the outflow from the springs reached as much as 220 million m3
per year (Avitsur 1957: 24). The water from the springs together with
precipitation runoff from the hills of Samaria are drained naturally by
the Yarkon River (ibid.: 11–17), which merges with the Ayalon River
three km east of its outlet to the sea. The Ayalon River has a drainage
area of approximately 800 km2 (Grober 1969).
Clearly, the ability of human settlers to utilize the landscape was
determined primarily by their ability to control the abundance of
water flow (Amiran 1953: 198). If care was taken to ensure adequate
drainage, the area would have been highly fertile. The alluvium soils
located both at the foot of the Samarian Hills and around the Ayalon
River in the south were considered to be highly suitable for the cultiva-
tion of many kinds of crops. The kurkar ridges farther west were used
mainly as grazing land and for viticulture; but large seasonal pools and
swamps were easily created at their foot, similar to those existing just
fifty years ago east of Jaffa.3 The large volume of water flowing through
the converged river also caused considerable erosion along its banks

3
For a description of the hazards of the Yarkon, see Avitsur 1957: 184–197. For a
large swamp located east of Jaffa, see Raban 1990–1993: 100.
58 yuval gadot

and overflow in other places. Therefore, during times when no effort


was made to manage the water resources, swamps and seasonal pools
quickly formed, diseases were spread, and the land virtually became
a wasteland.
Previous studies of other regions in the country have demonstrated
the fact that managing and controlling the natural environment—in this
case the flow of water and their drainage—is dependent upon social
and political conditions: while well-integrated social units have the
ability to execute public projects that ensure long-term maintenance of
the natural and cultivated habitat, in times of social disintegration the
natural conditions quickly deteriorate. In turn, the worsened conditions
accelerate social fragmentation.4
This process has been known to lead to the creation of cyclic shifts
between periods: At times, the Coastal Plain was governed by a strong
and integrated social power and the sedentary population flourished;
at other times, when the area became a frontier zone, it was home for
pastoral groups and other marginal elements of society.
The first urban system to exist in the area was during the Early
Bronze Ib period.5 After its collapse, most of the area became void
of sedentary settlements for nearly a thousands years.6 In the Middle
Bronze IIa the great city-state of Aphek was established, surrounded
by numerous settlements among them fortified towns like Tel Gerisa
and Tell Kana, villages, farmsteads, and even small industrial installa-
tions located outside the settlements proper.7 This flourishing settlement
system completely disintegrated by the Late Bronze Age and the area

4
The first to emphasize the connection between social order and the natural condi-
tions in the Levant was Marfoe in his integrative model (1979). Bunimovitz (1994) has
used the longue durée approach when analyzing changes that took place during the Late
Bronze–Iron Age transition and suggested that understanding changes that took place
in Israel’s lowlands should be done against the background of the ‘shifting boundaries’
model. See also Greenberg 2002.
5
For the settlement pattern of the area during the Early Bronze Ib, see Gophna
1996: Fig. 74; Getzov et al. 2001: Fig. 11.
6
During the Early Bronze II, the only settlements to exist in the area were sites like
Tel Dalit—located at the low hills to the east of the plain—while the plains were left
uninhabited. It seems that these settlements should be viewed as the western edge of
the settlement system that existed in the highlands at that time (Gophna 1974: 159; cf.
Broshi and Gophna 1984; Gophna and Portugali 1988; Finkelstein 1995c).
7
For Aphek and its hinterland during the Middle Bronze IIa, see Kochavi 1989:
54; for the rural settlements found around Aphek, see Gophna and Beck 1981. See
also Kletter and Gorzalczany 2001 for a description of pottery workshops that were
located outside the main settlements.
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 59

was again marginalized and utilized by nomadic groups (Bunimovitz


1994: 181–186; Gadot 2003: 183–187).
Similar cyclic processes can be discerned in later periods too. During
most of the Ottoman period (16th–19th centuries CE), the Yarkon basin
was nearly empty of sedentary population (Grossman 1994: 154–156;
Hütteroth and Abdulfattah 1977). In the midst of the 19th century,
Jaffa turned into a gateway for western influence and for Egyptian
immigrants. This had triggered off changes in the settlement pattern
of the area. Using modern technology, swamps and seasonal pools
were drained, and diseases were thus controlled (Grossman 1994: 154
and references there).
The attested cyclic pattern of sociopolitical transformation, which
characterizes the region throughout history, will now serve as a back-
ground upon which the specific short-term events that took place
during the transition from the Late Bronze to the Iron I periods will
be evaluated.

The First System: The Egyptian Dominance

Egyptian involvement in Israel’s central Coastal Plain probably began


after Thutmose III’s military campaign to Canaan (ca. 1475 BCE).8
Archaeological evidence for Egyptian presence in these early stages
is scarce. Egyptian-shaped vessels were found at Tel Michal Stratum
XV, and at Aphek Stratum X14.9 Both contexts are dated to the Late
Bronze Ib or to the beginning of the Late Bronze II.
It was only after Amenhotep II’s third campaign, three decades later,
that the Egyptians imposed direct control over the region. According
to the annals of Amenhotep II, Aphek was the first city to surrender
peacefully to the king on his march northward (Frankel and Kochavi
2000: 17). It is from this period on that we have clear historical and
archaeological evidences for strong Egyptian presence.

8
Following Wente and Van Siclen’s chronology 1977; for Thutmose III’s campaigns,
see Redford 2003 and earlier references there.
9
For Tel Michal, see Negbi 1989a: Fig. 5.7: 14. For Aphek, see Martin et al. forth-
coming. Petrographic examinations conducted on the vessel from Aphek proved that
though stylistically the vessel is Egyptian, the clay that was used is local.
60 yuval gadot

Jaffa
Letters EA294, EA296, and maybe EA138 and EA365, found in the
Amarna archive, describe Jaffa as an Egyptian administrative center
(Moran 1992; Goren et al. 2004: 320–25). This center included a large
granary (EA294) in which corveè workers, sent from neighboring city-
states, were employed. The city-states were also obliged to send guards
to serve at the gate of the fort (EA296). Literary evidence from the
days of Ramesses II, namely Papyrus Anastasi I, show that during this
era, Jaffa continued to serve as an Egyptian political and administrative
stronghold (Ahituv 1984: 121).
Excavations conducted at the site of ancient Jaffa, first by J. Kaplan
and recently by Z. Herzog, unearthed ample finds that support the
historical evidence. The earliest structure found in the excavation is
the so-called Lion Temple dated by Kaplan to the beginning of the
Iron I period (Kaplan and Riter-Kaplan 1993: 658). According to
Z. Herzog (personal communication), his renewed excavations at the
site have proven that the Lion Temple should in fact be redated to the
14th century BCE. Inside the temple Kaplan found a lion skull with
a scarab bearing the name of Queen Tiy, the wife of Amenhotep III.
Above the Lion Temple he unearthed the remains of a gate and a
fortification wall; both were parts of two fortresses that existed in suc-
cession (Kaplan and Riter-Kaplan 1993: 656–657). On a fragment of
the jamb of the earlier gate (Stratum IVb), an inscription mentioning
the name of Ramesses II was found. This fortress was heavily burnt
and a new fortress was then built on top of its ruins.

Aphek
Substantial evidence for Egyptian presence at Aphek was found in Strata
X13 and X12. In both strata the acropolis of the site was occupied
by an edifice,10 while the rest of the site was uninhabited. Palace 4430
of Stratum X13, the larger but less preserved of the two buildings,
included a large paved courtyard, which extended in front of a room
complex (Fig. 2). Two rows of pillar bases were found to the north of
the courtyard, and are probably the remains of a colonnade decorating
its entrance. Palaces similar in plan are rare in second-millennium-BCE

10
For Area X, see Kochavi et al. 2000: Fig. 1.5.
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 61

Canaan, where most of the palaces were built around an inner court
(Oren 1992: 105–120). The only palace built in a manner similar to
the one at Aphek was found at neighboring Tel Gerisa. The use of
a colonnade is also rare. It seems then that the palace was built in a
foreign tradition, possibly Egyptian.11
When palace 4430 went out of use, a new public structure was built
on top of it: Palace 1104—better known as the Egyptian Governor’s
residency.12 A detailed analysis of the finds from within the building
and from the open spaces next to it has shown that the building served
political, military, bureaucratic, and economical purposes simultane-
ously.13 The building must have housed a scribe who was responsible
mainly for recording agricultural surpluses stored at the place and
maybe even for international correspondence; a vintner in charge of
the production of white wine, and perhaps other kinds as well, at the
two large winepresses located northwest of the building (Frankel and
Gadot forthcoming); a small garrison; and laborers executing the hard
work that was required (Gadot 2003: 217). The ethnic affiliation of
the building’s owner can be inferred from the many Egyptian features
evident in the material culture yielded from it: the overall architectural
plan; the use of blue plaster to decorate the upper floor mudbricks;
the numerous locally made Egyptian-style pottery vessels (Fig. 3); and
the unique faience tablet that must have originated from a foundation
deposit of the building (Giveon 1978b; Kochavi 1990).

Tel Gerisa
Tel Gerisa is located near the southern bank of the Yarkon River.
Excavations at the tell, directed by Z. Herzog, exposed a Late Bronze
II–III edifice located at the center of the site (Herzog 1993: 482–483;
1997: 183), which resembles Aphek Palace 4430, as they both consist
of a courtyard extending in front of the room complex. It can be
speculated on the basis of similarities of the ground floor that the

11
Both the use of a colonnade and the location of the court at the front of the
edifice are known in Egyptian New Kingdom architecture. See, for example, Badawy
1968; Leick 1988; Lacovava 1997.
12
For previous publications of the palace, see Kochavi 1978: 1–7; 1990; Gadot
forthcoming a; for a discussion of its architectural layout and its Egyptian features, see
Oren 1984: 49–50; Daviau 1993: 421–422; Higginbotham 2000: 289–290.
13
For a detailed discussion of the finds from Building 1104 and its roll, see Gadot
2003: 203–214.
62 yuval gadot

palace at Tel Gerisa was also built in an Egyptian tradition. It seems


then, that like Aphek, Tel Gerisa too was home to an Egyptian estate.
A full reconstruction of its nature awaits final publication.
The picture that emerges from the three sites excavated in the Yar-
kon basin vis-à-vis the available written sources, shows that during the
second part of the Late Bronze Age, the Egyptians decided to annex
the territory of the central Coastal Plain from Canaanite control and
turn these lands into official estates. The territory was governed from
Jaffa, which had turned into a governing stronghold. Aphek and Gerisa
were turned into royal or temple estates each assuming both economi-
cal and political duties.14
But Egyptian dominance over the area did not wipe out Canaanite
presence. On the contrary, most of the material evidence found during
the excavation such as ceramic vessels, jewelry, and figurines is of the
local Canaanite tradition. It seems that while the social and political
elite governing the estate was culturally Egyptian,15 other parts of soci-
ety consisted of a local Canaanite population that kept its traditional
way of life.

The Second System: No Man’s Land

By the time of the 20th Dynasty in Egypt, the settlement pattern


around the Yarkon-Ayalon basin had completely changed (Fig. 1). The
Egyptian centers at Jaffa, Aphek, and maybe Gerisa were violently
destroyed, never to be rebuilt. The latest datable finds originating from
the three centers are from the time of Ramesses II. It can therefore
be speculated that the Egyptian system around the Yarkon River col-
lapsed at the end of Ramesses II’s reign or during the early days of
his successor, Merneptah.16
In only two of the excavated sites in the region were remains dating
to this period found—{Izbet Âartah III and Aphek X11.17 Both places

14
For similar royal estates located at the Jezreel Valley, see Naxaman 1981.
15
This does not necessarily mean that they were born in Egypt; they could also have
been locals who had emulated Egyptian culture (Higginbotham 2000).
16
A single scarab of Ramesses IV was found at Aphek (Giveon 1978a). As the
scarab was found in a later pit, it can only prove that Aphek existed during the time
of Ramesses IV or later. The view of the present author is that scarabs should be used
in dating Stratum X11, which post-dates the Egyptian center of Stratum X12.
17
For {Izbet Âartah, see Finkelstein 1986. For Aphek, see Gadot forthcoming b.
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 63

were modest villages lacking public architecture. There are clues that
Azor was also settled,18 but here too, no public architecture or wealth
accumulation can be discerned.
The disappearance of Egyptian hegemony left a political void in the
region. The nearest political entity at that time was probably at Gezer,
which became an Egyptian stronghold during the days of the 20th
Dynasty (Singer 1985: 116–117; 1986–1987; Bunimovitz 1988–1989;
Maeir 1988–1989; Finkelstein 2002: 281). Even so, there are no signs
to suggest that Gezer actually exercised political power over the region.
The lack of central authority led to the deterioration of environmental
conditions as the overflow of water from the natural springs was not
drained. Swamps and seasonal pools spread and brought with them
diseases. The harsh natural conditions, in their turn, escalated social
disintegration. Nomads and other marginal elements of society moved
into the region, exploiting it for their needs and pushing the more
stabilized groups out.
Not all components of material culture changed with the collapse of
Egyptian hegemony. Continuation can be seen mainly in the ceramic
tradition. While the Egyptianized pottery vessels disappeared from the
assemblages altogether, other clay vessels styled in local tradition, like
simple open bowls, cooking-pots, flasks, and storage jars, continued
to be manufactured with minimal stylistic changes (Finkelstein 1986:
198, pottery types 1, 2, and 20; Gadot 2003: 144). Apparently, changes
in the sociopolitical order affected only some aspects of material cul-
ture—mainly those reflecting Egyptian presence or influence. Other
parts, reflecting daily activities of the local population, continued to
evolve uninterrupted.

The Third System: Philistine Exploitation

The sociopolitical order within the area and the ethnic make-up of
the population changed once again with the arrival of the Philistines.
These changes are indicated mainly by the shift seen in the settlement
pattern (Fig. 1), and by the appearance of Philistine-related Bichrome
pottery at all sites dated to this phase. Based on material culture, we
know today that the Philistines initially immigrated only to the southern

18
For Late Bronze/Iron Age finds at Azor, see Gophna and Busheri 1967.
64 yuval gadot

Coastal Plain, to places like Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron (Mazar


1985b; Stager 1995). Only several decades later did they turn their
attention to areas surrounding their new homeland, like the Yarkon
region (Mazar 1985a: 119–120; Singer 1985; Gadot 2006). The lack
of a central governing power and social fragmentation were used by
the Philistines who exploited the region for their economic needs. Small
farmsteads were established at places like Tel Gerisa and Aphek (Herzog
1993: 483; Gadot forthcoming b). The finds from Aphek, among them
a threshing floor occupying most of the upper tell,19 teach us that it was
a small agricultural center responsible for the production and organiza-
tion of nearby agricultural fields. Examination of the provenance of
cultic and administrative finds from Aphek show that they were made
at Ashkelon (Fig. 4),20 thus indicating strong ties between Ashkelon and
Aphek. A larger settlement was built at Tell Qasile (Mazar 1980; 1985a).
The town was preplanned with a temple occupying its center, large
courtyard houses surrounding it, and smaller four-room houses at the
outskirts of the site. All of these are indications of wealth accumula-
tion and social stratification. It can be speculated that the social elite at
Tell Qasile served as a mediator between the small farmsteads located
next to the Yarkon River, where agricultural surplus was produced,
and the large city-states to its south, at the heartland of the Philistine
territory (Gadot 2006).
But the marked change in settlement pattern and the sudden appear-
ance of the Philistine Bichrome tradition tells only part of the story. As
in the two earlier periods, the material culture shows strong ties mainly
with the Canaanite tradition. Continuity of tradition can be observed
spanning the entire range of the material culture: from features pertain-
ing to daily life activities to the design of the temples:

Cooking-Pots
Fig. 5 compares Late Bronze cooking-pots found at Aphek and Iron I
cooking-pots found at Tell Qasile. Apparently, the vessels stayed mor-
phologically similar over the years, and the only differences are stylistic
changes in the shape of the rim. These changes should be viewed as

19
For a detailed description of the finds at Philistine Aphek, see Gadot 2003:
224–230; 2006; Mahler-Slasky and Kislev forthcoming.
20
See Yasur-Landau 2002: 413; for similar results of examinations of finds from
Tell Qasile, see Yellin and Gunneweg 1985.
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 65

evolutionary and have no known functional implication.21 Cooking-


pots were used for food preparation and that they did not change
in the course of time reflects the fact that no major change in food
preparation and consumption habits occurred. The limited number
of Philistine cooking-pots found both at Tell Qasile and at Aphek22
further supports this claim.

Pottery Vessel Decoration


The Philistines brought with them a whole range of decorative designs,
alien to local traditions; but soon after their arrival, local traditions
began influencing their repertoire of decorative motifs (Dothan 1982:
215; Mazar 1985b: 106). Analysis of the decorative motifs found on
the pottery assemblage from Tell Qasile has shown that it represents
mainly local traditions (Mazar 1985a: 103). This notion is true also
for the assemblage of cult vessels found in association with the temple
(Mazar 1980: 78–121). As Mazar shows, the vessels have varied cultural
origins, but most of them continue local Canaanite traditions in their
shape and decoration (ibid.: 95, 119). There is more than one way to
explain how Canaanite motifs found their way into the Philistines’ rep-
ertoire: from simple influence of neighboring cultures to the possibility
that a certain percentage of the Philistine population was actually of
local origin.23 In any case, it is clear that the Canaanite culture and
its bearers in the southern and central Coastal Plain of Israel did not
disappear following the Philistine take-over of the land.

Temples
The Tell Qasile temples of Strata XII–X have always attracted scholarly
attention, being the first supposedly Philistine temples to be unearthed.
A. Mazar’s in-depth study of the temples and their cultural origins has
shown that the origins of the architectural plan of these temples and
of the cult vessels found in them are not rooted in any specific culture

21
For a comprehensive study, see Killebrew 1999.
22
Killeberw (above n. 54); For philistine cooking-pots found at Tell Qasile, see Mazar
1985a: Type CP2 and CP3; for cooking-pots from Aphek, see Gadot 2003: 123.
23
See Ellenblum 1998: 277 for a similar reconstruction of the Christian popula-
tion in the country during the Crusader period and the differences between foreign
“crusaders” and local “Franks”.
66 yuval gadot

and demonstrate many Canaanite features (Mazar 1985a: 68; 2000:


216; see also Negbi 1989b: 215–219; Bunimovitz 1990: 214). Similar to
decorative motifs previously discussed, these Canaanite features could
be the result of cultural influence, but the fact that Canaanite tradi-
tions found their way into the new, evolving Philistine culture shows
that the Canaanite culture did not disappear following the arrival of
the Philistines.

Discussion

New sociopolitical organizations had emerged along the Yarkon-Ayalon


basin during the Late Bronze–Iron Age three times in succession. Twice
the initiation of the new social order was brought about by an outside
political power that had taken advantage of fragmented local social
groups in order to exploit the region economically. The first to do so
were the Egyptians who turned Jaffa into one of their strongholds in
Canaan and turned the plains along the Yarkon River into royal or
temple estates. The second were the Philistines who immigrated into
the region from the south in order to exploit it, and founded city-states.
Between these two colonizing systems the area had been marginalized
and no single centralized social group had control over the land. None
of the social elements occupying the region were organized enough to
keep environmental conditions stabilized, thus, swamps and seasonal
pools formed, spreading diseases that eventually pushed sedentary
population out of the region. Nomads and other marginalized groups
moved into the now-vacant area.
One fact that stands out in the discussion is the clear discontinuity
between the three social entities (Fig. 6). The Egyptian colonizing sys-
tem ended violently. Following this break a new social system emerged
characterized by weak social institutions. Approximately a century later
offshoots from Philistine Ashkelon migrated into the area and established
a new sociopolitical order.
But the discontinuity of the sociopolitical order is only one side of the
story. While some aspects of the material culture changed radically (e.g.,
settlement patterns, the appearance and disappearance of Egyptianized
pottery, and the appearance of Philistine Bichrome pottery), others
show strong ties with the local Canaanite tradition and the changes they
display are only small stylistic evolutions. The illustration in Fig. 6 does
not represent the full complex picture of continuity and change and an
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 67

alternative model should be sought. In a recent article Portugali offered


to employ self-organization theory, developed by physicians in order to
understand the mechanism of changes in complex and open systems,
to analyze changes in the social order of ancient Israel (Portugali 1994;
2000).24 According to this theory, systems tend to exhibit long periods
of stability followed by short periods of strong fluctuations and chaos.
Out of the instability a new stabilized order emerges until it too col-
lapses. During the long period of stability, the system is governed by
an “order parameter”; when it disintegrates the system enters a period
of instability. During this time, rival forces—“order states”—compete
between themselves until at one point a new “order parameter” emerges
and enslaves the other competing orders, thus stabilizing the system
(Portugali 2000: 70–81).
The social structure in Israel’s central Coastal Plain should certainly
be viewed as an open and complex system and as such the rules of
self-organization may be applied in order to describe changes that took
place at this region. It has to be remembered that the sociopolitical
system that existed in the Coastal Plain did not exist in isolation. In fact,
the central Coastal Plain should be viewed as a sub-system within other
systems—larger in scale. When dealing with the emergence of ancient
Israel, Portugali recognizes three levels of systems (Portugali 1994: 211;
2000: 79–80), the global system of the Late Bronze Age, the regional
sub-system existing in the Land of Israel, and the local sub-system:
Israelites, Canaanites, and Philistines. Being open systems it has to be
remembered that they interacted constantly, and events in one system
influenced the development of the other systems. The theory of self-
organization presumes that the “order parameter” grows from within
the system and enslaves it, but Israel’s Coastal Plain is a sub-system
within a greater system. As such, it is not impossible that an external
“order parameter,” existing in the larger system will interfere with the
struggle over dominance in the sub-system and enslave it.
During the second part of the Late Bronze Age, after a period of
fluctuation and political fragmentation, the Egyptians subdued the
sociopolitical system existing in the region, establishing their own
hegemony as an “order parameter.” The region entered a long period

24
An open system is one that is “in constant interaction with its environment.”
Complex systems are systems in which their “parts are so numerous that there is no
way to establish casual relations among them” (Portugali 1994: 209).
68 yuval gadot

of stabilization. For reasons beyond the scope of this paper Egyptian


hegemony ended. A period began during which no “order state” was
able to subjugate the whole region. Out of the chaotic conditions a new
“order parameter” emerged. This was the Philistines who took over the
region and created stable political and environmental conditions.
Self-organization theory also helps to understand the continuation
seen in the local Canaanite tradition, as it offers a number of models
that explain changes (Portugali 2000: 81 ff.). The transition from the
Late Bronze to the Iron Age I was normally viewed by scholars as
a stratigraphical change (ibid.): the sociopolitical order changes from
one stabilized position to another with a short period of instability in
between. The earlier order vanishes completely with the establishment
of the new order. This model was offered because earlier literature
emphasized the changes that took place rather than continuity trends
(see, for example, Albright 1949: 10; Wright 1961: 114). The identi-
fication of cultural continuity proves that the earlier social formation
did not vanish. If so, what did happened to it? Or in terms of self-
organization theory: What happened to the competing “order states”
when the new “order parameter” emerged? According to the theory,
they do not cease to exist but merely become incorporated into the
new system (Fig. 7). This enslavement can take physical and material
forms, but it can also be a cognitive one, leaving the earlier culture in
the collective historical memory. Using the terms offered by the self-
organization theory, changes that took place during the Late Bronze
and Iron Ages in the central Coastal Plain are to be viewed as furcative
changes (Portugali 2000: 82–83).

Conclusion

The Egyptians captured and enslaved the Canaanite central Coastal


Plain, during the Late Bronze Age, becoming the dominant sociopolitical
order; but they did not wipe out earlier local culture (Fig. 7). After a
period of instability, during which a few “order states” competed over
hegemony in the region the Philistines became the dominant power in
the area, again only subjugating the local culture. It is apparent then
that the transition between the Late Bronze and the Iron Age I in the
central Coastal Plain is characterized by both continuity and change.
The regional approach to dealing with the question of the Late
Bronze-Iron Age transition has led researchers to recognize the diverse
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 69

and fragmented history of the country.25 The natural environment of the


central Coastal Plain is unique. Hence, human attitudes toward these
natural conditions are also unique. If we wish to achieve a comprehen-
sive understanding of the social transformation that took place at the
close of the second millennium, we must first recognize the different
cultural regions making up ancient Israel at that time and acknowledge
that each had its own local and environmental histories. These diverse
and fragmented regional pictures will eventually create a large detailed
mosaic of the country as a whole, explaining the transition from the
Late Bronze to the Iron Age.

25
For a similar approach for understanding the birth of urbanism, see Greenberg
2002.
70 yuval gadot

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PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY SETTLEMENTS IN
THE SOUTH OF THE LOWER BESOR REGION:
TWO CASE STUDIES1

Dan Gazit

. . . and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents,
or in strongholds . . . Num. 13: 19

Introduction

The south of the Lower Besor region is located in the semi-arid climatic
zone of southern Israel (Shachar et al. 1995: 27). The rainfed agri-
culture borderline—the 250 mm annual average isohyet2—cuts across
its center from east to west (Gazit 1986: 39–49). The natural climatic
circumstances of the region and its soils form conditions suitable for
the growth of dense annual shrubbery, and set the anthropological
background for the southern population of the region, characterized
throughout the ages by its pastoralist lifestyle. It was in these territories
of semi-nomadic populations that four fortified settlements (Tel Sera{,
Tel Haror, Tell Jemme and Sharuhen) emerged in the beginning of
the Middle Bronze II, near permanent water sources, followed by
clusters of settlements founded along strategically located roads and
trade routes (Gihon 1975; Meshel 1977; Cohen 1991). Arrays of per-
manent settlements were established in the heart of the Besor region
plains during three distinct periods: The Iron Age IB (Gazit 1995);
The Byzantine period (Gazit 1994); and the turn of the 19th century
BCE (Gazit 2000).

1
The spatial approach to the phenomena presented here was formulated during a
series of discussions with Ram Gophna in which an attempt was made to delineate
the borderline between cultivated land and wilderness in the Besor region from the
protohistoric periods to the Late Bronze Age.
2
The isohyet is a line on a map connecting points that receive equal amounts of
annual rainfall.
76 dan gazit

Survey Maps

The Map of Urim was published as part of the Archaeological Survey


of Israel (Gazit 1996). The area surveyed is located in the south of the
Besor region, and the aforementioned rainfed agriculture borderline
(latitude coordinate 080) demarcates its northern boundary. The survey
for the Map of Zexelim area—adjacent to the Map of Urim area from
the south—was completed by the end of 2001 and its results have
been handed in to the Israel Antiquities Authority for processing and
publication (for preliminary reports, see Gazit 1988; 1999; 2002).
Combined, the two survey maps create a 200-km2 strip of land, 10
km wide, and 20 km long from north to south: The northern part of
this narrow strip lies at the fringes of a climatic zone that enables sub-
sistence on traditional rainfed agriculture during approximately 70%
of the rainy seasons (Gazit 1986: 41). The center of the strip overlaps
the 200 mm annual average isohyet (latitude coordinate 070), and in
the southern border of the strip (latitude coordinate 060) annual aver-
age rainfall is approximately 150 mm. This data illustrates a gradual
southward decline in annual precipitation of 5 mm per km within the
limits of the surveyed area. According to recent data gathered during
paleoclimate research carried out in the Negev, there is no substantial
difference between present precipitation levels and those of the past
three millennia (Goodfriend 1990: 130).
The dominant geographic element of the Map of Urim area is a
loess-covered plateau: The channel of Na˜al Besor cuts across the length
of the western edge of the map and a strip of badlands runs along the
eastern bank of the stream. Several springs, located in the channel, are
active mostly during wintertime. A topographic rise above the plateau,
along the eastern edges of the map, creates a 20 m high geologic ter-
race. The southern boundary of the map (latitude coordinate 070) is
the northern geographic border of the Æalutza sand dunes, which lie
at the edge of the North-Sinai Massive (Rosnen 1953), and cover most
of the area of the Map of Zexelim (apart from the northeastern corner
of the map). The dunes form long, parallel ridges, and valleys of up
to hundreds of meters wide stretch between them. Remains from all
periods provide proof to human activity that took place at the fringes
of these valleys—hunting, animal husbandry, and occasional farming
(Gazit 2003).
In terms of geography, climate, and settlement, this strip of land,
constituting a typical transition zone between the permanent settlements
permanent and temporary settlements 77

to its north and the temporary sites to its south, can serve as an effec-
tive paradigm for examining the conduct of a population in relation
to the nature of its settlements—from campsites to urban settlements.
In order to do so, we will test two settlement arrays that existed within
this zone during two periods: the Iron Age IB and the end of the
Byzantine period.

Iron Age IB

There are 36 large Iron Age IB sites3 known in the Besor region: 27 in
its south, near Na˜al Besor and on the plains (five of which are in the
north of the Æalutza sand dunes); eight sites on Bronze Age tells in the
heart of the region; and one site in its north. Approximately one third
of the sites is situated in the examined strip of land. These sites are all
unfortified. Several points in the badland area of the stream and some
close to campfire remains in the south of the region yielded a small
number of Iron Age IB sherds.4 The appearance of a dense array of
sites is notable in comparison to the sparse settlement pattern of the
previous period: Only two small Late Bronze Age unfortified sites have
been identified in this area. Gophna was the first to recognize this new
settlement wave (Gophna 1961), offering the term ˜aØerim to describe
its sites based on the biblical terminology for settlement hierarchy: City,
towns (banot), and villages (˜aØerim) (e.g., Josh. 15: 47: “Gaza, with her
towns and her villages.”). Gophna, as well as others, believes that the
biblical ˜aØerim refers to the lowest ranking settlement in this hierar-
chy: a small, possibly seasonal, unwalled site. Thorough archaeological
excavations have not yet been undertaken in such ˜aØerim, and small-
scale probing was conducted only at a small number of sites; thus, the
assessment of the nature of these settlements is based chiefly on survey
results (Gazit 1986: 111). The results of probing, surveys, and analyses
of pottery and settlement distribution lead to the following conclusions
(Gazit 1995: 82–88):

3
A large site is defined as one in which remains are spread consecutively over an
area of at least 2500 m².
4
For a summary of finds known until 1995, see Gazit 1995. The sites in the Map
of Zexelim area will be introduced in the Map of Zexelim survey publication. One of
the sites is to be published as part of the Map of Mivta˜im (114), conducted under the
supervision of Lehmann (Lehmann forthcoming). Two additional sites were recently
discovered as a result of archaeological inspection.
78 dan gazit

• All settlements were inhabited for short periods of no longer than


a generation.
• The time span of the settlement system is estimated at 50–60 years,
and its formation was the result of a process of three consecutive
steps.
• Most of the settlements of the system were abandoned between
1000–990 BCE.
• Pottery sherds found at sites located on tells, and at five additional
sites on the plain, attest to scanty occupation that continued into
the Iron Age II.
• The material culture at all sites is notably poor and seems to rep-
resents a minimal assemblage required for survival.
Structural remains play a principle role in the description of the char-
acter of the sites. Stones suitable for building can only be found on
ground surface in the channels of streams that cut through the Besor
region (Besor, Gerar, Patish, Ofakim, and Hatzerim), and contours
of walls and stone-built installation, made mainly of pebbles, are dis-
cernable at sites located near the streams. So far, no structure remains
have been detected in surveys of sites located further away from the
streams. Only archaeological excavations will reveal whether this was
indeed the case, or whether there were mudbrick buildings at these sites,
which did not leave traces at surface level. The presence of structures
is an important factor in defining the function of a site: Haiman, who
conducted several surveys in the Negev Highlands, defines a settlement
with no “solid construction of large stones, rectilinear structures and
access to water sources” as a “campsite” or a “temporary settlement”
(Haiman 1993: 53).5
The southernmost site in the examined strip of land, in which
“solid construction” was detected, and which fits Haiman’s definition
of a “permanent settlement,” is located on the border between the
two survey maps (latitude coordinate 070; Gophna 1966: 44, 47–48).
To its south, five sites located in the area of the Map of Zexelim were
surveyed, and found to be devoid of structural remains. It was, on the
other hand, evident that each site comprised 15–25 densely grouped

5
There is need for further inquiry in order to assess whether or not Haiman’s
definition is valid for areas outside the Negev Highlands. Recently, excavations began
at an Iron Age IB site near Gilat (directed by P. Nahshoni on behalf of the Israel
Antiquities Authority). Until now, densely built stone structures have been unearthed
and two cultic vessels found underneath one of the floors.
permanent and temporary settlements 79

tent compounds. Four of the five sites are positioned along an axis that
diagonally crosses the map from southeast to northwest; additional sites
are located further along the axis, outside the extents of the examined
strip. The pottery assemblages of the Map of Zexelim area sites resemble
those of the sites of the Map of Urim area, with two variations: In the
southern sites there are mostly sherds of cooking-pots and containers
( jars and pithoi); sherds of fine decorated ware are rare. In addition,
the assemblages of the Map of Zexelim area sites exhibit handmade
Negev Ware, attributed to nomads (Cohen 1979: 47–49); these are
nearly absent from the Map of Urim area sites.

The Byzantine Period

Three vast settlements of urban nature are located in the area of the
examined strip—aligned on a north–south axis, in intervals of ca. 5.5
km (30 stadia?).6 The northern border of the strip abuts Æorvat Malta{a,
where there are remains of a church, dressed-stone buildings, an arti-
ficially depressed open space designed for public gathering, a complex
of water-holes, an aqueduct, a water well, remnants of mosaic floors,
and a winepress.7 Remains of a cemetery were detected south from
Æorvat Maltaxa (Gazit 1996: Sites 18, 22). At the center of the Map
of Urim area lies Æorvat Bexer Shema{ (Khirbet el-Far), where remains
were found of two churches, a monastery, a fortress, large structures,
a theatre (?), water wells, cisterns, and a large winepress.8 South of
the site are remains of a cemetery (Gazit and Lender 1993). In the
south of the Map of Zexelim area lie the remains of a vast settlement,
which are spread over three levels of the naturally terraced banks of
Na˜al Besor.9 Remains of impressive stone structures were discovered
on the uppermost terrace and burials were detected south of them.
Densely constructed stone structures were found on the middle terrace
and west of them the remains of a church with a water well next to

6
These settlements include facilities, public buildings, and high-standard water
systems, indicating the existence of a tight municipal governing system that is beyond
spontaneous development.
7
The site was surveyed a second time by A. Gat during the Map of Patish
survey.
8
Further excavations were conducted during summer 2006 by T. Erikson-Gini.
9
On the Map of Zexelim the serial number of the site is 122+129. It is not clear
whether the ruins had an Arabic name.
80 dan gazit

it. East of the structures are graves and leveled flowerbeds surrounded
by constructed water cannels, and east of the cannels are furnaces. On
the bottommost terrace are the remains of a sophisticated water system
designed to capture floodwater from the stream.
Several farm complexes are scattered in the areas between the three
settlements, as well as structures, furnaces, installations, and deposits
of pottery sherds dating to the Byzantine period found in connection
with capacious campsites and agricultural plots.
The settlement in the north of the Map of Zexelim area is located at
the edges of the Æalutza sand dunes. During the Byzantine period, there
was attested human activity in approximately one third of 400 recorded
sites in the part of the Æalutza sand dunes region that lies within the
area of the map (Gazit 1999).10 Apart from two stone structures, all of
the above-mentioned sites are remains of short-term campsites, located
next to campfire remains,11 and containing burnt stone, some flint tools,
pottery sherds (mainly body sherds of containers and cooking vessels),
and a small amount of stone implements (mallets, grinding stones, and
baking stones [tabune]). In most campsites finds point to more than a
single period of occupation, and in almost all sites there is indication
of Bedouin presence over the last generations (contra Finkelstein and
Perevolotsky 1990).

Discussion

The results of this thorough archaeological survey are exceptional in


that they provide us with a view of a climatic transit zone that dictates
a pastoralist lifestyle for its population. Did the conduct of the local
populations of the two case studies match the accepted scheme? How
did the geopolitical background of each period affect this conduct?
During the Iron Age IB, there was a vast spread of sites containing
stone structures in the north of the examined strip, and in its south
there was a band of sites that ran southeast-northwest, where no

10
I am aware of the problems associated with dating the small amount of pottery
collected in 7th-century campsites to the end of the Byzantine period or to the begin-
ning of the Islamic period. But in many cases the situation is no different in sites rich
in pottery finds, such as the large sites.
11
Clusters of campfire remains attesting to large-community campsites are known
during three periods only: the Epipaleolithic period, the Chalcolithic period and the
Iron Age IB (as described in the paper).
permanent and temporary settlements 81

structures were detected. The size of both types of sites is similar, and
each comprises no more than 25 dwelling units. The pottery that was
in use at the sites is neither typically Judean, nor typically Philistine;
rather, it demonstrates a synthesis of both influences, and was created
at a nearby center of workshops,12 from which the local population
purchased it (Gazit 1995). Comparisons between pottery assemblages
of the two site types indicate that their inhabitants belonged to the
same population; the variances in quantities of different forms of ves-
sels derive strictly from matters of functionality. Rosen’s words can be
applied to these differences: “Pottery too can be a characteristic of a
temporary settlement, or a nomad site. Pottery assemblages from nomad
sites may demonstrate a range of types more limited than assemblages
of a rural origin” (Rosen 1998: 34).
The sudden appearance of this system of sites in the Besor region,
during the second half of the 11th century BCE, and its disappear-
ance after a period of three generations fit well into the political and
economic gap that was formed in south Canaan between the final
breakdown of the Egyptian administration in the last days of the 20th
Dynasty, and the formation of the new ethnic state in the northeast, in
the days of Saul and David (Finkelstein 1985: 375). With the retreat of
the Egyptian Empire the autochthonic nomadic population assumed its
position in the desert trade routes system (Finkelstein 1988), making use
of the great innovation of the period—the domestication of the camel.
In the southern area of the examined strip, campsites were set up along
the trade routes;13 seasonal and permanent settlements founded in its
north, which receives more precipitation, specialized in supplying food
for the merchant caravans. The system collapsed—perhaps violently
(1 Sam. 14: 47–48)—when a new polity with aspirations to control the
desert routes entered the arena and closed the existing political gap.
The collapse of the Iron Age IB settlement system is clearly apparent
from the archaeological evidence: Iron Age II pottery was found in mea-
ger quantities in a handful of sites located in the north of the examined
strip; its paucity is evident in the southern area of the strip as well. The
traditional pastoralist balance seems to have been regained.

12
This center was probably located at Tel Haror (Oren et al. 1991).
13
This axis originates in the southeast, along Upper Na˜al Shunra, in a path that
bypasses Æalutza.
82 dan gazit

All settled parts of Palestine in the Byzantine period were organized


in “municipal areas” and “royal estates” in order to enable tax col-
lection and control (Avi-Yonah 1979: 127). In the framework of this
administrative division, the three largest settlements in the examined
strip were included in the Gerar Estate (Saltus Gerariticus), located on the
border between two provinces: Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Tersiasive
Salutaris (Avi-Yonah 1979: 125, 148). In addition to the integration
of these settlements and their surroundings into the governing and
economy systems of the province, being a border zone, the entire area
was treated in a special manner, receiving support from both the impe-
rial military system and from the Church (Dan 1982: 290, 408–416;
Rubin 1990: 54). The short distance (13 km, a half-day walk) between
the southernmost settlement in the examined strip and the large settle-
ment near Æalutza,14 and the location of both on the fringes of the
sands area, indicate an economic, cultic, and anthropologic systematic
connection between them. The strip thus becomes a link between the
settlement complex of the northern Negev Highlands and the harbors
of the Gaza region—the destination of the desert trade routes (Gazit
2001) and the starting point of several Christian pilgrim roads to Sinai
(Mayerson 1987: 37). Clear evidence of the special technological rela-
tions between the northern sites and the Besor region sites was recently
revealed through the Map of Patish survey:15 a winepress, similar to the
public winepresses unique to the northern Negev Highlands (Mazor
1981), was surveyed In Khirbet {Irq (Gazit 1994: 173).
The campsites between the large sites and in nearby stretches of
sand were an integral part of the complex socioeconomic system of
the northern Negev during the Byzantine period (Gazit 1996: 16*).
Pottery that was in use at these campsites is similar to that created in
the adjacent permanent settlements (Tubb 1986) and they should be
seen as pastoralist extensions of those settlements, or as an independent
nomadic system, socially and economically linked to them (Rubin 1990:
128–131). Either way, a mosaic floor in the church of St. Stephens

14
Æalutza is the most northwestern of seven large Byzantine period settlements
located in the northern Negev Highlands, and also the largest. During part of the
period, Æalutza functioned as the capital of the provincia.
15
I wish to express my gratitude to Amnon Gat for granting permission to his
make note of his discovery here. During renewed excavations at Æorvat Bexer Shema{,
directed by T. Erikson-Gini, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, another
winepress was discovered. Its architectural elements are identical to those of the press
found near Æalutza.
permanent and temporary settlements 83

in Bexer Shema, located in the heart of the examined area, serves an


exceptional testimony to these relations (Gazit and Lender 1993). The
mosaic presents a harmonious array of churchgoers; dark skinned
Africans, farmers, caravan leaders, cattle breeders, and shepherds.

Summary

The definition of a transition zone between the area in which rainfed


agriculture is possible during most years and the desert and pasture area,
in which the population depends on cattle breeding, is a geographic
one rather than an anthropological one. The conduct of the population
pertaining to the nature of its dwelling (temporary camps, permanent
camps, seasonal settlements, and permanent settlements) is not spon-
taneous. The political system in which a community operates, and the
given economic constraints and temptations, plays a crucial role affect-
ing decisions it makes concerning types of settlement. During the Iron
Age IB, there was a shift in preference: from settlement dictated by the
potential of territories to serve as pastureland to settlement dictated by
the existence of trade routes. During the Byzantine period, state systems
possessed complete territorial control of both cultivated and wilderness
territories, making the best of both socioeconomic systems.
84 dan gazit

References

Avi-Yonah, M. 1979. The Holy Land, a Historical Geography. Michigan.


