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Die „salomonischen“ Tore von Megiddo, Hazor und Gezer

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Aharoni 1998

Yohanan Aharoni & Michael Avi-Yonah, Der Bibelatlas, Die Geschichte des Heiligen Landes 3000 Jahre vor Christus bis 200 Jahre nach Christus. (München 1998).

Ben-Tor 2000

Amnon Ben-Tor, Hazor and the Chronology of Northern Israel, A Reply to Israel Finkelstein. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 317 (2000), 9–15.

This article deals with Israel Finkelstein’s proposal to adopt a low chronology for the Iron Age in Israel and is, in particular, a response to his most recent article on that issue. His factual points, especially with regard to the close resemblance between the layout of the Jezreel enclosure and tenth-century B.C.E. Hazor, are shown to be inaccurate. The stratigraphic sequence of Iron Age Hazor is compared with that of other contemporary sites in Israel. The questions rising from Finkelstein’s suggested Aramaean conquests in Israel are discussed. Finally, two methodological issues are addressed: the validity of treating Jezreel as a key site for Iron Age chronology in Israel, and the relationship between archaeological data and the biblical record.

Blum 2010

Erhard Blum, Solomon and the United Monarchy, Some Textual Evidence. In: Reinhard G. Kratz & Hermann Spieckermann (Hrsg.), One God—One Cult—One Nation, Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 405 (Berlin 2010), 59–78.

King Solomon’s fairy-tale like empire, representing the Golden Age of Israelite history, has long been gone – not only since the archaeological debate about Megiddo IV or the dimensions of Tenth-Century-Jerusalem.

It suffices to recollect the commentary on Kings by Martin Noth, written in the sixties of the last century. According to Noth, the present story of Solomon in 1 Kings 3–11 was mainly formed by his Deuteronomist. This exilic author composed or reworked inter alia Solomon’s dream at Gibeon (1 Kings 3), the dealings with Hiram of Tyros in 5:15– 26, Solomon’s great prayer at the inauguration of the temple in 1 Kings 8, the second theophany in 1 Kings 9, and – of course – the report of Solomon’s great sin, his violation of the First commandment by building idolatrous cult places for his foreign wives (11:1–13). The deuteronomistic dynastic oracle for Jeroboam ben Nebat, given by the prophet Ahija the Shilonite, finally marks the end of the United Kingdom (11:29–39).

It is true that Noth’s Deuteronomist used some pre-exilic ‘collection’ of Solomon-traditions (perhaps the éøáã øôñ äîìù mentioned in 11:413), but that does not bring us back to the age of Solomon himself.

In the scope of this short study I will concentrate on the basic issue of the ‘United Kingdom’ in the time of David and Solomon. Furthermore, being trained in philological analyses I will take care not to deal with any disputed interpretation of so called ‘facts on the ground’ and will instead focus on possible exegetical contributions to the topic.

Bruins 2003

Hendrik J. Bruins, Johannes van der Plicht, Amihai Mazar, 14C Dates from Tel Rehov: Iron-Age Chronology, Pharaohs, and Hebrew Kings. science 300 (2003), 315.

s300-0315-Comment.pdf, s300-0315-Reply.pdf

Stratified radiocarbon dates provide an independent chronological link between archaeological layers and historical data. The invasion by Pharaoh Shoshenq I (Shishak) is a key historical synchronism, 925 B.C.E., mentioned in both Egyptian inscriptions and the Hebrew Bible. The list of places raided by Shoshenq, mentioned at Karnak (Egypt), includes Rehov (Israel). The site yielded a consistent series of radiocarbon dates from the 12th to 9th century B.C.E. Our results (i) suggest a revised Iron-Age chronology; (ii) date an archaeological stratum to Shoshenq’s campaign; (iii) indicate the similarity of "Solomonic" and "Omride" pottery; and (iv) provide correlation with Greece and Cyprus.

Bronk Ramsey 2010

Christopher Bronk Ramsey et al., Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Dynastic Egypt. science 328 (2010), 1554–1557.


Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Michael W. Dee, Joanne M. Rowland, Thomas F. G. Higham, Stephen A. Harris, Fiona Brock, Anita Quiles, Eva M. Wild, Ezra S. Marcus, Andrew J. Shortland

The historical chronologies for dynastic Egypt are based on reign lengths inferred from written and archaeological evidence. These floating chronologies are linked to the absolute calendar by a few ancient astronomical observations, which remain a source of debate. We used 211 radiocarbon measurements made on samples from short-lived plants, together with a Bayesian model incorporating historical information on reign lengths, to produce a chronology for dynastic Egypt. A small offset (19 radiocarbon years older) in radiocarbon levels in the Nile Valley is probably a growing-season effect. Our radiocarbon data indicate that the New Kingdom started between 1570 and 1544 B.C.E., and the reign of Djoser in the Old Kingdom started between 2691 and 2625 B.C.E.; both cases are earlier than some previous historical estimates.

Bunimovitz 2001

Shlomo Bunimovitz & Avraham Faust, Chronological Separation, Geographical Segregation, or Ethnic Demarcation? Ethnography and the Iron Age Low Chronology. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 322 (2001), 1–10.

The traditional Iron Age chronology has recently been challenged by I. Finkelstein who proposed a wholesale lowering of its dates. The cornerstone of the new chronology is the seeming absence of Philistine Monochrome pottery in 20th Dynasty Egyptian strongholds in southern Canaan and the absence of Egyptian(ized) pottery in Philistine sites. According to Finkelstein, the only viable explanation for this phenomenon is chronological. Adherents of the traditional schema, on the other hand, prefer an interpretation based on cultural segregation and reject the low chronology. Both views, however, are based on the implicit premise that there is a straightforward correlation between the extent of interaction among human groups and the degree of similarity in their material culture. Relying on ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological evidence, we intend to show that this premise is flawed, and that restricted distribution of artifacts does not contradict interaction. This observation on human behavior is enough to cast serious doubts on the foundations and methodology of the low chronology. Furthermore, since symbolic delineation of group identity and boundaries is accentuated at times of competition, items symbolizing cultural identity may be held back in spite of interaction. As competition seems to characterize Iron I Philistia, it is highly tenable that the social meaning of the Philistine Monochrome pottery as well as of its Egyptian counterpart prevented their diffusion and adoption outside the restricted zones in which they communicated group identity and cohesion.

Dever 2003

William G. Dever, Visiting the Real Gezer, A Reply to Israel Finkelstein. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 30 (2003), 259–282.

This article is a reply to Israel Finkelstein s ‘Gezer Revisited and Revised’ (Tel Aviv 29:262—296). It is an attempt to address the methodological issues posed there, as well as to refute Finkelstein s reconstruction of the site s stratigraphy and history. In particular, it defends the over-all Gezer project by placing it in both the context of the archaeology of the 1960s-1970s and contemporary archaeological scholarship.

