Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Conquest of Canaan: Did It Happen?, P.8

8) Less ‘Dramatic’ Evidences for The Conquest

Besides these remarkable archaeological findings on the sites of those conquered cities listed in Joshua 1-11, Norman K. Gottwald discusses some of the ‘less dramatic’ archaeological evidences for the historicity of the biblical account of the Israelite occupation in Palestine during the late Bronze Age by alluding to the settlements occurred in Canaan between twelfth and eleventh centuries BCE.

  • 1st indication) Distribution of occupation at Hazor, Succoth, Bethel, Debir, Gezer, and Ashdod following the thirteenth century destructions (with the assumption that these new occupants were the ‘destroyers of the Late Bronze cities on whose ruins they settled, it is easy to see them as the technically impoverished, ‘semi-nomadic’ Israelites’).
  • 2nd indication) Discoveries of collared-rim ‘Pithoi’ (large storage jars which are believed to be distinctively Israelites).
  • 3rd indication) Discoveries of bichrome ware (which was seen to be associated with Phoenician-North Israelite cultural autonomy by some. As suggested by R. Amiran ‘Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land’)
  • 4th indication) The appearance of new settlements at Dor (Khirbet el-Burj), Gibeah (Tell el Ful), Beersheba (Tell es-Saba), Tell Etun, and Tell Radanna (possibly biblical Beeroth or Ataroth) in the twelfth century.
  • 5th indication) Reoccupation of Shiloh (Khirbet Seilun), Ai (et- Tell), Mitzpah (Tell en-Nasbeth), Beth-zur (Kirbet et-Tubeiqah), and Tell Masos (possibly biblical Hormah) in the twelfth and eleventh centuries.

(See also other ‘less dramatic’ evidences listed in Dever’s ‘Archaeology and the Emergence of Israel’. Most of these evidences can be distinguished into material culture (grain silos, pottery, ‘four-room’ houses etc) and population distribution around the period of late 13th – 12th centuries BCE)

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