Cohen, R. 1979. The Israelite Fortresses in the Negev Highlands. Qadmoniot 46–47:
38–50 (Hebrew).
——. 1991. The Ancient Roads from Petra to Gaza in Light of the New Discoveries.
In: Orion, E. and Eini, Y., eds. The Spice Roads. Sde Boker: 28–77 (Hebrew).
Dan, Y. 1982. The Land of Israel in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries: The Byzantine
Administration in the Land of Israel. In: Baras, Z., Safrai, S., Stern, M., and
Tsafrir, Y., eds. The Land of Israel, from the Destruction of the Second Temple to the Muslim
Occupation. Vol. A. Jerusalem: 265–299, 387–418 (Hebrew).
Finkelstein, I. 1985. The ‘Fortresses’ of the Negev Highlands during the Iron Age—
Settlement Sites of the Desert Nomads. EI 18: 366–379 (Hebrew).
——. 1988. Arabian Trade and Socio-political Conditions in the Negev in the Twelfth–
Eleventh Centuries BCE. JNES 47: 241–252.
Finkelstein, I. and Perevolotsky, A. 1990. Processes of Sedentarization and Nomadiza-
tion in the History of Sinai and the Negev. BASOR 279: 67–88.
Gazit, D. 1986. The Besor Region. Tel Aviv (Hebrew).
——. 1994. The Besor Region in the Byzantine Period, Man and Environment. Ariel
100/1: 172–178 (Hebrew).
——. 1995. The Besor Region in the Iron Age I according to Analysis of the Pot-
tery from Stratum VIII at Tel Sera{ (M.A. thesis, Tel Aviv University). Tel Aviv
(Hebrew).
——. 1996. Map of Urim (125) (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.
——. 1998. Survey of Prehistoric Sites near Zexelim. In: Rosen, S., ed. The Annual Conven-
tion of the Prehistoric Society, Abstracts, Ben Gurion University. Beer Sheva: 2 (Hebrew).
——. 1999. Map of Zexelim, Survey. ESI 110: 99*.
——. 2000. Sedentary Processes in the Besor Region at the Age of the Sultan Abdel-
hamid II. In: Gradus, Y., Meital, Y., and Zexevi, D., eds. Ottoman Beer Sheva Centenary,
Book of Abstracts, Ben Gurion University. Beer Sheva: 12.
——. 2001. Planar Geometry. Eretz VaTeva 71: 64–66 (Hebrew).
——. 2002. Campsites at the Æalutza Sands—Land Occupation Strategy. In: Rosen, S.,
ed. The Annual Convention of the Prehistoric Society, Abstracts, Ben Gurion University. Beer
Sheva: 12 (Hebrew).
——. 2003. The Halutza Sands Getting Their Drift. Eretz Magazine 86: 16–17.
Gazit, D. and Lender, Y. 1993. The Church of St. Stephen at Horvat Bexer-Shema{.
In: Tsafrir, Y., ed. Ancient Churches Revealed. Jerusalem: 273–276.
Gihon, M. 1975. The Limes Sites of the Negev. EI 12: 149–166 (Hebrew).
Goodfriend, G. 1990. Studies in Stable Isotopes for the Reconstruction of the Paleo-
climate of the Negev during the Late Quaternary. Qadmoniot 91–92: 129–130
(Hebrew).
Gophna, R. 1961. On the Development of Pottery Forms during the End of the Iron
Age I in Pleshet and in the Judean Shephela (M.A. thesis, Hebrew University).
Jerusalem (Hebrew).
——. 1966. The “ÆaØerim” in Southern Pleshet during the Iron Age I. {Atiqot 3: 44–51
(Hebrew).
Haiman, M. 1993. Ancient Settlement Patterns in the Negev Highlands—Analysis of the Finds of
the Emergency Survey in the Negev 1979–1989 (Ph.D. dissertation, Hebrew University).
Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Lehmann, G. forthcoming. Map of Mivta˜im (114) (Archaeological Survey of Israel).
Jerusalem.
Mayerson, P. 1987. Palaestina Tertia—Pilgrims and Urbanization. Cathedra 45: 19–40
(Hebrew).
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Mazor, G. 1981. The Wine-Presses of the Negev. Qadmoniot 53–54: 51–60 (Hebrew).
Meshel, Z. 1977. The Negev during the Persian Period. Cathedra 4: 43–50 (Hebrew).
Oren, E., Yekutieli, Y., Nahshoni, P., and Feinstein, R. 1991. Tel Haror—After Six
Seasons. Qadmoniot 93–94: 2–19 (Hebrew).
Rosen, S. A. 1998. The Archaeology of Pastoral Nomadism, Aspects of the Archaeo-
logical Finds. In: Ahituv, S., ed. Studies in Nomadic Archaeology in the Negev and in Sinai.
Beer Sheva: 27–41 (Hebrew).
Rosnen, N. 1953. Directions of the Sief Sands and the Wind Direction in Sinai and
in the Negev. EI 2: 78–81 (Hebrew).
Rubin, R. 1990. The Negev as Settled Land, Urbanization and Settlement in the Desert in the
Byzantine Period. Jerusalem (Hebrew).
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Tubb, J. N. 1986. The Pottery from a Byzantine Well near Tell Fara. PEQ 118:
51–65.
THE SOCIOECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF GRAIN
STORAGE IN EARLY IRON AGE CANAAN:
THE CASE OF TEL DAN

David Ilan

The way people store their yields in traditional agricultural societies can
be an important indicator of social and economic organization. The
starting point for the following study was Israel Finkelstein’s discussion
of pits and grain storage in his classic work The Archaeology of the Israelite
Settlement (Finkelstein 1988: 264–269). Having additionally benefited
from Israel’s careful guidance as my dissertation advisor, it is with great
pleasure that I contribute this study to a festschrift in his honour.

Concerning Pits

Iron Age I remains were found in all excavation areas at Tel Dan
(Fig. 1). All the Iron Age I levels contained pits—more in Stratum VI
(Fig. 2), less in Stratum V (Fig. 3) and even less in Stratum IVB (Ilan
1999: Plan 6). The pits of Iron Age I Tel Dan—their construction,
distribution, and their contents—allow us to arrive at a number of
historical and socioeconomic inferences. The first step is to establish a
hypothetical framework that will enable us to invalidate or substantiate
various interpretive options. People dig pits for a number of reasons and
several hypotheses can be forwarded for the function of pits in the Iron
Age I context (Currid and Navon 1989 and further literature there).
Of course, a given pit may have been subject to more than one use.
Below are several possible pit functions and expectations for evidence
that might support each interpretation:

Grain storage: For the most part pits are considered grain-storage facili-
ties. In Borowski’s typology of grain-storage facilities those most com-
monly found in Iron Age I contexts are “grain pits,” while only the
much larger (and by inference, public) storage facilities like the famous
88 david ilan

example at Megiddo Stratum III receive the appellation “silo” (Lamon


and Shipton 1939: 66–68; Borowski 1987: 72). Borowski’s definitions
are adopted here. Given ethnographic and literary evidence such pits
are usually identified as grain pits. However, carbonized grain in the
requisite quantities has been found (and reported) at only a few Iron
Age I sites: Shiloh Stratum V, Silos 1400 and 1462, Tell Keisan Stratum
9a (probably coeval with Dan Stratum IVB), and Aphek Stratum 8 (the
later being an early Iron Age IIA context, coeval with Dan Stratum
IVA) (Kislev 1980; 1993: 354; Lederman and Finkelstein 1993: 47–48;
Gadot 2003: 80–82). Despite the dearth of unequivocal evidence, I
accept the grain-pit interpretation as the likely one for most, though
perhaps not all pits, at all periods.

Subfloor Storage of Other Commodities: Many commodities would not have


left obvious traces. It is documented, for example, that pits are often
used to store fodder and make silage (Reynolds 1979: 77–79; Finkel-
stein 1986: 126 and references there). Perhaps phytolithic analysis can
detect high proportions of fodder plants, but I know of no investigation
yet carried out in the Levant with this goal in mind. In the making
of silage, residues of lactic acid might form, which could be detected
if looked for (Reynolds 1979: 78). Otherwise, one has no expectation
of fodder plants being preserved in the archaeological record and an
empty pit is to be expected. Other possibilities are salted meat (for
which chemical analysis of side or base material could detect higher
salt levels than is normal), short-term water storage (of which no signs
will remain except for basal sedimentation that cannot be differentiated
from post-use water-deposited silting).1

Storage of Household Items (pottery in particular, while the owner is absent):


In this case, one would expect to find assemblages that are restorable,
if broken, into complete objects, with no missing parts. Moreover, it
seems unlikely that more than two or three pits for this purpose per
extended household would be found.

Rubbish Disposal: This was certainly the final use of some of the Iron
Age I pits at Tel Dan, and a few at Shechem, Aphek, and Sasa (see

1
These are just some examples; for others, see Finkelstein 1986: 79; Currid and
Navon 1989: 70–71.
the case of tel dan 89

below). The large quantities of pottery and animal bones attest to


this, as does the variety of vessels represented among the sherds.2 But
quantities and typological variety are not enough. The key to identifying
rubbish-disposal pits is that the sherds they contain can be joined to
sherds found on floors, benches, and fills above them. Intact pits that
contain large sherds that join to form incomplete vessels are an even
better indication. However, the investment in the regular shape and
stone lining of some of these pits suggests that their original, primary
purpose was something other than sumps or garbage receptacles.

Composting: One would be hard pressed to demonstrate such a use since


the pit would be empty with the lapse of time. Perhaps one should
search for a thin black line of organic material at the bottom of the
pit similar to what is left when contaminated grain decays.

Ritual Use ( favissa, bothros, or biblical xob): In this case one might expect
a standardized repertoire of objects and materials left as offerings. This
may take the form of organic materials that leave little or no discernible
traces.3 One would also expect them to be concentrated in places imbued
with cultic or spiritual meaning, rather than being widely distributed.
Such places may have some surface manifestation of ritual activity as
well. The archaeological and textual evidence for cultic pits associated
with such phenomena is prodigious.4
I concur with the opinion that most of the pits in the Iron Age
I levels at Tel Dan are grain pits (Finkelstein 1988: 102, 266–267).
Though instances where such constructions actually contain grain are
confined to the few examples cited above, the construction technique,
the ethnographic record, and the fact that they are often empty but
sometimes contain a secondary deposit of rubbish, all point to their
probable first use as grain pits. The discussion below proceeds under
this assumption.
Synthetic treatments of Iron Age I archaeology unanimously consider
the plethora of pits that agglomerate in excavated sites a hallmark of

2
Cf. Finkelstein 1996: 127.
3
Indeed, this would most often be the case, if the ancient texts are any indication;
see Hoffner 1967.
4
For archaeological manifestations see, for example, Ilan 1991 and references there.
For textual references, including the Hebrew Bible, see Hoffner 1967 and references
there.
90 david ilan

the material culture of the period (e.g., Finkelstein 1988: 264–269;


Mazar 1992: 289; Rosen 1994: 343–344; Bloch-Smith and Alpert
Nakhai 1999: 75–76). The large number of pits excavated in succes-
sive Iron Age I contexts at Tel Dan were done so with a relatively high
degree of stratigraphic control. This supplies a good opportunity for
diachronic analysis that is matched perhaps only by {Izbet Âartah and
Tell Beit Mirsim (Finkelstein 1986; Greenberg 1987).5

Pit Construction

The great majority of pits at Tel Dan are cylinder shaped (Figs. 2, 4, 5)
while a very few are beehive shaped (Fig. 6); sometimes, when the top
has been lopped off, it is hard to know which is which. Some pits are
stone lined but most are not. None showed unequivocal evidence of
firing (a means of fumigation); though many contained ash that could
be interpreted as such (Currid and Navon 1989: 75). Those that are
not stone lined are usually inserted down into the hard-packed pebble
fill of the Late Bronze Age (Fig. 5), which must have served the same
purpose as the stone lining. When this fill was missing, a stone lining
was provided—a sort of patch, as it were (Fig. 4). The stone lining is
generally considered a means of isolating the contents of the pit or silo
from the soil beyond, particularly in defense of rodents and insects. If
not of stone, the lining may originally have been of basketry or mud
plaster, sometimes fired hard, but these may not be detected by the
excavator (Currid and Navon 1989: 70; Reynolds 1979: 72–76).
When stone-lined and intact, pits are fairly easy to detect. At Tel Dan
the lower sections of most pits in Area B-west were easily discerned
because they were inserted into the hard-packed Late Bronze pebble
layer (Fig. 5). Often, however, the upper sections were not so easy to
make out and it is now clear that in several cases material from a pit
was excavated together with material from an earlier floor or debris
level. Particularly when empty, or if their contents have burned away
in conflagration, the upper sections tend to collapse inward, mixing
pottery from different contexts.

5
The Iron Age I context with the greatest number of pits uncovered thus far (a
total of 198) is Tell en-Na‘beh Stratum IV. However, the diachronic aspect is less clear
(Zorn 1993: 103–113).
the case of tel dan 91

It is not clear how the pits were sealed in the period of their initial
use. Ethnographic and other archaeological data indicate that a variety
of capping techniques could be used: animal dung, clay and stones, or a
combination of these (Currid and Navon 1989: 70, 72). But since all of
the pits seem to have been emptied of their original contents, either by
natural or human agents, we would not expect to find the sealing intact
unless it is a feature, often a surface, of the following occupation.

Pit Contents and Their Implications

Many pits contain almost nothing aside from fill, and some of that
comes from the penetrated earlier layers. At least nine Stratum VI pits
contained no Iron Age I pottery whatsoever, only sherds dating to the
Late Bronze Age or earlier from the sides and bases of the pits. The
few pits of Strata V and IVB always contained at least some Iron Age
I pottery, though Late Bronze ceramics can make up the majority, since
here too, Late Bronze levels were penetrated.
Some pits however, did contain complete, restorable pottery ves-
sels, and large quantities of animal bones and destruction debris. Tel
Dan is one of only a few Iron Age I sites where this is so (Fig. 4). The
others that I have located are Hazor, Aphek (Stratum X8), Shechem,
and Sasa (L5) (Ben-Ami 2001; Gadot 2003; Currid and Navon 1989:
69–70; Golani and Yogev 1996; respectively). It has been suggested
that such finds represent rubbish rather than the original intended use
of the pits (Finkelstein 1988: 267; Currid and Navon 1989: 71). As it
turns out, this hunch is correct, but it must be proven and explained,
as I do below for Tel Dan.
In many cases at Tel Dan, pottery from pits could be restored with
pottery from surfaces.6 While most of the debris was discarded into
the pits, some fragments were missed and ended up on floors, benches,
and other features of the subsequent occupation. This implies that the
material in the pits is refuse from cleared floors. Why were the floors
cleared rather than the debris being simply leveled down and built upon?
The answer is probably twofold: The inhabitants wished to reuse their
old architecture as much as possible, so they cleared the destruction
debris out. They also wished to build over areas that had once been

6
For detailed contexts, see Ilan 1999.
92 david ilan

densely arrayed with grain pits (Area B-west [Fig. 2] and Area M). For
both these reasons the builders cleared the debris from the destroyed
houses and filled in the troublesome pits, which must have been empty
and visible, to provide a level surface for planned construction.7 The
fact that so few pits contained household rubbish can be correlated to
the sparseness of Stratum VI architecture; most of the pits were simply
filled with soil and outdoor rubbish. It is also conceivable, though dif-
ficult to demonstrate at this point, that the open, pit-bearing areas were
left neglected for some period of time. In this case, the “primary” and
“secondary” infilling mechanisms described by Schiffer (1987: 218–220)
would apply. In any event, a major implication is that the inhabitants
no longer wished to make use of the pits—at least not these.
How did the grain pits get empty enough (down to their bases) until it
was possible to fill them with what are clearly the fractured contents of
living floors? Were their contents first emptied en masse and the erstwhile
pits left open? One possible explanation is that the grain had already
been consumed entirely, perhaps in time of famine. It does not seem
likely that the grain contents burned in conflagration since no recogniz-
able quantities of carbonized grain were discerned (when the contents
of a full grain pit burn, a certain portion at the core will be preserved
in carbonized form [Zohary and Hopf 1994: 3–4]). Moreover, would
not at least several pits have been forgotten or otherwise preserved with
their contents intact? It is only fair at this juncture to remark that the
excavation techniques used at Tel Dan were not as precise as one might
desire, especially in the retrospective light of the questions raised here.
Flotation was carried out in only a few cases and sealing materials,
wall linings, and basal matter were not sampled for phytolithic or other
microanalysis. This remains a project for the future.

Intrasite Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Pits

The ratio of pits to excavated area in Stratum VI (45: 975 m2, Fig. 2)
is similar to that encountered at {Izbet Âartah Stratum II (43: 1275 m2)
and Hazor Strata XI–XII (ca. 70 pits in an area of ca. 1000 m2), the

7
Another factor to keep in mind is that a series of terraces was constructed on the
inner slopes of Tel Dan (which has a crater-like shape) in what appears to have been
a unified preparation for house construction.
the case of tel dan 93

sites and horizons with the densest array of pits reported until now
(Finkelstein 1986; Ben-Ami 2001: 151–156). The Tel Dan ratios break
down by area as follows:

Table 1. Numbers of pits relative to excavated area in Stratum VI and


Stratum V
Area Stratum VI Excavated area Stratum V Excavated area
(m2) (m2)
B-east 4 350 1 400
B-west 28 475 3 550
H 1 30 0? 30
M 7 65 0 85
Y 5 55 0 70
Totals 45 975 4 1135

In Areas B-west and M there are many more pits relative to their exca-
vated areas than there are in the other areas. Unlike Areas Y, B-east,
and perhaps T, the former areas also display little or no architecture in
Stratum VI. It therefore seems likely that Finkelstein is correct in assert-
ing that Area B-west was a sector devoted to grain storage in Stratum
VI—a sort of subsurface granary (Finkelstein 1988: 266)—much like
the grain-pit fields of {Izbet Âartah, Hazor, and Tel Zeror. Plainly, these
underground granaries were all outdoors.
Very few of the pits at Dan overlap or disturb each other. In fact, a
number are placed abutting each other, almost in rows (this is mainly
true of Area B-west [Fig. 2]; cf. Shiloh Stratum V [Lederman and
Finkelstein 1993: 46–48]). The implication is that they were largely
contemporaneous and were somehow marked.8 Because there are so
many pits that appear to be at least partly contemporaneous, logic
also dictates that they may have been labeled with additional informa-
tion—date of harvest, which commodity is contained (wheat, barely,
or other), which is reserved for seed, and perhaps the family to which
the pit belonged.

8
Currid and Navon (1989: 68) note that the Bedouin of the southern Shephelah
identified their grain pits by stone markers.
94 david ilan

The Implications of Grain Pits for Production and Social Organization

The analysis of Iron Age I social structure and the architectural layout
at Tel Dan lead us to expect that certain grain pits belonged to certain
families (batei av in the biblical parlance [Stager 1985]). By “families”
do we mean multiple-family, extended, or nuclear households, and on
what level within the family was storage organized? The dense agglom-
erations of pits in Area B-west (and those from {Izbet Âartah Stratum
II, for example), suggest that storage was organized by multiple-family
households, and perhaps even by patrilineal clans that occupied a seg-
ment or neighborhood of the settlement (Gottwald 1979: 316). One
would also expect that a given family’s holdings would be well-defined
and recognized by the inhabitants of the settlement. The question is
how these holdings were defined and whether it is possible to identify
them in the archaeological record. When primordial Iron Age I levels
are excavated and their layouts distinguished, the hypothetical holdings
of compounds can be inferred because household units are individuated.
Such might be the case at Giloh or {Izbet Âartah, for example (Mazar
1981; Finkelstein 1986). With regard to the Tel Dan pits, however, the
difficulty in isolating Stratum VI dwelling units from within the Stratum
V agglomeration makes it hard to assign a particular array of grain
pits to a particular structure or complex.
Finkelstein attempted to estimate the number of grain pits per
dunam, the total number of grain pits, and the total tonnage of
grain harvested by the inhabitants of {Izbet Âartah (Finkelstein 1986:
127–128). Such calculations presuppose:
(a) an average distribution of pits throughout the site, similar to that
of the excavated areas. However, as noted above, Finkelstein
himself has suggested that many sites may have specific areas
designated for grain storage;
(b) a fixed measure of the pits’ contemporaneity, ignoring the prob-
ability that at a given point in time only a portion of the pits
were in use;
(c) that all the pits were used to store grain.
While Rosen (1986: 172–173) did try to establish statistical limits to
reduce the element of uncertainty in the above {Izbet Âartah calcula-
tions, there remain many unknown values. Such calculations may be
useful as a heuristic device, but their accuracy is questionable.
the case of tel dan 95

Throughout, Tel Dan Stratum VI has many more pits than do


the two later Iron Age I strata, both in absolute numbers and rela-
tive to the extent of excavation (Table 1). Surely, this trend should be
understood as reflecting social and economic change. Most Iron Age
I sites lack both the diachronic resolution and aerial extent of the Tel
Dan excavations, and this bears directly on the question of economic
processes reflected by grain-pit distribution. Aside from Tel Dan, only
{Izbet Âartah shows a clear process of changing priorities: Stratum III
has a few pits (7), Stratum II many (43), and Stratum I, once again,
few (10).9 I feel these patterns can be explained by a combination of
demographics and security concerns (elaborated below).

Why Did Iron Age I Inhabitants Store Grain in Pits?

Most of the few detailed studies of Iron Age I pits have focused on
determining their use and on their storage efficacy. The question of
why pits, rather than other means, were chosen to store grain in this
period has been touched upon, but not sufficiently.
There can be no doubt that stone-lined, plastered, and sealed pits
are an efficient means of storing grain and other perishable produce
(e.g., Reynolds 1979: 71–82; Currid and Navon 1989; Rosen 1994:
344; and references in these).
In Finkelstein’s view pit-digging is a “characteristic feature of popu-
lations in the process of sedentarization or of rural communities [my ital-
ics]” (Finkelstein 1986: 126 and see references there). In the context
of his hypothesis that the settlement process was primarily an outcome
of sedentarizing nomads,10 his emphasis was on the first part of the
statement—that concerning settling nomads. While there is logic in
this, the second part of the hypothesis deserves equal attention. Pit
construction has been equally prevalent amongst farmers with long

9
These numbers assume that Finkelstein’s stratigraphic attributions for the grain
pits are correct. The great majority are sited in an open area between the large central
structure and the outer band of buildings (Finkelstein 1986: Figs. 3–5). Finkelstein’s
criterion for assigning them to Stratum II is that they lack a light-colored brick debris
that filled most of the Stratum III grain pits—not a criterion that inspires certainty.
Many could be either Stratum III or Stratum I grain pits or belong to any combina-
tion of strata.
10
Revised to some degree to include population elements with other origins in
Finkelstein and Naxaman 1994: 13.
96 david ilan

traditions of permanent residence and land ownership both in Palestine


and without, in ancient times and until the not-very-distant past (see
references to Hyde et al. 1973 and Ilan 1974 in Finkelstein 1986: 127;
Currid and Navon 1989). Apparently, it was not a common practice
either before or after the Iron Age I, that is, in the Late Bronze Age
or during the Iron Age II.11
Rosen has remarked that grain pits were constructed “to the very
minimum,” that is, so as to expend the least effort for the most benefit
(Rosen 1994: 344). He called this “‘value engineering’—calculated and
conscious saving in building activity.” Larger, above-ground facilities, he
reasons, are characteristic of periods of sophisticated, more complex
administration. But it would be easier and equally efficient to store grain
in pithoi, (indeed, this is probably what happened in Tel Dan Stratum
V), or in jars, such as have been found in 10th-century-BCE Æorbat
Rosh Zayit (Gal and Alexandre 2000: 21–22; Kislev and Melamed
2000). There is perhaps another correlate of complex, sophisticated
administration that may better explain the use of the grain pit when
such an administration does not exist or is perceived to be hostile.
One of the primary reasons grain is stored in subterranean facili-
ties is to hide it—from robbers, the government tax collector, or from
other enemies (see, e.g., references in Currid and Navon 1989: notes
2, 3). Indeed, the Bible refers to grain storage mainly in metaphors
of insecurity and refuge ( Jer. 41: 8; 2 Sam. 17: 15–20; Judg. 6: 1–4).
The Egyptians often timed military campaigns with the harvest and in
the Late Bronze Age at least, local farmers were obliged to provide the
Egyptian garrisons and functionaries with grain (Redford 1992: 211,
citing Sethe 1907: 719).
We have noted that grain pits were probably marked, but they can
be quickly “unmarked” and therefore safeguarded. Even if some of
the grain pits were uncovered and their contents taken by an adversary,
other pits would go undetected and thus, unplundered. Hence, subter-
ranean grain storage was a matter of expediency rather than the ideal
method. One imagines that some grain pits were sited purposely in even
more obscure, more distant locations, just-in-case. The Iron Age I is
documented as a period of social and political turbulence; this, it can
be asserted, is an important reason for subterranean storage.

11
Multiple grain pits found in the recent excavations at the Iron Age II site of Mo·a
require that this statement be moderated somewhat (De-Groot and Greenhut 2005).
the case of tel dan 97

Although it is true that pits are found in Iron Age I “settlement” sites
from the northern Negev to the Upper Galilee, more are made where
there is soil underfoot. Where the site is founded at or near bedrock,
there are usually few or none, particularly if the bedrock is hard lime-
stone or dolomite rather than chalk. This is clear from Finkelstein’s
survey of pits in Iron Age I sites (Finkelstein 1986: 124–128).12 The
depth of a pit may also have been affected by the depth of soil above
bedrock; Finkelstein suggests, for example, that the {Izbet Âartah Stra-
tum II pits were shallow and more numerous than at other sites for this
reason (ibid.: 127). Rock-hewn pits are found at Beer-sheba (attributed
to Stratum IX) and at Tell el-Ful (Lapp 1981: 56–62; Herzog 1984:
8–11, 70), but it is usually difficult to date and assign a function to
rock-cut features.
Why did the inhabitants not make larger grain pits? After all, each
family, whether a nuclear, extended, or multiple-family household,
must have harvested much more than the contents of a single grain
pit. The answer is probably that grain keeps best when undisturbed,
and a household will consume only so much grain at a time. A larger
silo would mean more grain exposed to moisture, blight, and vermin
for a longer time. Thus, the volume of a grain pit, which is surpris-
ingly uniform across the country (generally averaging 1.8–2.5 m3), was
calculated by experience to match a given rate of consumption.13 Once
a grain pit was opened, its contents were removed in their entirety and
stored short-term in bins or jars—also vermin proof—located inside the
home.14 It is also likely that the use of smaller but more numerous pits
was a means of reducing risk of spoilage: If a small pit is penetrated
by moisture or vermin, or spoiled by bacterial or fungal activity, only
a small quantity is lost.

12
Chalk would have been a positive byproduct for enhancing agricultural yields
and for lime plaster. At Tell en-Na‘beh however, with the largest number of Iron Age
I grain pits excavated anywhere, they were hewn into limestone bedrock (Zorn 1993:
104–105), perhaps an indication of insecurity.
13
cf. Zorn 1993: 104–105 concerning the averages and variation of capacity at
Tell en-Na‘beh.
14
And from that point on, see Rosen 1994: 343.
98 david ilan

Why Grain Pits Went Out of Vogue

In some locations, pits may never have been hewn to begin with, par-
ticularly where a settlement was established directly on hard, karstic
bedrock. The sites of the Upper Galilee Highlands show relatively few
pits. In these places we may hypothesize that pithoi may have been used
(although I do not know of an Iron Age I pithos containing charred
grain). Finkelstein has asserted that settlements with small numbers
of pits could not have produced the quantities of grain sufficient for
subsistence and must therefore have depended on exchange with better
grain-producing areas to make up the difference (Finkelstein 1988: 269).
But the presence or absence of pits (“silos”) cannot be the criterion, by
itself, for such a judgment.15
It is almost certain that grain pits (and pits with other functions) went
out of use from time to time. By way of example, Reynolds gives the
following explanation for a farmer abandoning his pit:
Apart from ritual reasons which we shall never be able to establish by
excavation, the only possible cause for abandoning a pit is the farmer’s
reaction to failure. When the stored grain is affected by water, the effects
are remarkable. The fungal and bacterial infestation can cause strange
and weird colourations, such as shiny reds, dull browns and violent greens.
Faced with such a prospect, which is not enhanced by the accompanying
ill odour, no farmer could be blamed for digging a new pit and aban-
doning the old to the evil spirits. Yet there is nothing wrong at all with
the pit itself, only with the stored grain. One experiment in operation at
present is to monitor its disintegration. Ultimately, the grain should rot
down to nothing more than a thin black layer. Such layers have been
recorded but never analysed. (Reynolds 1979: 76)
This one example illustrates how individual pits might remain unused,
visible, and empty, while others were filled. In fact, the whole process
of grain pits going out of style was probably a gradual one. Pits did
continue to be used, and even to be dug, in Strata V and IVB at Tel
Dan. The same holds true for {Izbet Âartah Stratum I.
The process of pits going out of vogue may be reconstructed in
three stages:

15
Carrying-capacity analysis is a better tool and its results depend on how much of
the slopes were terraced—almost impossible to gauge at this stage.
the case of tel dan 99

1. Political stability increased and security conditions improved.


These allowed the consideration of other storage methods that
were less arduous (i.e. better “value engineered,” to quote Rosen
[1994: 344]) and less prone to spoilage, spontaneous combustion,
misplacement, and theft.
2. Under these new conditions, and given the disadvantages of
underground storage, it was found preferable to store grain in
pithoi and jars, of which there are prodigious numbers in Stra-
tum V. For one thing, perhaps grain was now more frequently
transported as an exchanged commodity and better access was
required. And perhaps, there developed a problem in keeping
track of grain pits in a larger, more densely populated and built-
up settlement. Perhaps too, the number of vermin expanded
with increased population density and pithoi were deemed better
protection against pests. Moreover, as suggested above, perhaps
problems with high groundwater, poor winter drainage, and pit
plugs being removed by rainfall and runoff made it much more
sensible to store grain above ground, in sealed pithoi, under a
roof; that is, as soon as you were not afraid of someone taking
your stores.
3. At some point, probably well-advanced by the destruction of
Stratum IVB, beit av economics (the domestic mode of produc-
tion) were gradually supplanted by an increasing centralization
of production and storage. Perhaps central storage facilities were
established (real “silos” in Borowski’s terminology [Borowski
1987: 72]) in lieu of erstwhile household facilities. There is only
negative evidence for this at Tel Dan; in Stratum IVB the num-
bers of pithoi (and pits) are much lower than in Stratum V. It
is hard to imagine that yields were significantly less, or that all
the grain was stored in storage jars, of which there are many,
but not substantially more than in Stratum V. Part of the grain
may have been stored in above-ground facilities that belonged to
individual households—those chambers without doorways (see
below). Other portions may have been going to a central storage
place or facility, such as those located in contemporaneous and
slightly later contexts (e.g., Tel Hadar Stratum IV, Horbat Rosh
Zayit) (Kochavi 1998; Gal and Alexandre 2000), though none has
been found yet at Dan.
We can summarize the change in grain storage techniques with the
following diagram:
100 david ilan

Stratum VI > many grain pits and some pithoi


Stratum V > many pithoi, few pits and bins
Stratum IVB > large above-ground household silos, few pits and
bins, few pithoi

A similar scenario for diachronic changes in methods of grain storage,


albeit better documented in all its stages, has been reported at Early
Bronze Age Arad (Amiran and Ilan 1996: 145–147).

Pithoi and Their Distribution

In Stratum V pithoi were generally found propped up against walls


(Fig. 7) and, lacking evidence to the contrary, we can only presume that
the same would have been true for Stratum VI—even in the unlikely
event that the walls were made of reeds.16
The pits of Stratum VI contain both classic collared-rim and
“Galilean” pithoi, fragmentary and complete, in approximately equal
numbers.17 But they seem to occur in segregated groups and are not
often mixed as whole vessels. Where more than one pithos occurs in a
room or pit, the types almost always group together: either “Galilean”
pithoi (Fig. 8) or collared-rim pithoi (Fig. 9). This may be an indication
of commodity separation and identification, or perhaps it is a question
of cultural preference, a point that is dealt with elsewhere (Ilan 1999:
81–85).

Silos

No feature could be identified unequivocally as a large, central grain


storage facility like that of Tel Hadar Stratum IV or Megiddo Stratum
III. One of the characteristics of such facilities is a lack of doorways;
if anything, smaller openings are the rule. One chamber in Tel Dan
Stratum IVB—Locus 605 in Squares B –C/19–20—was a small,
completely closed-off room, 1.8 × 2 m in size. No carbonized grain

16
Cf. Geva 1984. In at least two cases, however, in Stratum VI (Area B-west L7140
and L7183), pithoi were deeply sunk into the ground (when pithoi are sunk they are
clearly in situ).
17
For the different types, see Biran 1989; Ilan 1999.
the case of tel dan 101

was noted by the excavators, but it is hard to come up with another


explanation. In any event, Stratum IVB is the first Iron Age I context
where such a closed chamber was encountered, and this at a time when
other bulk storage features (pits, pithoi, and bins) were much fewer
than in the previous two strata. The circumstantial evidence points to
concentrated bulk storage taking place in locations other than where
it had been focused before.

Bins or Troughs

In several places, semi-circular bins were found built up against walls


(e.g., Square U18, L4710 in Fig. 10). Obviously, these represent ground
floor installations; since they would not have been found intact had
they collapsed from an upper floor. Perhaps the best explanation for
them is that they were animal feed troughs (Stager 1985: 13–15). At
least one also had a large stone basin next to it (again, in Area B-west,
L4710). However, they also had the capacity to contain a complete
vessel or two: a cooking-pot in Area Y, L3175 and a storage jar in
Area B-west, L4710. Hence they may also have served as temporary,
ad hoc storage.

Summary and Conclusions

The storage facilities of Iron Age I Tel Dan underwent marked change
from the early part of the period (Stratum VI) to its late part (Stra-
tum IVB). This change is a clear indication of socioeconomic and
political change at the site and in the region as a whole. Bulk storage
in the early phase (Stratum VI) was characterized by a combination
of pit and pithos containers, prevalent throughout the site, but with
pit concentrations in open areas. In Stratum V pithoi occur in large
numbers while pits seem to have been limited to one per household.
In both of the above phases above-floor bins and troughs occur in
households as well. In the last phase (Stratum IVB) pits continued to
be confined to one per household, but pithoi too are few—again: one
or two per household. Bins and troughs are apparently also markedly
less frequent.
I have suggested that the storage of grain in pits was initially and
primarily a function of poor security, not simply a matter of efficacy.
102 david ilan

When security improved, most grain storage was transferred to above-


ground containers, perhaps mainly pithoi. In the final Iron Age I stage
of Tel Dan, Stratum IVB, grain storage and livestock appear to have
been concentrated elsewhere, not in private homes. This is held to
indicate increasing centralization of economic and political control.
the case of tel dan 103

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A RE-ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE IRON AGE I*

Yitzhak Meitlis

How do archaeologists determine the end of one period and the


beginning of another? Do cultural entities and chronologies necessarily
coincide? We assume that major changes in pottery forms, settlement
patterns, architecture, burial customs, and diet mark the beginning of
a new period—a new chronological entity. However, when several new
forms first appear at a time that otherwise exhibits continuity of material
culture, we call the period “transitional” and postulate cultural overlap.
The Late Bronze—Iron Age I transition is a classic case in point, as
Kempinski has previously noted (Kempinski 1985: 399–407).
In a series of papers written over the last two decades, Finkelstein
suggests lowering the onset of Iron Age I (e.g., Finkelstein 1988: 109;
1995). He deals mostly with the lowlands and with the interaction
between the Philistines, Canaanites, and Egyptians, living in the Coastal
Plain and the Shephelah. In this paper I will reexamine the chronology
of the highlands through concurrence of different pottery types, and
conclude that the beginning of Iron Age I should, in fact, be dated
earlier than commonly accepted.
My first argument concerns the collared-rim jars, usually associated
with the Iron Age I, that have been found in assemblages otherwise typi-
cal of the Late Bronze Age, e.g., at Aphek,1 Tel Nami,2 and Mana˜at.3

* I am grateful to David Ilan for his significant contribution and helpful advice
throughout the preparation of the manuscript.
1
At Aphek, near Rosh ha-{Ayin, collared-rim jars were found in a stratum that is
Canaanite in character and dated to the 13th century BCE; see, for example, Kochavi
1981.
2
At Tel Nami a collared-rim jar was found together with Canaanite vessels dated
to the 13th century BCE (Artzi 1990).
3
In Area 1000 at Mana˜at collared-rim jars with reed impressions on their rims
were found. These are known to us from various sites in the highlands, such as Shiloh.
At the same building 19th-Dynasty scarabs were also found, as well as a Canaanite
cooking-pot (Edelstein et al. 1998).
106 yitzhak meitlis

Subsequently, Mycenaean and Cypriot vessels typical of the Late Bronze


Age have been found at central highlands sites assigned to the Iron Age
I. Mycenaean vessels are the main chronological anchor for the Late
Bronze Age. When found in Iron Age I contexts, and when no Late
Bronze architecture is discerned, this Late Bronze material is assumed
to be residual or not in situ (see below). I propose here that the Iron
Age I pottery and Late Bronze pottery are contemporaneous.
The following is a list of sites in which finds attributed to the Late
Bronze were found in Iron Age I contexts, lacking stratigraphic or
architectural associations.

Mount Ebal

Mount Ebal is one of the most outstanding Iron Age I sites. While there
is an argument over its nature (Kempinski 1986; Naxaman 1986; Zertal
1986–1987: 137; Coogen 1987), all are in agreement about it being a
single-period site of this period. Two small Mycenaean vessel fragments
were found, both in Stratum II: One is part of a jar or amphoriskos
slipped and burnished with a light-brown decoration while the second
has a lateral dimension of only 3 mm. Both were classified by the
excavator as Mycenaean IIIB–C. Other Late Bronze types found are
a bi-conical jar, particularly widespread during the 14th century BCE,
as well as two bowls, and a chalice, both typical of the 13th century
BCE. In addition, two scarab seals attributed to the reign of Ramesses
II were found (Zertal 1986–1987: 137). Since there was no Late Bronze
stratum in this isolated site and none in its vicinity, it must be concluded
that it existed during the 13th century BCE.

Tell en-NaÉbeh

Late Bronze vessels were found at this site, also dated to the Iron Age.
McCown notes Cypriot sherds (1947: 180), but unfortunately they are
not included in the report on the pottery. Nonetheless, the pottery
report does present local wares typical of the Late Bronze Age, such
as a dipper juglet (Wampler 1947: Pl. 40: 756), a cooking-pot (ibid.: Pl.
46: 979), and carinated bowls (ibid.: Pl. 53: 1156, 1163).
a re-analysis of the archaeological evidence 107

Beth-Zur

In the Iron Age I assemblages from various areas, locally manufactured


Late Bronze pottery, Mycenaean and Cypriot vessels, and scarab seals
attributed to Ramesses II were found (Sellers 1933: 33, Fig. 26; Funk
1968: 36). In the 1933 excavation report Sellers emphasizes that there
was no Late Bronze settlement in the excavated areas, and notes, for
example, the Ramesses II scarab seal found in Locus 90 (Sellers 1933:
Fig. 51)—a clear Iron Age I context. In the 1968 report as well, an
Iron Age I storehouse is noted, in which no Late Bronze finds occurred,
with the exception of two late Mycenaean vessels. The excavator wrote:
“We may be certain that there was no Late Bronze occupation of the
excavated area” (Sellers 1933: 35).

Tel Sasa

A refuse pit unearthed during the 1980 excavations at Tel Sasa, in the
Upper Galilee, contained animal bones and Iron Age I sherds. The
main assemblage consisted of 17 pithoi, among them “Galilean” pithoi
and “Tyrian” pithoi (Golani and Yogev 1996).
The combination of these two types of pithoi led Finkelstein to
date this stage to the end of the 12th or the onset of the 11th century
BCE (Finkelstein 1988: 109–110). But in the 1993 excavations at the
same site, Y. Stepansky found Late Bronze vessels together with Iron
Age I cooking-pots and collared-rim jars in the same stratum, repre-
senting a destruction layer. The dating of the destruction on the basis
of three 14C tests of roof beams yielded from this layer produced a
chronological range spanning the end of the 13th and the beginning
of the 12th centuries BCE (Stepansky et al. 1996). These tests are in
line with the presence of Late Bronze vessels found at the site, and
indicate the existence of settlement during the Iron Age I, in the 13th
century BCE.4

4
See the analysis of the excavation that was made by Ilan (1999). He also empha-
sizes that “it is significant that there are at least two Iron Age I architectural phases
after the one dated radiometrically” (ibid.: 175–184).
108 yitzhak meitlis

Available data clearly indicate the presence of vessels of a new type,


concentrated primarily in the highlands, by the 13th century BCE,
while Late Bronze culture carried on uninterrupted.
Up until this point we have discussed the coexistence of Iron Age I
and Late Bronze material from the 13th century BCE (see also Wen-
grow 1996). However, the Iron Age I type pottery may date even to
as early as the 14th century BCE. The best evidence for this has been
found at Shiloh, one of the largest excavated Iron Age I sites in the
central highlands.

Shiloh

Aharoni, Fritz, and Kempinski suggested that the onset of Iron Age I
be dated to the 14th century BCE (Aharoni et al. 1975), noting that
the excavations of the Danish expedition at Shiloh uncovered Late
Bronze vessels in Iron Age I assemblages (Buhl and Holm-Nielsen 1969:
34–35, 60). Following later excavations conducted by the Bar-Ilan Uni-
versity Expedition, under the direction of I. Finkelstein, the excavator
concluded that this Late Bronze pottery originated in a separate Late
Bronze stratum, rather than in the Iron Age settlement.
The Late Bronze finds are concentrated in Area D (Finkelstein et al.
1993). A large number of sherds of local and imported vessels were
found in this area, some intentionally buried together with ash and
animal bones, but no building remains from this period were discerned.
According to the excavator, there must have been a cult place at Shiloh,
but its location is unknown because of later construction that covers the
central part of the tell. A careful examination of the loci lists shows that
some of the Mycenaean and Cypriot vessels characteristic of the 14th
century BCE were found in clean Iron Age I loci in Area D and also
in Areas C and J (Bunimovitz and Finkelstein 1993).5 Bunimovitz notes
that the local pottery, most of which was found in Area D, continues
Middle Bronze traditions and should be dated to Late Bronze Age I.
However, some of the imported Cypriot wares as well as the Mycenaean
vessels are later, and dated to Late Bronze Age II (14th century BCE)
(Bunimovitz and Finkelstein 1993: 129–136). No obvious Late Bronze

5
Other Mycenaean and Cypriot vessels were found in loci defined by the excavators
as mixed (Bunimovitz and Finkelstein 1993).
a re-analysis of the archaeological evidence 109

I imports, such as White-Slip I ware, were found. The Cypriot pottery


includes White-Slip II bowls, Monochrome bowls, Base-Ring I vessels,
and Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware. The Mycenaean pottery includes
only four sherds, which appear to be parts of a small piriform jar or
possibly a piriform stirrup jar, and a small body sherd that may have
belonged to a small pyxis. All these sherds date to Mycenaean IIIA: 2;
this would imply that the Mycenaean and Cypriot imports are later than
the local vessels (For the date of Cypriot vessels, see Eriksson 2001).
Since the differential dating above is illogical, we may conclude
that the local Iron Age I pottery was coeval with the Mycenaean and
Cypriot imports. It may still be maintained that one cannot learn about
an entire region from a single site. However, another site, Tell Qiri in
the Jezreel Valley, demonstrates a similar pattern.