Dever 1971

William G. Dever et al., Further Excavations at Gezer, 1967–1971. Biblical Archaeologist 34 (1971), 93–132.

William G. Dever, H. Darrell Lance, Reuben G. Bullard, Dan P. Cole, Anita M. Furshpan, John S. Holladay, Jr, Joe D. Seger & Robert B. Wright

Our eight seasons of excavation at Gezer have still left many questions unanswered. Nevertheless, we can now give at least a sketch of the history of one of the most important sites in Palestine. A preliminary correlation of the occupational phases in- the Various fields reveals that thrde are at least 26 strata on the mounds, more than the number of any other published site in Palestine – and in striking contrast to the mere eight strata discerned by Macalister!

Dever 1984

William G. Dever, Gezer Revisited, New Excavations of the Solomonic and Assyrian Period Defenses. Biblical Archaeologist 47 (1984), 206–218.

Several critics pointed out that our Late Bronze date for the “Outer Wall” was anomalous: Every other known fortification system in use in ancient Palestine at this time was simply a reuse of the Middle Bronze Age city walls. We held out for an original construction during the Late Bronze Age, however, not only on the basis of our new evidence but also on the assumption that at Gezer there was no other candidate for a Late Bronze Age wall. The Middle Bronze walls had been destroyed around 1500 B.C. and never reused, but in our view it was unthinkable that Gezer had remained unwalled in the Amarna Age.

An initial surprise awaited us when the first element on the lower terrace, the “Gatehouse,” was cleared. It was constructed of rather fine ashlar masonry, preserved five courses high in the north wall. The ashlar blocks and their courses were nearly identical to the well-known Solomonic masonry at Megiddo and other sites.

Macalister had, of course, removed all occupational material down to street levels. But in soundings well below that we found deep, densely packed fills that served as the “Gatehouse” foundations. They produced consistent mid- to late-tenth-century-B.C. sherds—the first hard evidence we had for the date of the “Gatehouse.”

Dever 1985

William G. Dever, Solomonic and Assyrian Period ‘Palaces’ at Gezer. Israel Exploration Journal 35 (1985), 217–230.

Dever 1986

William G. Dever, Late Bronze Age and Solomonic Defenses at Gezer, New Evidence. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 262 (1986), 9–34.

The 1984 season at Gezer was designed to resolve the long-standing controversy over the date of Macalister’s “Outer Wall.” The results contradict the view of the critics of Gezer I and Gezer II (Dever, Lance, and Wright 1970; Dever et al. 1974) placing the wall in the Iron Age, and confirm our previous date and phasing. The original construction is LB II, with the addition of ashlar towers and upper courses in the Solomonic era, and bastions/final repairs in the Hellenistic period. The new evidence also clarifies the construction of the outer Gatehouse, upper casemate wall, and a new “palace-barracks, “thus enabling us to comprehend the Solomonic double defense system as a whole.

Dever 1993

William G. Dever, Further Evidence on the Date of the Outer Wall at Gezer. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 289 (1993), 33–54.

This article reports on the results of the 1990 season of excavations at Gezer. The specific objectives in Fields III and XI were to continue the investigation of the 1984 season, further testing alternative models that had been proposed that would date the original phase of Gezer’s Outer Wall system not to the Late Bronze Age but to the Iron Age. Substantial new data, particularly in Field XI, seem to confirm a Late Bronze Age date for the Outer Wall, with rebuild phases in the 10th and 9th/8th centuries B.C.E.

Eggert 1987

Manfred K. H. Eggert & Hans-Peter Wotzka, Kreta und die absolute Chronologie des europäischen Neolithikums. Germania 65 (1987), 379–422.

Das Ergebnis unserer Untersuchung ist eindeutig. Es läßt sich in einem Satz ausdrücken: Das von Milojcic errichtete System der absoluten Chronologie des ägäischen und kontinentalen Neolithikums ist eine Fiktion. Die von ihm aufgestellte Beweiskette für eine angeblich solide Fundierung der absolut-zeitlichen Ansätze muß in toto und ohne jede Einschränkung zurückgewiesen werden. Dies gilt nicht nur für die direkte, über Kreta führende Verbindung, sondern – wie in einer anderen Arbeit gezeigt wurde — auch für jenen Weg, der über Mersin und Mesopotamien nach Ägypten führt. Das Fazit ist somit klar: Die absolute Chronologie des ägäischen und kontinentalen Neolithikums hängt an einem in spätneolithischem kretischen Kontext gefundenen Bodenfragment eines ägyptischen Zylindergefäßes, das in die Zeit der 1. bis 6. Dynastie datiert. Die mit diesem Importstück gekoppelte Datierungsunsicherheit umfaßt somit eine Zeitspanne von mindestens 700 Jahren.

Es bleibt nur noch darauf hinzuweisen, daß die hier für mehr oder weniger tragfähig erachteten “Fixpunkte” nicht nur durch den ihnen inhärenten absolutzeitlichen Unsicherheitsfaktor die an sie gestellten Ansprüche nur sehr unvollkommen zu erfüllen vermögen. Sie unterliegen darüber hinaus der generellen Problematik des Prinzips der kleinen Zahl, das jedwede auf einer derartigen Basis getroffenen Schlußfolgerungen ganz erheblich relativiert. Dies gilt zweifellos in einem ganz besonderen Maße für das komplexe Feld von Importbeziehungen.

Die Implikationen der vorliegenden Abhandlung reichen über unser hier im Vordergrund stehendes Anliegen einer Überprüfung der Basis der historischen, komparativ-stratigraphischen absoluten Datierung des Neolithikums hinaus. Sie transzendieren auch das parallele Problem der entsprechenden Fundierung der Chronologie der Bronzezeit. Es ist offenbar, daß nunmehr der heute weithin akzeptierte, jeweils zugunsten der einen oder der anderen Seite entschiedene Widerspruch von Radiokohlenstoff- und komparativ-stratigraphischer Datierung in einem gänzlich neuen Lichte erscheint. Das auf letzterem Wege gewonnene Chronologie-System fällt als historisches Korrektiv der Radiokarbon-Datierung aus.

Finkelstein 2002

Israel Finkelstein, Gezer revisited and revised. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 29 (2002), 262–296.

At Gezer, the Iron Age II starts with Stratum VIII, dated to the 10th century BCE according to the conventional chronology, but to the early 9th century BCE according to the Low Chronology system (Finkelstein 1996b). Except for the Outer Wall (see below), Iron II remains were unearthed in four fields: II, III (the gate, unpublished), VI and VII (unpublished).

