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ARCH 21908: Archaeology of the Ancient Near East : Iron Age Levant

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Iron Age Levant

The Iron Age in the Levant is dominated by the emergence of biblical archaeology, and the confluence of history, religion, myth, politics, and national identity with politics. The history begins when the decentralized confederacy of the “Twelve Tribes” were replaced by the United Monarchy of Israel under the rule of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon. Following the succession of Solomon’s son to power, the two kingdoms then split into the Kingdom of Judah to the south, and the Kingdom of Israel to the north. Although the nature and history of these two kingdoms is questioned; archaeologists and historians agree that the region came under the control of Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires, the later of whom destroyed the Kingdom of Judah. This region was largely surrounded by Philistine city-states; the ancestors of modern Palestinians. To the north of these territories, present-day Lebanon was dominated by Phoenicians.

Key Sites

Byblos (Lebanon)

Hebron (Palestine)

Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine)

Qumran Caves (Palestine)

Samaria (Palestine)

Tyre (Lebanon)

Key Citations

Blakely, Jeffrey A.

2002  Reconciling Two Maps: Archaeological Evidence for the Kingdoms of David and Solomon. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 327:49–54. DOI:10.2307/1357857.

Brody, Aaron

2002  From the Hills of Adonis through the Pillars of Hercules: Recent Advances in the Archaeology of Canaan and Phoenicia. Near Eastern Archaeology 65(1):69–80. DOI:10.2307/3210902.

Faust, Avraham, and Justin Levā€Tov

2011  The Constitution of Philistine Identity: Ethnic Dynamics in Twelfth to Tenth Century Philistia. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 30(1):13–31. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0092.2010.00357.x.

Finkelstein, Israel

1996  The Archaeology of the United Monarchy: an Alternative View. Levant 28(1):177–187. DOI:10.1179/lev.1996.28.1.177.

1998  Bible Archaeology or Archaeology of Palestine in the Iron Age? A Rejoinder. Levant 30(1):167–174. DOI:10.1179/lev.1998.30.1.167.

Knoppers, Gary N.

1997  The vanishing Solomon: The disappearance of the united monarchy from recent histories of ancient Israel. Journal of Biblical Literature 116(1):19. DOI:10.2307/3266744.

Na'aman, Nadav

2013  The Kingdom of Judah in the 9th Century BCE: Text Analysis versus Archaeological Research. Tel Aviv 40(2):247–276. DOI:10.1179/033443513X13753505864331.

Thomas, Zachary

2016  Debating the United Monarchy: Let’s See How Far We’ve Come. Biblical Theology Bulletin 46(2):59–69. DOI:10.1177/0146107916639208.