Tell Qiri

Tell Qiri shows that the presence of imports dating to the 14th century
BCE in Iron Age I loci is not an anomaly. No Late Bronze settlement
strata were found at Tell Qiri; however, Late Bronze vessels dating to the
end of the 15th and to the first half of the 14th centuries were found
in various loci in Strata IX–VIII, which date to the Iron Age I. The
excavators found it difficult to explain this phenomenon, particularly
in such cases where luxury vessels, such as Mycenaean and Cypriot
vessels, as well as those of alabaster and faience, were involved. They
offered two possible explanations: Either the architectural traces of the
Late Bronze Age have disappeared, or the vessels were brought from
a nearby site. But concluding the discussion of this matter, they admit
that it is “difficult to offer a convincing explanation for this occurrence”
(Ben-Tor and Portugali 1987: 257–258).

Conclusions

For the most part, the lack of Late Bronze architectural remains at
the sites under discussion has been attributed to poor preservation or
destruction. But another option exists: The combined data from the
above-mentioned sites indicates that over a long period of time Late
Bronze pottery—imported wares being the most conspicuous—and
110 yitzhak meitlis

Iron Age I pottery coexisted.6 The only reasonable conclusion is that


the earliest appearance of the vessels typical of the Iron Age in the
central highlands occurred in the 14th century BCE.
This conclusion may be supported by the 14C tests of carbonized
wood from Strata VI and V at Tel Dan, which are dated by the exca-
vator to the Iron Age I. Of the 28 samples tested at the Groningen
laboratory, four were dated with a high degree of probability to the
14th century BCE and eight more to the first half of the 13th century
BCE (Ilan 1999: 138–144). I am aware of the fact that it is problematic
to date archaeological evidences on the basis of samples taken from
beams of wood, and that short-lived samples provide more accurate
results, but these results cannot be ignored.
This explanation may also clarify a notable phenomenon in the
excavations at Tel Taanach, where it is evident that the Late Bronze
settlement was destroyed in the 15th century BCE and renewed only
at the onset of the Iron Age I. Nevertheless, the excavators note the
discovery at the site of Mycenaean IIIA: 2 vessels (dating to the 14th
century BCE). They offer no explanation for the occurrence of imported
pottery at a site, which in their view, was abandoned during the same
period the pottery is ascribed to (Glock 1993). If we accept the approach
that Iron Age I vessels appear as early as the 14th century BCE, we
can attribute the Mycenaean wares to the Iron Age I strata.
The major changes in material culture characteristic of the Iron
Age I, such as small settlements with four-room houses, grain-storage
pits, and new pottery types, first occurred in the highlands, away from
the traditional urban centers. Although these changes reflect cultural
differences, the occurrence of “Late Bronze” pottery and other objects
in “Iron Age I” contexts highlights the fact that isolation between the
two sociocultural entities was not total.
The debate over the reasons for the rise of a new culture in the
highland region is beyond the scope of the present paper. Be the
explanations as they may, I suggest that these processes began at an
earlier phase than has been posited in the past, and continued for a
much longer period than has been suggested.

6
The possibility of local Late Bronze I vessels found at Shiloh reflecting activity
earlier than the Iron Age I is not to be ruled out.
a re-analysis of the archaeological evidence 111

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——. 1996. The Archaeology of the United Monarchy: An Alternative View. Levant
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McKenzie, J. L., Lapp, P., and Lapp, N. The 1957 Excavations at Beth-Zur (AASOR
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Golani, A. and Yogev, O. 1996. The 1980 Excavations at Tel Sasa. {Atiqot 28: 41–58.
Ilan, D. 1999. Northeastern Israel in the Iron Age I: Cultural, Socioeconomic and Political Perspec-
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Kempinski, A. 1985. The Overlap of Cultures at the End of the Late Bronze Age and
the Beginning of the Iron Age. EI 18 (Nahman Avigad Vol.): 399–407 (Hebrew).
——. 1986. “Joshua’s Altar”: An Iron Age I Watchtower. Biblical Archaeology Review
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Kochavi, M. 1981. The History and Archaeology of Aphek-Antipatris: A Biblical City
in the Sharon Plain. BA 44: 75–86.
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(Hebrew).
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tion Report and Radiometric Dating. {Atiqot 28: 63–76.
Wampler, J. C. 1947. Tell en-NaÉbeh II: The Pottery. Berkeley and New Haven.
Wengrow, D. 1996. Egyptian Taskmasters and Heavy Burdens: Highland Exploita-
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REASSESSING THE BRONZE AND IRON AGE ECONOMY:
SHEEP AND GOAT HUSBANDRY IN THE SOUTHERN
LEVANT AS A MODEL CASE STUDY

Aharon Sasson

The first article by Israel Finkelstein I had the pleasure of reading was
The Iron Age “Fortresses” of the Negev (Finkelstein 1984). As a young stu-
dent I was impressed by such a well-articulated paper and during the
following year I enrolled in all courses taught by Professor Finkelstein.
Since then I have been fortunate to have him as my mentor while
writing papers submitted in the course of undergraduate (B.A.) and
graduate studies (M.A. and Ph.D.). Before becoming the chief architect
of the current chonological debate, Finkelstein was already motivating
students like myself to investigate socioeconomic processes utilizing an
anthropological approach. His skillful scholarship, his integrity, and his
love of Israel remain sources of inspiration.

Introduction

Caprine (sheep and goats) have predominated livestock herds in most


sites in the Levant from the time of their domestication until premod-
ern times (Sasson 1998: 3–51; Buitenhuis 1990: 198–199; O’Connor
2000: 151). The aim of this paper is to reassess economic strategies
practiced in Bronze and Iron Age sites as revealed by zooarchaeological
finds of sheep and goats. Animal bones are, in most cases, the second
most common find in archaeological sites. Relative frequency of spe-
cies and their mortality profile reflect the economy of ancient sites
and, furthermore, point to the subsistence strategy of their inhabitants
(Hesse 2003; Crabtree 1990).
Many scholars have discussed the economy of the Bronze and Iron
Ages in the southern Levant. It is frequently argued by archaeologists
and zooarchaeologists that caprine and their products were traded as
part of the prevalent market economy of the Bronze and Iron Ages
114 aharon sasson

(Wapnish and Hesse 1991: 34; Dever 1992: 89; Holladay 1995: 392;
Hesse and Wapnish 2001: 253–258; Finkelstein and Silberman 2001:
115–118). This implies that sheep and goats were bred for self-con-
sumption and as market-oriented products. Grigson, for instance, in
her review of the early economy, proclaims that “the extent to which
animals are used for the direct subsistence of the communities which
own them or as segments of exchange systems with other communities,
particularly urban ones, is likely to be of increasing relevance within the
context of the proto-urban and early urban societies that characterize
the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age periods” (Grigson 1995: 248).
Fall et al. in their discussion of the economy of two Bronze Age
sites in the Jordan Valley state that “several clear trends of enhanced
production of marketable commodities (especially olive oil, bread wheat,
and sheep wool) suggest that the farmers of Tell el-Hayyat increasingly
adapted their crop cultivation and animal management to meet the
demands of emerging mercantile exchange and consumption in Middle
Bronze Age towns and cities” (Fall et al. 1998: 120).
Herzog advocated the idea that when farmers produced more than
they consumed, creating surplus, they directed it to the improvement of
standards of life (i.e. prosperity): “It would be more realistic to assume
that such farmers, when blessed with plentiful harvests, would like to
improve their own standard of living and therefore invest in more
comfortable housing, better working tools, new clothing, rare prestige
items or simply consume more food” (Herzog 1997: 9).
The subject of surplus in ancient economies should be elucidated.
Surplus need not necessarily be associated with market economy, trade,
or wealth. The immediate goal of an ordinary household for accumulat-
ing stock could have been providing security and coping with environ-
mental fluctuations and other unexpected hazards (Ingold 1980: 134;
Halstead 1993: 63–64). In other words, surplus of animals and animal
products was produced not necessarily as a commodity designated for
“export” to the market or for gaining wealth. Sometimes the surplus
was banked and at other times it was exchanged to maintain the limited
demands of the domestic group. Polanyi referred to non-profit exchange
meaning that people did not make a living from profit derived from
buying and selling; namely “risk-free trading” or “nonmarket trade”
(Polanyi 1957a: 19; see also 1957b: 250–255).
A different point of view of the ancient economy, based on the zoo-
archaeological record, will consequently be presented. The term eco-
nomic strategy rather than merely economy will be applied to describe
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 115

a long-term, planned economy that effected all aspects of life of ancient


households. The analysis of zooarchaeological results derived from
68 sites and strata in Israel and Jordan points to a different economic
strategy. This will be referred to as the survival subsistence strategy. My
hypothesis is that the chief goal of a household in the Bronze and Iron
Ages was primarily survival. This stands in contrast with the market
economy strategy that could be described as a specialized economy aim-
ing at surplus production in order to expand flock size or territory, and
perhaps to attain wealth or political power additionally. The immediate
goal of the survival subsistence strategy, would have been to preserve
flock and territorial size at an optimum level in order to maintain the
household requirements but not beyond that point (Ingold 1980: 134). This
strategy was employed because scarcity, not surplus, played a central
role in antiquity (Halstead and O’shea 1989: 6). The mechanism for
coping with scarcity included maximizing subsistence security while
reducing risks and minimizing fluctuations in the resource base ( Jochim
1981: 91; Redding 1993: 80). According to Jongman and Dekker, in
the preindustrial world stable income was preferable to an income that
was highly variable but with identical mean. They explain the logic in
risk avoidance and note that the distress of losing a hundred pounds
that are spent on luxury is far less than the distress of losing the last
one hundred pounds necessary for physical survival. Therefore, the
pain of losing one hundred pounds (or one hundred caprine heads, in
our case) is larger than the satisfaction of gaining them. According to
Jongman and Dekker, the majority of the population in the preindustrial
world lived very near subsistence level ( Jongman and Dekker 1989:
116–117). Binford described the survival subsistence strategy in these
words: “Humans tend to organize their labor and their activities in a
way that reduces the risk associated with accessing critical resources,
and they tend to organize into cooperative social units in order to
minimize any uncertainty associated with the dynamics of their social
and ecological environments” (Binford 2001: 193).
The premise presented in this paper is that the majority of the Bronze
and Iron Age population (nomadic, rural, and urban) maintained a
survival subsistence strategy, which included applying long-term plan-
ning, minimization of risks and fluctuations, and optimal yet controlled
utilizations of resources (e.g., water, pasture, and livestock). Their focus
was on preserving their subsistence resources in order to sustain their
overall survival. This hypothesis was tested through quantitative analysis
of faunal remains from archaeological sites. Since zooarchaeological
116 aharon sasson

finds are found in sedentary sites for the most part the discussion focuses
on sedentary population. Two parameters related to caprine were
tested: The ratio between sheep and goat bones, and the production
and utilization of caprine products (meat, milk, and wool).1

Research Data and Methods

The relative percentage of sheep in a caprine herd and data regarding


mortality profiles and caprine products were derived from 68 sites and
strata (Table 1, Fig. 1). The majority of sites date to the Bronze and Iron
Ages. Sites dating to the Persian, Roman, and Islamic periods were also
included in the analysis to broaden the spectrum of sites examined.
1. The sites are located in various geographical regions in Israel: the
Galilee, the northern valleys, the Central Hill, the Coastal Plain,
the Shephelah, the northern Negev, and the southern Negev
(Fig. 2). The diverse zooarchaeological results from Tell Hesban,
located on the desert fringe in Jordan (Fig. 1), were included in
the analysis too (LaBianca 1995b; Ray 2001).
2. The frequency of sheep was derived (in percentage) by dividing the
NISP2 values for sheep bones by the total NISP values of identi-
fied sheep and goat bones. For instance, if the bone assemblage
at a certain site comprised 60 identified sheep bones and 40 goat
bones, the percentage of sheep for this site would be calculated
at 60%.
3. Ethnographic data on the relative frequency of livestock in pre-
modern times was included in the quantitative analysis. The data
was retrieved from:
a. an animal census carried out in 1943 by the British Mandatory
Government of Palestine (Table 2) (Government of Palestine
1943; see also Sasson 2006). Statistics regarding the frequency
of sheep in four districts were combined in the quantitative
analysis; Sefad District, representing the Galilee region, Hebron
District, representing the central hill region and the districts of

1
The ratio of caprine to cattle is discussed in Sasson 2005a.
2
Number of Identified Specimens. For discussion on this counting method, see
Reitz and Wing 1999: 191–194.
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 117

Gaza and Lod, representing the Coastal Plain and Shephelah


regions (Fig. 1);
b. an animal census carried out by LaBianca’s team at the village
of Hesban in Jordan in 1970 (LaBianca 1995b). The figures
derived from both censuses are numbers of animals and not
of bones.

The Sheep/Goat Ratio

It is not surprising that sheep and goats were bred and exploited in a
mixed herd by most pastoralists. Two major advantages may be pointed
out for mixed herds: (a) Sheep and goats are able to exploit different
portions of the same pasture area: While sheep normally graze, goats
normally browse. Consequently, the herders attain efficient utilization of
their limited grazing resources (Tchernov and Horwitz 1990: 207–208;
Dahl and Hjort 1976: 251); (b) Mixed herds reduce the risk of overall
loss through disease (Smith 1978: 85; Redding 1984: 234; Halstead
1996). Both advantages, optimal utilization of subsistence resources and
risk minimization, relate directly to the survival subsistence strategy.
The question arising is whether one should expect a particular ratio
between these two species and what the implications of such a ratio
would be. Redding addressed this issue (Redding 1984) and suggested
possible goals for sheep/goat herding that included maximizing energy
(calories) or protein intake (through their products; i.e. meat and milk),
and herd security. He argued that if the goal of subsistence herding
was energy (or protein), and since the reproduction rate of goats is
higher than that of sheep, the expected ratio between sheep and goats
would be 5: 1 (i.e. 83% sheep in a mixed herd) (ibid.: 233–234). On the
other hand, if the main goal is security and minimizing fluctuations in
herd size, the sheep/goat ratio should be as close as possible to 1: 1.
However, because of the aforementioned difference in reproduction
rate, the expected ratio is between 1: 1 and 1: 1.7 (50 to 63% sheep
in a mixed herd).3 Redding concluded that “the goal of subsistence

3
For growth rates of sheep and goats, see Dahl and Hjort 1976.
118 aharon sasson

herding in the Middle East was probably not energy or protein, but
herd security” (Redding 1984: 239).
Before testing Redding’s theory, one should discuss the unique attri-
butes for each species. Besides their higher reproduction rate, goats are
remarkably adaptive to harsh climates. Their panting rate (respiratory
cooling) is only about half of that of sheep. Furthermore, their sweating
is limited, and their water loss through feces and urine is low as well.
Goats can function even after losing 30% of their body weight, while
a 15% weight loss is considered lethal for most other mammals (Swift
1973: 73; Clutton-Brock 1987: 57; Shkolnik 1988: 487–496). In addi-
tion, their dark coat allows them to cope successfully with cold weather
and reduction in metabolic rates (Finch et al. 1980). What made sheep
favorable in the ancient world was, in my opinion, primarily their wool.
Although sheep’s meat and milk is richer in fat and proteins compared
to goats (Sasson 2006: Table 1), had wool not been a prime raw mate-
rial for fibers, the relative number of sheep per household unit would
have been smaller. McCorriston stressed the fact that flax plants were
domesticated earlier than sheep and that linen was the primary textile
fiber at that time; wool replaced linen as the main textile fiber after the
domestication of sheep (McCorriston 1997: 518). She also noted that
producing fiber of wool was more efficient than linen fiber production.
Cultivating and processing of flax for fiber require prime agricultural
land, frequent watering, and high labor inputs. Fewer herders could
tend more sheep for a greater fiber volume than could be generated
by the same people growing flax (ibid.: 522–525). According to Ryder,
after sheep were domesticated they outweighed goats in caprine herds,
by virtue of its wool (Ryder 1993: 10). Many scholars have stressed the
value of sheep for textile manufacturing. Killen discussed this in regard
to Late Bronze Age Mycenaean texts (Killen 1993: 209–218), and King
and Stager stated that wool was a major class fiber in the ancient Near
East and that sheep were raised primarily for their wool (King and
Stager 2001: 113, 147; see also Shamir 2002: 21). The significance of
sheep for wool production in Mesopotamia was discussed by Van De
Mieroop (1993: 165), Adams (1981: 149–150), Sherratt (1981: 282–283),
and Stepien (1996: 40–48). Ochsenschlager (2004: 203) provided a
similar observation from premodern Iraq. Sherrat suggested that wool
was introduced to North-Central Europe in the mid-3rd millennium
and was used in conjunction with linen until it became the dominant
textile fiber during the second millennium (Sherratt 1983: 93; see also
Ryder 1984: 79–81; Davis 1987: 186). In conclusion, although goats
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 119

did not produce wool, they were favored for their survival adaptations;
sheep were favored for their wool despite their relative vulnerability to
environmental stress. Breeding both species in mixed herds attained
these two attributes in addition to others that were mentioned above.
This leads us back to the question: How are economic strategies reflected
in the ratio between sheep and goats?

Sheep/Goat Ratio: Results

Numerous zooarchaeological reports were examined; however, data on


the sheep/goat ratio could be derived from merely 57 sites and strata
(Fig. 1). In 76% of the sites and strata that were reviewed the relative
frequency of sheep bones (out of sheep and goats) did not exceed 67%
(Table 1). The pattern observed in various sites indicates that caprine
herd management was a planned strategy, which focused on herd secu-
rity and risk minimization, as Redding had pointed out (Redding 1984).
Modifying Redding’s model we may establish the following equation: If
energy and wool production were the main goals of early herders, one
would expect to find 100% sheep; however, if security was the goal,
the herd would consist of 100% goats. The rationale behind a mixed
herd of approximately two-thirds sheep and one-third goats was gain-
ing satisfactory wool production on one hand and maintaining herd
security on the other hand.
Tchernov and Horwitz (1990: 212) concluded that a regional pattern
in the sheep/goat ratio can be detected and that the frequency of goat
bones increased from northern to southern regions in Israel (see also
Horwitz and Tchernov 1989). Their argument should be reevaluated,
especially in light of the fact that it was established on a significantly
small sample of only five sites.
In this study sheep frequency from 57 sites and strata was tested
statistically against three variants: settlement type (urban or rural);
geographical location; and the combination of both. The questions
addressed were whether we could observe a higher proportion of sheep
in urban sites governed by ruling classes (Hopkins 1996: 128; Herzog
1997: 13; LaBianca 1999: 21), in view of the political power wielded
through control over natural resources such as water and pasturelands.
Furthermore, could a regional pattern in the relative frequency of sheep,
as that advocated by Horwitz and Tchernov, be supported?
120 aharon sasson

The statistical test (two-way ANOVA) was carried out on arcsin √p,
where p stands for the sheep proportion at the site (in order to reach a
normal division). To conduct the test, I joined the site of Tell Hesban
( Jordan) together with the northern Negev sites. In addition, the low
land regions—the Shephelah, the Coastal Plain and the northern valleys
sites—were treated as one geographical region (Figs. 1, 2). No significant
difference was found between sheep proportion and settlement type
( p = 0.825) nor between sheep proportion and geographical region
( p = 0.925). Likewise, no interaction was found between sheep pro-
portion, settlement type, and geographical location ( p = 0.148). This
clearly indicates that a regional pattern related to sheep/goat ratio can-
not be traced. Likewise, no pattern regarding the type of settlement is
evident; a significant number of sites comprising mixed caprine herds,
of which approximately two-thirds were sheep, is observed in rural as
well as urban sites.
A study of the enumeration of livestock carried out by the British
Mandatory government of Palestine in 1943 (Government of Palestine,
1943) reveals noteworthy statistics (Table 2).4 Sheep comprised only
39% of the 700,000 caprine heads counted in Mandatory Palestine.
Hirsch reported similar statistics from an animal census carried out
in 1930, where sheep comprised 36% of all caprine (Hirsch 1933: 7).
Furthermore, a regional pattern in the sheep/goat ratio can be detected:
In the mountainous districts (Galilee, Samaria, and Jerusalem; see Fig.
2) the frequency of sheep is significantly lower (33–40%) compared
to the Coastal Plain region (Lydda district, 58%). These data can be
interpreted in light of the survival subsistence strategy. Low proportion
of sheep in most regions is observed after wool lost its significance for
textile manufacturing being displaced by cotton and other modern
substitutes following the industrial revolution (Donnell 1872: 7; Jacob-
son and Smith 2001: 41–44). Wool having been removed from the
equation, herd security became the primary strategy. Consequently, a
higher frequency of goats was obtained in caprine herds. Nevertheless,
a higher proportion of sheep was observed in the lowlands. The reason
for this is that the carrying capacity in Israel (i.e. pasturage measure) is
higher for sheep in the lowlands than in the highlands (Seligman et al.

4
For elaboration on the censuses carried out by the British government and the
valuable date they provide, see Finkelstein 1992: 47–52; Sasson 1998; 2006.
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 121

1959: Table 8; see also Sasson 2005a). Hence, rearing sheep in higher
proportions in the lowlands did not compromise herd security.
The analysis of data from the British census indicates that the
survival subsistence strategy was extremely fundamental in the life of
pastoralists throughout time: from the days of caprine domestication
to premodern times. This strategy is also observed through sheep/goat
ratio in various types of settlements and geographic regions

Utilization of Caprine and Their Products (Meat, Milk, and Wool)

Many scholars have discussed the kill-off patterns in caprine herds and
their projection on utilization of caprine for prime (meat) and secondary
products (milk, wool, and hides) (Payne 1973: 281–303; Davis 1987:
157–160; Wapnish and Hesse 1988: 81–94; Zeder 1991: 33–44). Payne,
in his pioneering work from 1973, describes three mortality profiles
of caprine; each reflects utilization of caprine for meat, milk, or wool
(Payne 1973). He asserts that a high frequency of sub-adult caprine
bones in a zooarchaeological assemblage points to the utilization of
the herd for meat production: “If meat production is the aim, most
of the young males are killed when they reach the optimum point in
weight-gain, only few being kept for breeding” (ibid.: 281).
Many others followed Payne’s model. Hellwing and Gophna studied
the animal bones from Bronze Age sites, Tel Aphek, and Tel Dalit
and they noted: “For sheep and goat population however more young
animals were killed in the Early Bronze Age (5.8%) than in the Middle
Bronze Age (3.4%). This may mean that in the earlier period small
ruminants were raised mainly for their meat, whereas the secondary
products of these animals—milk, wool, hides—were more important
to the population in the later period” (Hellwing and Gophna 1984: 51;
see also Davis 1987: 157–160; Croft 2004: 2268).
Before discussing the rationale behind the slaughter of sub-adult
males, one important comment should be made: Slaughter of sub-adults
is widespread among pastoral groups. Perevolotsky describes this pattern
in Peru (Perevolotsky 1986: 291); Brown (1971: 96) in Africa; Thomson
et al. (1986: 120) in Syria; Hesse (1984: 250) in Iran; Cribb (198: 164)
in Turkey; and Abu Rabia among the Bedouins of the northern Negev
(Abu Rabia 1994: 55).
Table 1. Frequency of sheep and goats in Mandatory Palestine (based on: Government of Palestine 1943)
Mortality
122

Sheep in %
Type of profile and
Site and Strata Period Region (out of total Reference**
Settlement caprine
caprine)
products*
Izbet Zarta IA Coastal Plain Rural 100 x Hellwing 1986
Shiloh LB Central Hill Rural 92 Young Hellwing 1993
Dalit EB II Shephelah Urban 87 All Horwitz et al. 1996
Uza IA II Northern Negev Fortress 82 All Sade 1988
Shiloh IA I Central Hill Rural 77 All Hellwing 1993
Shiloh MB II–III Central Hill Urban 77 Young Hellwing 1993
Yarmouth EB Central Hill Urban 75 All Davis 1988
Arad XII–VI IA II Northern Negev Fortress 75 All Sade 1988
Yaqush EB III Northern Valleys Rural 74 All Hesse-Wapnish 2001
Megiddo EB I Northern Valleys Urban 73 All Wapnish-Hesse 2000
Beer-Sheba IX–VI IA I Northern Negev Rural 72 All Hellwing 1984
aharon sasson

Yaqush EB II Northern Valleys Rural 72 All Hesse-Wapnish 2001


Qitmit IA II Northern Negev Sacred 72 Young Horwitz-Raphael 1995
Yaqush EB I Northern Valleys Rural 71 All Hesse-Wapnish 2001
Megiddo EB III Northern Valleys Urban 67 Young Wapnish-Hesse 2000
Qasile IA I Coastal Plain Rural 67 All Davis 1985
Halif IA II Northern Negev Urban 66 All Zeder 1990
Miqne IA II Shephelah Urban 65 All Lev-Tov 2000
Masos IA I Northern Negev Rural 65 All Tchernov-Drori 1983
Halif EB III Northern Negev Urban 63 Young Zeder 1990
Hesban XV–XVII IA II Jordan Rural 62 All LaBianca 1990 + 1995a
Sasa (Tomb) MB II Galilee Burial 60 All Horwitz 1987
(continued on next page)
Table 1 (cont.)
Mortality
Sheep in %
Type of profile and
Site and Strata Period Region (out of total Reference**
Settlement caprine
caprine)
products*
City of David Roman Central Hill Urban 60 All Horwitz 1996a
{Ira IA II Northern Negev Urban 60 All Dayan + Horwitz 1999
Arad EB Northern Negev Urban 59 All Davis 1976 + Lernau
1978
Hesban XI–XIV Roman Jordan Rural 58 x LaBianca 1990 + 1995a
Lod (District) 1943 Coastal Plain Rural 58 x Gov. of Palestine 1943
Qaxaqir (Tomb) MB I Central Hill Burial 58 Young Horwitz 1987
Dan (Tel) EB II–III Northern Valleys Urban 57 All Wapnish-Hesse 1991
Hesban XVIII–XXI IA I Jordan Rural 57 All LaBianca 1990 + 1995a
Beer-Sheba II IA II Northern Negev Urban 56 All Sasson 2004
Dan (Tel) IA II Northern Valleys Rural 56 All Wapnish-Hesse 1991
Miqne IA I Shephelah Urban 56 All Lev-Tov 2000
City of David IA II Central Hill Urban 55 All Horwitz 1996a
Avnon MB I Southern Negev Rural 50 All Hakker-Orion 1999
Bexer Resisim MB I Southern Negev Rural 50 All Hakker-Orion 1999
Halif LB Northern Negev Urban 50 Young Zeder 1990
Ai-Raddana IA I Central Hill Rural 50 All Hesse 1999
Ein Ziq MB I Southern Negev Rural 50 All Hakker-Orion 1999
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy

Qiri IA II Northern Valleys Rural 50 All Davis 1987


Lachish VI LB Shephelah Urban 48 x Drori 1979
Harasim IVb IA II Shephelah Urban 47 All Maher 1999
Hesban II–III Mamluk Jordan Rural 47 x LaBianca 1990 + 1995a
Miqne LB Shephelah Urban 47 All Lev-Tov 2000
123

(continued on next page)


Table 1 (cont.)
Mortality
124

Sheep in %
Type of profile and
Site and Strata Period Region (out of total Reference**
Settlement caprine
caprine)
products*
M. Ebal IA I Central Hill Sacred 44 x Horwitz 1986/7
Timna LB Southern Negev Sacred 44 Young Lernau 1988
Hebron (District) 1943 Central Hill Rural 39 x Gov. of Palestine 1943
Gaza (District) 1943 Coastal Plain Rural 39 x Gov. of Palestine 1943
Safed (District) 1943 Galilee Rural 39 x Gov. of Palestine 1943
Lachish VIII MB Shephelah Urban 38 x Drori 1979
Kabri EB Coastal Plain Urban? 32 All Horwirz 2002
Lachish III–IV IA II Shephelah Urban 26 x Drori 1979
City of David IA I Central Hill Rural 25 All Horwitz 1996a
Hesban 1970 Jordan Rural 22 x LaBianca 1995b
Eilot Islamic Southern Negev Rural 0 All Horwitz 1998
Nahal La’anah Islamic Southern Negev Rural less x Nachlieli 1999
aharon sasson

Nahal Omer Islamic Southern Negev Rural less x Nachlieli 1999


Gerisa IA I Coastal Plain Rural x All Sade 2001
Gerisa LB I–II Coastal Plain Urban x All Sade 2001
Michal IA Coastal Plain Rural x All Hellwing-Feig 1989
Michal Persian Coastal Plain Rural x All Hellwing-Feig 1989
Michal LB Coastal Plain Rural x All Hellwing-Feig 1989
Aphek MB II Coastal Plain Urban x All Hellwing-Feig 1989
Harasim IVd IA II Shephelah Urban x All Maher 1998
Kinrot EB Northern Valleys Urban? x All Hellwing 1988/9
Kinrot LB Northern Valleys Urban? x All Hellwing 1988/9
Kabri IA II Coastal Plain Fortress x All Horwitz 2002
Dan (Tomb) MB Northern Valleys Burial x All Horwitz 1996b
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 125

Earlier, I pointed out that animal products in the Bronze and Iron
Ages in Israel were not market oriented nor were they designated for
“export.” Furthermore, the majority of households in these periods
practiced self-sufficient economy. If one accepts these premises, a dif-
ferent interpretation for the sub-adult culling should be considered.
The logic behind sub-adult culling lies within the survival subsistence
strategy that strives for minimizing fluctuations in the resource base.
According to Redding, preserving the resource base is one of the strong-
est selective pressures operating on human behavior (Redding 1993:
80). The recourse base in the suggested model is pasturelands for cap-
rine. Horwitz and Smith studied the effect of nutrition on sheep bone
mass (Horwitz and Smith 1990: 655–664). They found a differential
effect of poor environmental conditions on bone metabolism in ewes,
and related it to the additional stress imposed on females by gestation
and lactation. Therefore, some components of the caprine herd must
have been culled in order to free pasture forage for females that had
a crucial role in reproduction and milk production (Dahl and Hjort
1976; Sherratt 1981: 283–284; Hesse 1999: 107). Two issues should
be addressed: why mostly males are culled and why the sub-adult age
group is generally chosen for this purpose. The preference for culling
males over females stems from the male negligible contribution to herd
reproduction and milk production;5 furthermore, they are ideal for cull-
ing since they reach 70% of their optimal body weight between the
ages of one and three (Lernau 1978: 83; Borowski 1998: 57; also on
this subject regarding cattle, see Sherratt 1981: 283–284). Moreover,
once culled, their mothers’ milk is directed to the consumption of the
household rather than for the feeding of juvenile animals. Cribb con-
ducted a computer simulation in order to examine the various strategies
of kill-off (i.e. culling) in caprine herds. He found that by increasing
the slaughter of sub-adults, the herders attain significant improvement
in milk productivity; the level of meat productivity improves as well;
and wool productivity remains high (Cribb 1984).

5
For a detailed discussion and bibliography on culling practices, see Sasson 1998.
126 aharon sasson

To conclude, slaughtering sub-adult males is not necessarily related


to “meat export” or market forces. It is a coherent pattern in the
survival subsistence strategy, which consists of optimal exploitation of
caprine for meat and milk, together with preservation of the resource
base (pasture) for females that generate milk and render continuity to
the herd. This model also implies that the early pastoralists were long-
term planners, stabilizing the sizes of their herds in order to preserve
their water resources and pasture. At first glance, this strategy has a
pronounced weakness: Caprine and their products constituted significant
components of the diet and self-sufficient economy of all societies in the
southern Levant (nomadic, rural, and urban) (Sasson 1998; 2004; 2006).
Thus, maintenance of flocks’ stable size limits, in turn, the potential
growth of the populations depending on them for subsistence. Von
Liebig propounded in 1842 the “Law of the Minimum.” This law has
been extended to biological populations suggesting that the growth of
a biological population is limited not by the total amount of resources
available, but rather by the minimum amount of resources available
(Liebig 1842). However, in light of the survival subsistence strategy,
pastoralist groups favored a stable population, a stable flock size, stable
subsistence resources, and minimum fluctuations, over expanding their
population size, or gaining wealth ( Jochim 1981: 181). An example
supporting this model is described by Khazanov regarding the stable
population of livestock among the Hsiung-nu in Mongolia (Khazanov
1994: 71; for other examples see also Fortier 2000: 116; Marlow 2005:
58–59). Binford refers to this model and states that “the amount of
food that is available during the least productive period of the year
will limit the level of sustainable population within an area” (Binford
2001: 175).

Caprine Products: Results

Data on exploitation of caprine for meat, milk, or wool was compiled


from zooarchaeological reports. The information presented in Table
1 under the column of mortality profile and caprine products is based on
the interpretation of the zooarchaeologists that analyzed the faunal
remains at that site. Most zooarchaeologists that analyze caprine bone
remains sketch a mortality profile and provide conclusions concerning
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 127

the extent of exploitation of these animals for meat, milk, wool, or all
of the above. In Table 1, sites in which the zooarchaeologist determined
that caprine were exploited for all their products (i.e. meat, milk, and
wool) are marked as “All,” while sites in which high frequency culling of
young caprine was noted, were marked as “Young.” The data show that
in 45 of 54 sites (83%), the zooarchaeologist determined that caprine
was utilized for a whole range of products rather than for specialized
production of a particular product. This pattern occurs in all periods of
the Bronze and Iron Ages as well, and across all geographical regions
in Israel, from the northern valleys through the Central Hill and to
the northern Negev (Fig. 2). This evidently indicates that a specialized
economy in meat, milk, or wool production was not prevalent in the
southern Levant. In other words, had a specialized economy of caprine
products been practiced, one would expect to find diverse patterns that
point to various specializations, in meat, milk, or wool production.

Conclusions

Two forces induced the life of the early households: the demand for
agricultural lands, livestock, and raw materials (e.g., wool) in order to
practice a self-sufficient economy; and the strive for minimizing risks
and fluctuations of the resource base in order to maintain a long-term
survival. This model was defined here as the survival subsistence strat-
egy and was established upon diverse zooarchaeological finds. Apart
from the comparative analysis presented in this paper, other aspects
were examined elsewhere: (1) Taphonomic analysis and body part
representation of caprine and cattle in Tel Beer-sheba, Stratum II (8th
century BCE) point to a food maximizing strategy. Although Tel Beer-
sheba was an urban site at that time, which might have settled an elite
population, no indications for selective exploitation of body parts were
traced (e.g., meat bearing body parts) (Sasson 2004: 31–51; in prepara-
tion). (2) Spatial distribution analysis of body parts in Stratum II at Tel
Beer-sheba also showed no indications of social stratification, which is
associated with a market economy. Valuable (meaty) animal body parts
and less valuable body parts were scattered throughout all parts of the
tell and were found mixed in numerous loci (ibid.: 63–77; 2005b). (3) A
comparative analysis of caprine/cattle ratio from seventy archaeological
128 aharon sasson

sites and strata in Israel points to a pattern in the proportion of cattle


bones in the hill country and the northern Negev—approximately 15%.
Considering cattle were essential for ploughing at sedentary sites, they
were bred in relatively low numbers to satisfactory levels for plough-
ing requirements, and subsequently, did not endanger the ecological
equilibrium (pasture and water) (Sasson 2005a).
The conclusions of the latter study are compatible with the results
presented here. In most sites the relative frequency of sheep did not
exceed 67%. The pattern occurs in all periods of the Bronze and Iron
Ages and in all geographical regions in Israel. It reflects a survival
subsistence strategy that strived for balance between the demand for
wool—a product of sheep herding—and the demand for herd security,
maintained mostly by goats. This pattern was underlined by removing
wool from the equation. We may assume that in premodern mandatory
Palestine wool was displaced by cotton and was no longer vital for fiber
manufacturing. The survival subsistence strategy was still maintained,
thus, the frequency of goats was increased in order to increase herd secu-
rity. Moreover, a pattern of exploiting caprine for all of their products
was recognized. The pattern occurs in all periods of the Bronze and
Iron Ages as well as is all geographical regions in Israel and points to a
self-sufficient economy and optimal exploitation of subsistence resources.
This pattern stands in contrast with the argument regarding specializa-
tion in production of meat, milk, or wool in early Israel.
In summary, the zooarchaeological finds presented here point to a
conservative household economy which we refer to as a survival sub-
sistence strategy. It was established on optimal utilization of resources
and minimization of risk in order to maintain long-term survival.

Acknowledgements

This paper was written while I was a visiting scholar at the Department
of Anthropology of the University of California, San Diego. I thank all
my colleagues at the department for their friendship, and particularly
Tom Levy for his warm hospitality and for generously lending me his
office during my stay.
Many thanks to Haya Golan-Sasson for her help in generating the
maps on figures one and two.
reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 129

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SETTLEMENT PATTERNS OF PHILISTINE CITY-STATES

Alon Shavit

An analysis of a regional study conducted in Israel’s southern Coastal


Plain (Shavit 2003) showed that the settlement pattern of most of the
cities in Philistia, from the beginning of the Iron Age until the 8th
century BCE, was characterized by urban centers and by an almost
total absence of a rural hinterland; that is, the absence of a hierarchal
settlement complex in the vicinity of the cities, as could be expected
in a system of “mature” settlements.
In order to examine the cultural sources of the settlement complexes
of the important urban centers in Philistia, from the beginning of the
Iron Age onward, we should compare them to the following relevant
settlement complexes:
• settlement patterns prior to the settling of the Philistines in the
research region at the end of the Late Bronze Age;
• other settlement patterns in the Land of Israel, contemporary with
those in the Philistia region;
• settlement patterns in the Aegean world at the end of the Late
Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.
Diagnosing the settlement pattern that characterized Philistia throughout
most of the Iron Age and defining its cultural sources are important
instruments for defining the cultural identity of urban centers in Philis-
tia, and for understanding the mutual relationships between the centers
themselves and between them and nearby political entities.

A Survey of Israel’s Southern Coastal Plain during the Iron Age II

This study is based on the reconstruction of the settlement patterns that


existed in the southern Coastal Plain during the Iron Age II (Fig. 1).
The reconstruction work combined a critical study of finds from 63
136 alon shavit

excavated sites; a field survey of approximately 240 days; the results


of previously conducted surveys; as well as gathering of substantial
information from researches and archive reports that have not yet been
published. As of today, 248 sites have been dated to the Iron Age II in
the southern Coastal Plain. They are spread across 3,260 km2, stretch-
ing from the Yarkon River in the north to Na˜al Besor in the south,
and from the Judean Shephela in the east to the Mediterranean Sea
in the west.

Methodological Remarks

A regional study of settlements in ancient periods cannot be based


solely on data obtained through fieldwork. Subjective evaluations made
by the surveyor play an important role in interpreting this data. This
is particularly true in research dealing with the Iron Age II, a period
about which information is so scarce. The following evaluations refer to
the populated area of each site in every sub-period, and to the popula-
tion density of each site.1 Below are some of the problems encountered
during this study:
It is hard to estimate the life span of a settlement, the number of
times it was abandoned and resettled during one period of time, and
whether or not it was inhabited simultaneously with other sites; yet
these distinctions are significant for demographic estimates. The pre-
supposition of the present study, adopting the methodology of regional
archaeology, is that sites that yielded finds from a particular period were
populated during at least a part of that period.2
Differences in survey intensity of different areas may affect the
reconstruction of the settlement picture.
Geological and geomorphological processes impede fieldwork, result
analysis, and consequent reconstructions of ancient settlement patterns.
For example, beach sand in coastal areas, silt deposits in riverbeds,
and layers of loess covering short-lived sites obscure site remains thus

1
For the methodological problems of regional studies in ancient periods, see Por-
tugali 1988.
2
For a discussion of problems involved in demographic evaluations based on this
assumption, see Schacht 1984.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 137

distorting results pertaining site characterization3 and obstructing the


settlement image arising from the survey.
When sites or findspots were discerned and it was unclear whether
or not they represent an Iron Age II settlement, they were deemed as
settlements of 0.1 ha. While this might have altered the count of tiny
villages in the region under discussion, it must be taken into account
that remains of small settlements and farms are generally hard to locate
through survey methods, and it is possible that some of these sites have
not been found and recorded. It is thus difficult to assess whether the
method we used caused a distortion of the number of settlements in
this category. However, estimating the size of these findspots at a mere
0.1 ha ensures that they have no remarkable influence on general
demographic assessments.
In some cases we found no sherds at a site that had previously been
surveyed and attributed to the Iron Age II. When this happened and
data from former surveys were proven to be well based, the site was
included in the study, but not in the analysis of the periodical settle-
ment patterns.
Although objective characterization and quantification methods were
used in the sorting of finds, high similarity between pottery assemblages
from the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, and between those from the 8th
and 7th centuries BCE made it impossible to date some of the col-
lected sherds to a specific period. In these cases, sites where the sherds
were found were dated to two consecutive centuries, even in the case
of short-lived sites; hence the similarity found between the settlement
patterns of the 10th and 9th BCE, and between those of the 8th and
7th centuries BCE.
The sorting of the pottery by centuries may have also lead to
misrepresentations. For instance, sherds that were dated according to
comparison to Level III at Tel Lachish were generally attributed to the

3
Neev and Bakler (1978: 9–30) surveyed the ancient sites on the Tel Aviv and Ashdod
shorelines. These were established as inland sites, but nowadays they are submerged in
water. Sinking processes of coastal sands have occurred until ca. 1,400 years ago (see
Netzer 1994). The sinking processes of the aeolic loess had a minor influence on the
landscape throughout the historical periods, yet in certain regions in the northwestern
Negev loess sedimentation has accumulated to a height of ca. 20 cm from the Iron Age
and until today (see Dan and Yaalon 1976). Rosen suggested that alluvial sedimentation
took place in the Late Roman period in the valleys around Tel Lachish (Rosen 1996),
which is why the surveyors could not observe its satellite sites.
138 alon shavit

8th century BCE, although the excavators of this site attribute this level
to the end of the century.4
Some demographic processes occurred toward the end of a cen-
tury. For instance, the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel
in 732 BCE created suitable conditions for populating the southern
frontier of the kingdom (Naxaman 1986a: 11). New settlements were
indeed founded during the last quarter of the 8th century BCE, but
ascribed in this study to the whole century because of the chosen
analysis methods.

Settlement Patterns around the Philistine City-States

Several settlement complexes dating to the Iron Age II were detected


in the study region. Lacking historical information and clear-cut
archaeological criteria that would allow relating each site to one of
the complexes, the area of each settlement complex was determined
by general evaluation, considering the following factors:
Satellite sites had to be within a half-day waking distance from
central sites, to allow village residents to make their way to and from
the central site in a day. Therefore, the distance between them could
not exceed 10–15 km. These conditions are necessary for sustaining
continuous commercial relations between a central settlement and the
surrounding villages (Bunce 1982; see also Johnson 1987: 115).
Landscape and geographic complexes, such as ridges and rivers, may
affect relations between settlements. Although the topography of the
southern Coastal Plain is mild and there are no natural obstacles that
hinder traveling, in some instances topographic criteria were used to
define the borders between adjacent settlement complexes. A study of
the El-Amarna letters of the Late Bronze Age and of the biblical border
description (e.g., Josh. 19), demonstrates the importance of topographic
considerations in outlining borders (Naxaman 1986c).
This essay presents five settlement complexes that include the five
urban centers of Philistia. In every complex each sub-period is studied
and discussed separately. Through a comparative study, I wish to discern
the processes and the tendencies that characterize every complex.