The layout of Stratum VIII – the Omride city according to my interpretation (Finkelstein 2000) – remains enigmatic. The main elements belonging to this settlement are the four-entry gate, a section of a casemate wall running from the gate in both eastern and western directions and a public building adjacent to the gate (‘Palace 10,000’ – Dever 1985).

Strata VII-VI represent the high days of the Northern Kingdom in the 8th century BCE. The Outer Wall, which was built at that time (see the latest in Finkelstein 1994), served two purposes: a defence system and a sort of a revetment, which aimed at extending the periphery of the city. As a fortification, the Outer Wall surrounded the entire site, with Macalister’s ‘Gatehouse’ constructed in the south. The four-entry gate of Stratum VIII was rebuilt as a three-entry gate (Dever et. al. 1971:118) and incorporated in the new system (Ussishkin 1990:77). A double gate was thus formed, similar to the situation in Megiddo IVA, Dan, Lachish and Tel Batash (e.g., Ussishkin 1990:77).

The extraordinary prosperity of Iron II Gezer is reflected in its countryside. About 50 sites have been recorded there, with a total built-up area of 50 hectares (including Gezer; Shavit 2000:217–219). These numbers must represent a gradual growth, which started in the 9th century BCE and reached a peak in the mid-8th.

Finkelstein 2003a

Israel Finkelstein & Eli Piasetzky, Recent radiocarbon results and King Solomon. Antiquity 77 (2003), 771–779.

Radiocarbon dating and stratigraphy here offer a new chronological structure for the Iron Age in the Levant. The credit for the construction of massive public monuments in the northern part of Israel is here wrested from David and Solomon and attributed to the later Omride dynasty. The early Israelite monarchs actually ruled over a small kingdom in the highlands around Jerusalem rather than a great empire.

Keywords: Biblical history, Solomon, historical archaeology, radiocarbon

Finkelstein 2003b

Israel Finkelstein & Eli Piasetzky, Wrong and Right, High and low 14C dates from Tel Rehov and Iron Age chronology. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 30 (2003), 283–295.

Bruins, van der Plicht and Mazar (2003a) recently presented a new set of 14C measurements from Tel Rehov and interpret them as supporting at least part of the conventional chronology system for the Iron Age strata in the Levant. The present article takes issue with the provenance of the samples and with Bruins, van der Plicht and Mazar’s methodology, historical arguments and interpretation of the measurements using the calibration curve. The article shows that the new readings from Tel Rehov far from support the conventional chronology. First, there is an alternative interpretation for the readings from Tel Rehov V, which falls in the very late 10th century BCE. Second, Tel Rehov IV is the contemporary of Megiddo VA (VA-IVB) and hence the latter, with its ashlar palaces, must be dated to the first half of the 9th century BCE. This means that the new Tel Rehov measurements support the most important component of the Low Chronology system.

Finkelstein 2006

Israel Finkelstein & Eli Piasetzky, 14C and the Iron Age chronology debate, Rehov, Khirbet En-Nahas, Dan, and Megiddo. Radiocarbon 48 (2006), iii, 373–386.

A recently published volume, The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (Levy and Higham 2005), provides data related to the debate over the chronology of the Iron Age strata in the Levant (for a review, see Carmi 2006). The present article comments on several chapters in the volume. The article highlights methodological problems, such as insecure stratigraphic provenance of 14C samples, and demonstrates how unjustified selection of data can bias the result. The article offers a new interpretation to some of the results and shows that the full set of measurements from Tel Rehov supports the Low Chronology system.

Finkelstein 2009

Israel Finkelstein & Eli Piasetzky, Radiocarbon-Dated Destruction Layers, A skeleton for Iron Age chronology in the Levant. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28 (2009), 255–274.

We present a full-sequence radiocarbon-based chronological system for the Iron Age in the Levant, anchored on the dating of ten destruction layers for the years 1130–730 BC. We establish the sequence using two methods – the ‘uncalibrated weighted average’ and the Bayesian modelling. Utilizing four dating tools in combination – radiocarbon measurements, field stratigraphy, pottery typology and ancient Near Eastern historical records – facilitates solutions to chronological problems that are far beyond the resolving power of 14C dating alone. The results shed light on disputed issues related to biblical and ancient Near Eastern history, such as the expansion of the early Israelite polity from the highlands to the lowlands; the nature of the Shoshenq I campaign to Canaan; and the evolution of the conflict between northern Israel and Aram Damascus.

Finkelstein 2010

Israel Finkelstein, A Great United Monarchy? Archaeological and Historical Perspectives. In: Reinhard G. Kratz & Hermann Spieckermann (Hrsg.), One God—One Cult—One Nation, Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 405 (Berlin 2010), 3–28.

Twelve years have passed since I first presented – to the German Institute in Jerusalem – my ideas on the chronology of the Iron Age strata in the Levant and how it impacts on our understanding of the biblical narrative on the United Monarchy of ancient Israel. I was naïve enough then to believe that the logic of my ‘correction’ was straightforward and clear. Twelve years and many articles and public debates later, however, the notion of Davidic conquests, Solomonic building projects, and a glamorous United Monarchy – all based on an uncritical reading of the biblical text and in contradiction of archaeological finds – is still alive in certain quarters. This paper presents my updated views on this matter, and tackles several recent claims that archaeology has now proven the historicity of the biblical account of the great kingdom of David and Solomon.

Finkelstein 2011

Israel Finkelstein & Eli Piasetzky, The Iron Age Chronology Debate, Is the Gap Narrowing? Near Eastern Archaeology 74 (2011), 50–54.

Radiocarbon investigations in recent years show beyond doubt that the Iron IIA lasted until approximately 800 b.c.e. The early-to-late Iron IIA transition should be placed in the first half of the ninth century. For the beginning of the Iron IIA (the Iron I/II transition), the differences between the debating camps have now narrowed to a few decades—a gap that is beyond the resolution of radiocarbon results, even when a large number of determinations are deployed. Introducing historical considerations as well as observations related to the pace of change of pottery traditions, the Iron I/II transition could have taken a decade or two and should be put shortly after the midtenth century b.c.e.

Finkelstein 2013

Israel Finkelstein, The Forgotten Kingdom, The archaeology and history of Northern Israel. Ancient Near East Monographs 5 (Atlanta 2013).

Although Israel was dominant for most of the time the kingdoms of Israel and Judah coexisted, it has remained in Judah s shadow in both the Hebrew Bible and consequently in the attention of modern scholarship. This book presents the first comprehensive history of the northern kingdom and description of the archaeology of northern Israel from the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1350 B.C.E.) until the kingdom’s fall in 720 B.C.E. and beyond. It tells the story of the northern kingdom primarily in its formative phases. The narrative is based in archaeology and makes use of the most updated field research, with the addition of what is known from ancient Near Eastern and biblical texts. Finkelstein’s thirty years of fieldwork in sites related to the northern kingdom have paved the way for a new understanding of the history and archaeology of ancient Israel.

