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Philstia and Judah Map

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 8 pm EST via Zoom

What Recent Excavations Reveal About the Formation of Ancient Israel

James W. Hardin

Recent archaeological finds attending the formation of ancient Israel and Judah, especially during the putative times of David and Solomon, has ignited a debate about the history of the ancient Near East.

New excavations along the Philistine and Judahite frontier such as Khirbet Summeily, and a better understanding of old ones such as Tel el-Hesi, are providing a better understanding of the formative stages of ancient Israel during the Iron Age I/Iron Age II transition (the proposed time of David and Solomon).

When this information is combined with that from other sites in the larger region, it seems that a process had begun of integrating settlements into larger socio-political and economic networks. Some possible explanations as to the complex settlement processes and causes in the southern Levant are suggested in the presentation, with a particular focus on trade.

James W. Hardin is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University