4
Zimhoni (1977: 173) dated the assemblage from Level III at Lachish to the second
half of the 8th century BCE.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 139

The Na˜al Soreq Basin: Tel Miqne-Ekron and Its Region

During most periods, Tel Miqne-Ekron’s settlement outline overlapped


the outline of the Na˜al Soreq basin. Exceptions are Iron Age II sites
that lie in the Coastal Plain, north and south of the Soreq estuary.
These sites are distanced ca. 20 km from Tel Miqne-Ekron, and it
appears that their relations with the city were loose.
No developed settlement complex existed in the Tel Miqne-Ekron
region during the 10th–8th centuries BCE (Fig. 2). In view of the evalu-
ation of the Na˜al Soreq basin settlement pattern, it seems doubtful that
Ekron was perceived as an urban center for surrounding settlements at
that time. It is more likely that residents of this region had an affinity
with other nearby central settlements, such as Gezer, Tel ¶afit-Gath,
and Tel Ashdod.
During the 10th century BCE, only ten settlements existed in the
Na˜al Soreq basin. Their estimated populated area is 16.7 ha overall,
and their population is estimated at ca. 3,400. On average, each settle-
ment covered 1.7 ha and had 340 inhabitants. At that period, the settled
area of Tel Miqne-Ekron is estimated at ca. 4 ha.5 Tel Shalaf that lay
north of it and Tel Æarasim, lying halfway between Tel ¶afit-Gath and
Tel Miqne-Ekron both had a similar estimated populated area of ca.
4 ha. The extension of these three middle-sized settlements reflects a
lack of unity in settlement complexes surrounding large urban centers.
This is evident also in the analysis of settlement distribution (Fig. 3).6

5
Gitin dated the main decrease in the area of Tel Miqne-Ekron to the second
quarter of the 10th century BCE (Gitin 1989: 25). In this essay, I prefer the affinity
with Stratum III at Tel Miqne-Ekron, because the large city of Stratum IV reflects
archaeological and historical processes that are largely related to the Iron Age I
(despite the fact that the end of Stratum IV occurred during the course of the 10th
century BCE). Finkelstein suggested setting the destruction date of Stratum IV at Tel
Miqne-Ekron at the time of Shishak’s campaign, based on the “Low Chronology” (see
Finkelstein 2002a). According to this proposal, during the course of the 10th century
BCE the city covered ca. 20 ha.
6
Fig. 3 presents an analysis of the settlement complex in the study area, based on
the rank-size rule. This analysis measures the unity of the settlement complex: The
settlements are shown along a logarithmic diagram, in which the y axis represents
the size of the settlement (or the number of its inhabitants), and the x axis represents
the settlements on a size scale, from the largest (1) to the smallest (whose number
equals the total number of settlements in the complex). A normal curve (which approxi-
mates a 45° angle from the top of the y axis at the bottom of the x axis) reflects a
unified settlement pattern. A convex curve represents a pattern of one large settlement
with a restricted settlement complex. A concave curve represents a combination of
several settlement complexes, independent of each other, spread across a given area, or
140 alon shavit

Several modifications appeared in the 9th century BCE on the settle-


ment map of the Na˜al Soreq basin (Fig. 4). In this phase of the Iron
Age II the region also comprised ten settlements: Some settlements
were abandoned (the sites T.P. Z102, Khirbet Man{am, and Yavneh
Camp), while new ones were populated (Tel Ma˜oz, Palma˜im,7 and
the Mgha’ar Hills). The overall populated area during the 9th century
BCE is estimated at 19.3 ha, an increase of 15% compared to the 10th
century BCE. Hence, during this period, ca. 4,000 inhabitants lived in
the Na˜al Soreq basin region.
During the 8th century BCE, there was a significant increase in the
number of settlements in the Na˜al Soreq basin (Fig. 5). A total of
18 settlements was detected: an increase of 80% compared to the 9th
century BCE. The overall populated area covered 25.3 ha, and the
estimated population was over 5,000: an increase of 31% compared to
the 9th century BCE. Tel Miqne-Ekron reached the peak of prosper-
ity and development during the 7th century BCE, but the increase in
settlement number and population size at the end of the 8th century
BCE reflects the beginning of this process as early as then.
During the 7th century BCE, Tel Miqne-Ekron emerged as one of
the largest olive oil producers of the ancient world (Gitin 1989; Eitam
1996), while major demographic changes occurred in its surround-
ings. At this time the number of settlements in the Na˜al Soreq basin
reached 20 (Fig. 6), increasing by 11% compared to the 8th century
BCE. The overall populated area of these settlements is estimated at ca.
41 ha, with a population of ca. 8,200: an increase of 62% compared
to the 8th century. Tel Miqne-Ekron itself covered ca. 20 ha, and its
population is estimated at 4,000. Eitam estimates the overall area of
Tel Miqne-Ekron at the end of the Iron Age at 30 ha (Eitam 1996),
but since this evaluation includes areas outside the living quarters of
the city, it cannot be used for demographic calculations.

a study area that lies at the margins of a ramified settlement complex. In both cases,
the analysis points to a low settlement unity. This analysis method was first used in
urban-geographical studies, and was then adapted to the analysis of ancient settlement
complexes. A rank-size rule analysis was used in many studies of Israel’s regional
archaeology (Sharon 1983: 6; Gophna and Portugali 1988; Portugali 1988; Bunimovitz
1989; Maeir 1997; Lehmann 2001; Ofer 2001) following similar studies conducted
worldwide (see, for example, Johnson 1981; 1987). For the theoretical foundation of
this rule relating to ancient settlement patterns, see Hodder and Orton 1976; Carter
1983. A summary of the research history of the rank-size rule, including the theoretical
foundation and the drawbacks of the method, are included in Maeir 1997.
7
I believe this site was used for burial purposes only.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 141

It appears that for the first time, during the 7th century BCE, the
settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron and its surroundings reached
a stage of maturity, achieving a unity between the main city and its
satellite settlements and villages.
The curve that describes the settlement complex in the area of Tel
Miqne-Ekron during the 7th century BCE according to the rank-size
rule8 is slightly convex (Fig. 7), yet it also deviates only slightly from the
normal log (an analysis of the curve of settlements larger than 0.5 ha).
The diagram indicates a high degree of unity, compared to the diagram
describing the settlement complex in the area during the 10th century
BCE (Fig. 3). However, there seems to be a lack of correlation between
the size of Tel Miqne-Ekron and the size of its satellite settlements,
hence the appearance of a concave distribution tendency. Such a ten-
dency is sometimes attributed to immature settlement patterns. It thus
seems that the fast growth of Tel Miqne-Ekron did not stem from a
significantly more moderate growth of its satellite settlements.
Fig. 8 describes the demographic tendencies of the Na˜al Soreq
basin settlement pattern throughout the Iron Age II. This pattern
exhibits moderate growth during the 10th and 8th centuries BCE.
A notable growth of the populated area is observed along with the
significant growth of Tel Miqne-Ekron at the beginning of the 7th
century BCE.

8
Studies that analyze settlement patterns and make use of the rank-size rule fre-
quently analyze groups of settlements that have areas or populations larger than a
certain specified limit. Maeir conducted analyses of settlements the areas of which were
above 1 ha (Maeir 1997). The inclusion of farms and tiny villages in the analyses and
diagrams creates a constant distortion, reflected in the “tail” of the diagram below the
normal log. Apparently, it may be concluded that in a normal settlement pattern, one
may expect an abundance of tiny villages, some of which may escape the eye of the
surveyor. However, an examination of settlement patterns in modern times indicates
that even such complexes, characterized by a high unity, do not exhibit a large number
of tiny villages (see Grossman and Sonis 1989: 91).
142 alon shavit

Tel ¶afit-Gath9 and Its Region

The settlement complex of Tel ¶afit is located in the eastern part of


the Na˜al Lachish basin. In this complex we detected Iron Age settle-
ments distanced ca. 5 km from Tel ¶afit-Gath to the east, north, and
west. Most of the settlements detected were to the south of Tel ¶afit-
Gath, and the southern boundary of the settlement complex was set at
a distance of 15 km from the tell. It seems that due to the proximity
of Tel Miqne-Ekron to Tel ¶afit-Gath, the settlement complex of the
latter evolved mostly southward.
During the 10th century BCE, only three settlements emerged in the
Tel ¶afit-Gath complex. I estimate the overall populated area at ca.
7.5 ha (Shavit 2003: 180). The Tel ¶afit excavation team conducted
by A. Maeir has excavated the eastern slope of the site to date (Maeir
2001; Maeir and Erlich 2001). In view of the first findings from these
excavations, Temporary Stratum 5 at Tel ¶afit-Gath was paralleled
to Stratum IV at Tel Miqne-Ekron. Although the final stages of both
these strata are ascribed to the beginning of the 10th century BCE, it
seems that they comprise mostly remains of cities that existed during
the 11th century BCE, i.e. during the Iron Age I. Temporary Stratum 4
at Tel ¶afit-Gath was dated by the excavators to the 9th century BCE.
I believe that during most of the 10th century BCE Tel ¶afit-Gath’s
area was relatively smaller than that of the 9th century BCE (Fig. 9).10

9
New excavations have been carried out at the site since 1996 (Maeir 2001; 2003;
Maeir and Ehrlich 2001; Uziel and Maeir 2005). Maeir and Erlich reviewed previous
studies that identify Gath at Tel ¶afit. Only 0.12 ha of the tell have been excavated:
strata dated to the 13th–8th centuries BCE. So far, only preliminary reports have
been published.
10
Uziel estimated the populated area of Tel ¶afit during various periods based on
the datable ceramic finds discovered on the surface. He stated that there are factors
that influence the distribution of potsherds over a relatively large area, compared to
a populated area, and emphasized that his estimates are maximal (Uziel 2003: 27).
Despite his hesitation, the excavation team adopted his area estimates. Although the
survey we conducted on the tell was very limited in comparison to Uziel’s work, I
believe Uziel’s method has some shortcomings deriving from its inclusive treatment
of finds from all terrains. Thus, many findspots of sherds located on the northern and
western slopes of Tel ¶afit, facing Na˜al Ela, have been included in the area of the tell
although the steep topography might indicate that the site had more limited boundaries.
It is possible that the lack of finds from Strata 6, 5, and 3 in Area E is not a random
phenomenon, but rather points to the fact that at the periods in question the eastern
boundary of the settlement was located at the margins of Area A. However, Uziel
ignores the excavations results, which hold a higher value than those of the survey,
and assumes that the site extended far to the east of Area E. I believe the excavation
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 143

The settlements of Tel {Erani and Tel Zayit that were located in the sur-
roundings of Tel ¶afit-Gath at that period each comprised a populated
area of only ca. 0.1 ha. Since both rural settlements are quite distant
from Tel ¶afit-Gath, their affinity with it cannot be clearly established.
The villages at Khirbet Boten and at Wadi Luzit (east), which lay close
to Tel ¶afit-Gath, were also populated during the 10th century BCE,
each with an estimated populated area of ca. 0.1 ha.
During the 9th century BCE it appears that there was a population
gap at Tel Zayit, while in the surroundings of Tel ¶afit-Gath only three
settlements existed: Tel {Erani, Khirbet Boten, and Wadi Luzit (East).
The size of Tel ¶afit-Gath greatly increased during the 9th century
BCE, reaching an area of ca. 14 ha,11 and its population reached ca.
2,800. An extraordinary phenomenon, which might be attributed to
the settlement pattern characteristic of the Philistine settlement during
the Iron Age I, is that the significant growth of this settlement found
no expression in the surrounding settlement complex. In the proph-
ecy of Amos, Gath is mentioned alongside Calneh and Hamat as an
example of a powerful kingdom (Amos 6: 2). Naxaman believes that
Amos’s description reflects the position of Gath prior to the prophet’s
time. He attributed the downfall of the city to the conquests of Hazael
the Aramean (2 Kings, 12: 17) in 835 BCE, by a parallel to similar
processes occurring at the end of the 9th century BCE at the Syrian
cities, Calneh and Hamat (Naxaman 2002). Naxaman further stressed
that in the Assyrian sources Gath is not mentioned as a city-state, and
it is probable that by the end of the 8th century BCE, the time of the
Assyrian conquests, the city no longer maintained its past position.
During the renewed excavations at Tel ¶afit-Gath, signs of severe
destruction were detected and ascribed to the end of the 9th century
or the beginning of the 8th century BCE (Maeir 2001: 114, 121–126;
2003: 244). Furthermore, the excavation team examined a siege system
that stretches across ca. 2 km. The sections produced in this system and

team should conduct several random soundings at the areas between the slopes of the
tell to Na˜al Ela, and east of Area E. The findings from these soundings will either
support Uziel’s conclusions, or conversely, allow adopting a more restricted territorial
estimate, conforming to the conclusions presented here.
11
Maeir asserted that Tel ¶afit covered a maximum of 40–50 ha (Maeir 2001: 113).
It seems that this estimate covers not only the continuously populated area of the tell,
but also various vestiges in its surrounding that do not belong to residences and their
annexes (see above, note 10, my objections to Uziel’s method). I estimate the overall
populated area of Tel ¶afit at ca. 20 ha.
144 alon shavit

the finds uncovered therein indicate that both the construction of the
system and its sealing should be dated to the Iron Age II (Maeir 2003:
245). Maeir and Naxaman attributed the aforementioned archaeological
evidence to the occupation of Gath by Hazael.
The first appearance of a settlement complex around Tel ¶afit-
Gath occurred during the 8th century BCE (Fig. 10). This complex
comprised 17 settlements, an overall populated area of 26.9 ha, and
ca. 5,400 inhabitants. The average size of a settlement in this complex
was 1.6 ha, with an average population of 320.
The Tel ¶afit-Gath settlement complex emerged at a time when the
population of its central settlement decreased. The conquest of Gath
by Uzziah, king of Judea, is described in 2 Chron. 26: 6. Although the
reliability of this source is uncertain, some regard it as a trustworthy
historical description ( Japhet 1993: 877, with further references pro
and con the reliability of the passage). It is however possible that Tel
¶afit-Gath declined with the expansion of Judea. The Assyrian sources
indicate that during the days of Sargon II Gath was under the rule
of Ashdod (Pritchard 1950: 286; Fuchs 1994: 131). A fragment of an
Assyrian stele, uncovered at the site by Bliss and Macalister, might shed
some light on the events of the time of Sargon II (Bliss et al. 1902:
41). It is unlikely that the Assyrians would want to commemorate their
activity by erecting a stele in a city that stopped functioning as a major
urban center centuries earlier. Naxaman ascribed the fortifications of
Tel ¶afit-Gath, which is mentioned among Rehoboam’s fortifications
(1 Chron. 11: 5–12), to the eve of Sennacherib’s campaign in the
days of Hezekiah (Naxaman 1986b). He concluded that Hezekiah had
overtaken Gath and other areas at the border of Philistia, and brought
lmlk stamps, found in most of the sites appearing in the aforementioned
list, as evidence. At Tel ¶afit-Gath six such stamps were uncovered
(Vaughn 1999: 166).12
It is possible that the growth of the settlement complex at the Tel
¶afit-Gath area is related to processes in the surroundings of Tel
Miqne-Ekron, north of Tel ¶afit-Gath. Maeir claims that a “seesaw”

12
Naxaman’s suggestion to relate the distribution of lmlk-stamped jars to Hezekiah’s
preparation for war against the Assyrians is likely. However, the supposition that Gath
was annexed to Judea at that time is problematic, if it is to rely only on the finds of
stamped jar handles, given that many such finds were unearthed at Tel Gezer, a city
conquered by the Assyrians prior to Sennacherib’s time. Furthermore, such stamps were
also found at other sites outsides the Judean kingdom, for instance at Tel Miqne-Ekron,
Tel Batash, and Tel Ashdod (see Vaughn 1999).
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 145

relationship existed between Tel ¶afit-Gath and Tel Miqne-Ekron. The


population peak of Tel ¶afit-Gath occurred at some point between the
10th and the 8th centuries BCE. It was only after the decline of Tel
¶afit-Gath at the end of the 8th century BCE that Tel Miqne-Ekron
flourished. This development was, in Maeir’s view, a result of the geo-
graphical proximity between the two Philistine cities. The limited area
in which they existed made their simultaneous flourish impossible.13
It is therefore more probable that the settlements in the vicinity of
Tel ¶afit-Gath and Tel Miqne-Ekron belonged to a single settlement
complex, whose center wandered from one city to the other; during
the 8th century BCE, it was Tel Miqne-Ekron that prevailed. The five
city-states, therefore, did not constitute a pentapolis. The biblical descrip-
tion reflects an accumulated historical memory. Tel Miqne-Ekron and
Tel ¶afit-Gath never functioned as urban and political centers at one
and the same time; each enjoyed a central status at a different period
(Finkelstein 2002a).
Figs. 10 and 11 indicate an immaturity of the settlement complex
in the vicinity of Tel ¶afit-Gath during the 8th century BCE, despite
the flourishing noticed in the area. The discrepancy between the size
of Tel ¶afit-Gath, the central city, and the size of its satellite settle-
ments is evident.
During the 7th century BCE, 16 settlements existed in the vicin-
ity of Tel ¶afit-Gath, covering an overall area of 15.5 ha with an
estimated population of ca. 3,300 inhabitants (Fig. 12). The average
size of a settlement in this complex was ca. 1 ha, and it comprised an
average of 200 inhabitants. During this period, the populated area of
Tel ¶afit-Gath declined to a mere 4 ha, and less than 1,000 people
inhabited the city.14
It should be noted that despite the low point that Tel ¶afit-Gath’s
power had reached and the number of its inhabitants, there is hardly
any evidence indicating that damage was caused to its economic-
agricultural hinterland. It appears that the settlements in the surround-
ings of Tel ¶afit-Gath maintained close contacts with neighboring Tel

13
Based on a lecture held by A. Maeir on January 10, 2001, at a conference dedi-
cated to the Iron Age II, on behalf of Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and the Israel Antiquities
Authority.
14
A survey conducted at Tel ¶afit yielded no sherds that could be dated with cer-
tainty to the 7th century BCE. The estimate of the populated area of the site is based
on Maeir’s description: “There is very little evidence for a settlement during the 7th
century BCE” (Maeir 2001: 114).
146 alon shavit

Miqne-Ekron, supplying it with crops, mainly olives for oil production.


Tel Miqne-Ekron’s flourishing economy ensured the continuing prosper-
ity of Tel ¶afit-Gath’s satellite villages, despite the fact that their own
center had lost its position. A similar phenomenon can be discerned
in the settlement complex of Tel Gezer.
The archaeological finds do not enable us to determine whether
during the 7th century BCE Tel ¶afit-Gath had an affinity with Judea
or with Philistia. It is not mentioned in the list of cities in Josh. 15,
which is dated to the 7th century BCE (Alt 1953: 276–278; Naxaman
1991). Rosette stamps, considered typical of the 7th century BCE (Klet-
ter 1999), were uncovered at Tel ¶afit-Gath (Maeir 2003: 244; Uziel
2003: 49), yet the excavators of the site remain doubtful that it was
settled during the time; Finkelstein suggested that a small settlement
did exist at Tel ¶afit-Gath, but rather than being a part of Judea it had
an affinity with Tel Miqne-Ekron (Finkelstein 2002b).
Dagan documented many Iron Age II sites located at the borders
of the region discussed herein, at a distance of up to 4 km from Tel
¶afit-Gath (Dagan 1992; 2000). During the field survey we conducted,
seven of these sites were examined,15 and finds of both surveys were
compared (Shavit 2000: 185).
In four of the sites described in Dagan’s report, the renewed survey
uncovered no datable finds.16 In the case of two other sites Dagan’s
description matched the finds of the renewed survey, but the sites
yielded no sherds that could be dated to the Iron Age II. On the other
hand, sherds from this period were uncovered in the south and east of
Khirbet Boten. In view of this, it appears that during the Iron Age II,

15
All seven sites were surveyed by an experienced unit of three to four surveyors,
who inspected each site for over 40 minutes. The sites were located using a map of
1: 20,000 and a GPS system. At places where no vestiges were spotted in the datum
point given by Dagan’s report we surveyed a radius of 200 meters around the datum
point.
16
We have been unable to examine finds from Dagan’s survey; however, the inconsis-
tency between his finds and the finds of the renewed survey may be explained through
errors that occurred in the datum points of sites he surveyed. Dagan mentioned a
significant number of finds from the Iron Age in the description of several sites, yet
the renewed survey found no evidence for such. It is possible that in some instances
Dagan was wrong in his dating of sherds. In his study of the hinterland of the Philistine
settlement, which is based, among other sources, on finds from the survey conducted
by Dagan, Finkelstein stated: “It should be noted that this area was fully combed by
Dagan; the field data, therefore, are almost complete” (Finkelstein 1996: 233). I believe
that Finkelstein’s assertion is untenable, even though the difference in the information
regards mainly the Iron Age II, which was not the subject of his study.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 147

the settlement at this site was much smaller that the one that existed
there at its peak during the Hellenistic period and maybe also during
the Byzantine period. The area of Khirbet Boten during the Iron Age II
is estimated at only ca. 1 ha.

Tel Ashdod and Its Surroundings and the Lower Part of the
Na˜al Lachish Basin

The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod stretches over the western part
of the Na˜al Lachish basin, and most of its settlements lie at a distance
of up to 10 km from Tel Ashdod.17
The present study indicates that during the 10th century BCE, Tel
Ashdod covered less than 10 settled ha (Fig. 13), and its population
was less than 2,000 inhabitants. This estimate is based on the assump-
tion that at the time, only the upper part of the mound, an area of
ca. 7 ha, was settled. During that period, the rural settlement in the
surroundings of Tel Ashdod was very sparse: Only four villages have
been detected in its area, and their population is estimated at ca. 200
inhabitants in all. The results of excavations at Tel Ashdod indicate
that although the 10th-century-BCE city that occupied the site was
relatively large, it had almost no rural hinterland. The same phenom-
enon is noticed in regard to Tel Miqne-Ekron and Tel ¶afit-Gath and
their settlement complex, and its roots probably lie in the settlement
pattern of the Iron Age I.
During the 9th century BCE, Tel Ashdod achieved demographic
stability, and yet the survey shows that only two tiny villages remained
in the surroundings of the city: at Tel Poran and at Nitzanim beach;
their population is estimated at only ca. 100 inhabitants.
During the 8th century BCE, Tel Ashdod reached its peak (Fig. 14).
It was in this period, for the first time, that the settled area of the city
extended outside the upper part of the mound, spreading out over
the entire lower tell, and even over the plain southwest of the mound.

17
Two settlements in the area of the Na˜al Lachish basin, at Tel Zippor and at
Karatiya, were not included in the settlement complex discussed in the present study.
These two sites are located ca. 15 km from Tel ¶afit-Gath and from Tel Ashdod, and
their affinity with one of the urban centers or with a different central settlement is
not clear.
148 alon shavit

I estimate the settled area of Tel Ashdod at 28 ha18 and its population
at ca. 5,600 inhabitants. The size of Tel Ashdod during this time is
unparalleled to the size of any other Philistine town throughout the
Iron Age.19 The flourishing of Tel Ashdod can clearly be seen through
the settlement complex that developed around it for the first time: It
comprised 15 settlements, with an overall estimated settled area of 16.5
ha, and an estimated population of 3,300 inhabitants. The number of
inhabitants in Tel Ashdod’s rural hinterland reached only ca. 60% of
the town’s population, indicating disproportion between the size of the
city and the size of the settlement complex surrounding it.
An important settlement in the hinterland of Tel Ashdod during
the 8th–7th centuries BCE comprised two sites: Tel Poran and Tel
Poran (west). These sites, located approximately halfway between Tel
Ashdod and Tel Ashkelon, lie on the borderline between the marzevah
“trough” and the coastal dunes, and the international road must have
passed in their vicinity. The joined populated area of Tel Poran and
Tel Poran (west) is estimated at ca. 8 ha. Only several hundreds of
meters separate the two settlements, and while they appear as two dif-
ferent sites, it is possible that their inhabitants considered themselves
as belonging to a single community. Grossman discussed a similar,
more recent phenomenon of “cluster settlements,” characteristic of
rural Arab settlement patterns in Palestine (Grossman 1991): Two or
more historical settlement nuclei evolve into a single village. This type
of process is often the result of a settlement forming around two clan
centers. In other cases, secondary nuclei are formed due to lack of
arable soils, and are integrated into the original settlement once they
have fully developed. It ought to be noted that if indeed Tel Poran
and Tel Poran (west) constituted a single community system, the size
of this settlement during the 7th century BCE was equivalent to that
of the contemporaneous settlement at Tel Ashdod.
During the 7th century BCE, the settled area of Tel Ashdod
decreased notably (Figs. 15, 16). It appears that at this period the city
covered only ca. 7 ha, and was inhabited by ca. 1,500 inhabitants. Only
13 settlements remained in the settlement complex of Tel Ashdod,

18
Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz estimated the settled area of Tel Ashdod during the
8th century BCE at 30 ha (Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz 2001).
19
To date, the size of Tel Ashkelon during the Iron Age II cannot be deter-
mined.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 149

with an overall populated area of 15 ha and a population of ca. 3,000


inhabitants—a decrease of 9% from the 8th century BCE. The average
populated area of a settlement in this complex, Tel Ashdod excluded,
is estimated at ca. 1.2 ha. The average number of inhabitants is esti-
mated at 240. Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz concluded that during the
7th century BCE, Ashdod-Yam replaced Tel Ashdod, which was not
settled at that period (Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz 2001). According to
this supposition, the mention of Ashdod in the Assyrian sources from
the 7th century BCE refers to Ashdod-Yam, a coastal center that was
probably founded at the initiative of the Assyrians.
The excavation reports of Tel Ashdod displayed some errors in plan
drawings and shortcomings in excavation methods and in registration
techniques. This prompted Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz to argue against
the stratigraphic and chronological conclusions offered by the excava-
tors of the site. Ben-Shlomo rejected their criticism claiming that it
was based on partial data that were available at the time (Ben-Shlomo
2003) and did not consider, for example, the recently published results
of excavation seasons 1968–1969 (Dothan and Ben-Shlomo 2005),
during which most of Area H was excavated. While one cannot ignore
the faults of the earlier reports,20 it seems that Finkelstein and Singer-
Avitz’s conclusion are somewhat harsh.
I believe that while Tel Ashdod was still a large settlement in the
Na˜al Lachish basin complex in the 7th century BCE, its economic
and political importance and centrality decreased dramatically.

Tel Ashkelon and Its Surroundings

The settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon lies in the western region of


the Shiqma basin. Most of the sites in this complex, discerned also in
our survey, lie south of Tel Ashkelon, within a ca. 10 km radius from it.
A plausible explanation for this southward development is the proximity
of Tel Ashkelon to Tel Ashdod, which is located ca. 15 km northeast
of it. The border between these two settlement complexes may have
migrated throughout the periods. If this was the case, at times when one

20
For additional criticism concerning errors in plan drawing and excavation methods,
see Ussishkin 1990; Ben-Shlomo 2003.
150 alon shavit

of the cities enjoyed a more prominent status it could have functioned


as an urban center for the satellite settlements of the other city—a
process similar to the one offered for neighboring cities Tel ¶afit-Gath
and Tel Miqne-Ekron, and their settlement complexes.
Detailed reports of the results of excavations at Tel Ashkelon have
not yet been published. Therefore, there is sparse information pertaining
to the size of the Iron Age II city, its commercial relationships, and its
economic and industrial activity. It is likely that during the 7th century
BCE, while Tel Ashdod lost some of its status and decreased in size,
Tel Ashkelon became a central seaport (Stager 1996a; Master 2001).
During the 10th–9th centuries BCE, the populated area of Tel
Ashkelon covered an estimated area of 10 ha. This estimate is based
on the assumption that during the Iron Age II, the city of Ashkelon
covered mainly the top area of the mound, and maybe limited areas
outside it as well. In its vicinity only two villages existed. Finds dat-
able to this time span have been uncovered at two sites south of Tel
Ashkelon: Netiv ha-{Asara, the area of which is estimated at less than
1 ha (Yasur-Landau and Shavit 1998; Shavit and Yasur-Landau 2005),
and Erez, a small site no bigger than 0.1–0.2 ha.
It appears that during the 10th–9th centuries BCE, Tel Ashkelon
was not surrounded by a mature rural complex, and the nature of
relations between the city and the two mentioned villages is not clear.
Tel Ashkelon exhibits the same phenomenon mentioned above: a Phi-
listine urban center, comprising ca. 2,000 inhabitants, with almost no
rural hinterland.
In the 8th century BCE, 11 new villages were founded in the vicinity
of Tel Ashkelon, thus creating for the first time in the Iron Age II a
true settlement complex (Fig. 17). It was not a consolidated complex,
and consisted mostly of tiny villages or farms. The overall populated
area of its sites covered ca. 5 ha, and the village population is estimated
at ca. 1,000 inhabitants. The population of Tel Ashkelon itself shows
stability throughout the Iron Age II, and it is estimated at ca. 2,000
inhabitants at this time too.
During the 7th century BCE, there was no substantial change in the
number of settlements surrounding Tel Ashkelon, and yet the settle-
ment complex during this period seems more consolidated than that
of the 8th century (Figs. 18, 19). The villages at Netiv ha-{Asara, Beit
Jirjia, and Yad Mordechai became secondary centers at the southern
part of this complex, and the population of each is estimated at several
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 151

hundreds. The overall populated area of a dozen settlements in the


vicinity of Tel Ashkelon is estimated at ca. 7.5 ha, and their population
is estimated at ca. 1,500 inhabitants. Most of these settlements were
tiny villages of an average size of 0.6 ha and a population of ca. 125
(not including Tel Ashkelon). Although there was a noticeable increase
of the population of this village complex by 50% in comparison to
the 8th century BCE, its overall population was still smaller than the
population of the center, Tel Ashkelon; this indicates the immaturity
of this settlement complex.
Stager described Tel Ashkelon as a major political, economic, and
cultural center, basing his assertion on the finds uncovered at the site
attesting to industrial and commercial activity, and to international
commercial relationships (Stager 1996a; 1996b). The botanical finds
also indicate the ties of the city with many regions of the country at the
end of the Iron Age (Weiss and Kislev 2004). The Assyrian documents
further attest the importance of the city and its central position. How-
ever, a mature settlement complex was never created in the vicinity of
Tel Ashkelon, and the city did not have a stable rural hinterland to rely
on. In the full course of the Iron Age II Tel Ashkelon never exhibited a
true demographic pool of the kind that usually serves a central city in
order to actualize its economic and political force. However, it is worth
noting that whereas in the 10th–9th centuries BCE Tel Ashkelon had
almost no rural hinterland, in the 8th–7th centuries BCE a limited rural
settlement complex did evolve around the city. But the small scale of
this complex supports Stager’s supposition that Tel Ashkelon’s strength
was based mainly on its “port power” and it relied on international
commerce, particularly maritime trade (Stager 1996b; 2001).
Allen described the settlement complex pattern of Tel Ashkelon as
“access resources” (Allen 1997). Like Stager, he attributed the strength
of the city, in view of the insufficiency of its hinterland, to the fact
that the city lay on a crossroad of international commercial highways,
both land and maritime.

Gaza and the Na˜al Besor Basin

This group of settlements includes all Iron Age II sites in the Na˜al
Besor basin. The city of Gaza, the largest and most prominent in this
area, covered an estimated area of ca. 10 ha, and had a population of
152 alon shavit

ca. 2,000 inhabitants.21 However, a study of the settlement distribution


in this area shows that with the exception of Blakhiyeh that lay near
Gaza, all the other settlements of this complex were located at a dis-
tance of more than 12 km from it, most even at a distance of over 20
km. Therefore, it is unlikely that the inhabitants of the villages in the
Na˜al Besor basin visited Gaza regularly. There is no doubt that Gaza
was a central city, as well as a port and the most important southern
station on the main road that passed along the coastal strip of the
Land of Israel. Yet it would seem that similarly to Tel Ashkelon, Gaza
too relied on its “port power” and on international maritime and land
trade. Hence the assumption that it was not Gaza, but rather the large
settlement at Tell Jemmeh, that functioned as the center for the Na˜al
Besor basin settlement complex. In the course of the Iron Age II this
settlement covered ca. 4 ha, and its population is estimated at ca. 800
inhabitants. The mound lies on a central crossroad (Aharoni and Avi-
Yonah 1993), and it is close to most of the rural settlements located
along Na˜al Besor. This enabled Tell Jemmeh to maintain steady and
continuous contacts with the surrounding settlements.
During the 10th century BCE, 15 settlements existed in the Na˜al
Besor basin (Figs. 20, 21). Their overall populated area is estimated
at 24.2 ha, and the population at this period is estimated at ca. 4,800
inhabitants. The average size of each settlement was ca. 1 ha, with a
population of ca. 200 (excluding the city of Gaza). At four middle-sized
villages in the area, Tell el-{Ajjul, Tell el-Far{ah (S), Qubur el-Walaida,
and Urim, the population reached an estimated 700–800 inhabitants.
A survey conducted by Gazit in this region revealed an upsurge in
settlement during the Iron Age I (Gazit 1996), and it seems that during
the 10th century BCE, settlement stability was maintained to a certain
extent. When analyzing the settlement complex of the region accord-
ing to the rank-size rule the curve appears slightly concave, indicating
a settlement complex with a low level of unity.

21
Tel Gaza was not included in the survey we conducted. The estimate of the popu-
lated area of the mound is based on the evaluation of the excavator (Pythian-Adams
1923)—who stated that Tel Gaza was larger than the higher Tel Ashkelon—and on
an analysis of the excavation finds. Recently, J. Humbert conducted excavations at Tel
Gaza and uncovered finds dating to the Iron Age, but his first published reports do not
touch upon the area evaluations of the mound during this period (Humbert 2000).
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 153

During the 9th century BCE, the number of settlements in the region
decreased to seven (Fig. 22). Their overall area is estimated at ca. 20.4
ha, and their population at ca. 4,000 inhabitants. Although Gaza prob-
ably exhibited demographic stability, throughout the rest of the region
there was a decrease in population by an estimated 27%. Particularly
noteworthy is the disappearance of most of the tiny villages.
During the 8th century BCE, 11 settlements existed in the Na˜al
Besor basin (Figs. 23, 24). At the end of the century, a settlement was
founded at Tell er-Ruqeish with an estimated area of 10 ha. This
brought the overall populated area of the settlements in the region to
ca. 27.4 ha, an increase of ca. 35% compared to the 9th century BCE.
On the other hand, all middle-sized villages (1–3 ha) ceased to exist
with the exception of the settlement at Blakhiyeh, founded at the end
of the 8th century BCE.
The overall populated area of the coastal settlements at Blakhiyeh
and Tell er-Ruqeish reached an estimated ca. 22 ha. The rest of the
settlements in the Na˜al Besor basin, in the proximity of Tell Jemmeh,
remained small and poorly populated.
During the 7th century BCE, resurgence occurred in the settlement
complex of the area (Fig. 25): Fifteen villages have been dated to this
period—an increase of 36%. Their overall populated area is estimated
at ca. 31 ha, and their population is estimated at ca. 6,200 inhabitants
(an increase of 13%). The main turning point was the resettling of
several villages that were probably not populated during the 9th and
8th centuries BCE. Among these are the villages at Tell el-Far{ah (S)
and at Qubur el-Walaida (the latter did not recover its previous size).
New villages were also founded, including the ones at Ruwibi and at
Na˜al Besor.
It is likely that the increase in settlement number at the Na˜al
Besor basin is related to the development of the Gaza Coastal Plain
under Assyrian rule. The founding of the centers at Tel Jemmah, Tell
er-Ruqeish, and Blakhiyeh, and the development of commercial activ-
ity in the area, evident in historical sources, served as a stimulus for
the emergence of a hinterland. Fig. 24 represents this development
(in particular when compared to Fig. 21): The curve is convex on its
upper part, and concave on its lower part, but a slight variation from
the normal log is apparent.
154 alon shavit

The Aegean Sources for the Formation of the Philistine City-State

The settlement complex22 of most of the cities of Philistia, from its


beginning until the 8th century BCE, was characterized, as described
above, by large urban centers and an almost complete absence of a
hinterland. Hence, the absence of a settlement rank expected in a
mature settlement complex.
In order to examine the cultural sources of the main settlement
complexes in Philistia, from the beginning of the Iron Age onward,
we must compare them with the following:
• The state of settlement in the study area, at the end of the Late
Bronze Age, preceding the arrival of the Philistines
• Contemporary settlement complexes from all of the Land of
Israel
• Settlement centers in the Aegean world at the end of the Late
Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age

The Settlement Complex of the Southern Coastal Plain during the


Late Bronze Age

Bunimovitz noticed sparse settlement at the Coastal Plain during the


Late Bronze Age (Bunimovitz 1989). Urban centers in this region were
few, and each of them covered a populated area no bigger than 5 ha.
Despite the small size of its population during the Late Bronze Age, the
Coastal Plain was characterized by a settlement rank of at least three
size categories (Finkelstein 1996: 231). Conversely, during the Iron Age
I, the hinterland of the cities was severely reduced, thus resulting in a
lack of settlement hierarchy. Therefore, it is unlikely that the size of
the Philistine cities during the Iron Age I and the lack of a settlement
hierarchy in this period are to be attributed to the Canaanite cultural-
civic tradition, as per Singer’s view (Singer 1994).

22
Tel Ashdod was not an urban center until the 8th century BCE. In view of the
archaeological data available to date, it is difficult to estimate the populated area of
Gaza during the Iron Age.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 155

The Settlement Patterns in Israel at the Beginning of the Iron Age

When attempting to compare settlement patterns in the region of


Philistia to those in contemporary complexes in other parts of the
country, we encounter some methodical difficulties: In most studies
material distinctions between sub-periods of the Iron Age are overlooked
(Dagan 1992; Stepansky 1999). The same is true for periodical popula-
tion estimates per site. This impedes attempts to estimate settlement
sizes, and examine population and demographic changes according to
sub-periods. Exceptions are the settlement complexes in the vicinities
of Gezer, Akko, Hazor, and Megiddo, where finds from surveys were
sorted by sub-periods, and population sizes estimated
During the Iron Age I, Gezer was smaller than most Philistine urban
centers (the size of Gaza and Tel Ashkelon at the time is not clear), but
unlike other centers it relied on a mature and hierarchical settlement
complex (Shavit 2000: 211–215). Gezer alone covered over 10 ha. In
its proximity lay five settlements of 1.1–3 ha, and eight more villages
and hamlets.
A preliminary report of a survey conducted by Lehmann in the
Akko Valley (Lehmann 2001) sheds light on the settlement complex
of Akko and its surroundings: a ca. 20 km radius around the city and
an area of 650 km² in all. In the Late Bronze Age, the populated area
of Akko covered over 10 ha, and its settlement complex included 41
settlements. During the Iron Age I, the population in the Akko Valley
decreased by ca. 10%–20%. The most significant change in the region,
in view of the survey, was the collapse of the settlement complex dur-
ing the Iron Age I. Akko ceased to be a large and central city, while
38 settlements in the surveyed region, belonging to the three smallest
size categories are dated to the Iron Age I. Analyses of the settlement
complexes according to the rank-size rule show convex curves in all
periods, yet while the settlement complexes of the Late Bronze Age
and the Iron Age II are characterized by curves nearing a straight line,
the Iron Age I is characterized by a more concave curve, indicating
little unity of the settlement complex. During the Iron Age II, the
settlement complex in the Akko Valley started to flourish: There was
a 150% increase in population, and 54 villages datable to this period
were counted. Similar processes were observed by Lehman in the
Lower Galilee (ibid.: 90). Despite the geographical similarity between
the southern and northern Coastal Plain, during the Iron Age I, the
region of Akko underwent processes unlike the ones that took place
156 alon shavit

in Philistia. It seems that although the Sea Peoples settled also in the
northern Coastal Plain (Lehmann 2001 with further references), the
Canaanite culture remained dominant in this region, and no settlement
complexes similar to the ones in Philistia evolved.
Processes similar to the ones observed in the Akko Valley occurred
also at Hazor and in its surroundings (Ilan 1999: 166–171, 211–214).
During the Late Bronze Age, Hazor was a large urban center, standing
at the head of a small settlement complex comprising three large cit-
ies, four middle-sized settlements, and eight small settlements or farms.
During the Iron Age I, the number of settlements in the region rose
to 25, yet no central city dominated the area.
Finkelstein and Halpern studied the settlement complex of Megiddo
and the Jezreel Valley (Finkelstein and Halpern 1995). In this region,
which ranges over 600 km², 37 sites datable to the Late Bronze Age
have been located, the major being Megiddo with a populated area of
ca. 11 ha. Among the sites were also six middle-sized settlements (1.1–4
ha); the rest were small villages. Thirty-eight settlements in the Jezreel
Valley and on the surrounding ridges have been dated to the Iron Age
I. Their overall populated area is estimated at ca. 34.6 ha, a decrease
of 11% compared to the Late Bronze Age. Megiddo also underwent
a decrease in size during the Iron Age I, and its populated area at the
time is estimated at only ca. 6 ha. The settlement complex in this region
maintained its stability compared to the Late Bronze Age.
Similar processes may be noted in the regions of Megiddo, Akko, and
Hazor. While the urban centers diminished, the settlement complexes
maintained their size and strength, evolving into low-unity settlement
complexes. These processes are opposite to the ones that took place in
Philistia, a region where the urban centers increased in size, while the
hinterland diminished severely.