Finkelstein 1989

Israel Finkelstein, The Emergence of the Monarchy in Israel, The Environmental and Socio-Economic Aspects. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 14 (1989), 44, 43–74.

The present reconstruction of the emergence of the monarchy includes several components of well-known theories on the rise of states: geographical and social circumscription; population increase creating pressure for the conquest of new frontiers for cultivation; intensification of agricultural activity which produces surpluses and creates social stratification; inter- and intra-regional trade between specializing groups in different ecological niches which leads to the rise of advanced administration; and external conflict which unites the population under one military leadership. All this must be evaluated on the background of the specific geographical and historical conditions of ancient Israel at the end of the eleventh century BCE.

Finkelstein 1995

Israel Finkelstein, The date of the settlement of the Philistines in Canaan. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 22 (1995), 213–239.

Finkelstein 1996

Israel Finkelstein, The Archaeology of the United Monarchy, An Alternative View. Levant 28 (1996), 177–187.

The article deals with the chronology of the early-Iron II strata in Palestine. A careful examination of the archaeological and textual data indicates that there is no safe chronological anchor between the early-twelfth century BCE (the battles of Ramses III with the Sea Peoples) and the late-eighth century BCE (the Assyrian campaigns to Palestine). The most important clues for this time-span are the Philistine Bichrome pottery and the results of the excavations at Arad and Jezreel. Following a study of the Philistine chronology, the author suggests an alternative dating for the main strata of the early Iron II. According to this ‘Low Chronology’, Stratum VA-IVB at Megiddo, Stratum XI at Arad and Stratum V at Beer-sheba should all be dated to the ninth century BCE. Consequently, the tenth century is represented by Stratum VIA at Megiddo, Stratum XII at Arad and Stratum VII at Beer-sheba. The new dating calls for a re-evaluation of the historical, cultural and political processes that took place in Palestine in the eleventh-ninth centuries BCE.

Finkelstein 1999a

Israel Finkelstein, Hazor and the North in the Iron Age, A Low Chronology Perspective. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 314 (1999), 55–70.

The article deals with the dating of the Iron Age II strata at Hazor and with historical developments on the border between the two most powerful Iron Age II states in the Levant-the northern kingdom of Israel and Aram Damascus. It first discusses the relative chronology of three northern sites-Megiddo, Jezreel, and Hazor-establishing the similarity between Megiddo VA-IVB and the Jezreel compound and reviewing the relationship between the assemblages of those sites and Hazor X. The article then describes the dating of the Hazor strata according to Yadin (and recently Ben-Tor), pointing out the shaky arguments regarding the affiliation of Stratum X with Solomon and indicating the difficulties of the Yadin chronological system for reconstruction of the history of the region in the Iron Age II. Next the article reviews Hazor’s stratigraphy in the light of the Low Chronology which has recently been suggested for Iron Age II strata in the Levant. Applying the Low Chronology to Hazor seems to solve most of the difficulties created by the Yadin scheme. Strata X and IX are downdated to the days of the Omrides, and Strata VIII and VII to the reign of Hazael, King of Damascus. Hence the destruction of Hazor IX is attributed to the expansion of Damascus, which is related in the Dan inscription, and the destruction of Hazor VII is attributed to the renewed domination of the northern kingdom in the region under Joash or Jeroboam II. Finally, the article proposes an early eighth century B.C.E. date for the construction of Stratum IVA at Megiddo.

Finkelstein 1999b

Israel Finkelstein, State Formation in Israel and Judah, A contrast in context, a contrast in trajectory. Near Eastern Archaeology 62 (1999), 35–52.

Assuming that a United Monarchy did exist (that is, regardless of its exact territorial-political status, it was not a fictitious, later invention), the unification of the central hill country in the 10th century BCE was a short-lived exception in the history of the highlands, while the contrasting circumstances and political systems of the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, better reflect the deeper, pervasive, and long-term structures of Levantine regional history. Israel and Judah were two distinct territorial, socio-political and cultural phenomena. This dichotomy stemmed from their different environmental conditions and their contrasting history in the second millennium BCE. Israel was characterized by significant continuity in Bronze Age cultural traits, by heterogeneous population and by strong contacts with its neighbors. Judah was characterized by isolation and by local, Iron Age cultural features, as evidenced in the layout of its provincial administrative towns. Judah opened to international trade and to neighboring civilizations only with the Assyrian takeover of the entire region in the late 8th century BCE. The Assyrian conquest brought about the collapse of the cultural barriers between the inland national states of the Levant.

Friedrich 2006

Walter L. Friedrich, Bernd Kromer, Michael Friedrich, Jan Heinemeier, Tom Pfeiffer & Sahra Talamo, Santorini Eruption Radiocarbon Dated to 1627–1600 B.C. science 312 (2006), 548.

Garfinkel 2015

Yosef Garfinkel, Katharina Streit, Saar Ganor & Paula J. Reimer, King David’s City at Khirbet Qeiyafa, Results of the Second Radiocarbon Dating Project. Radiocarbon 57 (2015), 881–890.

Seventeen samples of burnt olive pits discovered inside a jar in the destruction layer of the Iron Age city of Khirbet Qeiyafa were analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating. Of these, four were halved and sent to two different laboratories to minimize laboratory bias. The dating of these samples is  1000 BC. Khirbet Qeiyafa is currently the earliest known example of a fortified city in the Kingdom of Judah and contributes direct evidence to the heated debate on the biblical narrative relating to King David. Was he the real historical ruler of an urbanized state-level society in the early 10th century BC or was this level of social development reached only at the end of the 8th century BC? We can conclude that there were indeed fortified centers in the Davidic kingdom from the studies presented. In addition, the dating of Khirbet Qeiyafa has far-reaching implications for the entire Levant. The discovery of Cypriot pottery at the site connects the 14C datings to Cyprus and the renewal of maritime trade between the island and the mainland in the Iron Age. A stone temple model from Khirbet Qeiyafa, decorated with triglyphs and a recessed doorframe, points to an early date for the development of this typical royal architecture of the Iron Age Levant.

Gertoux 2013

Gerard Gertoux, David and Solomon’s kingdoms: legend or history? (unpublished 2013).