The Settlement Pattern in the Aegean World at the End of the Bronze Age and
the Beginning of the Iron Age

It is generally agreed that during the period under discussion, settle-


ment patterns and urban planning in Israel’s southern Coastal Plain
were highly affected by Aegean forms and concepts. Mazar and Stager
maintained that the careful planning displayed by the Philistine cities,
as well as their size, indicate Aegean concepts of settlement planning
(Mazar 1990; Stager 1995: 345). Bunimovitz argues that a process of
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 157

synoecism resembling the situation at the LH IIIC Peloponnese is seen


clearly at Tel Ashdod, Tel Miqne-Ekron, and Tel Ashkelon (Bunimovitz
1998). Finkelstein ascribed this process to a limited number of Aegean
newcomers that came from an urban society and had a technological
and demographic edge over the local population (Finkelstein 1996:
236), while Yasur-Landau perceived more substantial Aegean migration
and colonization as the most plausible explanation for these similarities
(Yasur-Landau 2002: 387–388, 435–437).
During the transition period from the Palatial to the post-Palatial
era in the Aegean world, one encounters processes similar to the ones
observed in the southern Coastal Plain. Some of the closest parallels
come from the Argolid: Central sites remained settled during LH IIIC,
while secondary sites, towns, and villages, such as Berbati, Prosymna,
and Iria, were destroyed or abandoned at the end of LH IIIB or at
the beginning of LH IIIC (Kilian 1990: 446). For example, Tiryns
and Midea—both fortified acropoli in LH IIIB (Shelmerdine 1997:
552)—displayed an increase of population at the beginning of LH
IIIC while the countryside of the Argolid remained almost completely
empty, suggesting the possibility of synoecism (Rutter 1992: 70; Schallin
1996: 173). A process of nucleation can also be discerned in proto-
Palatial East Crete, where no settlement hierarchy is evident. At this
time Petras, Zakros, and Palaikastro were large towns and all sites in
their surroundings were single houses and farms (Driessen 2001: 61).
In other areas hierarchical settlement patterns were annihilated, when
the main site was either destroyed or abandoned, along with most of
its satellites. Such is the case for the kingdom of Pylos (Small 1998:
285): In western Messenia the beginning of the LH III is marked by
the abandonment of earlier sites (as opposed to the Argolid where new
sites were founded). This may be connected with the rise of Pylos as
a strong center (Shelmerdine 1997: 553). Pylos increased in size and
power throughout the LH, and during LH III in particular (Bennet
and Shelmerdine 2001: 136–137).
Finds of animal bones constitute additional evidence that may shed
light on the urban life patterns in Philistia and on their Aegean origins.
Hesse noticed a major increase in finds of pig bone during the Iron
Age I in excavations of Philistine cities compared to the Late Bronze
Age (Hesse 1990). In Tel Ashkelon pig bones constituted 4% of the
overall animal finds in a level dated to the 13th century BCE, while in a
12th-century-BCE level they constituted 19%. At Tel Miqne-Ekron too
there was an increase in these finds from 8% during the earlier period
158 alon shavit

to 18% during the later period. Hesse also noticed an increase in cattle
bones compared to caprine bones. Lev-Tov performed an analysis of
animal bones at Tel Miqne-Ekron based on a much larger sample than
the one used by Hesse (Lev-Tov 2000). His study indicated a dramatic
increase in the presence of pig bones at Tel Miqne-Ekron: In Stratum
V pig bones made up 24% of all animal bone finds. According to Hesse
and Wapnish (Hesse and Wapnish 1997: 240–253) the characteristics
of farmsteads that rely on pig farming are as follows:
• Pig farming is characteristic of pastoral agriculture, and not of
intensive agriculture, where there is a preference for cattle raising;
• pigs are more typical of rural farms than of urban farms;
• pig herds are more easily moved and acclimatized to a new sur-
rounding, and therefore constitute an important component in the
economy of immigrants seeking an available and immediate protein
source that is independent of their changing surroundings;
• pig farming characterizes lower strata of society.
These characteristics comply with the Philistine settlement pattern:
an immigrant society that could not base its livestock farming on an
existing hinterland, as there were hardly any villages left in the vicin-
ity of the cities in Philistia at the time. Hesse and Wapnish related
pig farming to a rural society, as opposed to an urban one, which is
characteristic of most of the Philistine population from the beginning
of its settlement in Canaan and up to the 8th century BCE. Lev-Tov
rejected the interpretation offered by Hesse and Wapnish according to
which pig farming indicates a society of immigrants (Lev-Tov 2000). He
pointed out that pigs had already constituted a large portion of livestock
in the Aegean sites, where the Philistines originated, a tendency that
persisted in Philistine sites for ca. 200 years after the migration of the
Sea Peoples to Canaan. In Lev-Tov’s view pig raising is characteristic
of family farming, which is the reason for a significant decrease in pig
farming once the settlement complexes developed and their economies
became specialized. These conclusions contradict the results of the
present study. While at Tel Miqne-Ekron the decrease in pig bone finds
began already at Stratum IV, where they constitute 5% of the overall
animal bone finds, the settlement complex surrounding Tel Miqne-Ekron
began to mature only at the end of the 8th century BCE, about two
centuries later. Yasur-Landau believes that the dominance of cattle and
pig in the Philistine livestock was a result of the need to consolidate
the livestock farming in the vicinity of urban settlements, located at a
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 159

relatively restricted area on the plain, and lacking hinterland (Yasur-


Landau 2002: 391).
Yasur-Landau presented data from excavations conducted in Greece,
e.g., at Tiryns, at the transition from LH IIIB to LH IIIC (ibid.). These
data indicate that the component of livestock in the Argolid was similar
to the one found in Philistine sites, which may serve as an indication
for Aegean settlement patterns in those sites.
I believe that the reason pig farming was preferred over animal hus-
bandry in Philistine settlements is not only lack of hinterland, but also
the formation of a unique model of “city-villages” in the urban centers
in Philistia. The components and characteristics of this “city-village”
or “quasi-city” have been specified by Andreev (1989: 169–170):
• A full or partial fortification system
• Dense urban fabric leaving almost no open spaces for animal
enclosures
• A planned city outline including street alignment
• Public infrastructure including paved streets, water wells, and a
sewage system
• A high level of masonry atypical of rural settlements
• A temple or an unroofed cultic site, or a complex that includes
both
Andreev stated that such settlements usually evolve in areas that are
sparse in water and lacking wood resources for construction, and in
which the land is only partly arable and building materials are scarce.
They are characterized by social homogeneity, and therefore contain
no noble residences. Their conservative nature hinders processes of
change, such as those of agricultural specialization, which in turn cre-
ate social stratification. “Quasi-cities” are usually isolated from their
surroundings; most of their inhabitants subsist on agriculture and their
economy does not rely on a hinterland.
The special characteristics of a settlement of the “quasi-city” type
are accentuated when compared to another type of settlement, the
“proto-city” (Mumford 1960: 230; Renfrew 1972: 402). By Mumford’s
definition this is a highly populated village that has a cultic site in its
center, serving a main source of attraction for its inhabitants. In the
“proto city” there is a stable formation of heterogenic population, most
of which does not deal directly with agriculture. Unlike the “quasi-city,”
the “proto-city” is a settlement center for the surrounding villages, and
sometimes a mature rank evolves between them. The more intricate the
160 alon shavit

settlement complex of the “proto-city” is, the more numerous the social
roles that evolve in it, and the more evident the social heterogeneity
becomes (Andreev 1989: 171).
If indeed a settlement pattern of urban “city-villages” emerged
in Philistia with no hinterland, it was an extraordinary model in the
settlement landscape of the country. Today, fortifications and public
buildings constitute most of the vestiges uncovered at Philistine cities.
Only once a sufficient number of living quarters is excavated at these
sites, will it be possible to understand their socioeconomic fabric. Due
to vigorous urbanization the relationships between social strata in the
large cities were fairly limited, and the elites did not hold a powerful
control over the lower social strata. Hence, the majority of the popula-
tion in these “city-villages” was rural, and prevailing living conditions
and infrastructures resembled those of rural areas. Lacking a hinterland,
this population supplied the elementary needs of the elite.

Conclusions

It seems that the settlement pattern that evolved in Philistia from the
beginning of the Iron Age I and until the end of the 8th century BCE
was influenced by a culture originating in the Aegean World. The
emergence of urban centers with almost no surrounding hinterland is
an exceptional phenomenon in the landscape of ancient Israel, yet it
has parallels in Aegean settlement complexes dating to the end of the
Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.
The settlement pattern emerging from our survey bears relevance to
the economic situation of the Philistine cities, Tel Miqne-Ekron, Tel
¶afit-Gath, Tel Ashdod, Tel Ashkelon, and Gaza. Lacking a traditional
hinterland, the dwellers of these cities turned to a specialized economy,
the products of which were marketed to distant geographical districts.
For instance, pottery manufactured in the region of Tel Ashkelon was
marketed to sites as far away as the settlement at Tel Malot (Shavit
forthcoming). In the absence of a hinterland, the inhabitants of the
Philistine cities probably also developed a reciprocal relationship with
the Canaanite rural settlements that still remained within the borders
of Philistia, in the vicinity of Tel Gezer and Tell el-Far{ah (S). These
relationships made it possible for the city dwellers to attain a supply
of basic natural products, and enabled diversity and expansion of the
markets for products manufactured in the cities.
settlement patterns of philistine city-states 161

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LEVANTINE STANDARDIZED LUXURY IN THE
LATE BRONZE AGE: WASTE MANAGEMENT AT
TELL ATCHANA (ALALAKH)

Amir Sumaka i Fink

‫  רבי יוסי אומר כל שיש לו בית‬. . . ‫תנו רבנן איזה עשיר‬


(‫הכסא סמוך לשולחנו )בבלי שבת כ"ה ע"ב‬

When Sir Leonard Woolley decided in 1935 to launch a field project


in the northern Levant he surveyed forty mounds along the Amuq and
the Orontes Delta. Having selected four sites, he received permission
to excavate one of them (al-Mina) and to dig sondages at three oth-
ers including at Tell Atchana (Woolley 1937: 3–4). In the following
year he conducted the first season at the site of Tell Atchana, a short
ten-day mission in which two trenches were excavated. It was during
that period of time that Woolley gave attention to the name of the
site, noting that “on the French maps the mound is named Marouche
and the tiny hamlet on its eastern end is called Atchana; Marouche
is the name of a somewhat larger village half a mile away. Local use
is divided between the two names, but on the whole Atchana seems
the more generally employed” (Woolley 1936: 128, Note 2).1 Given
the proximity of the site to the Orontes River it is surprising that the
word Atchana literally means “parched with thirst,” “thirsty,” or even
“desirous.” Furthermore, “thirsty” Atchana is just 800 meters away
from Tell Ta yinat, a site whose name possibly derives from the Arabic
word for spring or water source, perhaps reflecting a pre-modern notion

1
The spelling of the name Atchana is French. The original Arabic name is translit-
erated as A šäna, now commonly written in Turkish as Aççana or Açana. The Arabic
name is the feminine singular form of ‫ َﻋ ْﻄﺸﺎن‬. Many of the sites in the Amuq (Amik
in Turkish) carry both Turkish and Arabic names. Some of the names are translations
from Arabic or Turkish names, homophonic to the Arabic name. I believe that this is
the case with the Turkish name Varı lı, used today to denote the Atchana village as
well as a larger village across the main road, north of the Antakya-Aleppo highway.
It is most probable that Varı lı stands for the Arabic Marouche.
166 amir sumaka i fink

of how widely divergent the nature of these two nearby large mounds
was.2 Yet, there is reason to believe that not only were the inhabitants
of ancient Alalakh far from thirsty, they were also confident in the
constant supply of water; so much so that they included bathrooms
and restrooms, equipped with flush toilets, in many of their residences,
more so than in any other excavated Levantine site.
The vast majority of these Late Bronze Age restrooms were exca-
vated by Woolley during the 1930s and 1940s, and he provided short
descriptions of them, as well as related general plans (including some
photos) in his final excavation report (Woolley 1955; see Appendix for
detailed references). What may well be an additional restroom was
unearthed in 2003 by the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago Tell
Atchana (Alalakh) Expedition (Yener et al. 2004a: 2; 2004b: 28–29;
2005: 48, Fig. 4).3 With the exception of the Level IV palace bathrooms
and restrooms, all of the restrooms excavated by Woolley were either
removed or destroyed when a farmhouse was built on the excavation
site following the completion of Woolley’s project, hence the unique
significance of the recently excavated restroom. This restroom sheds
further light on the ones previously excavated, and serves as an excel-
lent point of departure for discussing these rooms and their function.
Following a brief review of restrooms and toilets excavated throughout
the Near East, I discuss the blueprint and structure of these facilities
as they pertain to Tell Atchana, and especially the restroom excavated
there during the 2003 season.4 At the center of my paper are restrooms,

2
‫ َﻋ ْﲔ‬. Nevertheless, Wehr Dictionary defines it as plural of ‫ ﺗَ ْﻌﻴِﲔ‬meaning “nomi-
nation, appointment, stipulation, allotment, apportionment, assignment, allocation,
appropriation; ration, food.” Interestingly, water pumped from a well located at the
foothills of Ta’yinat is considered drinkable by the villagers, while that pumped right
by Atchana is considered to be bad water. I did not check whether both wells are of
the same depth and nature.
3
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago conducted full-scale excava-
tions at Tell Atchana during the summers and falls of 2003 and 2004. K. A. Yener
was the director of the project with J. D. Schloen as the associate director and the
present author as the senior field supervisor. All information, data, photos, and plans
of the Oriental Institute excavations at Tell Atchana (Alalakh) appearing in this paper
were previously published in the articles listed in the reference list and/or in the of
the 2004 and 2005 Kazi Sonuçlari Toplantisi; 2004 and 2005 ASOR Annual Meeting;
2004 Annual Meeting of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University; and the
2005 AIA Annual Meeting.
4
I use the term toilet to describe the installation. In this paper, I distinguish between
a “restroom” in which the toilet is located, and a “bathroom” in which bathing or
washing takes place. The terms lavatory and latrine are used in some of the literature
interchangeably to describe the toilet installation.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 167

not bathrooms, for most of the washing facilities found in Tell Atchana
clearly functioned as restrooms (whereas flush-toilet restrooms may
have functioned also as bathrooms, the latter are less likely to have
functioned as restrooms).
The construction of a restroom or a bathroom requires several
technological capabilities in addition to some manipulation of water
supply for washing, cleaning, and flushing purposes. Indeed, building
restrooms entails considerably detailed planning before the construc-
tion of the building can take place, owing to the special architectural
features that characterize them, namely a drain, channels running under
floors and through walls, waterproof walls and floors, bathtubs, toilet
basins or foot-stands,5 and cesspits. Moreover, constructing a restroom
necessitates an intimate knowledge of engineering and building materi-
als, and an understanding of the nature of local soils. Builders need to
ensure that at least one of the walls of the room is an external one or
else to rely on an advanced sewage system that drains the water under
the floors or through several walls. They also have to see to it that the
floor and drain pipes are sufficiently sloped for the sewage to drain off
the floor, and to prevent the drain system from clogging. Furthermore,
they need to use appropriate hydraulic plaster or bitumen in order that
the waste water does not end up damaging the walls and floors (Forbes
1964: 74–80). Finally, only certain soils are adequate to carry a cesspit,
especially without polluting a nearby well.
Obviously, a host of additional considerations must have guided the
ancient builder, many of which are unknown to us—the excavators of
ancient toilets. These might have included religious conventions, the
way the ancients conceptualized hygiene, idiosyncratic traditions, and
superstitions. The few instances in which such “bathroom codes” have
come down to us—through ethnoarchaeology or textual records—make
it clear that it would be an extremely difficult task to figure out many of
the intentions of the ancients regarding the respective location of the
toilet. For instance, Ragette recounts the twelve rules in a Muslim legal
pronouncement ( fatwa) about toilets (Ragette 2003: 73), emphasizing
that “they clearly address themselves to life in a non-built environment
and contain pre-Islamic elements:

5
This is the term used by Woolley to describe the two parallel brick-plastered foot-
stools on which one would squat while using these toilets (Woolley 1955: 118).
168 amir sumaka i fink

Do not squat in the view of people


Do not squat over a container
Do not face the quibla
Do not turn your back towards Mecca
Do not squat against the sun or the moon
Do not turn the back against the sun or the moon
Remain silent
Do not spit
Do not blow your nose
Use a stone only three times (in place of water or sand)
Clean yourself with the left hand
Do not observe your excrement.
More contemporaneous with the Tell Atchana toilets is a Hittite instruc-
tion text that deals with human excrement (KUB 31.100). The text is
in poor condition, opening the door to different interpretations. Hoff-
ner, who considers the text to be the “protocol of the king’s wastes,”
translates KUB 31.100 rev. 8–10 as follows:
Be ye very careful with regards to the matter of (royal) defecation! Let
not the king [relieve himself (?)] up in Hattusha. Rather let the king [go]
down to the great huššili! (Hoffner 1972: 131)
Whereas Hoffner understands this text to constitute a religious ban on
locating a restroom in the royal palace at Hattusha, Ünal suggests that
the text provides guidelines to the use of all excrements for fertilization
rather than disposing of them in the city:
[Let them] not [go up] to the mountain [and] de[fecate there] into
[the big clay pi]t(?). Do not remo[ve the excrements either] into the
[city of Hatt]uša. [ Now be] very diligent in matters of defecation.
[ Moreov]er do not e[mpty] (the ashes of ) the hearths into the city of
Hattuša. Carry (the content of ) the hearths down to the big clay pit.
Moreover, whatever water containers there may be [in the area of ] the
palace, wherever they may be, [fix them] and have all of (their bot-
toms) paved with stone and make them smooth and stable. Whatever
vineyards and orcha[rds you own], up [there you may defecate(?)].
[Let them] turn/carry all [the excrement(??)] to the orchards(?). (Ünal
1993: 131–134)
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 169

Sitting Toilets and Squat Toilets

Bathrooms and toilets are widely attested in the ancient Near East
from the third millennium BCE on, and their existence and evolu-
tion are clearly connected with the development of complex societies
( Jansen 1989; Krafeld-Daughetry 1994: 94–117; Angelakis et al.
2005: 213–214). Before the Roman period almost all restrooms were
found in palatial contexts or in buildings that imitate regal luxury.
Although most of the ancient Near Eastern toilets were squat toilets,6
sitting toilets are known from various pre-Roman sites, and many of
the third millennium BCE Mesopotamian restrooms included sitting
toilets, which may suggest that they predated squat toilets. Some of the
best examples of the former were unearthed in Tell Beydar and Tell
Asmar.7 While squatting is a more natural posture, sitting toilets are,
apparently, as ancient as thrones. As for Middle and Late Bronze Ages
examples: These are probably attested in the Level VII palace at Tell
Atchana (see Appendix), at Tell el Ajjul,8 and recently at Hazor.9 Iron
Age Levantine examples are found at Jerusalem, Tell es-Sa idiyeh, and
at Buseirah (Bennet 1974: 8–9; Cahill et al. 1991; Tubb and Dorrell
1993: 55–56). Sometime it is impossible to determine whether a toilet
built of two foot-stands and a draining channel was used as a squat
or sitting toilet. In cases where the foot-stands are low, there can be
little doubt that these are squat toilets. Less clear-cut cases include an
example from Nuzi (Fig. 1), in which the foot-stands are 0.4–0.45 m
high and 0.1–0.15 m apart (Starr 1937–39: Vol. 1: 61, 163). The same
consideration should be made for the toilets excavated in Ešnunna, Tellō,
and Knossos (Krafeld-Daughetry 1994: 97–109; Angelakis et al. 2005:

6
Squatting is the natural toilet posture for all healthy human beings. Once tod-
dlers can squat, squatting becomes their main toilet position. It is only through the
process of toilet training that most toddlers in the western world learn to sit while
using the toilet.
7
See the detailed discussion and bibliography of third-millennium Mesopotamian
sitting toilets in Van der Stede 2003: 189–202; Lebeau 2005: 101, 105.
8
Petrie reports two bathrooms: one in Palace I and the other in Palace II. Only the
one in Palace II was clearly equipped with a toilet: “On the south side of the room
was the cesspit. There had evidently been a stone seat here, as the marks of it remain”
(Petrie 1932: 4). Petrie also reports on finding a toilet seat out of context in Palace I
(Petrie 1932: 3–4, Pls. XLV, XLVI, XLIII).
9
The Hebrew University Expedition at Tel Hazor excavated in Area M a complex
installation with several cesspits, which were connected by drains. What may well be a
toilet seat was found nearby ex situ. I am grateful to S. Zuckerman for this information
(personal communication).
170 amir sumaka i fink

212–213).10 Examples of squat toilets were found in third-millennium


layers at Tell Asmar and Hamoukar (Hill 1967: 144, 175, Pls. 70,
75; Krafeld-Daughetry 1994: 109–117).11 They are also attested in
second-millennium palaces and private houses in Mari (Parrot 1936:
Pl. III/2; Krafeld-Daughetry 1994: 111), Ugarit (Calvet and Geyer
1987: 135–147; Yon 1992: 29),12 Nuzi (Starr 1937–1939: Vol. 1: 61,
163; Vol. 2: Pls. 13–15), and at other sites (e.g., Margueron 1982: 398,
Fig. 272). In some of the sites it is impossible to determine whether
the room functioned as a bathroom, restroom, or both, since only the
floors and drains were preserved.13

The Toilets Excavated by Woolley

The number of well-preserved bathrooms and restrooms at Tell Atchana


is extraordinary in comparison to that found at any other Middle or
Late Bronze Age Levantine site. At least 16 of them were excavated by
Woolley, of which 14 were equipped with toilets, all of similar design
and apparatus. At Alalakh Levels VI-I there was a single standard for
bathrooms and restrooms, which was used ubiquitously: in palaces,
temples, and in upscale private houses. This standard closely followed
that of the palace bathrooms, restrooms, and toilets (Fig. 2), imitating
it to the level that each builder could afford.14 Aspects of building that

10
The Minoan toilets consist of a wooden or stone “seat,” which was set parallel
to a back wall. I believe it is more likely that this “seat” functioned as a squatting
board rather than as the seat of a sitting toilet. Angelakis et al. (2005) suggest that the
Knossos toilet “is probably the first flush toilet in the history.” Obviously, many of the
Mesopotamian examples are earlier in date.
11
I thank Dr. C. Reichel of the Oriental Institute for sharing with me photos of
unpublished third-millennium BCE squat toilets excavated at Hamoukar in 1999.
12
It is likely that both in Hazor and in Ugarit the toilets were placed underneath
or near the stairs. This practice is a long-standing tradition, well attested in sites such
as Abu Salabikh, Ur, Isin-Larsa, and Tell ed-Der; see Postgate 2000: 251. Could this
be instrumental to understanding the description of the palace of the king of Moab
in Judges 3:20–25, whether fictional or true?
13
Ablution Room 3 at the Mitanni palace of Tell Brak may fall under this defini-
tion; see Oates et al. 1997: 4–6; see also the index in Margueron 1982 under instal-
lations hygiéniques, sanitaires; latrines; salle à ablutions; salle de bains—d’eau, and Naumann
1971: 197–203.
14
I am not suggesting here that all the buildings/houses in Alalakh were equipped
with baths and/or toilets. As shown by McClellan (1997), the “private” houses of Alalakh
are on average almost twice as big as the average excavated domestic structure in any
other “North Syrian” site. In size, structure, and nature of finds, many of Alalakh’s
“private” houses resemble small palaces. This unique state of affairs can be explained,
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 171

were clearly standardized are the blueprint and dimensions of the


bathrooms and restrooms, the structure of the walls and floors of these
rooms, as well as the way toilets and drains were designed.15 The lack
of running water meant that for all bathrooms and restrooms, water for
bathing, washing, and flushing had to be carried in vessels from a well
or perhaps from the Orontes River, several hundred meters away.
Unique among the excavated bathrooms and restrooms at Tell
Atchana is the earliest one, unearthed in the Middle Bronze Level VII
palace. The similarity in plan between the Levels VI-I bathrooms and
restrooms points to the existence of continuity throughout these levels,
a fact well emphasized in Woolley’s description of other aspects of the
“private” houses at the site (Woolley 1955: 172–200).

Blueprint and Dimensions


The standard blueprint for a bathroom and restroom combination is
linear with a dead-end. On the way to the restroom, one would have to
pass through the bathroom. But while the restroom was a “blind room”
accessible only through the bathroom, the latter was connected also
to a third room. The following pairs of rooms were built according to
such a plan: Level IV: palace rooms 9 and 5 (Figs. 2, 3), rooms 15 and
(probably) 14, rooms 25 and 26, rooms 30 and 31 (less likely); Level II:
house 39/C, rooms 6 and 7, rooms 9 and 10; Level I: house 38/A.16
The toilets are always located as far from the doorway of the rest-
room as possible, and against an external wall, through which a drain
evacuated the waste to the street. The only exceptions are (1) room 18
at Level IV, house 39/C, from which, according to Woolley’s reconstruc-
tion, waste was disposed into room 20; and (2) rooms 5 and 14 in the
Niqmepa Palace, from which waste was disposed into cesspits, which
were covered by or even incorporated into double walls.

in part, by the following circumstance: (1) All the “private” houses which were exca-
vated by Woolley were located just southeast of the palace and temple compound, the
second-best location in the city, at least from a geopolitical perspective; and (2) the
floor area of some of the “private” houses is clearly oversized for a Late Bronze Age
site of 21 ha, unless Alalakh was originally considerably bigger than we are currently
able to tell. In view of Tell Atchana’s location in the midst of the alluvial plain of
the Orontes River, which is subject to annual flooding, it is possible that a large lower
town is buried under meters of sediments.
15
The Appendix unites Woolley’s records concerning the bathrooms and restrooms—
data on which the discussion above is based.
16
I find it remarkable that the restrooms of the Level II and I houses closely resemble
those of the Level IV palace.
172 amir sumaka i fink

Bathrooms are always larger than restrooms. The average area of


a Level IV palace bathroom is 14.38 m2 and the average area of a
bathroom in a private house is 11.17 m2, while the average area of a
Level IV palace restroom is 9.32 m2 and the average area of a restroom
in the “private” houses and the temple area is 5.45 m2.

Floors and Walls


The floors of all restrooms are made of what Woolley called cement
(hydraulic plaster) or concrete (same plaster with small crushed stones).
Most of the floors of the restrooms at the palace slope toward the drain.
In some, a circular depression was found in the floor, most probably
used to hold a round-bottomed water jar (room 9 in Level IV, house
37; room 1 in Level II, house 37/C). The floors of the bathrooms are
either made of clay (sometime overlaid with so-called white cement)
or cement (hydraulic plaster).
The walls of the palace restrooms were all lined with basalt slabs
(orthostats, 0.42–0.65 m high), which were covered with a coat of
cement (plaster). Beams rested on top of these slabs, and on top of the
beams mudbrick walls were erected. A second set of beams was placed
at 1.3–1.4 m above the floor. In most cases, the beams and the bricks
were plastered with hydraulic plaster, similar to the one that coated
the floors and the orthostats. Woolley’s descriptions of the walls of the
palace bathrooms are similar to his depiction of the walls of the palace
restrooms. When at all preserved, walls of the domestic and temple
restrooms are all reportedly plastered, featuring neither basalt orthostats
nor beams. In several cases we find that instead of basalt orthostats
seen in the palace, a more affordable dado of baked tiles was used,
and then plastered with the rest of the wall; in one case (room 1 of
Level II, house 37/C) each dado tile measured 0.27 m2 and was 5 cm
thick. Woolley reports that in some restrooms he observed several layers
of re-plastering of both floors and walls.

Toilets and Drains


All toilets found in Tell Atchana Levels VI-I are identical. These squat
toilets feature two foot-stands, 0.3 m high, both made of mudbricks and
covered with the same plaster used for the coating of the floors and the
walls (Fig. 3). In one case (room 7 in Level II, house 39/C), Woolley
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 173

reports that the foot-stand consisted of three courses of bricks. Situated


between every pair of foot-stands was a plastered channel, sloping into
the drain. The drains carried the waste either to the street, through
the wall, or to a cesspit that was built under the foundations of the
building (all the drains of the Level IV palace). One of these cesspits
(next to room 26 of the palace) is described by Woolley as a “vertical
shaft contrived in the stone of the foundations thickly plastered with
cement.” Most drains were plastered as well; some were made of bricks
that were positioned in a V shape (e.g., room 10 of Level II, house
39/C) and others were made of several sections of ceramic ring-like
vessels (e.g., room 14 of Level IV, house 37), or simply consisted of an
elongated ceramic pipe. One of these elongated pipes was recorded by
Woolley as AT/46/268. This pipe is 0.658 m long, and has a diameter
of 0.155 m. The original object card states that the pipe was found
in a Level IV “lavatory” in Square N16, which is the entrance to the
Level IV temple.17 The nearest reported restroom is in Square L16.
Woolley connected this restroom to the Level IV temple and claimed to
have found there “a well-preserved terra-cotta drain pipe.” The latter,
then, may possibly be the same as the one recorded on the original
object card.

A Restroom Excavated by the University of Chicago Expedition

During the 2003 season, the Oriental Institute Expedition excavated a


plastered room (03-2092) that resembles in many ways the restrooms
excavated by Woolley. Unearthed in Area 2 in Square 44.45, less than
0.5 m under the top soil, the room belongs to Local Phase 2 (Figs.
4 and 5),18 and is part of a large residence, which was excavated in
Squares 44.45, 44.54, and 44.55.19 The Expedition also unearthed
four rooms belonging to this large building, which extends, as of now,
over 275 m2.

17
Nowadays, the Tell Atchana object cards are housed at the University College,
London, Special Collections. I am grateful to E. Struble for drawing my attention to
the above-mentioned card.
18
The dating of Area 2, Local Phase 2 is being studied in these very days. Never-
theless, it is safe to say that it dates to the Late Bronze Age.
19
Area 2 was supervised by A. S. Fink; Square 44.45 was supervised by K. S.
Burke.
174 amir sumaka i fink

The plastered room (Figs. 6 and 7) is 2 m wide, and 2.65 m long


(floor area of 5.3 m2). It has two doorways; one faces southeast and
leads to a blind alley (through Threshold 03-2123), the other, featuring
a plastered step, opens to the northwest, facing to the same corridor
as does Room 03-2077. A drain (03-2039; Figs. 8 and 9), built in Wall
03-2091 (Fig. 10), drained the waste from the plastered room toward
the northeastern slope, and hence, Wall 03-2091 marks the northern
outer wall of the building. Threshold 03-2123 is 1.6 m long, 0.75 m
wide, and comprises two rows of mudbricks. Several broken vessels,
along with the door socket, were found on and next to the threshold.
Wall 03-2091 is 3 m long and 1.1 m wide, and none of its mudbricks
has been preserved. The excavators were able to identify the wall only
by the presence of (1) two lines of stone foundations that mark its
northern and southern edges (the stone foundation of this wall, as of
many other walls at Tell Atchana, underlies only its outline and does
not cover its full width), and (2) Drain 03-2039, which was built in the
wall. A wall stub (03-2111) abutting Wall 03-2091 from the southwest
is 1.1 m long, 1 m wide, and it was preserved to the height of 0.22 m.
The area left between 03-2111 and 03-2073 is 1 m wide and functions
as the northwestern entrance to the plastered room.20 This entrance
consists of at least one plastered step ascending to the room, and pos-
sibly even two.

The Drain (Figs. 8, 9, 10)


The length of the drain is similar to that of the wall (1.2 m), and
its width is 0.6 m. The channel of the drain was made of stone and
plastered with material similar to the one used for the plastered floor
of Room 03-2092. Fieldstones and large sherds were used to cover and
protect the plastered channel running through the wall. The difference
in elevation between the highest point (the southwestern side) of the
interior of the drain channel (Locus 03-2121) and the lowest one (the
northeastern side) is 6 cm.

20
The restroom (room 9) of the Level IV house 37 likewise has two doorways.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 175

The Floor and Dado


The plastered floor (03-2109) of Room 03-2092 is mostly preserved
in the southwestern part of the room, but there are indications that it
covered the entire room. The building process of this plastered floor
included the facing of Walls 03-2073 and 03-2091 with ceramic tiles
(dado). There is a height difference of 0.11 m between the uppermost
and lowermost elevations of Floor 03-2109, now mostly broken and
cracked. Most of its surface slopes toward the drain.

The Finds

Locus 03-2092—its top elevation 0.24 m higher than its bottom


elevation—is the occupational debris of this room. Several finds were
collected from this locus, among which are a glass bead (R03-1775),
a copper alloy object (R03-1819), a clay stopper (R03-1878), and a
restorable ceramic vessel (R03-2063). Most probably, the vessels and the
objects found in Locus 03-2040, located immediately above 03-2092,
were also related to Floor 03-2109. The vessels and objects were found
just 0.25–0.3 m above this plastered floor, with no association to other
floors. Among them are a ceramic juglet that was restored (R03-1542;
Fig. 11), a plate that has been partially restored (R03-1851; Fig. 12), and
objects, R03-1390, R03-1391, R03-1394, R03-1395, R03-1453, and
R03-1691 that will all be discussed in the future excavation report.
The state of preservation of Room 03-2092 is such that no traces of
a toilet (i.e. foot-stands and a channel) were found, nor was any plaster
found near the mouth of the drain. Nonetheless, it is likely that the
room did function as a restroom: Its overall size, 5.3 m2, corresponds
to the average size of restrooms as discussed above. Furthermore, a
plastered floor, dado around the walls, and a plastered drain built into
the wall—all the features expected to be found in a bathroom—were
unearthed in this room. Moreover, the building in which the room was
excavated shares many of the characteristics of the more elaborate
private houses in which toilets were indeed found. These residences are
located immediately to the north of the house under consideration.
This restroom is a modest addition to the repertory of such facilities
already excavated by Woolley. In light of the fact that all the restrooms
excavated by Woolley in private houses were removed in the course
of excavation, Restroom 03-2092 permits us to study in some depth
such important aspects as its architectural design and the composition
176 amir sumaka i fink

of the plaster, and allows a comparison to the restrooms that are still
intact in the Level IV palace. The finding of this and other restrooms
in varying degrees of preservation is of outmost importance for anyone
wishing to gain further insight into the social structure and household
practices of Alalakh.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 177

APPENDIX
WOOLLEY’S RECORDS OF TOILETS,
RESTROOMS, AND BATHROOMS AT TELL ATCHANA21

Level VII, Palace, Rooms 15, 18

Size
Room 15 4.1 × 4.2 (17.22 m2)
Room 18 Larger than 75 m2

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 15 The drain intake was a flat stone with two holes in it,
sunk flush with the very good cement and concrete floor. In the east
corner of the room, sunk in the floor but rising 0.2 m above it, was a
terra cotta tank, reinforced externally with cement.
Room 18 Against the southeastern wall was a large basalt basin or
trough with a spout, in front of which a flat stone with a round intake
hole was let into the floor. Below it was a stone-built drain, which con-
nected with that from room 15 and with another from the outlet of
the basin corner of room 18 and then went out through the doorway,
under the corridor, and through the city wall to empty on the glacis.
The basin in the east corner was sunk flush with the floor and had its
outlet on the northwestern side; between it and the face of the south-
eastern wall there was a gap filled with cement, which was worked up
to a smooth face and brought down in a curve over the edge of the
stone; in the flat surface there was a shallow, circular depression intended
as a stand for a large, round-bottomed vessel; between the basin and
the northeastern wall there was a similar cement ledge, raised slightly
above floor level, in which there were two shallow, oblong depressions
sloping downwards from the wall, and with outlets to the basin, very
much like the soap-troughs of the modern pedestal wash-basin.

21
Texts quoted, with minor adaptations, from Woolley 1955. Exact references are
given below where appropriate.
178 amir sumaka i fink

Floor
Room 15 The room has a smooth concrete floor, much depressed
along the northwest by reason of the sinking of the wall foundations;
round the drain-intake the floor sloped (intentionally) down to it.
Room 18 A floor of concrete was laid rather thinly over clay; it
was well preserved at the northeastern end of the room, but over the
southwestern half there were only traces of concrete, and the surface
(to which the wall plaster went down) was of clay.

Walls
Room 15 Three basalt orthostats were set right against the south-
eastern wall right by the drain intake, obviously to protect it from
water/humidity.
Room 18 Walls of plain plaster, which were much ruined, were
standing to a maximum height of 1.25 m on the northwest and 0.4 m
on the southeast.

Finds
Room 15 A bronze dagger, AT/39/203, Type Kn. 4; a bronze
spearhead, AT/39/202, Type Sp. 3; a clay bowl, ATP/39/157c, Type
21b, and a saucer of coarse gray clay, Type 3.
Room 18 Found on the floor in a layer of ashes were a bronze pin,
AT/39/246, Type P. 9; a bronze sickle-shaped blade, AT/39/228, Type
as on Pl. LXXIV, and fragments of the haft of a riveted bronze blade;
a serpentine pestle or rubber, AT/39/227; a fragment of glazed frit
with a hand in relief, AT/39/234; a quantity of grain; and fragments
of clay vessels of Types 15, 93b, 104b, 106b, and 132a.

Reference
Woolley 1955: 95, 103–104; Plan: Woolley 1955: 93–94: Fig. 35; Pl.
XIX a, b.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 179

Level VI, Fortress? Square U8

Size
1.7 × 2+

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


The floor sloped sharply to the south, where there were two cemented
foot-stands, 0.3 m high, with the usual cemented channel between
them.

Floor
Sunken cement floor; immediately against the eastern foot-stand was
a raised mud floor, cut away by the Niqmepa Palace.

Walls
Cemented walls

Finds
No information

Woolley’s Definition
A small lavatory

Reference
Woolley 1955: 157; Plan: Woolley 1955: 152: Fig. 57.

Level V Temple, Two Rooms in Square N13; A Drain in Squares M13, N13

Size
Southeastern room 2.3 × 2.8 (6.44 m2)
Northwestern room 2.2 × 2.8 (6.16 m2)
180 amir sumaka i fink

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Bathroom: terra cotta drain through its northwestern wall, clear of the
adjoining lavatory

Floor
Lavatories: cemented floors; bathroom: cemented floor

Walls
Cemented walls

Finds
No information

Woolley’s Definition
Two lavatories of normal type and remains of a bathroom(?)

Reference
Woolley 1955: 70; Plan: Woolley 1955: 67: Figs. 29a, 29b.

Level IV, southeast of Temple, Square L16

Size
1.4 × 2.2 (3.08 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Out of the hole between the two standing blocks (foot-stands) led a
well-preserved terra cotta drain pipe, which must have run through
the wall (not preserved).
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 181

Floor
Rectangular floor of very good cement; two standing blocks in its
northern corner

Walls
None preserved. The chamber seems to have been sunk.

Finds
No information

Woolley’s Definition
An isolated lavatory

Stratigraphical Note
Immediately below the oldest Level III floor

Reference
Woolley 1955: 69.

Level IV Palace, Rooms 5, 9

Size
Room 5 1.8 × 4.5 (8.1 m2)
Room 9 2.8 × 4.5 (12.6 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 5 Against the northern wall; two brick foot-stands, 0.32 m
high, which had been cement plastered time after time, all edges and
corners being carefully rounded; the passage between them and the
hole through the wall which continued it were cement faced.
182 amir sumaka i fink

Floor
Room 5 Made of white cement throughout; sloped fairly sharply
from all directions to the drain.
Room 9 Clay floor, overlaid with white cement, sinking towards the
middle.

Walls
Room 5 Lined with quarry-dressed basalt slabs, which were covered
with a coat of cement and renewed more than once. Timber baulk
was laid over the stones with the mudbrick above, and the whole was
cement plastered.
Room 9 Lined with 0.47-m-high basalt orthostats; their bottoms
flush with the floor; faced with cement plaster of which five distinct
coats could be distinguished.

Finds
Room 5 On the floor were bowls of Types 15 and 4b; a fragment
of a jug Type 41b. Twenty cm above the floor was part of a Base-
Ring jug.
Room 9 In the northeastern corner was a rectangular terra cotta
bath or box, 0.4 m high, with two loop handles at each end. On the
floor lay part of a goblet of Type 118a; bowl of Type 11; and a saucer
of Type 3b. Fifty cm above the floor were three saucers of Type 3b;
a vase of Type 104; and a milk-bowl. At the doorway between rooms
9 and 10 tablet ATT/38/2 was found.

Woolley’s Definition
Room 5 A normal lavatory
Room 9 A bath

The Doorways
Room 5 The door had a wooden frame only.
Room 9 A wooden plank, a step up of 0.18 m high, formed the
entrance from room 10 to room 9.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 183

Reference
Woolley 1955: 118–120; Plans: Woolley 1955: 113: Fig. 44; 115: Fig.
45; 118: Fig. 48b; Pls. XXVa, XXVb, XXVIa.

Level IV Palace, Rooms 14–15

Size
Room 14 1.9 × 3.3(?) (6.27 m2)
Room 15 3.3 × 3.9 (12.87 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 14 The drain had its foot-stands of burnt brick overlaid with
cement, and the cement-lined pipe going out through the wall.

Floor
Room 14 A cement floor sloped from every direction down to the
drain.
Room 15 The cement floor was higher than that of room 14; from
it there was a cement-faced step down to the threshold and a second
from the threshold to room 14.

Walls
Room 14 The walls were lined with basalt orthostats, 0.42 m high,
covered with cement plaster that was taken down to the floor in a rolled
skirting. Judging by the fallen fragments the whole wall had been cement
plastered, but none was left actually on the brick surface.
Room 15 The walls were lined with basalt orthostats of varying
heights (usually laid lengthwise). All were concealed by a coating of
cement above which, over the brickwork, was mud plaster showing no
traces of cement.
184 amir sumaka i fink

Finds
Room 14 The bases of three Nuzi goblets of Type 118; a Base-Ring
ware jug; a burnished, red tripod bowl of Type 161; two burnished,
red bowls of Type 21, and at least three examples of Type 3.
Room 15 On the floor: a bronze vase, AT/38/62 (Pl. LXXIV);
a bronze knife, AT/38/63, Type Kn. 4; a stone bowl; fragments of
a milk-bowl; fragments of two goblets of Type 118: one plain, one
painted Nuzi ware; a jug of Type 68; a ring-stand of Type 85; a jar of
Type 110; bowls of Types 6, 15, 94, and 163, and about 14 examples
of Type 3.

Woolley’s Definition
Room 14 A lavatory
Room 15 A bath

Notes Concerning the Blueprint


The destruction of the southeastern corner of room 15 meant that it
was impossible to be sure of the position of the door, but if it was,
in fact, in the west wall, then rooms 14, 15, and 16 would have been
an exact parallel to the suite 10, 9, and 5. In both cases there was an
inner lavatory; a central room with orthostats and cemented walls,
which could have been a bathroom; and a larger room—a bedroom
or a store chamber.

Reference
Woolley 1955: 121; Plans: Woolley 1955: 113: Fig. 44; 115: Fig. 45.

Level IV Palace, Rooms 25–26

Size
Room 25 3.1 × 5.7 (17.67 m2)
Room 26 3.1 × 3.6 (11.6 m2)
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 185

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 26 The latrine in the northwestern corner had foot-stands of
burnt brick originally lime plastered; the channel between them sloped
down into the wall thickness, where a vertical shaft was contrived in
the stone of the foundations, both channel and shaft being thickly
plastered with cement.

Floor
Room 25 A floor of very fine clay, which may have had lime wash
over it but was not cement finished.
Room 26 A concrete floor made of cement and small crushed
stones.

Walls
Room 25 The wall had a stone-foundation course almost flush with
the floor, on which were basalt orthostats, 0.65 m high, which appear
to have been rather roughly cut, and had certainly not been polished;
they were covered with white cement. A longitudinal beam rested on
the stones with brickwork above the second beam at 1.3–1.4 m above
the floor, with no transverse timbers; the wall face had been mud
plastered and lime washed.
Room 26 The walls were lined with basalt orthostats, 0.6 m high,
covered with white cement; no walling remained above the stones, all
having been cut away by the Level III builders.

Finds
Room 25 One tablet was found, ATT/38/67.
Room 26 On the floor were tablets ATT/38/68–71.

Wooley’s Definition
Room 25 A bath
Room 26 A lavatory
186 amir sumaka i fink

Reference
Woolley 1955: 123–124; Plans: Woolley 1955: 113: Fig. 44; 115:
Fig. 45.

Level IV Palace, Room 31

Size
2.7 × 4.2 (11.34 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


The lavatory foot-stands were of cement-plastered burnt brick.

Floor
The doorway had a wooden seal 0.10 m above the floor of room 30,
and the rest of the floor, which was of concrete (lime and small stone
chips), was flush with it.

Walls
The walls up to 0.35 m were of rough stone, cement-plastered; above
that was a longitudinal beam and then mudbrick, mud-plastered and
lime-washed, with no further timbering.

Finds
Part of an ivory toilet box lid with engraved rosette pattern, AT/38/178;
fragments of a vase of variegated glass, AT/38/176; pottery fragments
including those of: a Nuzi goblet, ATP/38/143; two items of painted
example of Type 94b, ATP/38/142; plain examples of Types 3, 41, 48,
60, and 69; and of many large jugs and handled jars, too fragmentary
to be typed.

Woolley’s Definition
A lavatory
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 187

Reference
Woolley 1955: 126; Plans: Woolley 1955: 113: Fig. 44; 115: Fig. 45.

Level IV, Building 37, Room 9

Size
1.9 × 3.1 (5.89 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Two foot-stands against the wall; an exit of terra cotta pipes running
out through the wall into the street (between the house and the town
wall).

Floor
Cement; a circular depression in the floor to hold a round-bottomed
water jar.

Walls
Cement plastered; two entrances

Finds
A red, burnished libation pourer AT/37/225 (Pl. CXXVa); a three-han-
dled flask ATP/37/340, Type 44c; Type 55a vessels; Type 68c vessels;
a beaker: the upper part painted reddish-brown and burnished, Type 94a;
a beaker of light red ware with five bands of dark red paint ATP/37/310,
Type 94a; Type 99c vessels; Type 103a vessels; Base-Ring ware I jug
ATP/37/307 (Pl. CXXVe).

Woolley’s Definition
A lavatory of normal type
188 amir sumaka i fink

Description of the Destruction


Well preserved; all finds lay in a bed of 0.1 m of wood ash, contain-
ing fragments of heavy beams above which came the decomposed
mudbrick of the walls.

Reference
Woolley 1955: 177; Plan: Woolley 1955: 176: Fig. 62.

Level IV, Building 37, Room 14

Size
3.1 × 5.2 (16.12 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Terra cotta drain made of five sections of a clay ring-stand of Type
84c under the southeastern wall.

Floor
Concrete; the rough stones that were in the intake seem to have been
the foundations for foot-stands.

Walls
No information

Finds
A fragment of a Base-Ring ware jug, Type BM 24

Woolley’s Definition
The room was unduly large for a lavatory and there may have been
there a different type of drain, possibly a washing basin.
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 189

Reference
Woolley 1955: 178; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 62.

Level IV, Building 39/C, Room 18

Size
1.8 × 4.2 (7.56 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Running out through the southwestern wall

Floor
Cement

Walls
No information

Finds
Two cylinder seals were found: AT/39/201 and AT/39/205.

Woolley’s Definition
A normal lavatory

Reference
Woolley 1955: 182; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 64.
190 amir sumaka i fink

Level II, Building 37/C, Room 1

Size
1.6 × 5.1 (8.16 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


The foot-rests (foot-stands) were of tiles, plastered, with a brick-lined
drain through the wall. The sinking of the floor, which makes the drain
run in the wrong direction, is due to later accident.

Floor
Cement over clay. A large clay jar for water was let into the pavement
(only the lower part of which was preserved). The pavement stopped at
the threshold of the door to room 3 but continued across the threshold
of the door to room 2.

Walls
A dado of cement-plastered tiles was set on (the wall’s) edge; the tiles
measured 0.27 × 0.27 m and were 0.5 cm thick.

Finds
Many fragments of painted Nuzi ware were found on the floor.

Woolley’s Definition
A lavatory

Reference
Woolley 1955: 188; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 65; Photo: Woolley 1955:
Pl. XXXVb (the photo is looking southwest, and shows only the south-
western half of the room).
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 191

Level II, Building 39/C, Rooms 6–7

Size
Room 6 2.4 × 3.2 (7.68 m2)
Room 7 1.2 × 3.2 (3.84 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 7 Against the northeastern wall was the ordinary lavatory
arrangement with a tile-paved outlet through the wall. The foot-stand
was of three courses of bricks.

Floor
Room 6 Cement
Room 7 Cement; during the lifetime of the house a new cement floor
was laid down in the lavatory, 0.25 m above the original.

Walls
Room 6 Around the walls and against the door jambs a dado of
burnt tiles was set on (their) edge and faced with cement, the top of
the cement having a rolled finish.
Room 7 Dado like in room 6.

Finds
In the fill between the two sub-phases of the floor were a fragment of
a White-Slip ware II milk-bowl, and numerous fragments of painted
Atchana ware goblets.

Woolley’s Definition
Room 7 An ordinary lavatory
192 amir sumaka i fink

Ceramic Observation
Based on the finds in room 6, Woolley concluded that the Atchana
ware belongs to the early part of Level II or was, at any rate, intro-
duced then.

Reference
Woolley 1955: 190–191; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 66.

Level II, Building 39/C, Rooms 9–10

Size
Room 9 2.3 × 3.2 (7.36 m2)
Room 10 1.3 × 3.2 (4.16 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


Room 10 The outlet through the wall was a channel made of two
tiles set in a V-shaped fashion.

Floor
Room 9 A cement floor; partly preserved
Room 10 Similarly floored and equally ruined; the foot-stand has
disappeared.

Walls
Room 9 Cemented tiled dado; partly preserved.

Finds
Room 10 A Type 447 vase of red clay was found by the drain.

Woolley’s Definition
Room 10 A second lavatory
waste management at tell atchana (alalakh) 193

Reference
Woolley 1955: 191; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 66.

Level I, Building 38/A, Rooms 7–8

Size
Room 7 3.3 × 4.1 (13.53 m2)
Room 8 1.8 × 2.1 (3.78 m2)

Basins, Foot-stands, and Drains


No information

Floor
Room 7 A cement floor
Room 8 A cement floor; a raised lavatory foot-stand of tiles and
cement.

Walls
Room 7 A tile dado
Room 8 A tile dado and cement plaster on the walls (not only on
the dado).

Finds
No information

Woolley’s Definition
Room 8 A lavatory of the traditional type

Reference
Woolley 1955: 192; Plan: Woolley 1955: Fig. 67.
194 amir sumaka i fink

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DESERT OUTSIDERS: EXTRAMURAL NEIGHBORHOODS
IN THE IRON AGE NEGEV

Yifat Thareani-Sussely

Introduction

The method archaeologists choose when excavating ancient settlements


is determined by subjective motives and limitations of time, money,
and labor. Archaeological interest tends to focus on walled inner cities;
consequently, these parts of ancient towns are best known to us.
Archaeological studies show that in many cases ancient settlements
expanded beyond what is usually considered their physical boundaries—
the city wall. These extramural neighborhoods appear either abutting
the outer face of the fortifications, located near the city gate, or archi-
tectonically relating to the city walls.
Although the existence of extramural constructions is described in
several archaeological studies and reports both in Palestine (Yadin et al.
1989: 40; Beit-Arieh 1993; Cohen 1993: 845; Biran 1999: 49–50)1 and
in other regions (Bietak 1979: 108–110; Van de Mieroop 1997: 69–70,
Fig. 4.3), relatively little study has been carried out on the subject, and
the phenomenon is usually reviewed merely from the architectural
perspective.
Extramural neighborhoods are known from different sites in the
ancient Near East as early as the Early Bronze Age (Bietak 1979:
108–110; Reade 1982: Fig. 58). At Palestine expansion outside the city
walls occurred in various sites and regions and became most common
during the Late Iron Age. Extramural remains dated to the mid-8th
century BCE were revealed outside the city gate of Tel Dan and were
identified by the excavator with the biblical ˜uÉÉot (2 Kings 20: 34;

1
The extramural neighborhood in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is an excep-
tion, since it was probably established before the construction of the city wall (Geva
2000: 82, Plan 2.1).
198 yifat thareani-sussely

Jer. 37: 21) (Biran 1999: 49–50).2 Additional extramural constructions


from the same period were detected in Tel Hazor, east of the casemate
wall, where they are assumed to have functioned as workshops (Yadin
et al. 1960: 22; Yadin et al. 1989: 40; Geva 1989: 54–55, Fig. 58).
All the same, the appearance of extramural neighborhoods was not
limited to the northern areas, and extramural evidence was detected
in some Iron Age II sites in the Negev as well.3
In his monograph Living on the Fringe, Israel Finkelstein was the first
to suggest a longue durée approach to arid zones in the southern Levant
(Finkelstein 1995). A combination of archaeological and historical
material with cross-period and cross-regional analogies brought him to
the conclusion that the appearance of urban forms in the Negev was
a result of cultural and sociopolitical changes.
A reassessment of the extramural evidence from the Iron Age II
Negev sites sheds new light on this cultural phenomenon.

Extramural Neighborhoods and the “Architecture for the Poor” Theory

Although the emergence of extramural neighborhoods is often men-


tioned in relation to the ancient Near East urban environment4 the
extramural phenomenon is usually discussed in general terms. In a
recent article Faust suggested that expansion outside the city walls
during the Iron Age II, though common, was not highly regarded as it
was considered unsafe (Faust 2003: 133). Hence, rich people were not
inclined to move there. Accordingly, Faust sees extramural neighbor-
hoods as early versions of squatters. This view relies on general geo-
urban studies claiming that the poorest members of the preindustrial

2
For criticism on Biran’s interpretation and for discussion of this term, see Katz
2004: 270–272.
3
The term “Negev” is brought here in its biblical significant meaning: the Beer-
sheba Valley and the Arad Plain. For different geographical definitions of the term
“Negev,” see Sofer 1979: 3.
4
Ancient Mesopotamian cities of the Bronze and the Iron Age included several
integral parts: a walled inner city, suburbs, and a harbor district. For further ancient
Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian extramural evidence, see Bietak 1979: 110–111; Van
de Mieroop 1997: 65–68, 71–72. In later periods the Roman suburbium demonstrated the
expansion of public and private architecture outside the traditional city core, creating
new residential and commercial centers (Anderson 1997: 230–240). Roman fairs were
often situated outside the borders of the polis (De Ligt 1993). Remains of a fair were
discovered 1 km away from the wall of Ashkelon (Safrai 1984: 152, note 92).
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 199

city lived in suburbs, outside the fortified area (Sjoberg 1960: 95–103;
Efrat 2002: 22). A review of extramural neighborhoods in several pre-
capitalist towns shows that the archaeological and historical evidence
is more multifaceted.
The spatial arrangement of the traditional Middle Eastern city in the
14th century was described by Ibn Battūta. His remark concerning the
surroundings of the city gate sets the extramural neighborhood as an
integral part of the urban space: “Approaching to the gates . . . (we will
find) the makers of saddlers . . . Then the vendors of victuals brought in
from the country who sometimes will form a market outside the gates,
together with the basket makers, the sellers of spun wool and the like”
(quoted in Bonine 1976: 149).
An examination of traditional trade towns located in arid zones and
in relation to trade routes supports this insight. The city of Kerman
is located at the southern end of the Iranian plateau, on the “Indian
Highway,” the trade route that ran from Teheran in the north to the
Indian subcontinent.5 A vast desert covers the region that is considered
arid and is characterized by extreme climatic conditions (Beazley 1982:
1, 5). The British traveler Sykes, who visited Kerman at the end of the
19th century, described the city as follows: “Approaching Kerman from
the east, the city presents a somewhat confused appearance of wind-
towers and mosques, surrounded by ruins almost on every side . . . The
city is surrounded by a wall . . . which is pierced by six gates . . . It is
divided into five quarters . . . There are also three extra-mural quar-
ters . . .” (Sykes 1902: 199).
Kerman contained eight residential quarters, three of which were
situated outside the city walls. Although domestic compounds occupied
most of the area of the extramural quarters, crafts and trade areas, as
well as small shrines, mosques, baths, and teahouses, were in operation
as well. Among the traders and craftsmen were bakers, confectioners,
vegetable and fruit dealers, grocers, carpenters, blacksmiths, potters,
and charcoal sellers (Reshef 1982: 83).
Situated in western Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is one of the border districts
of India and the last station on the “Indian Highway” before the Thar
Desert (Sureshwara 1990: 1–4). It was a principle commercial market
that owed its importance to its geographical position. First established

5
For the layout and history of the city, see Reshef 1982: 70–73; Koelz 1983:
15–17, note 1.
200 yifat thareani-sussely

in the mid-12th century, Jaisalmer functioned as a trade center for


caravans that traveled along the trade route from India to central Asia
(Gupta 1987: 110–111; Somani 1990).
The town was developed as a military fort and trading post for
the east–west caravan route. The fort and the city wall dominated
the morphology of the town. The inner part is the fort, which is set
on top of a hill and contains royal quarters as well as other urban
elements. Although most of the population was confined within the
walls, district officers and wealthy merchants’ families lived outside the
southern borders of the fort along the river bank (Sharma 1972: 143;
Kulbushan 2001: 91–92, Fig. 1).
In light of the above review it seems reasonable that expansion of
urban forms as well as their limits derived from multiple reasons and
a wide spectrum of contextual and cultural factors (Fletcher 1995: 95).
Hence, there could be several factors for the development of extramural
neighborhoods:

Crowded Towns
When the inner part of a settlement became too densely populated
or too densely built, part of the population would prefer to enjoy
freedom of space and would consequently move outside the city walls.
Such processes are known from Palestine and Europe during the 19th
century (see also Patten 1983).

Trade
The proximity of a settlement to a trade route or its own functioning
as a trade center could have motivated the development of markets
outside the city walls.6 As demonstrated above, archaeological remains
and historical documents support the existence of markets in the ancient
Near East. Mesopotamian documents from various sites indicate that
the harbor district was situated outside the city walls, distinct from the
inner city. The physical separation resulted from the fact that the har-
bor acted as a neutral zone where citizens from different communities

6
The lack of biblical terms describing trading venues brought Katz to claim that
market trade was relatively limited in the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel (Katz 2004:
272).
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 201

could interact without direct supervision of the urban political powers


(Van de Mieroop 1997: 65–68). Commercial activity is also evident
from the layout of several extramural neighborhoods in Middle Eastern
and traditional towns (Lamberg Karlovsky 1975: 350; Berdan 1989:
98–105; Silver 1983: 253–257).7

Familial and Ethnic Motives


There were also those who chose to settle close to the settlement but
not within its borders. In this category one might include the Roman
“fort villages” where family members of soldiers settled outside the
fortified area (Faust 1995: 85–87), or settlements of local nomad tribes
who enjoyed the advantages that the permanent settlement offered.
Some extramural neighborhoods could also have been formed as ethnic
quarters.8
The expanding urban space was probably not permanent and was
available only in peaceful times when a strong central authority that
gave the inhabitants a sense of safety was in existence. In times of rela-
tive peace, when the countryside was not exposed to warfare and raids,
extramural trade and commercial activities, as well as living outside the
fortified area, were probably encouraged, causing markets, trade-related
institutions, and domestic areas to develop. If an occasional raid did
occur, the suburban population would withdraw behind the city walls
(Van de Mieroop 1997: 72).
Finally, a contextual approach should also be taken when trying to
reconstruct the sociopolitical components of the community of the
extramural neighborhoods. The extramural structures did not exist in
a vacuum and constituted an integral part of the ancient urban and
regional landscape (Stone 1996: 233). In other words, the inhabitants
of the extramural neighborhoods would have been motivated by a wide
range of interests and circumstances. Consequently, the extramural
neighborhood is likely to have included merchants, soldiers’ families,
settling nomads, local families, and other social elements. It should also
be noted that extramural neighborhoods were not a regional phenom-
enon but rather characterized a specific cultural and political climate.

7
Contra Polanyi (1957), who suggested that there were no markets in the economy
of ancient societies.
8
The subject of the “ethnic neighborhood” has been extensively discussed, but goes
beyond the scope of this work; see, for example, Shack 1973: 251–285.
202 yifat thareani-sussely

Extramural Neighborhoods in the Iron Age II Negev

Evidence for the existence of extramural architecture is noted in three


different Beersheba Valley sites (Fig. 1); all are dated to the late Iron
Age II: Tel Aroer, orvat Uza, and Tel Arad. The extramural con-
structions at Kadesh Barnea will be examined here as well.

Tel {Aroer
A relatively large extramural complex (ca. 1 ha) was revealed outside
the fortified Iron Age town of Aroer (Areas D, A, and C) (Fig. 2).
Preparing the Iron Age material from Tel Aroer for final publication9
enables to focus on the character of one of the biggest extramural
neighborhoods in ancient Judah.
Although, the establishment of a Roman tower on top of the mound
damaged the earlier evidence in Area D (Fig. 3), extramural remains
were discovered east and west of the fortified town (Biran and Cohen
1981: 250, 259, 253; Biran 1993: 90–91). The plan introduces many
architectural alternations suggesting that the area existed for many
decades.
Excavation around the Roman tower revealed the remains of two
monumental walls (W5000, W5012). Biran suggested that these walls
were the foundations of a Late Iron Age fortress that existed at the
site in Stratum II (the end of the 7th and the beginning of the 6th
centuries BCE) (Biran 1981: 132).
On the southeast side (Area D East), on the hill slope, a terrace was
built made of earth fill and a layer of pebbles. Although occupation on
the terrace was extensive, only a narrow area was preserved, adjacent
to the city wall.
A large building with a paved floor that was incorporated into the
city wall was uncovered on the terrace (W5020, W5019, W5027,
W5032, W5040, W5028, W5029, W5023, W5025, W5030). Two of
its walls (W5020, W5019), 4 m long each, form a wide angle. W5019
was built adjacent to W5027, and together they form a corner with

9
I thank Dr. Avraham Biran from the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology
for the kind permission and encouragement to bring the material from the excavations
in Tel Aroer to final publication.
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 203

W5032, which is 8 m long and turns southwest. Additional short walls


associated with the building (W5030, W5028) abut the long walls
creating four subunits. W5025 is a plastered brick wall with a brick-
made installation attached to it. Parallel to the upper part of W5025
excavators revealed an additional long wall (W5030) that was preserved
to a length of ca. 4 m and several columns were incorporated into it.
It seems that this row of columns separated a western room from an
eastern one. The eastern part contained a tabun, a jar sunk into the
paved floor, and pieces of scrap metal (L. 1011).
Southeast of the long building an additional small unit was revealed
containing two walls (W5033, W5034) and a clay basin (L. 1003). Pottery
that was found in the basin includes restorable storage jar (Fig. 4: 3),
a cooking-pot (Fig. 4: 1), and a bowl (Fig. 4: 2) all dating to the end
of the 8th century BCE. South and west of the building excavation
revealed walls (W5062, W5067, W5072) abutting the south Iron Age
podium wall (W5000) creating small architectural units (Fig. 3) where
pottery and a figurine were found.
Extensive extramural remains were revealed on the southwest side
(Area D West) as well, close to the assumed city gate (Fig. 3). The area
west of the monumental Iron Age walls (W3020, W5000) was occu-
pied by a pebble-paved courtyard (enclosed by W3035 and W5075). It
contains fire places and two curved stone walls (W5035, W5036) that
might have been used as an installation. A large quantity of Iron Age II
pottery, figurines, and bones was found nearby (L. 1411) (Fig. 4). An
additional stone installation (L. 1432) was found north of the courtyard.
Its wall is made of small stones sloping down moderately toward a floor
that consists of large flat stones. It contained soil, some pottery sherds,
and a small limestone altar with decorated walls and ash remains. Its
architectonic layout and building material suggest that the installation
was used as a granary during the earlier phases of occupation, and
was later filled with secondary refuse.
South of the courtyard a broad building was excavated (W5052,
W5054, W5006). Its use spanned at least three phases, and it included
several subunits, some of which were paved: rooms, courtyards, and
installations (including a tabun). The finds from the building included
Judean bowls (Figs. 5: 1–2; 7; 1–4; 8: 1–2; 9: 3; 10: 1–4), kraters (Figs.
6: 1; 8: 4, 8), Edomite bowls (Figs. 5: 3–5; 8: 3; 9: 7) cooking-pots (Fig.
9: 5), jugs (Fig. 7: 7), juglets (Figs. 6: 9; 7: 5; 8: 5), decanters (Fig. 5: 6),
lamps (Figs. 7: 8; 8: 6–7; 9: 4), and storage jars (Figs. 6: 2; 9: 8; 10: 5),
all dated to the Late Iron Age (L. 1417, L. 1421, L. 443). Also found
204 yifat thareani-sussely

were weights, small stone altars, a horse figurine, and the base of a
Judean Pillar Figurine.
Another area of ca. 150 m2 (Area A) was excavated south of this
neighborhood (Fig. 11). This area contains the remains of a rectangular
building that was located directly beneath surface level and consists
of two main architectural units: a northern one and a southern one.
The northern unit is square and built of relatively thick walls; its
pebble-paved floor and its space divided by a row of columns. The
southern unit is elongated and consists of two parallel walls and two
smaller intersecting walls; together these walls form a series of small
rooms, some of which include installations such as stone platforms.
The material culture from the building is varied and contains nearly
one hundred complete vessels including: Judean bowls (Fig. 13: 5–8),
Edomite painted and carinated bowls (Fig. 12: 1–3, 5–6, 8–10), a
painted Edomite incense burner (Fig. 12: 4), Edomite holemouth jar
(Fig. 13: 3), Judean and Edomite cooking-pots (Fig. 13: 1–2, 4), and
flasks (Figs. 12: 7). Among the artifacts the excavation yielded is an
Edomite seal (bearing the inscription leqosa), figurines, sheqel weights,
and sherds bearing potters’ marks.
The public nature of the building from Area A is attested by its layout
(i.e. the length of the walls), installations found within it, and material
culture associated with it. In a recent article I suggest identifying the
building with an ancient caravanserai that existed outside the fortified
town of Aroer (Thareani-Sussely 2007a).10
In Area C, at the foot of the mound, on the bank of Na al Aroer,
225 m2 of a large building were uncovered (Fig. 2): A long room (12 ×
4 m) was excavated, and in the south end of its eastern wall an opening
to the east was found, leading to a number of rooms, which were only
partially excavated. In and around the building many granaries were
located. In one of these silos a sherd with the remains of three Hebrew
letters, possibly ‫שלש‬, was found (Biran and Cohen 1975: 171).
The pottery assemblage from the extramural areas of Aroer con-
tains more than two hundred complete vessels that enable dating the

10
There are other cases where caravansaries were situated near the town, outside
its fortified area. An ancient caravanserai was excavated outside the gate of Mampsis
in the Negev (Building VIII) and dated to the Middle-Late Nabatean period (Negev
1988: 191–194). This phenomenon is detected in later periods as well. An additional
example can be found in the caravansaries built outside the city gate of Samarkand,
near the Silk Road (Brandenburg 1972: 34).
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 205

architectural units to the period between the end of the 8th century
and the beginning of the 6th century BCE. The artifacts include clay
figurines, inscriptions, seal impressions, small altars, and weights (made
of various materials such as stone, clay, and hematite), and may be
associated with commercial activities and public functions.

Æorvat {Uza
Extramural remains were also found downstream from the fortress of
orvat Uza (Fig. 14).11 The Iron Age II fortress is located on the bank
of Wadi Qina, on the eastern side of the Arad Plain. The extramural
construction was erected in relation to the northern wall of the fortress
and its gate.
The remains present a planned structure that was built on terraces
and retaining walls to overcome the steep gradient. Excavation revealed
a large colonnaded building (6 × 14 m). It contained two entrances, a
paved courtyard, and three rooms with plastered floors. The material
culture from this building was dated to the end of the 7th and the
beginning of the 6th centuries BCE, contemporaneous with the time
of the fortress (Stratum IV). Pottery typical of the Beersheba Valley
sites at the end of the Iron Age and two inscriptions were also found
(Beit-Arieh 1985: 97–101; 1986–1987: 32–38; 1993: 1495–1497; 1993:
55–63; 2007).
The extramural construction at orvat Uza occupied an estimated
area of 0.7 ha (according to the excavator remains of additional walls
can still be seen on the surface but have not been excavated yet [Beit-
Arieh, personal communication]). On top of the extramural settlement
a water cistern was revealed. Erecting the extramural building on the
steep slope must have required an investment of effort and energy
and was thus probably done for strategic considerations. Beit-Arieh
suggested that the extramural structures at orvat Uza may serve as
evidence for a connection with the settlement and could have housed
family members of the garrisons who were stationed at the fort (Beit-
Arieh 1993b: 1496; 2007).

11
I wish to thank Prof. Itzhak Beit-Arieh for allowing publication of the general
plan of orvat Uza.
206 yifat thareani-sussely

Tel Arad
Located adjacent to orvat Uza, Tel Arad functioned as the main for-
tress in the Arad Plain. Salvage excavations that were carried out in 1992
on the eastern slope of the mound, outside the fort, discovered Late
Iron Age dwelling remains (Goethert and Amiran 1996: 112–115).
The excavators revealed parts of a large building that contained four
rooms and is ascribed to Layers 2 and 3. One of the rooms was paved
and included a brick bench. In the corners of other rooms, rounded
brick ovens and rounded stone installation were found. A thick layer
of brick debris was detected on the floors.12
At orvat Uza as well, the excavators assumed that the appearance
of domestic buildings on the slope, outside the boundaries of the fort,
could be explained as a housing solution for soldiers’ family members
(Goethert and Amiran 1996: 114–115). It should be stressed that the
excavation on the slope of Tel Arad was limited and it is highly likely
that there are additional constructions at the area.

Kadesh Barnea
Extramural remains were also detected at the fortress of Kadesh
Barnea.13 I have chosen to include Kadesh Barnea in the Beersheba
Valley group of sites in spite of it not being considered part of the
Beersheba Valley settlement system. The similarity between the Beer-
sheba Valley sites and the fortress of Kadesh Barnea is evident from
a chronological and a geographical perspective. Both sites are located
in a semi-arid environment, include extramural remains, and existed
during the same time span.
R. Cohen excavated at the site revealing four granaries outside the
north wall of the fortress between two towers, constructed on a foun-
dation of fieldstones and pebbles. The largest granary was about 1.8
m in diameter. A 3 × 4 m room abutting the wall of the fortress was
unearthed to the west of the granaries. On its floor was a tabun in which
a complete Negbite cooking-pot was found (Cohen 1993: 844–845:
Cohen and Bernick-Greenberg 2007).

12
The material culture from the building has not been published yet, apart from a
burnished bowl that was found in one of the rooms; see Goethert and Amiran 1996:
Figs. 11–12.
13
For stratigraphic criticism of this description, see Ussishkin 1993: 3–4.
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 207

“Desert Outsiders” or Part of the Urban Setting?

The various functions that extramural neighborhoods fulfilled are


attested across the whole range of archaeological and historical evi-
dence. The appearance of extramural neighborhoods during the Late
Iron Age was not limited to the Negev sites but rather existed in north
Palestine as well, such as Dan, Hazor, and Jerusalem. It seems reason-
able that these neighborhoods were also built in other sites and simply
have not yet been excavated.
The ethnohistorical and architectural evidence from traditional trade
towns that are situated in arid zones show that extramural neighbor-
hoods developed for multiple political and socioeconomic reasons: trade,
crowded towns, and other familial and ethnic motives.
Intensive scholarly work focused on historical and archaeological
evidence from the Beersheba Valley during the Iron Age II shows that
the sociopolitical atmosphere in the Beersheba Valley toward the end
of the Iron Age enabled the development of a flourishing trade sys-
tem. Assyrian interests and conquests in the Levant and the following
economic prosperity, the pax Assyriaca, brought relative stability and
peace to the region.14
Various artifacts support this view and illustrate the commercial activ-
ity that took place in the region as part of the long distance Southern
Arabian trade as early as the 8th century BCE.15
Although the scenario of “architecture for the poor” is conceivably
more likely in remote antiquity, the evidence from the extramural
neighborhoods in Iron Age II Beersheba Valley is different and points
to a variety of functions. In fact, discussion of the Iron Age extramural
remains should focus on the singularity of each settlement and its status
in the settlement pattern rather than on generalizations.
In this framework, the extramural neighborhood of Tel Aroer should
be understood in the setting of the geographical location of the site.
Situated at the southernmost point of the Beersheba Valley settlement
system the town of Aroer functioned as an intermediary between
the Arava Desert and the southern part of the Judean Kingdom.

14
For historical background, see Tadmor 1966: 89–90; Otzen 1979: 255–256; Eph al
1982: 93–94; Na aman 1995: 113; Parpola 2003: 103–104.
15
This assemblage includes: Assyrian weights, Assyrian glass, South Arabian inscrip-
tions, Edomite seals and inscriptions, and stone and alabaster vessels. See also Finkelstein
1992: 161–162; 1995: 146; Singer-Avitz 1999: 50–52; Thareani-Sussely 2007b.
208 yifat thareani-sussely

The proximity of the site to the Arabian trade route, as reflected in


its archaeological record, played a major role during the Late Iron
Age and dictated the development of Aroer as a trade town. Various
artifacts and two sherds incised with South Arabian signs support this
view. One of the sherds was found in the extramural Area D (L. 1431)
and bears the letter ‫( ח‬Fig. 15).
In general, the architectural remains of the neighborhood outside
the walls of Aroer and its material finds imply a public function, prob-
ably industrial and commercial. Private dwelling areas likely developed
there as well.
The forts of Tel Arad and orvat Uza, are located in the eastern
part of the Beersheba Valley, close to the border with Edom. Both sites
were probably designed to protect the eastern border of the Judean
Kingdom and display military and administrative characteristics.
Haiman claimed that the extramural construction of the forts should
be considered as separate, independent settlements and therefore
defined them as “rural sites” (Haiman 1987: 132–133). Contrary to
this, Faust argued that the extramural neighborhood should be seen
as a byproduct of the forts rather than as a new, independent type of
settlement. He defined them as “fort villages”—a term borrowed from
the Roman world (Faust 2003: 85–87; Safrai 1994: 345–346), relating
to a situation when the establishment of a fort was accompanied by
the building of a nearby settlement for soldiers’ families, merchants,
and locals, creating an extramural neighborhood.
The architectonic nature of the large extramural building excavated
outside the fort of Uza suggest together with their recovered finds that
they were probably built on the initiative of a central authority. Faust
assumed that most inhabitants of these villages did not share a common
background. Therefore, the population of a village did not function
as a single unit but rather comprised several groups that interacted
with each other (Faust 1995: 86). Although this social reconstruction
is reasonable, the architectural layout of the building at orvat Uza
and its material culture reflect a central plan and the utilization of
public resources.
The appearance of extramural constructions outside the forts sup-
ports the hypothesis that the Late Iron Age was generally peaceful and
that people felt secure enough to live and interact outside the walls.
Considering the military and administrative nature of the sites it seems
reasonable that the extramural remains were used either as dwelling for
the soldiers’ families, initiated by a central or local authority, and/or as
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 209

a marketplace where locals and foreigners interacted. This could also


be the case for the extramural construction at Kadesh Barnea.
The bulk of the archaeological remains from the Beersheba Valley
sites attests to at least a partial presence of public architecture rather
than squatters. The ethnohistorical evidence suggests that commercial
activity frequently took place outside the fortified area of the town (in
some cases commercial areas were combined with dwelling quarters).
The material culture from the extramural Negev neighborhoods and the
evidence from other Iron Age II Levant sites and some Middle Eastern
trade towns also support this assumption. Of special significance is the
evidence from Jaisalmer describing the existence of a rich, merchant
domestic quarter outside the fort. It shows that under calm political
conditions and due to economic interests, elite groups and administra-
tors might find the option of living outside the city walls attractive.
It was the political and cultural circumstances in the southern Levant
toward the end of the Iron Age that allowed desert urban centers to
appear and develop (Finkelstein 1995: 146). Strong Assyrian imperial
rule made marketplaces and commercial activities available at sites
that were situated along trade routes. Correspondingly, the extramural
remains at the Beersheba Valley sites could have served as marketplaces,
merchants’ quarters, or other trade-related institutions as well as for
domestic functions. The sociopolitical component of the Negev sites
during the Late Iron Age probably originated from various social and
ethnic groups (merchants, soldiers’ families, local tribal groups, etc.)
forming a multicultural society.
In some cases ancient extramural neighborhoods may have developed
later than the city center.16 Nonetheless, once erected they became
closely connected with the ancient urban setting, and functioned as a
place of interaction between various population groups from different
origins and social classes: merchants, caravaneers, nomads, and local
population—all integral parts of the ancient urban community.

16
Spontaneous development of extramural neighborhood is typical of many tradi-
tional Middle Eastern towns (Brown 1973: 88).
210 yifat thareani-sussely

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Noga Zeevi who drew the pottery and the artifacts
from Aroer for her collaboration and assistance, and Dov Portonsky
for producing the plans.
extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 211

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1957–1958. Jerusalem.
A MESSAGE IN A JUG: CANAANITE, PHILISTINE, AND
CYPRIOT ICONOGRAPHY AND THE “ORPHEUS JUG”

Assaf Yasur-Landau

Introduction

The “Orpheus Jug,” named for the depiction of a lyre player among
animals, is a strainer jug with black and red pictorial decoration,
found in Area AA, Stratum VIA at Megiddo (Fig. 1: 1; Shipton 1939:
6; Loud 1948: Pl. 76: 1).1 It was unearthed in Room 2101, the large
eastern room of Building 2072, sometimes referred to as a palace (e.g.,
Kempinski 1989: 161; Ussishkin 1992: 673; Herzog 1997: 201; Mazar
2002: 274) or as an elite building (Halpern 2000: 552) replacing the
Canaanite palace of Stratum VII. In contrast to the other rooms in
the same complex, Room 2101 had no plaster floor and it was not as
well preserved as the western wing of the complex: its southern and
eastern walls missing (Dothan 1982: 78; Mazar 2002: 274). The bad
preservation of the room may account for the fact that apart from the
“Orpheus Jug” only a krater (Loud 1948: Pl. 79: 5) and a scarab (ibid.:
Pl. 153: 221) were recovered from it.
The jug was described by T. Dothan as “an outstanding example of
the debased Philistine pottery,” (Dothan 1967: 132; 1982: 78) making
it a rather late example of this pottery style. While many accepted this
identification (B. Mazar 1974: 174–175; 1976; Keel 1998: 123; and most
recently A. Mazar 2002: 274 and Harrison 2003: 34–35; 2004: 34–35),
Kempinski (1989: 86) followed Dothan and argued that the design had
a “very long tradition in the Mycenaean III C 1 style,” and accordingly
dated the jug to the early 11th century at the latest.

1
The idea for this article was born after several long discussions with Israel Finkel-
stein concerning the jug and its possible Philistine affinities, after participating in the
excavation of Stratum VIA, Area K during the summer of 1998.
214 assaf yasur-landau

The unanimous attribution of the “Orpheus Jug” to the Philistine


Bichrome tradition is dependent on the understanding of the ethnicity
of the inhabitants of Building 2072, and the identity of the dominating
power governing Megiddo VIA. The finding of this vessel in Building
2072 was one of the decisive factors in B. Mazar’s conviction that the
building was a residence of the Philistine governor of Megiddo (Mazar
1974: 175; 1976). Similarly, Harrison uses this jug, together with the
architectural style of the building, perforated loom weights, two-handle
cooking-pots, and anchor seals found in it, to argue for Philistine pres-
ence in Megiddo (2003: 34–35; 2004: 18, 34–35, 40).2
However, if the “Orpheus Jug” is so unique in its theme, why has it
been automatically identified with the Philistine Bichrome tradition, in
which no other such complex scene exists? When approaching the topic
of the origin of the iconography and the meaning of the symbolism
on the “Orpheus Jug,” it becomes clear that although motifs on both
Philistine Monochrome (Mycenaean IIIC: 1b) and Bichrome ware have
been defined and classified (Dothan 1982; Dothan and Zukerman 2004),
little has been said about their symbolic meaning. Furthermore, it has
not been established that the symbols of Aegean-derived pottery from
Philistia manifest an ideology that is significantly different from that of
the Late Bronze “Canaanite” pottery, which would allow a determina-
tion as to whether the symbolism of the “Orpheus Jug” belongs to local
Canaanite culture or to that of the Aegean.
Therefore, any search for the iconographic sources of the “Orpheus
Jug” must, before arriving at 11th-century Megiddo, first visit the ico-
nography of Canaanite pottery from the end of the Late Bronze Age,
and then examine the meaning of the figural iconography introduced
by the Philistines in the 12th century BCE.

2
None of these criteria are distinctively “Philistine”: Most of the parallels to the
plan of Building 2072 come from the areas of the northern valleys, rather than from
Philistia (Harrison 2003: 35). The one- and two-handle cooking-pots considered by
Harrison (2004: 30–31) as Philistine have a concave base, very different from the flat or
ring bases found on all cooking-pots in Philistia and the Aegean (Yasur-Landau 2002:
117–118, 171; Dothan and Zukerman 2004: 28, 30). Only one loom weight appears
to be unperforated, while the large concentration of loom weights from Building 2072
(Harrison 2004: Fig. 33) is perforated, unlike any of the Aegean-style loom weights
from Philistia, Cyprus and the Aegean. Finally, a significant number of the anchor
seals (Keel 1994: 34) may have been manufactured in Egypt, and only very few of
them—those depicting a lyre player—are considered by Keel to be Philistine. Recently
Arie (2006: 249), studying the pottery from the Megiddo stratum VIA, have noted that
its ceramic tradition is a direct continuation of the Late Bronze Age Canaanite tradition
of Megiddo, and thus argue that the inhabitants of this Iron I stratum were Canaanites.
a message in a jug 215

The Canaanite Goddess and the Ibex and Palm Tree Symbolism

The ibex and palm tree and related motifs connected with the sacred
tree are arguably the most common figural motifs on 14th- and 13th-
century pottery from Canaan (Fig. 2). This powerful symbol of the
goddess of the earth and fertility was extremely common in Late Bronze
and Early Iron Age art (Keel 1998: 30–41; Keel and Uehlinger 1998:
56–58). The tree is often shown flanked by animals, usually deer or
gazelles, and birds, but sometimes fish and even crabs (Fig. 2: 5; Keel
1998: Figs. 54, 55a–b). Such iconography is particularly common on
pottery from Fosse Temple III at Lachish (Fig. 2: 1; Tufnell et al. 1940:
Pl. XLVIII B, 249–251), as well as pottery from 13th- and early-12th-
centuries-BCE contexts in other locations on the tell (e.g., Aharoni 1975:
Pl. 39: 11; see here Fig. 2: 2).3 An ewer from Fosse Temple III with scenes
of ibexes and trees is inscribed with a Canaanite alphabetic inscription
that renders it a gift to a goddess, perhaps xElat (Fig. 2: 3; Hestrin 1987:
214; Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 72). Hestrin identifies the tree with the
symbol of xAthirat/xElat, a fertility goddess mentioned in Ugarit (Hestrin
1987: 220). It is likely that this symbolism on pottery is closely related
to mold-made figurines of naked goddesses. One such type is a creator
goddess nursing two infants, with a palmetto tree flanked by caprids
shown on each of her thighs, found at Tel Miqne-Ekron and at Aphek
(Fig. 2: 7; Keel 1998: 34–35; Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 73–74, 75, Fig.
82). This is most probably the Great Mother Goddess xAshera/xAthirat
of the Canaanite traditions, the consort of xEl (and perhaps later of
Yahweh [Toorn, van der 1998: 88–91; cf. Keel and Uhlinger 1998:
210–248]) and the Mother of Gods (Goodnick-Westholz 1998: 79;
Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 74). Another type of nude goddess holds a
papyrus plant in each hand and is sometimes depicted standing on the
back of a lion or a horse (Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 66–68). These may
be representations of the goddess {Anat (displaying both sexual appeal,
and the warlike nature of the horse; Goodnick-Westholz 1998: 79; Keel
and Uehlinger 1998: 68), or the above-mentioned xAshera/xAthirat.
To these types one may add the Astarte plaques—depictions of naked

3
In the new excavations they originate from Levels P1–P2 (Clamer 2004a: Figs.
20.14: 1, 20.31: 1, 3) as well as Levels VIIa (Yannai 2004: Fig. 19: 34: 4) and VI
(Clamer 2004b: Fig. 21.9: 2, 8; Yannai 2004: Fig. 19: 40: 1).
216 assaf yasur-landau

women on pottery plaques, which seem to represent goddesses rather


than wet-nurses or concubines (Keel and Uehlinger 1998: 97–105).4
The imagery of the animals and palm/sacred tree was probably not
easily prone to alteration through external influence. An unusual case
in which the image of the eastern goddess may have been influenced
by Aegean symbolism is that of a pyxis lid from Ugarit (Keel 1998:
30–31; Rehak and Younger 1998: 249–251). It depicts a semi-naked
goddess between two caprids. Although the origin of the iconography
of the scene is most likely Mycenaean, the execution is more eastern
in nature. Regardless of the artist’s origin, the attributes of the goddess
and the scenery would have easily been recognized by both Ugaritians/
Canaanites and Aegeans as belonging to their earth/mother goddess.
The imagery of a tree, sometimes a palm, flanked by caprids, is also
found on Aegean pottery from the 14th to the 12th centuries BCE (e.g.,
Vermeule and Karageorghis 1982: Pls. III.26, XI.83, XII.11, XII.24,
XI.73, 74, 77; see here Fig. 2: 6). While this may reflect a deep influ-
ence of ancient Near Eastern religious iconography on Aegean pastoral
styles and Dodecanesean imagery, it may also be the manifestation of
an Aegean motif of Cretan origin: a sacred or religious landscape of
a goddess or a sacred tree, surrounded by caprids and other animals
(Marinatos 1993: 193–194; Hiller 2001).