The David and Solomon’s kingdoms are no longer considered as historical by minimalist archeologists. According to Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, for example, authors of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, at the time of the kingdoms of David and Solomon, Jerusalem was populated by only a few hundred residents or less, which is insufficient for an empire stretching from the Euphrates to Eilath. They suggest that due to religious prejudice, the authors of the Bible suppressed the achievements of the Omrides. Some Biblical minimalists like Thomas L. Thompson go further, arguing that Jerusalem became a city and capable of being a state capital only in the mid-seventh century. Likewise, Finkelstein and others consider the claimed size of Solomon’s temple implausible. A review of methods and arguments used by these minimalists shows that they are impostors for writing history. The historical testimonies dated by a chronology anchored on absolute dates (backbone of history) are replaced by archaeological remains dated by carbon-14 (backbone of myths). The goal of these unfounded claims is clearly the charring of biblical accounts.

Gilboa 2004

Ayelet Gilboa, Ilan Sharon & Jeffrey Zorn, Dor and Iron Age Chronology, Scarabs, Ceramic Sequence and 14C. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 31 (2004), 32–59.

Recently, Stefan Münger proposed that Egyptian so-called ‘mass-produced’ stamp-seal amulets may be traced to a Tanite origin and dated to the late 21st – early 22nd Egyptian Dynasties. Among these, it has been suggested that some scarabs bear the name of Siamun of the late 21st Dynasty, who ruled in the first half of the 10th century BCE. Since in Palestine these scarab seals first occur in late Iron Age I contexts, Münger suggests that they corroborate the ‘low Iron Age chronology’, which incorporates most of the 10th century in Iron Age I rather than in Iron Age II. The site of Tel Dor, on Israel s Carmel coast, produced the best stratified group of these scarabs, including one that was identified as bearing the name Siamun. This paper elucidates the archaeological context of these finds and discusses their chronological repercussions vis-a-vis Münger’s proposal.

Gilboa 2013

Ayelet Gilboa, Ilan Sharon & Elisabetta Boaretto, Radiocarbon dating of the Iron Age levels. In: Israel Finkelstein, David Ussishkin & Eric H. Cline (Hrsg.), Megiddo V, The 2004–2008 Seasons. Monograph series, Tel Aviv, Nadler Institute of Archaeology 31 (Winona Lake 2013), 1117–1127.

Level H-5 Ceramically, this level should be attributed to a late horizon within the Iron IIA (Chapter 13), which should place it, according to both contesting chronologies, in the last third of the 9th century BCE. The excavators correlate it with Stratum VA-IVB of the University of Chicago excavations. The two dates from this phase (Samples 3948, 3949) hardly overlap, the former encompassing mostly the 9th century and the latter the 10th. This is problematic for a level that cannot have been of very long duration (it is one of four Iron IIA layers in Area H). The younger sample (3948) is compatible with both chronologies. The older sample (3949) is much too high for both.

Both the present study and earlier ones conducted in the framework of the Iron Age Dating Project established that it is possible to exclude bias in the analytical measurement, since there is a very good agreement between laboratories dating the same material, with standard deviation in the order of 20–25 years. This is the same order of magnitude as the measurement error itself. In this light, the fact that such a sequence of short-lived samples, from a meticulous stratigraphic excavation, produces such a fuzzy chronological picture means that the solution lies in a more precise consideration of contextual issues, such as residuality or intrusiveness, and of other aspects of site formation processes (Boaretto 2007; 2009), which we are presently trying to tackle.

Hays 2015

Christopher B. Hays, Biblical Claims About Solomon’s Kingdom in Light of Egyptian “Three-Zone” Ideology of Territory. In: Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider & William H. C. Propp (Hrsg.), Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Cham 2015), 503–516.

Biblical rhetoric about Solomon’s empire shares some significant features with Egyptian royal ideology of territory. Both the Egyptians and the Israelites seem to have thought of their national boundaries in three zones: a well-defended “internal zone” of primary settlements, an “outer zone” of economic interests; and finally an “ideological zone” that was generally not controlled militarily, but rather an idealized expression (indeed an exaggeration) of royal power.

Herzog 2004

Ze’ev Herzog & Lily Singer-Avitz, Redefining the Centre, The Emergence of State in Judah. Tel Aviv: Archaeology 31 (2004), 209–244.

Analysis of settlement traits in Judah during the Iron Age IIA generates fresh insight into the process of state formation in the Kingdom of Judah. Our conclusions are based on observation of the settlement patterns, combined with detailed review of the pottery typology. Instead of assigning the Iron Age IIA to a single century (10th century BCE in traditional High Chronology or 9th in Finkelstein’s Low Chronology), we maintain that the period covers about 150-200 years, from the mid 10th to the late 9th or mid 8th centuries BCE. The period is further divided into two sub-phases: the Early Iron Age IIA, characterized by rural settlements, mostly organized in an ‘enclosed settlement’ pattern, and Late Iron Age IIA, which presents the first introduction of fortifications and water supply systems. Such understanding reduces the gap between the debated low and high chronology. Furthermore, the process did not emerge in the Judean hill country but rather in the Shephelah and in the Beersheba Valley to the south. Our analysis points to a long and gradual process of socio-economic crystallization of the monarchy.

Holladay 1990

John S. Holladay, Jr., Red Slip, Burnish, and the Solomonic Gateway at Gezer. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 277 (1990), 23–70.

The introduction of burnishing on red slips has long been held to mark a crucial, though not easily dated, stage in early Iron Age Palestinian cultural evolution. Differing chronological assumptions concerning the introduction of red slips and burnishing on those slips have led to confusion in the dating of later Iron I and early Iron II stratigraphy. Within the larger stratigraphy of Gezer, the finely detailed stratigraphic succession in and beneath the “Solomonic” (inner) gateway documents the introduction of burnished red slips in a closely datable context. The larger site-wide context affords an improved relative date for the earlier introduction of unburnished red slips. Following correlation with the Tell Qasile materials, this article establishes the broader stratigraphic affinities of the Gezer materials and explores simple statistical techniques for objectively determining relative dates of closely related archaeological strata.

Hunger 2009

Hermann Hunger, How uncertain is Mesopotamian chronology? In: David A. Warburton (Hrsg.), Time’s Up! Dating the Minoan eruption of Santorini, Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop, Sandbjerg November 2007. Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens 10 (Århus 2009), 145–152.

Most scholars are convinced that Mesopotamian chronology of the second millennium bc is uncertain. I shall try to present the so-called foundations of this chronology, which I think are reliable. I shall then go beyond this and describe the less reliable parts which concern the second millennium. Mesopotamian chronology is conventionally based on texts: eponym lists; king lists; dated documents; synchronisms; royal inscriptions; etc.