The Philistine Bird and the Aegean Goddess

With the arrival of the Philistine migrants to Canaan in the 12th cen-
tury, there was a marked change in the pottery iconography in Ashdod,
Ashkelon, and Tel Miqne-Ekron. The ibex and palm tree motif dis-
appeared, and the Philistine bird became the dominant figural motif,
appearing on Philistine Monochrome and later on Bichrome pottery.
Two examples of storage jars with ibexes and palm trees come from
Tel Miqne-Ekron, Field I, Stratum IX (Killebrew 1996: Pls. 5: 13, 7:
1; 1998: Fig. 1: 13), while the earliest appearance of birds is recorded
in Stratum VII (Killebrew 1998: Fig. 7: 13, 15; Dothan and Zukerman
2004: Fig. 8: 14) and continues in VI (e.g., Killebrew 1998: Fig. 10: 15,
16; see here Fig. 1: 3). In Ashdod, Area G the latest ibex on a Canaanite

4
Such a plaque was found in a Late Bronze context at Ashdod Area B, Stratum
XVII (Local Stratum 4; Dothan 1971: Pl. XXXI: 11).
a message in a jug 217

goblet (?) sherd in Stratum XIII, is possibly a residual of XIV (Dothan


and Porath 1993: Fig. 13: 12). The earliest birds appear in Stratum
XIIIb (ibid.: Figs. 15: 11, 17: 10) and are very common throughout
Strata XIIIa and XII (ibid.: Figs. 20: 1, 21: 3–5, 22) and XII (ibid.:
Figs. 27: 1–2, 28: 5–6, 29: 5–7, 31: 1–2, 32: 2; see here Fig. 1: 2).
This change in pottery iconography coincides with the introduction of
the Ashdoda-style figurines, all long-necked, bird-faced, female-figured,
and wearing a polos, and significantly different from the Canaanite naked
goddesses of the Late Bronze Age (Fig. 3: 7). It was suggested that these
figurines were influenced by Aegean prototypes of an enthroned ruling
goddess (Yasur-Landau 2001).
Why is the bird motif so common in Philistine pottery, and does
it represent a different ideology than that behind the ibex and palm
tree, which it seems to succeed? The bird motif, the most common
faunal motif and arguably the most striking feature of Philistine pot-
tery, seems to be universally perceived as a motif of Aegean origin.
In her classic work, Dothan discusses the Mycenaean origin of the
Philistine bird as well as its development in the Philistine Bichrome
repertoire (1982: 198–203), yet without mention of its symbolic and
ideological aspects. Wachsmann’s suggestion (Mazar 1980: 100 note
93; Wachsmann 2000) that certain types of sea birds were sacred to
the Philistines because of their role as a navigational aid in seafaring
was accepted by Mazar (1980: 100; 2000: 228), and by Dothan and
Dothan (1992: 229), who discussed the appearance of birds on pottery
and on cult stands from Tell Qasile, and on the prows of the ships of
the Sea Peoples. However, very few of the birds in Aegean and Philis-
tine pottery iconography appear as devices on ships, thus weakening
this suggestion, and justifying a reexamination of the contexts in which
birds are found in the iconography of LH IIIC Aegean pottery as well
as in that of Philistine pottery.
First, birds appear on Philistine Bichrome pottery in what appear
to be realistic or fantastic scenes of nature, sometimes correlating to
Aegean prototypes. In some cases they appear alongside lotus plants,
suggesting Egyptian influence (Dothan 1982: 215). Dothan (1982:
198) argues that the fish and birds on the jug from Tel {Aitun are
part of a Nilotic scene (Fig. 1: 4). On a jug from Azor (ibid.: Fig. 48;
see here Fig. 1: 4), shaped in an Egyptian-derived pottery form, yet
decorated in the Philistine Bichrome style, two birds are depicted by
a large lotus plant. A similar scene comes from Tell el-Far{ah (ibid.:
Fig. 12: 2) showing a bird with a fish. Dothan (1982: 204) compared
218 assaf yasur-landau

these representations to LH IIIC Dodecanesean stirrup jars showing


octopuses with fish, birds, and other animals between their tentacles
(e.g., Mountjoy 1999: Figs. 438: 267, 456: 141, 464: 18, 19; Vermeule
and Karageorghis 1982: Pls. XII.19, 23, 39, XIII.8; see here Fig. 1: 5).
Motifs of birds together with fish painted in the same style (e.g., ibid.:
Pl. XII.22) also appear on the Mycenaean IIIC: 1b pottery of Cyprus.
There are scenes of birds attacking fish from Enkomi, Area III, Level
IIIB (Dikaios 1969: Pl. 81: 26, 27). It is difficult to determine whether
these scenes simply depict the world of nature or whether they also
portray a sacred landscape—nature serving as the background to the
appearance of a divinity.
Images of birds also appear perching on the stems of Mycenaean
ships. Such is the case on a LH IIIB amphoroid krater from Enkoni
(Fig. 3: 1; Vermeule and Kargeorghis 1982: Pl. V.38; Wachsmann 1998:
142) and on a LH IIIC pyxis from Tragana (Fig. 3: 2; Vermeule and
Kargeorghis 1982: Pl. XI.92; Wachsmann 1998: 137). Wachsmann
(1998: 177–197) interprets these as belonging to a large group of
depictions of Aegean and European Bronze Age ships equipped with
bird-head devices, a group in which he also includes the ships of the
Sea Peoples shown in Medinet Habu (e.g., LH IIIC example from
Syros; Fig. 3: 4).
Wachsmann (1995: 195) argues, based on ethnographic examples,
that equipping a ship with a bird-like device was meant to give the ship
a life of its own, as well as to ensure the divine protection of the deity
whose symbol the bird was. A direct continuation of such depictions
on the pottery of Philistia can be seen on a LH IIIC (Monochrome)
sherd from Ashkelon (Wachsmann 2000: 131–135), showing the legs
of a warrior standing on a ship bow ornamented with a bird-shaped
device. Yon (1992) believed that the bird heads on the ships of the Sea
Peoples are those of ducks, being a European symbol of travel, as well
as of renaissance and fertility. Still, although it seems likely that the
depictions of birds on ships bear a special symbolism, it is difficult to
understand its meaning in the context of these depictions.
A possible solution for the symbolic meaning of the Philistine birds
comes from representations in the Aegean world, in which birds are
common symbols in both Minoan and Mycenaean religious iconogra-
phy, manifesting the actual presence of a goddess, or a symbol of her
invisible presence (Carter 1995: 290). Although the origin of this imag-
ery may be Minoan, examples of LH II–III Mycenaean depictions that
show close affiliation existing between birds and the enthroned Aegean
a message in a jug 219

female deity demonstrate its acceptance into Mycenaean religious


iconography. The most complete scene in which an enthroned deity
is accompanied by a bird is the Tiryns gold ring (LH II?; Sakellariou
1964: 202–203 [No. 179]; Rehak 1995: 103; see here Fig. 3: 3). The
goddess is seated on a throne with a bird behind it. She is wearing a
polos and necklaces, and approached by a row of genii holding beakers.
This scene is depicted on the middle register of three appearing on
the seal. Above the irregular-top borderline of this register there are
depictions of plants, the sun, and a crescent. Thus, it may be that this
line represents the line of the ground, below which the scene takes
place—probably in the netherworld.
The LH IIIA: 1 “Homage Krater” from Aradippo, Cyprus (Fig. 3: 5;
Vermeule and Karageorghis 1982: 23–24, Pl. III: 29) depicts two
enthroned women (only one of which is shown here). Similar to the
Tiryns gold ring, they are both wearing dotted dresses and their necks
are adorned with necklaces. A bird sits on the top of the back of the
chair of one of the women, and she is approached by a procession
led by a naked (?) man carrying a lance, followed by women in dotted
dresses similar to that of the enthroned figure, wearing many necklaces
and carrying swords. Karageorghis (1958) compared the enthroned
figures to the “Dove Goddess” mentioned in Linear B texts. The asso-
ciation of the bird with the polos- (or high hat)-wearing female deities is
also evident in Final Palatial and post-Palatial Crete of the 14th–12th
centuries BCE. On the eastern side of the Agia Triada sarcophagus
(Long 1974: 29; Marinatos 1993; 35) two female deities stand in a
chariot drawn by griffins, with a bird flying above them—a description
similar to that on the Tiryns gold ring. The deities were taken by Long
(1974: 30–32) to be the protectors of the dead, while Marinatos (1993:
35–36) sees them as celestial goddesses.5 Birds are shown attached to
the headdresses of the post-Palatial LM IIIB and LM IIIC goddesses
with upraised arms from Gazi, Khannia, Karphi, and the Shrine of
the Double Axes in Knossos (Gessel 1985: 41).
Carter (1995: 292–296) notes the association of lyre players and birds
in LM/LM III iconography of funerary sacrifice and sacrificial feasts,
such as that appearing on the Pylos throne room fresco, the broad side

5
The second pair of polos-wearing goddesses on the other side of the sarcophagus
is interpreted by Marinatos to be chthonic goddesses.
220 assaf yasur-landau

of the Agia Triada sarcophagus, and representation on pottery. These


birds indicate divine presence at the feast.
A link between the Aegean depictions of the seated goddesses with
the birds, the birds in the Philistine repertoire, and the Ashdoda Aegean
enthroned deities comes from Philistia itself. Further evidence from
Ashkelon is a late-12th-century krater, depicting in Bichrome style
images similar in style to those found in LH IIIC Kynos (Fig. 3: 6;
Stager 1998: 164: Fig. a: Stager 2006: fig. 5). The figure on the right
seems to be seated and holds a cup in her hand; she is reminiscent of
some of the Mycenaean seated goddesses (Yasur-Landau 2001).

The Parallel Lives of Goddesses in Philistia

The imagery of the bird, the symbol of the Aegean enthroned goddess,
was introduced together with the cult of the goddess by the Aegean
migrants to Philistia in the 12th century BCE, but the combination of
tree and ibexes was no longer represented on pottery in Philistia. The
Aegean migrants did not paint them on their pottery, although they were
well known as sacred symbols in the Aegean area for centuries. The
choice of a bird, rather than a tree for a symbol of divinity is likely to
have had a diacritical meaning. The purpose was to differentiate between
the Aegean goddesses and the local ones, and thus perhaps to mark the
ethnic difference between the migrants and the local population, and
to celebrate the prevalence of Aegean deities over local ones.
Symbolism associated with the older Canaanite cult continued, how-
ever, to be in use in Philistia, but on a smaller scale: A few cases of
Canaanite iconographic influences of the sacred tree are apparent in
the earliest phase of Aegean pottery. One example is an Aegean-style
krater, from Tel Miqne-Ekron, Field X, Stratum VIIB, decorated with
a tree or a branch, on a hill (?) (Dothan 1998b: Pl. 2: 2)—an element
defined by Dothan (ibid.: 21) as peculiar in the Aegean repertoire of
motifs. Another Aegean-style krater from Stratum VIA in Area IV is
decorated with a palm tree—a motif that has no parallels in the Phi-
listine Monochrome (locally made LH IIIC) from Philistia, and seems
to recall Canaanite prototypes.
The find of figurines also indicate that after the migration of the
Philistines (and other Sea Peoples) the cult of the local “Canaanite”
goddesses did not cease, but rather seems to have continued side by
side (perhaps on a reduced scale) with the newly introduced “Ashdoda”
a message in a jug 221

figurines. Depictions of naked goddesses, carried out in “Canaanite”


manner, were found in Iron Age I Gezer, Area VI (Dever 1986: Pls.
55: 4, 58: 8), and even appeared together with an “Ashdoda” head in
Pit 2001 in Ashdod, Area C, in a dump comprising mostly Iron Age I
material (Dothan and Freedman 1967: Fig. 35: 3, 4).
This symbolic distinction started fading during the mid- to late 11th
and early 10th centuries BCE. The Tell Qasile shrine of Strata XI
and XI yielded Philistine Bichrome pottery with decorations exhibiting
bird imagery (Mazar 1985: Figs. 21: 2, 27: 11, 32: 7) and cultic “bird
bowls” (Mazar 1980: 96–98). Both cultic stands and bird decorations
appear alongside imagery associated with the Canaanite goddess, such
as a naos-like plaque with images of two naked goddesses (Mazar 1980:
82–84), and a large cultic pot decorated with images of trees (Mazar
1980: 104–106; 2000: 225–227).
During the same time, the renewed trade relations with Cyprus
introduced Cypriot elements into the cult in Philistia, such as the use of
bovid scapula for divination (Dothan 1998a: 155; Yasur-Landau 2002:
190–191), and possibly also wheeled stands, and masks (Mazar 2000:
277). Other elements of Cypriot material culture introduced into the
Canaanite world at that time were straight and horn-shaped bottles
incorporated into the Philistine Bichrome repertoire (Dothan 1982:
160–168; Stager 1995: 338–339, Fig. 3; Yasur-Landau 2002: 180) and
bimetallic knives (Mazar 2000: 227).

A Philistine Vase? A Stylistic Analysis of the “Orpheus Jug”

Viewing the complex nature of cultic practices and iconography in


Philistia during the late 11th–early 10th centuries as reflecting local
Canaanite, Aegean and Cypriot traditions dictates a cautious approach
to the examination of the shape and decoration of the “Orpheus Jug.”
Indeed, morphologically, it seems to conform to some of the criteria
set for the identification of the Philistine Bichrome pottery:
Its shape is derived from the LH IIIC Aegean prototype of the
strainer jug (FS 155; Mountjoy 1986: 167; 1993: 102), a shape that is
found in the Philistine Bichrome repertoire (Dothan Type 6 strainer-
spouted jug; Dothan 1982: 132–148; Stager 1995: 338–339, Fig. 3
No. 2). However, a more squat variant of the spouted jug form existed
already in the local, Canaanite pottery tradition of Megiddo Stratum
VII (e.g., Loud 1948: Pl. 63: 7).
222 assaf yasur-landau

It is decorated in two colors (black and red) on white slip.


Some of the non-figurative decorative motifs on it appear also on
Philistine Bichrome pottery, as well as on LH IIIC-Submycenaean Pot-
tery: isolated semicircles with solid centers (FM 43; Dothan 1982: 209;
Mountjoy 1986: 194) and the division into panels by triglyphs (FM 75;
Mountjoy 1986: 136–137; Dothan 1982: 214–215).
Despite these similarities, Dothan herself notes that the jug “is unique
in almost any aspect of its decoration” (Dothan 1982: 150). She proceeds
to offer a detailed iconographical analysis of it (Dothan 1967: 128–132;
Dothan 1982: 150–152) that illustrates that both the composition and
the different figures portrayed on the vessel have little in common with
the main traditions of the LH IIIC pottery painting or with the Phi-
listine Bichrome. Human figures are extremely rare on both Bichrome
and Monochrome Philistine pottery. In fact, only two examples are
known, both from Ashkelon (Stager 1998: Fig. on page 157, 164:
Fig. a; Wachsmann 2000: 134, Fig. 6.29). Dothan (1982: 150) notes
that the closest parallel to this figure is a zoomorphic vessel from the
Canaanite Stratum VIIA at Megiddo (Fig. 4: 2; Loud 1948: Pl. 247: 7)
on which three warriors are depicted in red and black, their chests are
divided into horizontal strips filled with red dots. Similar warriors, this
time bearded, appear on a vessel found in Schumacher’s excavations
(Fig. 4: 1; Schumacher 1908: Pl. 24; Keel 1998: Fig. 59). However, none
of these figures have a net–patterned chest or a fringed skirt like those
of the figure shown on the “Orpheus Jug,” nor has any Late Bronze
depiction exhibiting these features been found in the Levant to date.
Birds and fish—frequent motifs on Philistine pottery—are also
depicted in a very different style on the “Orpheus Jug.” The bodies
of Philistine birds, in both Monochrome and Bichrome repertoires is
almost always divided into two zones, usually by a band filled in by
triglyph pattern, and a wing composed of multiple chevron-shaped
parallels lines (Dothan 1982: Figs. 61–62; Dothan and Zukerman 2004:
Fig. 19: 1–3), unlike the solid-painted body and the curved wing of the
“Orpheus Jug” bird. The gills of fish in the Philistine repertoire are
always defined by curved lines, and their bodies are filled with various
patterns such as horizontal zigzags and herringbone (i.e. Dothan 1982:
Fig. 12: 1, 2; Dothan and Zukerman 2004: Fig. 19: 4, 35: 7) and are
never painted solid as the ones on the “Orpheus Jug.”
It may be possible to trace at least some of the inspiration for the cre-
ation of this jug back to the Proto White Painted and Cypro-Geometric
Iron Age pictorial pottery styles of 11th- and 10th-century Cyprus.
a message in a jug 223

Much of this pottery is decorated in two colors, red and black. The
strainer jug itself is a pottery type introduced into Cyprus from the
Aegean area during LC IIC and LC IIIA (Kling 1989; 2000: 282, 286;)
that was manufactured locally later in the Late Bronze, into the Early
Iron Age (e.g., the Cypro-Geometric I–II strainer jug from Grotirin:
Iacovou 1988: 70–71). The dog with the curling tail on the “Orpheus
Jug” has good parallels with a late PWP amphora from the Sozos
collection and CGIA amphorae from the Kourion Museum (Iacovou
1988: 62, Figs. 2, 23). Similarly, parallels to the fish can be seen on
some early PWP-CGIA (Iacovou 1988: 68–69). Finally, human figures
with one large eye and a net pattern on the chest can be found on
a late CGIA tripod displayed at the Metropolitan Museum (Fig. 4: 3;
Iacovou 1988: 72, Fig. 33) and on a late CGIA plate from Kouklia-
Skales (Fig. 4: 6; Iacovou 1988: 27). A bearded lyre player appears on
a late PWP kalathos found at Kouklia-Xerolimani T.9: 7 (Fig. 4: 5;
Iacovou 1988: 72, Fig. 70).
Naturally, some of the motifs noted above (as well as others on
painted pottery of 11th–10th-centuries Cyprus) have distant Aegean
prototypes, going as far back as the 13th century BCE. This, however,
does not render them Aegean when they appear on the “Orpheus Jug.”
It is possible to reconstruct how these Cypriot motifs could have influ-
enced local pottery production: Cypriot imports to the Levant in the
12th century (Iron Age IA) may have been rare and sporadic (Gilboa
2001: 349) but during the Iron Age IB and Iron Age I–II transition
period, the 11th and early 10th centuries, they increased significantly
as is attested by a large quantity of Cypro-Geometric IA and IB finds
throughout the Levant (ibid.: 352), including a single white painted
krater from Megiddo, which is dated to Stratum VIA (Loud 1948: Pl.
78: 20; Gilboa 1989: 214). This import resulted in local manufacture
of Cypriot-style pottery, like the conspicuous example of a pictorial
Bichrome bowl from Dor (Gilboa 1989: 211; 2001: 354; Iacovou
1992: 223–224), dating to the Iron Age I–II transition. NAA analysis
proved that it was manufactured in the area of Dor, yet the design it
bears of a goat and cross-hatched lozenges is typical of the CG deco-
rative range. A similar phenomenon is probably seen in Tyre (Gilboa
2001: 350), and in the southern Coastal Plain, where new Cypriot
forms entered the ceramic repertoire during the 11th century. Dothan
considered these newly introduced forms, bottles, horn-shaped vessels
and gourd-shaped vases, a part of the Philistine Bichrome repertoire
(Dothan 1982: 160–183).
224 assaf yasur-landau

The Sacred Tree and the Maintenance of Canaanite Identity

It is not only the style of decoration that cannot be traced to a point of


origin in Greece. The narrative of the scene, which has a crucial role of
conveying a message, appears to belong to a non-Helladic tradition.
The composition of a man playing a musical instrument among
animals has no Aegean parallels, although lyre players do appear on
Aegean vases and fresco paintings of the 13th and 12th centuries BCE
(Iacovou 1988: 82; Younger 1988: 69 No. 31, 70–71 Nos. 33, 35–36;
Carter 1995: 292–296; Lawergren 1998: 51 Fig. 5 f–j). Some of this
evidence has already been discussed by Dothan, who, following Porada,
argued for an eastern origin of the composition of a man playing the
lyre in front of animals, based on two similar descriptions: on a seal from
Tarsus, dating from the end of the Late Bronze or the beginning of the
Iron Age (Goldman 1956: Figs. 394: 35, 400: 35; Porada 1956; Dothan
1982: Fig. 28: 2), and on a seal from Mardin in southeastern Anatolia
(Dothan 1982: 152 note 88). Lawergren examined depictions of lyre
players in the Levant and reached a similar conclusion (1998: 53).
From the direction of movement in the scene, it is clear that the lyre
player is not the focus of the composition. Both he and the animals are
turning towards a giant lotus plant.6 This, as observed by Dothan (1982:
152) and Keel (1998: 39–40), is a schematized sacred tree, connected
to a procession of animals. The palm tree and ibex motif (although
it includes also other animals; Amiran 1969: 161–165) enjoyed much
popularity in Megiddo throughout the Late Bronze Age (e.g., Guy 1938:
Pl. 134; Loud 1948: Pls. 58: 1, 2, 64: 4, 69: 13, 72: 3; Amiran 1969: Pl.
50; see here Fig. 2: 4, 5). The core of this motif—a palm tree, likely to
represent the sacred tree—continues to appear as a decorative motif in
Early Iron Age Stratum VIA (Fig. 4: 7; Loud 1948: Pl. 84: 5). Thus, it
may be possible to assign the “Orpheus Jug” to the prevalent tradition
in Megiddo of producing and acquiring vessels depicted with scenes
of a sacred tree and animals.
The relation between the function of the jug and the scene it bears
forms an intriguing tension. The strainer jug, most likely used to pour

6
Mazar (1974: 179) has suggested that the scene should not be interpreted as a lyre
player playing among animals, but rather as a poet singing about animals and of the
world of nature, perhaps tales similar to the animal fables common in the literature
of the ancient Near East. This interpretation, however, disregards the central role of
the sacred tree in the composition.
a message in a jug 225

wine in symposia (Stager 1995: 345), was a part of a wine drinking kit
of Aegean origin introduced to the Levant in the 12th century, following
LH IIIC prototypes (Dothan and Zukerman 2004: 24). It also became
part of the bronze wine-drinking kit of the Megiddo elite of Stratum
VIA, as attested by the presence of a bronze strainer jug among the
bronze bowls, juglets, and strainers found in a cache unearthed in Locus
1739 (Loud 1948: Pl. 189–190). The pastoral cultic setting appearing
on the “Orpheus Jug” is not typical of 13th–12th-centuries Aegean
taste, which usually exhibits a tendency toward themes of power and
domination through the portrayal of chariots, hunt scenes, ships, and
warriors (Deger-Jalkotzy 1994: 20). These topics were all connected to
the ethos of elite domination and rulership by military might, possession
of luxury items, and leading of an elite life, strengthened by Homeric-
style symposia (Deger-Jalkotzy 1995: 376–377). The pastoral depiction
also does not fit the 11th-century-BCE Cypriot aristocratic taste for
depictions of “macho” activities, favoring warriors, elite drinking, and
hunt scenes (Sherratt 1992: 331–333; Iacovou 1997; Karageorghis 1997:
76–79; Steel 2002: 112). The “Orpheus Jug” tells a different tale: Only
the “package,” if even that, is foreign, imitating some Cypriot decorative
elements. The subtle message of the vase is conveyed by referring the
owner and his drinking guests to a well-known ancient Near Eastern
mythological theme, celebrated for centuries in Canaanite Megiddo:
the peaceful demonstration of the power of the goddess, represented
by the sacred tree, the unity between man and nature, and music.
226 assaf yasur-landau

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INDEX

Aachen as seat of Carolingian Empire, animal husbandry. See livestock


28 n. 20 Annales School, 57
abandonment of settlements, 34 n. 36, Aphek, Tel
78, 136, 140, 157 ceramic phases found in, 3, 3 n. 2
Ablution Room 3, 170 n. 13 City-State and hinterland, 58, 58
Abu Salabikh, 170 n. 12 n. 7, 64
Aegean culture, 26 n. 18, 224, 225 in the Coastal Plain, 56, 57
Aegean style loom weights, 214 n. 2 collared-rim jars found in, 105, 105
cooking pots, 214 n. 2 n. 1
pottery, 214, 216, 217, 220, 223 Egyptian presence in, 59, 59 n. 9,
settlement patterns, 135, 156–60 60–61, 62, 62 n. 16
as source for Philistine city-states, figurine of goddess found in, 215
154 Philistine cooking-pots found in,
symbolism and the Orpheus Jug, 214, 64–65, 64 n. 19
216, 220, 224 sheep and goat farming in, 121
See also Mycenaean culture storage pits in, 88, 91
Aegean Goddess, xx, 216–20 Arad, Tel
Agia Triada sarcophagus, 219, 220 building activity in, 30, 33 n. 33
agriculture extramural neighborhoods in, xvi,
agriculture borderline of Lower Besor, 202, 206, 208
75, 83 fort at, 33, 33 nn. 33–34, 206, 208
grain storage in Dan, xvii–xviii, grain storage in, 100
87–102 Arad Plain, 198 n. 3, 205, 206
Philistine livestock farming and urban Aradippo, Cyprus, 219
life patterns, 157–59 Aram-Damascus, xix, 31, 31 n. 29
rainfed agriculture, 75, 83 Arava Desert, 207
use of Assyrian cubit, 51, 52 Archaeological Survey of Israel, 76
See also livestock Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement, The
Aharoni, Y., 32, 108 (Finkelstein), 87
Aitun, Tel, 29 n. 24, 217 architecture, 91, 92, 93
Akko valley, 155–56 “architecture for the poor” theory,
Alalakh. See Atchana, Tell 198–200, 207
Albright, W. F., 46, 55 determining builders and date of
Allen, M. J., 151 palaces in Megiddo and Samaria,
al-Mina, 165 xx, 45–52
Amarna, 30 Egyptian New Kingdom architecture,
Amarna archive, 60 61, 61 n. 11
El-Amarna letters, 138 extramural architecture, 197, 198 n.
Amenhotep II (pharaoh), 59 4, 202, 203, 204, 205, 207, 208,
Amenhotep III (pharaoh), 60 209
Amos, prophecy of, 143 funerary architecture, 19, 35 n. 39
Amuq, 165, 165 n. 1 lack of remains from Late Bronze
Anat (goddess), 215 Age, 106, 109
Anatolia, 224 monumental architecture, 36, 45, 50,
anchor seals, 214 51
Andreev, Y. V., 159 public architecture, 63, 209
Anim ( orbat), 25–26 n. 17 in Rome, 198 n. 4
232 index

arcosolium (bench tombs), 18 n. 3 Bakler, N., 137 n. 3


Arie, Eran, xvi, 1–14 Barkay, G., 18, 19, 20, 25, 27
Aroer, Tel, xvi, 202–5, 207 Base-Ring Ware, 109, 182, 184, 187,
Ashdod, Tel 188
burial practices in, 20 n. 7 bathrooms
confrontation with Judah, 32 in Atchana in the Late Bronze Age,
and Gath, 144, 144 n. 12 xvi–xvii, 165–93
Philistines and, 64 differentiated from toilets and
pottery iconography in, 216–17 restrooms, 166 n. 4
replaced by Ashdod-Yam, 149 larger than restrooms, 172
settlement pattern in, xix, 139, Woolley’s records of at Atchana,
147–49, 147 n. 17, 148 n. 18, 177–93
150, 154 n. 22, 157, 160 Battūta, Ibn, 199
site characterization, 137 n. 3 Beck, P., 3
Ashdoda figurines, 220–21 Bedouins
Ashera/ Athirat (great mother goddess), in Lower Besor, 80
215 of southern Shephelah, 93 n. 8
Ashkelon, Tel Be er Shema ( orvat), 79, 82 n. 15, 83
fairs outside of, 198 n. 4 Beer-sheba, Tel, 30, 33 n. 34, 97, 127
Philistines and, 64, 66, 155, 216, 218, Beersheba Valley, 30, 198 n. 3, 205,
220, 222 206, 207, 208, 209
“port power” of, 151, 152 Beit Jirjia, 150
pottery iconography in, 216 Beit Mirsim, Tell, 90
settlement pattern in, xix, 148, 148 bench tombs
n. 19, 149–51, 152 n. 21, 155, in Judah as a reflection of state
157, 160 formation, xix–xx, 17–36
size of, 148 n. 19 typological differences, 18 n. 3, 26
ashlars, 47, 47 n. 1, 51–52 n. 18
Ashododa-style figurines, 217 Benjamin Plateau, 29 n. 23
Asmar, Tell, 169, 170 Ben-Shlomo, D., 149
Assyria Ben-Zvi, Yad Yitzhak, 145 n. 13
Assyrian conquests, 34 n. 37, 52, 138, Berbati, 157
143, 144, 144 n. 12, 149, 153, 207, Besor region, settlement activity in, xvii,
209 75–83
extramural neighborhoods in, 198 Beth Zafafa, 20 n. 8
n. 4 Beth-Shemesh, 12, 13, 27, 33
pax Assyriaca, 207 Beth-Zur, 107
and prisoners of war, 52 Beydar, Tell, 169
trade system of, 207, 209 Biblical citations
withdrawal from Judah, 35 n. 39 Numbers 13: 19, 75
Assyrian cubit, 51–52 Joshua 15, 146
Astarte plaques, 215–16, 216 n. 4 Joshua 15: 47, 77
Atchana, Tell Joshua 19, 138
name variations for, 165 n. 1 Judges 3: 20–25, 170 n. 12
palaces compared to private homes Judges 6: 1–4, 96
in, 170–71 n. 14 1 Samuel 14: 47–48, 81
waste management in the Late 2 Samuel 17: 15–20, 96
Bronze Age, xvi–xvii, 165–93 2 Samuel 17: 23, 22
Athirat/ Elat (fertility goddess), 215 2 Samuel 21: 14, 22
Avitsur, S., 57 1 Kings 16: 23–24, 45
Ayalon River. See Yarkon-Ayalon 2 Kings 12: 17, 22, 31 n. 29, 143
basin 2 Kings 14: 20, 22
Azor, 63, 217 2 Kings 20: 34, 197
index 233

2 Kings 23: 6, 20 Buseirah, 169


2 Kings 23: 30, 22 Byzantine period
Jeremiah 26: 23, 20 Khirbet Boten in, 147
Jeremiah 31: 39–40, 20 settlement activity in Besor region,
Jeremiah 37: 21, 198 xvii, 75–83
Jeremiah 41: 8, 96
Amos 6: 2, 143 14
C test, 107, 110
1 Chronicles 11: 5–12, 144 campsites, 80, 80 n. 11, 81, 82
2 Chronicles 26: 6, 32 n. 30, 144 Canaan
Bichrome pottery, 63–64, 66, 214, 216, after breakdown of Egyptian
217, 220–23 administration, xvii, 81
Binford, L. W., 115, 126 burial practices in, 7, 29, 34
bins or troughs for storage, 101 Canaanite cultural-civic tradition,
Biran, A., 202 154, 156
bird motif on the Orpheus Jug, 216–22 Canaanite Goddess, 215–16
Blakhiyeh, 152, 153 collared-rim jars, 105 nn. 1–3
Bliss, F. J., 144 control of Central Plain, 56, 62, 67,
Bloch-Smith, E., 24 n. 15, 26 n. 19, 29 68, 154, 156
n. 24, 35 n. 39 Egypt in, xix, 59, 61, 62, 66, 68, 81,
bones of animals 105
revealing urban life patterns, 157–58 grain storage in Dan, xvii–xviii,
used to determine sheep/goat ratios, 87–102
116–21, 125 influence in Israel, 56–57, 62
“border approach,” 27, 30 influence on Philistines, 64, 65–66,
Brak, Tell, 170 n. 13 105 nn. 1–3, 154
British Mandatory Government of influence on the “Orpheus Jug,” xx,
Palestine, 116, 120 213–25
Bronze Age. See Archaeological Periods migration of Sea Peoples to, 156,
at the end of the index 158, 220–21
Broshi, M., 20 n. 6 “New Canaan,” 29, 29 n. 25
Building Period I and II and the palaces Philistines in, 158, 160
of Samaria and Megiddo, 45–52 system of city states, 13, 34
Bunimovitz, S., 13, 27, 58 n. 4, 108, zoomorphic vessel, 222
154, 156–57 caprids, 215–16
burial practices caprine. See goats; sheep
Egyptian burial practices as caravans, 81, 200, 209
inspiration, 35 n. 39 caravansaries, 204, 204 n. 10
and funerary architecture, 19, 35 carbon dating, 107, 110
n. 39 Carian alphabet, 48–49
in Jerusalem, 20, 20 nn. 6–7 carinated bowls, 106
land use of southeastern slope of Carolingian Empire, 28 n. 20
Megiddo, xvi, 1–14 carrying-capacity analysis, 98 n. 15,
in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, 26 120
n. 19 Carter, J. B., 219
reflecting social rank in Iron Age cattle/caprine ratio, 128, 158
Judah, 19–23 Causse, A., 23 n. 13
reflecting state formation in Judah, Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., 33
xix–xx, 17–36 cemeteries, 22, 79
sociological significance of, 21–22 bench tomb cemeteries, 19, 21, 22,
See also mortuary practices; ossuaries 23, 34 n. 37
Burke, K. S., 173 n. 19 Cemetery 500 at el-Far ah, 26
burnished pottery, 32 n. 31, 106, 184, n. 18
187, 206, 206 n. 12 extramural, 1, 2, 7, 11, 13
234 index

land use change to housing, 12, settlement patterns of Philistine


13–14 city-states, xix, 135–60
See also burial practices; tombs sheep and goat farming in, 116, 120,
central highlands. See highlands 122–24
Central Hill, 116, 122–24, 127 sociopolitical transition from Late
ceramics, 142 n. 10, 223 Bronze Age to Iron Age, xviii–xix,
Canaanite tradition, 62, 214 n. 2 55–69
ceramic material found in storage Cohen, R., 206
pits, 91 collared-rim jars, 105–6, 105 nn. 1–3,
ceramic material found in tombs, 107
3–6, 18 collared-rim pithoi, 100
Egyptian tradition, 63 colonnades, use of, 61, 61 n. 11
“Orpheus Jug,” xx, 213–25 communal burial pits. See mass-burials
used in bathrooms, 173, 175, 192 complex system, 67, 67 n. 24
cesspits, 167, 169 nn. 8–9, 171, 173 composting, 89
CGIA amphorae, 223 cooking-pots, 64–65, 79, 101, 105 n. 3,
Chalcolithic period. See Archaeological 106, 107, 203, 204, 206, 214,
Periods at the end of the index 214 n. 2
chalk, 97 n. 12 Cribb, R., 125
Charlemagne (king and emperor), 28 Crowfoot, J. W., 45
n. 20 Crusader period, 65 n. 23
Chicago Expedition, to Megiddo cubits as measure, 49–51
chthonic goddesses, 219 n. 5 culling the caprine herd, 121, 125–26
Cisjordan, 19 n. 5 Currid, J. D., 93 n. 8
cist tombs, 7, 12 Cypro-Geometric Iron Age pottery style,
cities 222–23
Aegean sources for Philistine city- Cyprus
state, 154 Cypriot collared rim jars, 106, 108–9,
Canaanite city-states, 13, 34 108 n. 5
“city-villages,” 159, 160 Cypriot influence on the “Orpheus
extramural neighborhoods in Negev, Jug,” xx, 213–25
xvi, 197–210 pottery, 106, 107, 108, 108 n. 5, 109,
Megiddo, changes in land use, xvi, 110, 218
1–14 rock-cut bench tombs in, 26 n. 18
Megiddo and Omride builders, xx,
45–52 Dagan, Y., 146, 146 nn. 15–16
Philistine city-states settlement Dalit, Tel, 58 n. 6, 121
patterns, xix, 64, 66, 135–60 Dan, Tel
“proto-city,” 159 burial tombs in, 12–13
“quasi-cities,” 159 extramural neighborhoods in, 197,
Samaria and Omride builders, xx, 207
45–52 grain storage in, xvii–xviii, 87–102
See also names of individual cities; and the House of David, 28 n. 22
urban centers sheep and goat farming in, 123
“clan section” in rock-cut tombs, dating
23–24 of Late Bronze Age, 55 n. 1
Coastal Plain, xix, 26, 116, 155–56, of Middle Bronze Age, 2 n. 1
223 David (king), 25, 27, 28 n. 20, 81
Egyptian dominance in, 55 n. 1, 56, Dekker, R., 115
59–63, 66, 67–68 desert outsiders
impact of Aegean culture on, in Lower Besor, 80, 81
156–57 in Negev, 207–9
interactions of Philistines, Canaanites, of Southern Shephelah, 93 n. 8
and Egyptians in, 105 Dever, W. G., 56
index 235

Dhiban, 19 n. 5 excrement, 168


diachonic study of the Coastal Plain, Expedition of Tel Aviv University (to
55–69 Megiddo), xv, 1, 10
dipper juglets, 106 extended families, 23, 23 n. 14
Dodecanesean stirrup jars, 218 extramural settlements
Dor, 223 extramural cemeteries in Megiddo,
Dothan, M., 217 xvi, 1–14
Dothan, T., 213, 217–18, 220, 222, 223, extramural neighborhoods in Negev,
224 xvi, 197–210
“Dove Goddess,” 219 spontaneous development of, 209
n. 16
Ebal, Mount, 106
economics. See socioeconomics; trade fairs, Roman, 198 n. 4
ed-Der, Tell, 170 n. 12 Fall, P. L., 114
Edomite incense burner, 204 familial and ethnic motives for
Egypt settlement, 201
anchor seals from, 214 n. 2 Fantalkin, Alexander, xix–xx, 17–36
in Canaan, xix, 59, 61, 62, 66, 68, farming. See agriculture; livestock
81, 105 Faust, A., 23 n. 14, 32 n. 31, 34 n. 36,
Carian quarry marks from, 48, 49 208
collapse of Egyptian hegemony, 55 Feldman, N. W., 33
n. 1, 63, 68, 81 Festchrift, xv
Egyptian burial practices as Final Palatial, 219
inspiration, 35 n. 39 Fink, A. S., 173 n. 19
Egyptian dominance in the Coastal Finkelstein, Israel, xv–xvi, xx
Plain, 55 n. 1, 56, 59–63, 66, Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement, The,
67–68 87
Egyptian New Kingdom architecture, on dating of the Iron Age, 105, 107
61, 61 n. 11 on formation of the Kingdom of
19th Dynasty, 105 n. 3 Judah, 30, 32
timing of military campaigns, 96 on Hazael campaign, 31 n. 29
20th Dynasty, xvii, 62–63, 81 Iron Age “Fortress” of the Negev, The,
Egyptian short cubit, 50, 52 113
Eitun, Tell, 25, 29 Living on the Fringe, 198
Ekron, 31, 64 and Megiddo project for Tel Aviv
El (god), 215 University, xv, 1, 13
el- Ajjul, Tell, 152, 169 and the Orpheus Jug, 213 n. 1
El-Amarna letters, 138 on settlement patterns, 156, 157
el-Far ah, Tel, 26 n. 18, 152, 153, 160, study of hinterlands, 146 n. 16
217 on Tel Asdod, 148 n. 18
el-Ful, Tell, 97 on Tel Miqne-Ekron, 139 n. 5, 146
el-Hayyat, Tell, 114 use of Low Chronology, 30 n. 26,
Engberg, R. M., 2, 3 139 n. 5
Enkomi, 218 views on grain pits, 95, 95 nn. 9–10,
en-Na beh, Tell, 90 n. 5, 97 n. 12, 106 97, 98
Epipaleolithic period. See Archaeological Fisher, C. S., 2, 45, 46
Periods at the end of the index flush toilets. See toilets
Erani, Tel, 143 food maximizing strategy, 127
Erikson-Gini, T., 79 n. 8, 82 n. 15 foot-stands, 167, 167 n. 5, 169, 172–73,
Erlich, C. S., 142 n. 9 175
er-Ruqeish, Tell, 153 found at Tell Atchana, 177, 179, 181,
Ešnunna, 169 183, 185, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191,
es-Sa idyeh, Tell, 169 192, 193
ethnic neighborhoods, 201 “fort villages,” 201, 208
236 index

Fosse Temple, 215 Grigson, C., 114


Franklin, Norma, xx, 45–52 Groningen laboratory, 110
Fritz, V., 108 Grossman, D., 148
funerary architecture, 19, 35 n. 39 Grotirin, 223
Gudea (king), 51
Gadot, Yuval, xviii–xix, 55–69 Guy, P. L. O., 2, 3, 10, 46
“Galilean” pithoi, 100, 107
Galilee Hadar, Tel, 99, 100
Lower Galilee, 155 Haiman, M., 78, 78 n. 5, 208
sheep and goat farming in, 116, 120, Haken, H., 33
122–24 alif, Tel, 25–26 n. 17, 29, 29 n. 24,
Upper Galilee, 97, 98, 107 122, 123
Gat, Amnon, 79 n. 7, 82 n. 15 Halpern, B., 23, 24
Gath, xix, 31, 31 nn. 28–29, 32, 33 alutza sand dunes, 76, 77, 80, 81
n. 34, 142 n. 9, 143, 144, 144 n. 12 n. 13, 82, 82 nn. 14–15
See also afit-Gath, Tel Hamoukar, 170
Gaza, 82 arasim, Tel, 123, 124, 139
livestock in, 117, 124 Haror, 81 n. 12
“port power” of, 152 Haror, Tel, 75, 81 n. 12
settlement pattern in, xix, 151–54, Harrison, T., 214
154 n. 22, 155, 160 Harvard Expedition, 45, 46, 48
Tel Gaza, 152 n. 21 Hattusha, 168
Gazi, 219 Hazael (king), 31, 31 nn. 28–29, 143,
Gazit, Dan, xvii, 75–83, 152 144
Gerar Estate, 82 Hazor, Tel
Gerisa, Tel, 56, 58, 61–62, 64 burial tombs in, 12, 13
Gerstenblith, P., 3 extramural neighborhoods in, 198,
Gezer, Tel, 26, 63, 144 n. 12 207
settlement pattern in, 139, 146, 155, settlement pattern in, 155, 156
160 storage pits in, 91, 92–93
Gibeon, 29 n. 23 waste management in, 169, 169 n. 9,
Gilat, 78 n. 5 170 n. 12
Giloh, 94 Hebrew University Expedition, 169
Gitin, S., 139 n. 5 n. 9
goats Hebron District, 116, 124
goat and sheep husbandry, xviii, Hellenistic period, 147
113–28 Hellwing, S., 121
goat bones, 116–21, 125 Herzog, Z., 60, 61–62, 114
Goldstein, L., 21 Hesban, Tell, 116, 120, 122, 123, 124
Gonen, R., 8, 26 n. 18 Hesse, B., 157–58
Gophna, Ram, 75 n. 1, 77, 121 Hestrin, R., 215
government Hezekiah (king), 23, 144, 144 n. 12
in Judah and Israel, 27 highlands, 58 n. 6
of Palestine in Byzantine period, 82 beginning of Iron Age I in, xvii,
settlement activity indicating a tight 105–10
governing system, 79 n. 6 central highlands, 24, 24 n. 15, 28,
and the United Monarchy, 28, 28 106, 108, 110
n. 20 Judean Highlands, 24, 26, 28 n. 22,
See also politics 29 n. 23
graffiti in Iron Age Judah, 19 n. 4 Negev Highlands, 78, 78 n. 5, 82, 82
grain storage in Dan, xvii–xviii, 87–102 n. 14
graves southern highlands, 29 n. 24
two forms of word used in the Bible, Upper Galilee Highland, 98
22 n. 11 hinterland, lack of in the Philistine
See also tombs City-States, xix, 135–60
index 237