In conclusion I regret to say that there is conflicting evidence for Mesopotamian chronology: pottery development suggests a relatively Low Chronology, tree rings (assuming they are correctly interpreted) a somewhat higher, and astronomy (if P. Huber is correct) a very high one. At the moment, a decision seems to me impossible, but I hope for better data.

James 2015

Peter James & Peter van der Veen, When did Shoshenq I campaign in Palestine? In: Peter James & Peter G. van der Veen (Hrsg.), Solomon and Shishak: Current Perspectives from Archaeology, Epigraphy, History and Chronology, Proceedings of the Third BICANE Colloquium, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 26-27 March 2011. BAR International Series 2732 (Oxford 2015), 127–136.

As argued elsewhere (in Centuries of Darkness and now in many other papers, including some in this volume), Shoshenq I – founder of the 22nd Dynasty – was not the Shishak who invaded Judah c. 925 BC. In our opinion, genuine dead-reckoning from the highest attested years from the monuments (see e.g. James & Morkot and Thijs in this volume), with Phoenician inscriptions – see van der Veen, ‘Early Iron Age Epigraphy …‘ in this volume) and the archaeology of Megiddo (see Chapman also in this volume), show that Shoshenq I must have been a pharaoh of the mid to late 9th century BC rather than the 10th.

Kitchen 2001

Kenneth A. Kitchen, How We Know When Solomon Ruled, Synchronisms with Egyptian and Assyrian rulers hold the key to dates of Israelite kings. Biblical Archaeology Review 27 (2001), v, 32–37, 58.

We have seen several lines of evidence converge to place Solomon in the mid-tenth century B.C. The most direct are the Assyrian and Egyptian king lists, which agree very nicely with the Biblical royal chronologies and point to 970–930 B.C. as the time of Solomon’s rule. Our date for Solomon also dovetails with geo-political realities. Pharaohs were marrying their daughters to foreign rulers; mini-empires such as David’s and Solomon’s could flourish in the centuries between 1200 and 900 B.C., when the power of the great empires to the north and south had waned.

The story of Solomon cannot have been fiction dreamed up in the early Hellenistic period (300 B.C.), as some Biblical minimalists claim. At that late date there were no resources upon which to base such “dreams,” especially with such accuracy as we find from all these sources. Solomon’s dates are secure.

Krauss 2009

Rolf Krauss & David A. Warburton, The basis for the Egyptian dates. In: David A. Warburton (Hrsg.), Time’s Up! Dating the Minoan eruption of Santorini, Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop, Sandbjerg November 2007. Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens 10 (Århus 2009), 125–144.

Dead-reckoning, supplemented by the synchronisms, the kinglists, the archaeological data, and lunar dates allows us to conclude that the conquest of Avaris and the defeat of the Hyksos by the irst king of Dyn. XVIII took place around the end of the 16th century bc. The end of Dyn. XII can be estimated as having been at least two centuries earlier.

The Sothic date from Illahun allowed us to estimate that year 7 of the reign of Sesostris III fell between 1881 and 1826 bc. The lunar dates from the Illahun papyri mean that year 1 of Sesostris was 1837/36 bc. Thus the year 7 Sothic date of Sesostris III can be pinpointed at 1830 bc. Dyn. XII would have ended around 1760 bc.

The relationship between the Illahun Sothic date and the Sothic date in the calendar of P. Ebers allows the regnal year 9 of that papyrus to be placed in the years 1506 to 1498 bc. Taking account of the lunar date, this regnal year 9 must be 1506 bc. If year 1 of Thutmose III was 1468 bc, then dead reckoning means that this year 9 cannot be that of Amenhotep I, as this cannot have fallen before 1490 bc. It follows that we revive the doubts about the reading of the royal name (as that of Amenhotep I), and instead read this as the throne name of the last Hyksos king.

The end of Dyn. XIII and the beginning of the Hyksos Dyn. XV would have been around 1650 bc. The elimination of the Hyksos would have taken place roughly 1504 bc. The year 1613 bc would lie towards the beginning of the Hyksos period.

Levy 2010

Thomas E. Levy, Mohammad Najjar & Thomas Higham, Ancient texts and archaeology revisited – radiocarbon and Biblical dating in the southern Levant. Antiquity 84 (2010), 834–847.

The Iron Age sequence in the southern Levant is one of the most evocative and provocative in ancient history, since it coincides with events remembered in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). The authors show how a scientific chronological framework can be created and contribute an independent voice to the historical debate. They also show that, if archaeology is to complement history, such a framework requires an especially rigorous application of precision, in context definition, data handling and Bayesian radiocarbon dating, and urge such application to forthcoming work at the key Biblical site of Megiddo.

Keywords: Levant, Megiddo, Khirbat en-Nahas, Iron Age, The Bible, copper production

Loud 1948

Gordon Loud (Hrsg.), Megiddo II, Seasons of 1935–39. University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publications 52 (Chicago 1948).

Mazar 2011

Amihai Mazar, The Iron Age Chronology Debate: Is the Gap Narrowing? Another Viewpoint. Near Eastern Archaeology 74 (2011), 105–111.

The conventional date of circa 1000 b.c.e. for the transition from Iron I to Iron II was challenged by the Low Chronology system, wherein Finkelstein’s initial suggestion to move all tenth-century b.c.e. contexts to the ninth century, and thus change the entire archaeological profile of the tenth century b.c.e., was later supported by Sharon, Gilboa, Jull, and Boaretto (2007), based on the results of their Iron Age Dating Project as estimated by Bayesian models.

Mazar 1997

Amihai Mazar, Iron Age Chronology, A Reply to I. Finkelstein. Levant 29 (1997), 157–167.

This paper contests I. Finkelstein’s proposed low chronology for the mid-twelfth to mid-eighth centuries BCE. Though indeed there are few, if any, chronological ‘anchors’ during this period, it is claimed that the suggested low chronology is based on flimsy evidence, and creates new unsolvable problems, instead of resolving the older ones. Pushing the date of the Philistine Monochrome pottery phase (local Myc. IIIC) beyond the end of the Egyptian presence in Canaan is based on a debatable assumption. It led Finkelstein to suggest a wholesale lowering of the date of later assemblages. The extension of the Iron Age I material culture into the late tenth century BCE is unjustified and leads to a distorted archaeological picture of the period of the United Monarchy, and ultimately to misleading historical conclusions. The conclusions pertaining to the ninth-eighth centuries do not allow sufficient time for the complex stratigraphic development documented at several sites, such as Hazor. The stratigraphic and ceramic evidence shows that in each region of the country there was a slow development in pottery forms during the tenth-eighth centuries BCE. Ceramic chronology is a complex and intricate subject beset with difficulties and must be supported by the integration of other evidence. New data from 14C shortlived samples offer potential solutions.

Nigro 2014

Lorenzo Nigro, An absolute Iron Age chronology of the Levant and the Mediterranean. In: Lorenzo Nigro (Hrsg.), Reading Catastrophes: Earthquakes, Floods, Famines, Epidemics between Egypt and Palestine – 3rd–1st millennium BC, Proceedings of the International Conference “Reading Catastrophes”, held in Rome, 3rd–4th December 2012. Rome “La Sapienza” Studies on the Archaeology of Palestine & Transjordan 11 (Rome 2014), 261–269.

The range of error of this system – i.e. a timetable trying to minimize difference between different chronologies proposed so far and fixed chronological datum points – is around 1.5 %, that is, on a period of ten centuries, 15 years. The latter is the maximum oscillation accepted for most reliable dates (for example Pharaoh Shoshenq’s raid into Palestine: 925 BC) to validate the table, also considering astronomic periodical observations in ancient Egypt.

The Levantine New Chronology is offered to scholars as a simple tool summarizing the efforts of many, to whom is addressed the author admiration for the continuous commitment towards a more convincing and firmly based historical reconstruction.

Ussishkin 2007

David Ussishkin, Lachish and the date of the Philistine settlement in Canaan. In: Manfred Bietak & Ernst Czerny (Hrsg.), The synchronisation of civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium B.C. III, Proceedings of the SCIEM 2000 – 2nd EuroConference Vienna, 28th of May – 1st of June 2003. Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean 9 (Wien 2007), 601–607.

In my view all the above data are conclusive, indicating how unlikely the commonly accepted concept of dating is. My argumentation can be summarized in three questions, asked in challenge of the “MazarSinger-Stager concept”, defined by Bunimovitz and Faust as the “cultural segregation concept”: First, how could the Egyptians have maintained their hegemony in Lachish and other parts of southern Canaan, including Megiddo and Beth-Shan, if they lost control of the Coastal Plain and the southern parts of the Via Maris which were invaded and occupied at that time by the Sea Peoples? Second, how is it possible that thriving cities such as Canaanite Lachish and Philistine Gath prospered at such geographical proximity to one another without a single piece of Philistine pottery imported to Lachish from Gath? Thirdly, how is it possible that extensive trade existed between Lachish and the Coastal Plain as well as the Mediterranean ports, including the importation of fresh marine fish, without even a single Philistine piece of pottery being imported to Lachish? In summary, the dating of the Monochrome as well as the Bichrome Philistine pottery, and therefore the dating of the Philistine settlement in the Coastal Plain, to after ca. 1130 BCE, seems to be established on the basis of the evidence from Lachish. It appears that the settlement of the Philistines in the Coastal Plain followed the collapse of the Egyptian hegemony of the 20th Dynasty in southern Canaan, and the destruction of the Lachish Level VI Canaanite city which prospered under the aegis of Egypt’s hegemony.

Ussishkin 2014

David Ussishkin, Biblical Lachish, A tale of construction, destruction, excavation and restoration. (Jerusalem 2014).

Biblical Lachish was one of the most important cities in the Land of Israel for more than three thousand years. In the second millennium B.C.E. Lachish was a large Canaanite city-state, and during the period of the Judean kingdom, a mighty fortress city. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, conquered it in the course of a fierce battle in 701 B.C.E. That conquest was immortalized in a series of reliefs erected in Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh in Assyria.

The special importance of Lachish, the large scale of the excavations and the unique discoveries make it a key site for the study of the history and archaeology of the Biblical period. This book, published by the Israel Exploration Society and the Biblical Archaeology Society, summarizes in clear and simple language for the general public the history of Lachish and its archaeological findings.

Three archaeological campaigns have been completed at Lachish. The first, from 1932 to 1938, was carried out by the British archaeologist James L. Starkey and came to an end when Starkey was murdered by Arab militants. The second, limited in scope and scale, was conducted by Yohanan Aharoni in 1966 and 1968. The third, from 1973 to 1994, was directed by this book’s author, David Ussishkin, on behalf of Tel Aviv University.

Ussishkin 1980

David Ussishkin, Was the “Solomonic” City Gate at Megiddo Built by King Solomon? Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 239 (1980), 1–18.

Summing up the internal evidence, we argue that the “Solomonic” gatehouse was built on a massive foundation structure and that it joined, and was constructed together with, City Wall 325. Thus we must conclude that the gate belongs to Stratum IVA and dates later than the period of Solomon. It follows that the chalk-paved approach and the small gatehouse of Stratum VA-IVB (Loud 1948: 39-45; fig. 388) served as an entry to Solomonic Megiddo. This gate is badly preserved, probably having been robbed of its (ashlar?) stones, as was the case with the palaces of Stratum VA-IVB. This small gate fits very well with the nature of the fortifications of that level. The emphasis of the Solomonic constructions at Megiddo mentioned in 1 Kgs 9:15 was clearly on monumental palace compounds rather than on strong fortifications. In the gate area there is a clear difference between the small gatehouse of Stratum VA-IVB, meant mainly to enable access to the city, and the massive gate complex of Stratum IVA, meant mainly to defend the city. This difference fits well with the radical change that took place in Megiddo between Strata VA-IVB and IVA.

Ussishkin 1990

David Ussishkin, Notes on Megiddo, Gezer, Ashdod, and Tel Batash in the Tenth to Ninth Centuries B.C. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 277 (1990), 71–91.

The article deals with four independent but related problems concerning four sites in the tenth and ninth centuries B.C. First, the archaeological and historical implications of the erection of a monumental stele by Shoshenq I in Megiddo are discussed. Second, the dating of the fortifications of Gezer, in view of Dever’s recent excavations (1984; 1985; 1986) is challenged. Third, the stratigraphy of the four-entry city gate in Ashdod is analyzed, following the assumption that it is based on the “built-up foundations” principle. Fourth, the stratigraphy and date of the city gate at Tel Batash are discussed, and the conclusion is reached that it is a ninth-century gate complex with an outer gate and an inner four-entry gate based on built-up foundations.

Wright 1950

G. Ernest Wright, The Discoveries at Megiddo 1935–39. Biblical Archaeologist 13 (1950), 28–46.

In the reign of Solomon Megiddo was made the capital of his fifth administrative district. The new fortification wall and gate were built. It is also highly probable that the various stables for horses were erected (cf. 1 Kings 9:15-19), since the city gives evidence of having been planned and built as a whole. The excavators attributed them to Stratum IV, but their foundations were dug down into the debris below. In any event, the latest groups of pottery immediately below them which I have been able to discover do not appear to date later than the early tenth century. Furthermore, the courtyard pavements show two levels of construction in places. In other words, there seems to be no archaeological reason whatever for not assuming that they were erected in Stratum V A-IV B; all that we know is that they were later than Stratum V proper.