Hittite instruction text on human storage pits in, 90, 92–93, 94–95, 97,
excrement, 168 98
Hoffner, H. A., Jr., 168
“Homage Krater,” 219 Jacob M. Alkow Chair in Archaeology
orbat/ orvat [ruins]. See names of of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages,
specific sites xv
Horwitz, L. K., 119, 125 Jaffa, 56, 57, 57 n. 3, 59, 60, 62, 66
House of David, 28 n. 22 Jaisalmer, 199–200, 209
household items, storage of, 88 jar burials, 6, 7, 8–9, 12
Humbert, J., 152 n. 21 Jehoahaz (king), 31
˜uÉÉot, 197 Jehoash (king), 31
“Hypothesis 8” (Saxe), 21–22 Jehu (king), 31
Jehu dynasty, 46
ibex motif, 215, 216, 217, 220, 224 Jemmeh, Tell, 75, 152, 153
iconographic influences on the Jerusalem
“Orpheus Jug,” xx, 213–25 and “border approach,” 27
Ilan, David, xvii–xviii, 87–102, 105, 107 burial practices in, 17, 19, 20, 20
n. 4 n. 6, 24, 25, 29 n. 23, 34
India, extramural neighborhoods, as capital of Kingdom, 27–28, 28
199–200 nn. 20–21
“Indian Highway,” 199 control over Shephelah and
infant burials, 8–9 Beersheba, 30, 30 n. 26
invisible pit graves, 21 extramural neighborhoods in, 197
Ira, Tel, 25–26 n. 17, 123 n. 1, 207
Iria, 157 Jerusalem Hills, 17, 25, 29
Iron Age. See Archaeological Periods at and “patrimonial model,” 28, 28
the end of the index nn. 20–21
Iron Age “Fortress” of the Negev, The St. Ètienne Monastery, 24, 35 n. 39
(Finkelstein), 113 sheep and goat farming in, 120,
Isin-Larsa, 170 n. 12 122–24
Islamic period, 80 n. 10, 116 and trade, 31 n. 27
isohyet, 75, 75 n. 2, 76 waste management in, 169
Israel, Kingdom of, 34 n. 36, 200 Jezreel Valley, 109, 156
n. 6 Joint Expedition, 45
Assyrian conquest of, 138, 143 Jongman, W., 115
burial practices in, 34 n. 37 Jordan, 114, 115, 116, 117, 122, 123,
market trade in Judah and Israel, 200 124
n. 6 Jordan River, 57
urbanization of, 34 nn. 36–37 Josiah (king), 23
Israel, Land of Judah, Kingdom of
burial practices in, 20, 23 burial practices in, xix–xx, 17–36, 35
and Gath, 31, 31 n. 27 n. 39
settlement pattern in, 152, 155–56 emergence of statehood for, 17 n. 1,
transition from Late Bronze to Iron 28
Age in the Coastal Plain, xviii–xix, extramural neighborhoods, 202
55–69 Judean Highlands, 24, 26, 28 n. 22,
United Monarchy in, xix, 25, 27, 28 29 n. 23
n. 20, 34, 34 n. 36 Judean Hills, 34
Israel, Northern Israelite Kingdom, xix, state formation, xix–xx, 17–36
34, 34 n. 37, 52 trade in, 200 n. 6
Omride dynasty, 45, 51 Judah, tribe of, 29
Israel, “proto,” 24, 24 n. 15
Israel Antiquities Authority, 76, 78 n. 5, Kadesh Barnea, 202, 206, 209
82 n. 15, 145 n. 13 Kana, Tell, 58
Izbet artah, 56, 62–63, 122 Kaplan, J., 60
238 index

Karatiya, 147 n. 17 slipped and burnished pottery in, 32


Karphi, 219 n. 31
Katz, H., 200 n. 6 storage pits in, 88
Keel, O., 224 trade in, 207, 209, 223
Keisan, Tell, 88 waste management in Atchana,
Kempinski, A., 3, 8, 105, 108, 213 xvi–xvii, 165–93
Kenyon, K. M., 3, 45 Lev-Tov, J. S. E., 158
Kerman, 199 LH III, 157, 159, 217, 218, 221–22,
Ketef Hinnom, 24 225
Khannia, 219 “Homage Krater,” 219
Khazanov, A. M., 126 Lion Temple, 60
Khirbet Boten, 143, 147 livestock
Khirbet Man am, 140 bones of animals, 116–21, 125,
Khirbet Za aq, 25–26 n. 17 157–58
Killen, J., 118 Philistine livestock farming and urban
kill-off patterns in caprine herds, 121, life patterns, 157–59
125–26 sheep and goat husbandry, xviii,
King, P. J., 118 113–28
Kletter, R., 24, 24 n. 15, 29 See also agriculture
Knauf, E. A., 31 n. 27 Living on the Fringe (Finkelstein), 198
Knossos lmlk stamps, 144, 144 n. 12
Knossos toilets, 169, 170 n. 10 Lod, 117, 123
Shrine of the Double Axes, 219 Loffreda, S., 18
kraters, 213, 218, 220 Long, C. R., 219
“Homage Krater,” 219 “longue durée” approach, xviii–xix,
57–59, 58 n. 4, 198
LaBianca, Ø., 117 loom weights, 214 n. 2
Lachish, Tel, 137 n. 3, 138 n. 4 perforated loom weights, 214
building activity in, 30 “Low Chronology,” 30, 32, 34 n. 36,
burial practices in, 12–13, 20, 20 n. 7 139 n. 5
fortification system at, 32, 33 n. 34 low settlement unity, 139–40 n. 6
and Kingdom of Judah, 32, 33, 33 Lower Besor, comparative study of
n. 32 settlement activity, xvii, 75–83
Lachish palace, 33 n. 32 Lower Galilee, 155
pottery in, 33 n. 32, 137–38, 138 lyre player, 213, 214 n. 2, 219, 223,
n. 4, 215 224, 224 n. 6
land use
changes in land use on southeastern Ma amer, Tel, 12, 13
slope of Megiddo, xvi, 1–14 Macalister, R. A. S., 144
extramural neighborhoods in Negev, Maeir, A. M., 141 n. 8, 142, 142 n. 9,
xvi, 197–210 143 n. 11, 144–45, 145 nn. 13–14
Late Monarchy period, 22 Ma oz, Tel, 140
latrines and lavatories. See toilets Malot, Tel, 160
“Law of the Minimum,” 126 Malta a ( orvat), 79
Lawergren, B., 224 Mampsis, 204 n. 10
Lederman, Z., 27 Mana at, 105, 105 n. 3
Lehmann, G., 77 n. 4, 155 Manasseh (king), 23
Leibig, J. von, 127 Mardin, 224
Levant, 222, 224, 225 Marfoe, L., 58 n. 4
“longue durée” study of, 58 n. 4, Mari, 170
198 Marinatos, N., 219, 219 n. 5
sheep and goat husbandry, xviii, market economy. See socioeconomics;
113–28 trade
index 239

Marouche, 165, 165 n. 1 mortuary practices, 7, 22


masonry chamber tombs, 7, 9 See also burial practices
masons’ marks, 47–49, 47 n. 1, 52 Mount Ebal, 106
mass-burials, 7, 9, 11, 20 n. 7 Mount Zion, 24
Mazar, A., 55 n. 1, 65, 156, 224 n. 6 Mo a, 96 n. 11
Mazar, B., 214 multiculture and extramural
McClellan, T. S., 170–71 n. 14 neighborhoods Negev, xvi, 197–210
McCorriston, J., 118 Muslim fatwa about toilets, 167–68
McCown, C. C., 106 Mycenaean culture
Medinet Habu, 218 burial practices in, 26 n. 18
Megiddo, Tel Mycenaean collared-rim jars, 106,
archaeological expeditions to, xv, 1, 108–9, 108 n. 5
2, 10, 11 Mycenaean III C 1 style, 213, 214,
burial practices in, xvi, 1–14 218
determining builders and date of the pottery, 106, 107, 108, 108 n. 5, 109,
palace of, xx, 45–52 110, 213
grain storage in, 88, 100 symbols and designs, 213, 214, 216,
mass-burials in, 7, 9, 11 217, 218–19, 220
and the “Orpheus Jug,” xx, 213–25 See also Aegean culture
peak size of during Middle Bronze
III, 11 Na aman, N., 143–44
settlement pattern in, 155, 156 Na al Aroer, 204
urban land use changes on Na al Besor basin, 76, 77, 79, 136,
southeastern slope, xvi, 1–14 151–54
Meitlis, Yitzhak, xvii, 105–10 Na al Ela, 142–43 n. 10
Meqabelein, 19 n. 5 Na al Lachish basin, 142, 147–49, 147
Merneptah (pharaoh), 62 n. 17
Mesha Stele, 28 n. 22, 52 Na al Shunra, 81 n. 13
Mesopotamia, 118, 169, 170 n. 10, 198 Na al Soreq basin, 139–41
n. 4, 200 Nahshoni, P., 78 n. 5
Messenia, 157 Nami, Tel, 105–6, 105 n. 2
Mgha ar Hills, 140 Navon, A., 93 n. 8
Michal, Tel, 59, 124 Neev, D., 137 n. 3
Midea, 157 Negev, 76, 137 n. 3
Minoan symbols, 218 burial practices in, 25, 29 n. 24
Minoan toilets, 170 n. 10 extramural neighborhoods, xvi,
Miqne-Ekron, Tel 197–210
figurine of goddess found in, 215 Negev Highlands, 78, 78 n. 5, 82, 82
pottery iconography in, 215, 216, 220 n. 14
relations with Tel afit-Gath, 142, sheep and goat farming in, 116, 120,
144–46, 147 122–24, 127, 128
settlement pattern in, xix, 139–41, storage pits in, 97
139 n. 5, 142, 147, 150, 157–58, Negev Ware, 79
160 neighborhoods
sheep and goat farming in, 122, 123 ethnic neighborhoods, 201
Mitanni palace, 170 n. 13 extramural neighborhoods in Negev,
Mivta im, 77 n. 4 xvi, 197–210
Moab, 52, 170 n. 12 Netiv ha- Asara, 150
Monarchic period, 18, 20, 23 n. 13 New Archaeology, 21
Monochrome pottery, 109, 214, 216, “New Canaan,” 29, 29 n. 25
218, 220, 222 19th Dynasty in Egypt, 105 n. 3
Morris, I., 21 Nitzanim beach, 147
mortality profile and caprine products, nomads. See desert outsiders
122–24, 126–27 “nonmarket trade,” 114
240 index

Northern Kingdom, xix, 31, 34 Palestine Exploration Fund, 55


builders and date of the palaces of palm tree symbolism, 215–16, 217, 220,
Samaria and Megiddo, xx, 45–52 224
North-Sinai Massive, 76 Palma im, 140
Nuzi, 170 Papyrus Anastasi I, 60
Patish, 78, 79 n. 7, 82
Omride dynasty, 30, 31, 46 patrilineal kinships, 23, 94
and the palaces of Megiddo and “patrimonial model,” 27–28
Samaria, xx, 45–52 pax Assyriaca, 207
open system, 67, 67 n. 24 Payne, S., 121
“order parameter,” 67 perforated loom weights, 214
Oriental Institute, University of permanent settlements
Chicago, 45, 46, 166, 166 n. 3, comparative study of Lower Besor
173–76 region, xvii, 75–83
Orontes River, 165, 170–71 n. 14 nomads enjoying advantage of, 201
“Orpheus Jug,” xx, 213–25 pit storage and permanent
ossuaries, 21 settlements, 96
Ottoman period, 59 Petras, 157
Petrie, F., 169 n. 8
palaces petrographic examinations, 59 n. 9
builders and date of palaces of “Pharaoh’s Daughter” tomb, 35 n. 39
Megiddo and Samaria, xx, 45–52 Philistia
compared to private homes in Aegean sources for the formation of
Atchana, 170–71 n. 14 the Philistine city-state, 154
at Hattusha, 168 Bichrome pottery, 63–64, 66, 214,
of King of Moab, 170 n. 12 216, 217, 220–23
Lachish palace, 33 n. 32 burial practices in, 29, 34
Mitanni palace, 170 n. 13 Philistine dominance, 31 n. 27, 32
Palace 1104 (Egyptian Governor’s n. 30, 56–57, 63–66, 67, 68
residency in Aphek), 61 Philistine influence on pottery
Palace 1723, 49 n. 2 decorations and cooking-pots,
Palace 1723 (in Megiddo), 46–50 64–65, 66, 105
Palace 4430 (in Aphek), 60–61 Philistine influence on the “Orpheus
Palace I and II (in Tell el Ajjul), 169 Jug,” xx, 213–25
n. 8 Philistine Monorchrome pottery, 214,
Palace Level VII in Atchana, 177–78 216, 218, 220, 222
Palace of Omri (in Samaria), 45–46, renewal of, 29
47–51 slipped and burnished pottery in, 32
Palaestina Prima, 82 n. 31
Palaestina Tersiasive Salutaris, 82 system of city states, 34
Palaikastro, 157 urban settlement patterns in Philistine
Palatial era, 157 City-States, xix, 135–60
Palestine Phoenicia, 32 n. 31, 48
British Mandatory Government of pigs, 157, 158, 159
Palestine, 116, 120 Pillar Figurine, 204
burial practices in, 24, 24 n. 15, pit tombs, 6, 7, 9, 12, 20, 20 n. 8, 21,
26 n. 18 22
extramural neighborhoods in, 197, pithoi, 98, 100, 100 n. 16, 101, 107
200, 207 pits for storage, 88–100
governmental structure, 82 construction of, 90–91
land ownership in, 96 in en-Na beh, 90 n. 5
Palestinian Late Bronze Age, 26 n. 18 intrasite spatial and temporal
sheep and goat farming in, 122–24, distribution of, 92–93
128 marking of, 93 n. 8
Survey of Western Palestine, 18 Polanyi, Karl, 114, 201 n. 7
index 241

politics “quasi-cities,” 159


burial practices as a reflection of state Qubur el-Walaida, 152, 153
formation, xix–xx, 17–36 Qumran-type graves, 20 n. 8
transition from Late Bronze to Iron
Age in the Coastal Plain, xviii–xix, Ragette, F., 167
55–69 Rajasthan, 199
See also government Ramesses II (pharaoh), 60, 62
polos-wearing goddesses, 219, 219 n. 5 Ramesses IV (pharaoh), 62 n. 16
Porada, E., 224 ramparts, 12, 13–14
Poran, Tel, 147, 148 rank-size rule, 5, 139–40 n. 6, 141 n. 8
“port power,” 151, 152 Red Lustrous Wheelmade ware, 109
Portugali, J., 33–34, 67 Redding, R. W., 117–18, 119, 125
post-Palatial era, 157, 219 Rehoboam (king), 144
pottery Reisner, G., 45
in Arad, 33 n. 33 restrooms
Bichrome pottery, 63–64, 66, 214, in Atchana in the Late Bronze Age,
216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 223 xvi–xvii, 165–93
burnished bowl, 206 n. 12 differentiated from toilets and
burnished pottery, 32 n. 31, 106, 184, bathroom, 166 n. 4
187 smaller than bathrooms, 172
Canaanite influence, 66, 213–25 Woolley’s records of at Atchana,
comparison of Late Bronze Age and 177–93
Iron Age I pottery in the highlands, Reynolds, P. J., 98
xvii, 105–10 “risk-free trading,” 114
Cypriot influence, 3, 106, 108, 213–25 rock-cut bench tombs
Cypro-Geometric Iron Age pottery multichambered vs. single-chambered,
style, 222 23–24
Egyptian influence, 63, 66 use of in Judah as a reflection of state
found in pit storage units, 88, 91–92 formation, xix–xx, 17–36
Judean influence, 81 rock-cut pit tombs, 7
“Orpheus Jug,” xx, 213–25 Rome
Philistine influence, 65, 81, 213–25 “fort villages,” 201, 208
Philistine Monorchrome, 214, 216, mass-burials in, 20 n. 7
218, 220, 222 Roman period, 116, 123, 137 n. 3,
Proto White Painted pottery style, 169
222 suburbium development, 198 n. 4
use of slip and burnish on, 32 n. 31, Rosen, A. M., 137 n. 3
106 Rosen, B., 94, 96
use of to determine settlement Rosen, S. A., 81
patterns and time periods, 3–4, 33 rosette stamps, 146
nn. 32–33, 137, 145 n. 14 Rosh ha- Ayin, 105 n. 1
Prosymna, 157 Rosh Zayit ( orbat), 96, 99
Proto White Painted pottery style, 222, rubbish disposal, 88–89, 92
223 Ruwibi, 153
“proto-city,” 159
“proto-Israel,” 24, 24 n. 15 Sahab, 19 n. 5
proto-Palatial East Crete, 157 St. Ètienne Monastery (in Jerusalem),
“proto-urban” society, 114 24, 35 n. 39
puticuli, 20 n. 7 St. Stephens church (in Be er S ema ),
PWP. See Proto White Painted pottery 82
style Samaria, 120
Pylos, 157, 219 determining builders and date of the
palace of, xx, 45–52
Qasile, Tell, 56, 64–65, 122, 217, 221 Samarian Hills, 57
Qiri, Tell, 109, 123 Samarkand, 204 n. 10
242 index

Sargon II (king), 20 n. 7, 144 Sherrat, A., 118


Sasa, Tel, 88, 91, 107–8, 122 “shifting boundaries” model, 58 n. 4
Sasson, Aharon, xviii, 113–28 Shiloh, 88, 93, 105 n. 3, 108–9, 110
Saul (king), 81 n. 6, 122
Saxe, A. A., 21–22 Shiqma basin, 149
scarabs, 4 n. 4, 60, 62 n. 16, 105 n. 3, Shishak (pharaoh), 139 n. 5
106, 107, 213 short cubit, use of, 49–51, 49 n. 2, 52
scarcity, coping with, 115 Shoshenq I (king), 29 nn. 23,25, 31
Schiffer, M. B., 92 Shrine of the Double Axes, 219
Schloen, J. D., 166 n. 3 Silk Road, 204 n. 10
Schumacher, G., 45, 46, 222 silos, 88, 98, 100–101, 204
Sea Peoples, 156, 158, 217, 218, Simeon, tribe of, 29
220 Singer-Avitz, L., 31 n. 29, 148 n. 18
Second Temple period, 20, 21 sitting toilets, 169–70, 170 n. 10
security as goal of herding, 115, slipped and burnished pottery, 32 n. 31,
117–18, 119, 120–21, 128 106
Sefad District, 116 Smith, P., 125
“self-organization” paradigm, 33 n. 35, social rank
68 differentiaion of classes after a
self-sufficient economy, 125, 127 monarchy established, 23 n. 13
Semitic writing system, 48 indicated by bench tombs, 19–23, 23
Sennacherib (king), 144 n. 12
Sera , Tel, 75 leading to emergence of formal
settlement activity cemeteries, 22
abandonment of settlements, 34 socioeconomics
n. 36, 78, 136, 140, 157 implications of grain storage in Dan,
comparative study of Besor region, xvii–xviii, 87–102
xvii self-sufficient economy, 125, 127
comparative study of Besor region sheep and goat husbandry in
periods, 75–83 Southern Levant, xviii, 113–28
extramural neighborhoods in Negev, sociopolitical activities
xvi, 197–210 burial practices in Judah as a
indicating a tight governing system, reflection of state formation,
79 n. 6 xix–xx, 17–36
rank-size rule, 139–40 n. 6, 141 n. 8 transition from Late Bronze to Iron
settlement patterns of Philistine-city Age in the Coastal Plain, xviii–xix,
States, xix, 135–60 55–69
trade motives for, 200–201 Solomon (king), 25, 27, 28 n. 20, 46
Shalaf, Tel, 139 southern highlands. See highlands
Sharuhen, 75 spatial distribution of Middle Bronze
Shavit, Alon, xix, 135–60 Megiddo tombs, 8–10
Shechem, 88 Spronk, K., 26 n. 19
sheep squat toilets, 167 n. 5, 169–70,
husbandry in Southern Levant, xviii, 170 nn. 10–11, 172–73
113–28 as natural toilet posture, 169 n. 6
sheep bones, 116–21, 125 Stager, L. E., 118, 151, 156
Shephelah stamps
burial practices in, xix, 25, 26 n. 19, lmlk stamps, 144, 144 n. 12
27 rosette stamps, 146
integration into Kingdom of Judah, state formation
29–30, 31, 33, 34 n. 37, 35 burial practices as a reflection of state
settlement pattern in, 105, 136 formation, xix–xx, 17–36
sheep and goat farming in, 116, 117, Carolingian Empire, 28 n. 20
120, 122–24 Stepansky, Y., 107
index 243

Stiebing, W. H., Jr., 26 n. 18 differentiated from restroom and


storage bathroom, 166 n. 4
of household items, 88 Muslim fatwa about, 167–68
implications of grain storage in Dan, natural toilet posture, 169 n. 6
xvii–xviii, 87–102 Woolley’s records of at Atchana,
of pottery in pits, 88, 91–92 177–93
subfloor storage, 88 tombs
strainer jug, 224–25 and extended families, 23 n. 14
stratigraphy in Iron Age Judah as a reflection of
of Middle Bronze Megiddo tombs, state formation, xix–xx, 17–36
3–4, 8–10 land use of southeastern slope of
transition from Late Bronze to Iron Megiddo, xvi, 1–14
Age in the Coastal Plain, 68 “Pharaoh’s Daughter” tomb,
subsistence vs. security as goal of 35 n. 39
herding, 115, 117–18, 119, 120–21, tombs, excavated
128 Tomb 23 (in Dan), 12
suburbium development in Rome, 198 Tomb 51 (in Megiddo), 9
n. 4 Tomb 238 (in Megiddo), 8–9
Sumaka i Fink, Amir, xvi–xvii, 165–93 Tomb 247 (in Megiddo), 8–9
Survey of Western Palestine, 18 Tomb 254 (in Megiddo), 9
survival subsistence strategy, 115, 120, Tomb 868 (in Megiddo), 10
125, 126 Tomb 902b–902d (in Dan), 12
Sykes, P. M., 199 Tomb 911 (in Megiddo), 9
symbolism and the Orpheus Jug, 214, Tomb 1181 (in Hazor), 12
215, 216–22, 224, 224 n. 6 Tombs 9, 13, and 17 in
“synergetics,” 33 n. 35 (Beth-Shemesh), 12
synoecism, 157 trade, 115, 125, 200–201
caravans, 81, 200, 209
Taanach, Tel, 110 and exports, 125, 126
tabun, 206 n. 12 and Jerusalem, 31 n. 27
Tainter, J. R., 22 in Judah and Israel, 200 n. 6
Tarsus, 224 motivating market development,
Ta yinat, Tell, 165–66, 166 n. 2 200–201
Tchernov, E., 119 “nonmarket trade,” 114
Teheran, 199 “risk-free trading,” 114
Tel Aviv, 137 n. 3 Southern Arabian trade, 207–8
Tel Aviv University, xv See also socioeconomics
expedition to Megiddo, xv, 1, 10 Transjordan, 19 n. 5
Tellō, 169 trapeze-shaped bench tombs, 26 n. 18
Tel/Tell [mound]. See names of specific troughs or bins for storage, 101
sites 20th Dynasty of Egypt, xvii, 62–63, 81
temples “Tyrian” pithoi, 107
Lion Temple, 60
Tell Qasile temples, 65–66 Ugarit, 170, 170 n. 12, 215, 216
temporary and permanent settlements in Ünal, A., 168
Lower Besor, xvii, 75–83 United Monarchy, xix, 17, 25, 26, 27,
Thar Desert, 199 28 n. 20, 32 n. 31, 34, 34 n. 36
Thareani-Sussely, Yifat, xvi, 197–210 University College, London, 173 n. 17
Tiryns, 157, 159, 219 University of Chicago Expedition, 2,
Tiy (queen), 60 3–4, 11, 46
toilets, 169 n. 8, 170 n. 12 Upper Galilee, 97, 98, 107
in Atchana in the Late Bronze Age, Ur, 170 n. 12
xvi–xvii, 165–93 Urartu, statehood of, 34 n. 38
244 index

urban centers washing facilities. See restrooms


bones of animals revealing living waste management in Atchana, xvi–xvii,
patterns in, 157–58 165–93
changes in urban land use in Weber, Max, 27–28
Megiddo, xvi, 1–14 Wehr Dictionary, 166 n. 2
first urban centers in the Coastal White-Slip I and II ware, 109
Plain, 58 Woolley, Leonard, 165–66, 167 n. 5,
lack of hinterlands and settlement 170–71, 170–71 nn. 14–15, 172–73,
patterns of Philistine City-States, 177–93
xix, 135–60
multicultural extramural Yad Mordechai, 150
neighborhoods in Negev, xvi, Yadin, Y., 46
197–210 Yahweh, 215
“proto-urban” society, 114 Yarkon-Ayalon basin, xix, 31 n. 27, 56,
urban elites in Judah, 34 57, 62, 66, 136
urbanization of Kingdom of Israel, sociopolitical transition from Late
34 n. 37 Bronze Age, 55–69
See also cities See also Coastal Plain
Urim, 76, 79, 152 Yasur-Landau, Assaf, xx, 157, 158–59,
Ussishkin, D., 32 213–25
Uza ( orvat ), xvi, 122, 202, 205, 206, Yavneh Camp, 140
208 Yener, K. A., 166 n. 3
Uziel, J., 142–43 n. 10–11 Yezerski, I., 19 n. 5, 25
Uzziah (king), 31, 32 n. 30, 144 Yon, M., 218
Yoqne am, 12, 13
Vari h, 165 n. 1
afit-Gath, Tel
Wachsmann, S., 217, 218 relations with Tel Miqne-Ekron, 142,
Wadi Luzit, 143 144–46, 147
Wadi Qina, 205 settlement pattern in, xix, 139,
Waldbaum, J., 26 n. 18 142–47, 142–43 nn. 9–10, 145
walls, excavated n. 14, 147 n. 17, 150, 160
City Wall 325 (in Megiddo), 51 See also Gath
City Wall 415 (in Yoqne am), 12 Zahiriyye, 25–26 n. 17
Wall 03–2073 (in Atchana), 175 Zakros, 157
Wall 03–2091 (in Atchana), 174, 175 Ze elim, 76, 77 n. 4, 78, 79, 79 n. 9,
Wall 94/F/15 (in Megiddo), 10 n. 80
6, 11 Zimhoni, O., 138
Wall 220 (K) (in Megiddo), 10–11 Zion, Mount, 24
Wall 3182 (in Megiddo), 5 Zippor, Tel, 147 n. 17
Wapnish, P., 158 Zuckerman, S., 169 n. 9

Archaeological Periods

Epipaleolithic period, 80 n. 11 Early Bronze Age


grain storage in, 100
Chalcolithic period, 80 n. 11, 114 in Megiddo, 2
“proto-urban” and urban society in,
Bronze Age 114
sheep and goat husbandry in settlement pattern in, 58, 58 n. 6,
Southern Levant, xviii, 113–28 114, 197
shift from Bronze to Iron Age, 55–69, sheep and goat farming in, 121
58 n. 4, 105–10
index 245

Intermediate Bronze Age Iron Age


number of tombs found in Megiddo burial practices during, xix–xx, 17–36
from, 8 and Canaanite cultural identity, xx
transition to Middle Bronze Age, 8 dating of, 105, 107
determining builders and date of the
Middle Bronze Age palaces of Samaria and Megiddo,
cemeteries on southeastern slope of xx, 45–52
Megiddo, 9 extramural neighborhoods in Negev,
transition from Intermediate Bronze xvi, 197–210
Age, 8 settlement patterns of Philistine
urban land use changes in Megiddo, city-states, xix, 135–60
xvi, 1–14 sheep and goat husbandry in
Southern Levant, xviii, 113–28
Middle Bronze Age I shift from Bronze to Iron Age, 55–69,
cemeteries on southeastern slope of 58 n. 4, 105–10
Megiddo, 11, 12 sociopolitical transition from Late
ceramic phases found in, 3 Bronze Age in the Coastal Plain,
dating of, 2 n. 1 xviii–xix, 55–69
state formation during, xix–xx, 17–36
Middle Bronze Age II toilets in, 169
cemeteries on southeastern slope of
Megiddo, xvi Early Iron Age
dating of, 2 n. 1 decorative motifs, 224
establishment of Aphek, 58 earth and fertility goddesses, 215
fortified settlements, 75 grain storage in Dan, 87–102
urban land use changes in Megiddo, Omride builders in Samaria and
xvi, 1–14 Megiddo, 45–52

Middle Bronze Age III Iron Age I


cemeteries on southeastern slope of abandonment of rural sites, 34 n. 36
Megiddo, xvi, 1–14 burial practices during, 2, 8 n. 5, 24,
dating of, 2 n. 1 24 n. 15, 25, 25–26 n. 17, 26, 29
comparison of Late Bronze Age and
Late Bronze Age Iron Age I pottery in the highlands,
in Aegean culture, xix xvii
bench tombs in Judah, 24, 25–26, 26 grain storage in Dan, xvii–xviii,
nn. 18–19, 29 87–102
cemeteries on southeastern slope of pottery comparison of Late Bronze
Megiddo, xvi, 1–14 Age and Iron Age I in the
dating of, 55 n. 1 highlands, xvii, 105–10
in Palestine, 26 n. 18 “proto-Israel,” 24
pottery, comparison of Late Bronze rise of Kingdom of Israel, 34, 34
Age and Iron Age I, xvii, 105–10 n. 36
pottery in, 214, 214 n. 2, 216 n. 4, settlement patterns of Philistine
217, 222, 223, 224 city-states, xix, 135–60
settlement pattern in, 135, 138, 154, shift from Bronze to Iron Age, 55–69,
155, 156, 157 58 n. 4, 105–10
sociopolitical transition to Iron Age
in the Coastal Plain, xviii–xix, Iron Age IA
55–69 Cypriot imports to Levant during,
storage pits in, 90, 91, 96 223
waste management in Atchana, goat and sheep husbandry in
xvi–xvii, 165–93 Southern Levant, 122–24
246 index

Iron Age IB Iron Age IIA


Cypriot imports to Levant during, burial practices during, 24, 25–26
223 n. 17
settlement activity in Besor region, grain storage in Dan, 88, 96, 96 n. 11
xvii, 75–83 Jerusalem in, 96 n. 11

Iron Age II Iron Age IIB


and “border approach,” 27 burial practices during, 18, 24, 25,
burial practices during, 25, 26 n. 19, 25–26 n. 17, 26, 29, 29 nn. 23–24
29, 29 n. 23, 34 n. 37 creation of new elites, 18
and extended families, 23 n. 14
extramural neighborhoods in Negev, Late Iron Age
xvi, 198, 202–6, 207 Arabian trade route during, 208
Jerusalem and trade, 31 n. 27 burial practices during, 25–26 n. 17
settlement patterns of Philistine extramural neighborhoods in, 197,
city-states, xix, 135–60 209
settlements in Lower Besor, 78 fortresses in, 202, 208
survey of southern Coastal Plain,
135–36
PLATES
changes on the southeastern slope of tel megiddo 249

Fig. 1. The excavated area on the southeastern slope of Tel Megiddo (after
Guy and Engberg 1938: Fig. 2)
250 evan arie

Fig. 2. Spatial distribution of the Middle Bronze tombs on the southeastern


slope (after Guy and Engberg 1938: Pl. 1)
trademarks of the omride builders? 251

Fig. 1. The Mason’s Masks

Fig. 2. The Megiddo—Palace 1723


252 norma franklin

Fig. 3. Samaria—the Omride Palace


continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 253

Fig. 1. Map of central Coastal Plain with settlements dated to Late Bronze and
Iron Age I periods
254 yuval gadot

Fig. 2. Reconstructed plan of Palace 4430 at Aphek

Fig. 3. Locally made Egyptian-styled vessels found at Aphek


continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 255

1-3. Ashdoda figurines found at Aphek

4. Clay tablet, possibly administrative document written in Philistine script

Fig. 4. Philistine finds from Aphek that were manufactured at Ashkelon


256
yuval gadot

Fig. 5. Types of cooking-pots found at Aphek X12 and at Tell Qasille XII–X
continuity and change in the late bronze to iron age 257

Fig. 6. The transformation of sociopolitical order in the Yarkon-Ayalon basin

Fig. 7. The Late Bronze-Iron Age transformation at Israel’s central Coastal


Plain viewed as a furcative change
258 david ilan

Fig. 1. The site of Tel Dan. Iron Age I remains were found in all
areas excavated
the case of tel dan 259

Fig. 2. A plan of Area B, Stratum VI. Note the large numbers of pits

Fig. 3. A plan of Area B, Stratum V. Note the small number of pits and large
number of pithoi, relative to Stratum VI (Fig. 2)
260 david ilan

Fig. 4. A stone-lined pit in Area B (L1225) containing a secondary deposit


of refuse, most prominently fragmented ceramic vessels. This is of the more
common cylindrical variety

Fig. 5. Unlined pits sunk into an earlier consolidated Late Bronze Age pebble fill
the case of tel dan 261

Fig. 6. A stone-lined pit in Area M (L8185) with the more unusual “beehive”
shape

Fig. 7. A row of pithoi lining a wall—their most frequent position in Iron Age
I sites
262 david ilan

Fig. 8. “Galilean” pithoi

Fig. 9. Collared-rim pithoi


the case of tel dan 263

Fig. 10. Tel Dan Stratum IVB, Area B, L4710: a possible feed bin abutting a
wall (left)
264 aharon sasson

Fig. 1. Sites mentioned in the text


reassessing the bronze and iron age economy 265

Fig. 2. Geographic regions of the Land of Israel


266 alon shavit

Qasile
Yarqon basin Apheq

Ay
al
on
ba
si
n
So
re
k
ba
si Gezer
n
Ekron
Batas
La Ashdod Béit
ch Shemesh
is
h
ba Tell
si es-Safi
Ashkelon n
Zayit
Sh
iq Erani
m
a
Be ba Lachish
so si Hesi
n
rb Gaza
as
in G
er
ar
ba
si Sera
n
Haror
0 10km

Borders of the study area


Basin borders
Fig. 1. The southern Coastal Plain and the boundaries of the
settlement complexes
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 267

2
settlements

0
3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.1
ha
Fig. 2. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the number of settlements
during the 10th century BCE according to settlement size

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100 1000
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 3. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex in the Tel Miqne-Ekron


region during the 10th century BCE
268 alon shavit

3
settlements

0
3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.1
ha
Fig. 4. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the number of settlements
during the 9th century BCE according to settlement size

4
settlements

0
3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 5. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the number of settlements
during the 8th century BCE according to settlement size
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 269

4
settlements

0
10+ 3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 6. The settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron: the number of settlements
during the 7th century BCE according to settlement size

1000

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100 1000
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 7. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of Tel Miqne-Ekron


during the 7th century BCE
270 alon shavit

45
41
40
35
30
25.3
25
ha

20 19.3
16.7
15
10
5
0
10th cent. 9th cent. 8th cent. 7th cent.
Fig. 8. The populated area in the region of Tel Miqne-Ekron during the
different phases of the Iron Age II

30
25.3
25

20

14.8 14.9
ha

15

10 9.1

0
10th cent. 9th cent. 8th cent. 7th cent.
Fig. 9. The settled area at Tel ¶afit-Gath and the surrounding sites during the
various stages of the Iron Age II
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 271

6
5
settlements

4
3
2
1
0
10+ 1–3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 10. The settlement complex of Tel ¶afit-Gath: the number of settlements
during the 8th century BCE according to settlement size

1000

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100 1000
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 11. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of Tel ¶afit-Gath in


the 8th century BCE
272 alon shavit

5
settlements

0
3–5 0.1–0.3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1
ha
Fig. 12. The settlement complex of Tel ¶afit-Gath: the number of settlements
during the 7th century BCE according to settlement size

2
2
settlements

1 1 1
1

0
5–10 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 13. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number of settlements
during the 10th century BCE according to settlement size
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 273

6
5
settlements

4
3
2
1
0
10+ 3–5 1–3 0.6–0.9 0.2–0.5 0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 14. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number of settlements
during the 8th century BCE according to settlement size

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 15. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of Tel Ashdod in the
7th century BCE
274 alon shavit

6
6

5
settlements

4
3
3
2 2
2
1
1

0
5–10 3–5 0.6–0.9 0.2–0.5 0.1
ha
Fig. 16. The settlement complex of Tel Ashdod: the number of settlements
during the 7th century BCE according to settlement size

4
settlements

0
5–9.9 0.6–0.9 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 17. The settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon: the number of settlements
during the 8th century BCE according to settlement size
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 275

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 18. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon in the
7th century BCE

5
4
settlements

3
2
1
0
5–9.9 1–2.9 0.6–0.9 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1

ha
Fig. 19. The settlement complex of Tel Ashkelon: the number of settlements
during the 7th century BCE according to settlement size
276 alon shavit

4 4
4
3
settlements

2
1 1 1 1
1

0
10 3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 20. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin: the number of
settlements during the 10th century BCE according to the settlement size

100
Dunams

10

1
1 10 100
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 21. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor
basin during the 10th century BCE
settlements patterns of philistine city-states 277

3
3

2
settlements

1 1 1 1
1

0
10 3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.1
ha
Fig. 22. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin: the number of
settlements during the 9th century BCE according to settlement size

3
3
settlements

2 2 2
2

1 1
1

0
10 3–5 1–3 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0
ha
Fig. 23. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin: the number of
settlements during the 8th century BCE according to settlement size
278 alon shavit

Dunams 100

10

1
1 10 100
Settlements by Rank

Fig. 24. A logarithmic graph of the settlement complex in the Na˜al Besor
basin during the 7th century BCE

5
5
4
settlements

3
3
2 2
2
1 1 1
1
0
10 3–5 1–3 0.5–1 0.2–0.5 0.1–0.2 0.1
ha
Fig. 25. The settlement complex of the Na˜al Besor basin: the number of
settlements during the 7th century BCE according to settlement size
waste management at tell atchana 279

Fig. 1. Toilets in Nuzi (after Starr 1937–1939; 163, Fig. 24). Reprinted by
permission of the publishers from Nuzi: Report of the excavations at Yorgan
Tepa near Kirkuk, p. 163, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,
Copyright © 1939 by the president and fellows of Harvard College
280 amir sumakaxi fink

Fig. 2. The Level IV palace at Tell Atchana, where Woolley excavated four
restrooms and three bathrooms (after Woolley 1955: Fig. 44). Reprinted by
permission of the Society of Antiquaries of London
waste management at tell atchana 281

Fig. 3. The toilets in room 5 of the Level IV palace (after Woolley 1955
Pl. XXVa). Reprinted by permission of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Fig. 4. The Oriental Institute University of Chicago Expedition to Tell Atchana


(Image by E. J. Struble)
282 amir sumakaxi fink

Fig. 5. The west wing of Area 2: Local Phase 2 (Image by E. J. Struble)


waste management at tell atchana 283

Fig. 6. Rooms 03-2077 and 03-2092 in Square 44.45 (Image by E. J. Struble)


284 amir sumakaxi fink

Fig. 7. Restroom 03-2092 during the excavation (photo by N.-L. Roberts)


waste management at tell atchana 285

Fig. 8. Drain 03-2039 (photo by N.-L. Roberts)


286 amir sumakaxi fink

Fig. 9. Plaster inside drain 03-2039 (photo by N.-L. Roberts)

Fig. 10. Wall 03-2091 (photo by N.-L. Roberts)


waste management at tell atchana 287

Fig. 11. Jug R03-1542 (photo by N.-L. Roberts)

Fig. 12. Plate R03-1851 (photo by N.-L. Roberts)


288 yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 1. Map of Iron Age II sites in the Beersheba Valley


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 289

Fig. 2. Tel {Aroer—general plan


290
yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 3. Tel {Aroer, Area D—general plan


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev
291

Fig. 4. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1003 and 1411—pottery assemblages


292
yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 5. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1417—pottery assemblage


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 293

Fig. 6. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1417—pottery assemblage


294
yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 7. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1421—pottery assemblage


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev
295

Fig. 8. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1421—pottery assemblage


296
yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 9. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1443—pottery assemblage


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev
297

Fig. 10. Tel {Aroer, Area D, L. 1443—pottery assemblage


298 yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 11. Tel {Aroer, Area A—general plan


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 299

Fig. 12. Tel {Aroer, Area A—selected pottery


300 yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 13. Tel {Aroer, Area A—selected pottery


extramural neighborhoods in the iron age negev 301

Fig. 14. Æorvat {Uza—general plan


302 yifat thareani-sussely

Fig. 15. Tel {Aroer—southern Arabian inscription from Area D bearing the
letter ‫ח‬
a message in a jug 303

Fig. 1.
1. The “Orpheus Jug.” After Loud 1948: Pl. 76: 1
2. A krater from Ashdod, Stratum XIII. After Dothan and Zukerman 2004:
Fig. 19: 3
3. A krater from Ekron, Stratum VI. After Dothan and Zukerman 2004:
Fig. 19: 2
4. A jug from Azor. After Dothan 1982: Fig. 48
5. A strainer jug from Tell {Aitun. After Dothan 1982: Fig. 29
6. A LHIIIC stirrup jar from Kalymnos. After Mountjoy 1999: Fig. 464: 19
304 assaf yasur-landau

Fig. 2.
1. A krater from Lachish, Fosse Temple III. After Tufnell, Inge, and Harding
1940: Pl. XLVIII: 250
2. A bowl from Lachish Level VI. After Aharoni 1975: Pl. 39: 11
3. An inscribed jug from Lachish, Fosse Temple III. After Keel and
Uehlinger 1998: Illustration 81
4. A jar from Megiddo Stratum VIIB. After Loud 1948: Pl. 64: 4
5. A jug from Megiddo. After Guy 1938: Pl. 134
6. A collar-necked jar from Kalymnos. After Mountjoy 1999: Fig. 463: 14
7. A figurine from Revadim. After Keel and Uehlinger 1998: Fig. 89
a message in a jug 305

Fig. 3.
1. A krater from Enkomi. After Wedde 2000: No. 644
2. A pyxis from Tragana. After Wedde 2000: No. 643
3. A seal from Tiryns. After Yasur-Landau 2001: Pl. Ca
4. A stirrup jar from Syros. After Wedde 2000: No. 655
5. A krater from Aradippo, Cyprus. After Yasur-Landau 2001: Pl. Ce
6. A krater from Ashkelon, courtesy of Prof. L. E. Stager, Director of the
Ashkelon Excavations
7. A figurine from Ashdod, Stratum XII. After Yasur-Landau 2001:
Pl. XCIXa
306 assaf yasur-landau

Fig. 4.
1. A painted shard from Megiddo. After Schumacher 1908: Pl. 24
2. A zoomorphic vessel from Megiddo. After Loud 1948: Pl. 247: 7
3. A tripod vessel in the Metropolitan Museum. After Iacovou 1988: 72,
Fig. 33
4. The lyre player on the “Orpheus Jug”
5. A kalathos from Kouklia-Xerolimani T.9:7. After Iacovou 1988: 72, Fig. 70
6. A plate from Kouklia-Skales. After Iacovou 1988: 27
7. A jar from Megiddo Stratum VIA. After Loud 1948: Pl. 84: 5