Yadin 1958a

Y. Yadin, Excavations at Hazor, 1957, Preliminary Communiqué. Israel Exploration Journal 8 (1958), 1–14, 68.

Between the structures and the casemate wall the pavement of a street was once more dis covered. The interest in deepening the excavation here springs from the fact that the next stratum, XI, seems by its pottery to belong to the Late Bronze Age II. The full bearing of this fact upon the fall of Canaanite Hazor in Joshua’s time and its relation to the story told about the city in the book of Judges (De borah’s times), can only be elucidated next season. But even now one can say that there is a clear gap between the Canaanite era with its Late Bronze Age II pottery, and the restoration of the town by Solomon. Iron Age I pottery was very scarce, and the few pieces discovered indicate a temporary settlement only.

The outstanding find in area A is without doubt the gate of stratum X, belonging to the Solomonic casemate wall (PI. 2A). This gate, discovered in the northern part of the excavation, consists of six chambers, three on either side, with square towers on the outside walls. Its plan and measurements (it is some 20 m. long) are identical with the Solomonic gate found at Megiddo (stratum IVB). This fact not only confirms quite clearly the biblical narrative (1 Kings, ix, 15) that Megiddo and Hazor were both rebuilt by Solomon, but even suggests that both gates were built by the same royal architect. Thus ends, in my opinion, the controversy over the date of the gate at Megiddo, to which some scholars assigned a date later than Solomon.

Yadin 1958b

Y. Yadin, Solomon’s City Wall and Gate at Gezer. Israel Exploration Journal 8 (1958), 80–86.

The discovery last year of Solomon’s city gate at Hazor—identical in plan and measurements with the one at Megiddo, stratum IV B—was not only a striking corroboration of the historical authenticity of 1 Kings ix, 15, but ipso facto clinched the debate concerning the date of the Megiddo gate. The interesting similarity between the plans of the two structures even led us to suggest that both were planned by one and the same royal architect.

Although neither Macalister nor the scholars who perused his three-volumed account detected at Gezer any gate which could be ascribed to Solomon, the discovery at Hazor and the statement in 1 Kings quoted above led us to a fresh examination of Macalister’s report, in the hope of locating such a gate. We now venture to suggest that part of the so-called ‘Maccabean Castle’ is nothing less than a Solomonic city wall and gate.

Yadin 1960

Yigael Yadin, New Light on Solomon’s Megiddo. Biblical Archaeologist 23 (1960), 62–68.

1. The first and most important conclusion to be drawn from the above facts is that the southern palace, or Fort, discovered by the excavators of Megiddo, should no longer be considered as an isolated fort built in an undefended city; on the contrary, it was part of a big city (Stratum VA-IVB), well defended by casemate walls, the formidable sixchambered city gate and the newly discovered northern Fort which dominated from above the approaches to the city gate. To these two forts should be attributed quite a number of public and private buildings, some of which were considered by the excavators as belonging generally to Stratum V or more specifically to VA. Such a city, of the 10th century, was probably not built by David, if we base our judgment both on general historical considerations and especially on I Kings 9:15. This city, with its system of fortifications similar to those of Hazor and Gezer, must have been the Solomonic city referred to in the above Biblical verse.

2. The second automatic and unavoidable conclusion is that city IV proper (IVA) with its solid city wall of the “offsets and insets” type (built in part on a filling of the older casemate wall), the two complexes of stables and the four-chambered city gate (the unfinished IIIB gate in the terminology of the excavators),19 is not Solomonic but was built after the destruction of the Solomonic city by Pharaoh Shishak in the fifth year of the reign of Rehoboam. The work was that of a later sovereign, most probably King Ahab, whose great force of 2000 chariots is mentioned in the annals of Shalmaneser III. This does not exclude the possibility that Solomon’s city had stables too, but these were not the excavated ones, nor would they have been in the area in which these were found.

Yadin 1966

Y. Yadin, Megiddo. Israel Exploration Journal 16 (1966), 278–280.

University up The I960 excavations proved that both the stables and the wall with jutting out and reentrant angles are from the time of Ahab. Beneath them a casemate wall and a palace were discovered, cer tainly datable to the Solomonic period.

This discovery is of importance also in ascertaining the date of the hewn shaft and tunnel of the complex water system. It is clear that the gallery is earlier than this system, since upon the completion of the hewing the spring exit was blocked up, preventing access to it through the gal lery. Thus, the water system is either late Jeroboam), or?and this seems more prob able?from the days of Ahab, at which time Megiddo changed from a mere adminis trative-military centre to a large chariot by massive walls.

Yadin 1967

Y. Yadin, Megiddo. Israel Exploration Journal 17 (1967), 119–121.

b) The Casemate Wall of the City: Work was concentrated on the casemates discovered in I960, below the solid wall, and previously attributed erroneously to Solomon. The purpose of the current ex cavation was to examine the relation of the foundations of the casemates to those of the earlier strata. It was proved be yond doubt that these casemates not only served as the fortifications of Solomonic Megiddo, but were actually erected at that period and were not a survival from stratum Vb. One section, a wall belong ing to Vb, was found actually Sand wiched’ between the foundations of the casemate wall and the top debris of stra tum VIA. It is interesting to note that the casemate wall at Megiddo, like that at Tell Beit Mirsim, formed the exterior part of houses built adjacent to it inside the city.

c) The Exterior Approaches to the Me giddo Water System: Last year’s work proved conclusively that the gallery was built in Solomon’s time (strata IVb Va), whilst the famous tunnel and shaft were cut in the following period, i. e. that of Ahab (IVa).

Yadin 1969

Y. Yadin, Excavations at Hazor, 1968–1969, Preliminary Communiqué. Israel Exploration Journal 19 (1969), 1–19.

Yadin 1970

Yigael Yadin, Megiddo of the Kings of Israel. Biblical Archaeologist 33 (1970), 65–96.

The endeavors of the spade to unearth the building remains of Solomon, greatest builder among Israel’s kings, are part of the enthralling web of the excavations in the Holy Land during the last seventy years. No doubt the crowning glory of Solomo1n’s enterprises is the Temple he built in Jerusalem, to which, understandably, whole chapters in the Bible are dedicated. David, who spent his life warring even beyond the borders of Israel, had no time to build fortified cities (which his offensive strategy in fact made unnecessary), let alone the Temple in Jerusalem. “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet” (I Kings 5:3).

Yadin 1976

Yigael Yadin, The Megiddo Stables. In: Frank Moore Cross (Hrsg.), Magnalia Dei, the mighty acts of God, Essays on the Bible and archaeology in memory of G. Ernest Wright. (Garden City 1976), 249–252.

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