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Encyclopedia > Archaeology of Israel
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The archaeology of Israel is researched intensively in the universities of the region and also attracts considerable international interest on account of the region's Biblical links. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ...


Archaeological periods

The archaeological periods of the area have been established as follows:

Neolithic Period 8500-4300 BC
Chalcolithic Period 4300-3300 BC
Canaanite Period (Bronze Age) 3300-1200 BC
Early Bronze Age I (EB I) 3330-3050 BC
Early Bronze Age II-III (EB II-III) 3050-2300 BC
Early Bronze Age IV/Middle Bronze Age I (EB IV/MB I) 2300-2000 BC
Middle Bronze Age IIA (MB IIA) 2000-1750 BC
Middle Bronze Age IIB (MB IIB) 1800-1550 BC
Late Bronze Age I-II (LB I-II) 1550-1200 BC
Israelite Period (Iron Age) 1200-539 BC
Iron Age I (IA I) (Judges) 1200-1000 BC
Iron Age IIA (IA IIA) (United Monarchy) 1000-925 BC
Iron Age IIB-C (IA IIB-C) (Divided Monarcy) 925-586 BC
Iron Age III (Neo-Babylonian Period) 586-539 BC
Persian Period 539-333 BC
Helenistic Period 333-165 BC
Maccabean/Hasmonean Period 165-63 BC
Roman Period 63 BC-330AD
Early Roman Period (Herodian Period) (New Testament Period) 63 BC-70AD
Middle Roman Period[2] (Yavne Period) 70-135AD
Late Roman Period (Mishnaic Period) 135-200AD
Late Roman Period (Talmudic Period) 200-330AD
Byzantine Period 330-638AD
Arab Caliphate Period 638-1099AD
Umayyad Period 638-750AD
Abbasid Period 750-1099AD
Crusader Period 1099-1244AD
Kingdom of Jerusalem Period 1099-1187AD
Ayyubid Period 1187-1244AD
(Mamluk Period 1244-1291AD)
Mamluk Period 1244-1517AD
Ottoman Period 1517-1917AD
British Mandate Period 1917-1948AD
Israeli Period 1948-Present


The Neolithic period appears to have begun when the peoples of the Natufian culture, which spread across present-day Syria, Palestine, Israel and Lebanon, began to practice agriculture. This Neolithic Revolution has been linked to the cold period known as the Younger Dryas. This agriculture in the Levant is the earliest known to have been practiced. The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. ... The Holy Land or Palestine Showing not only the Old Kingdoms of Judea and Israel but also the 12 Tribes Distinctly, and Confirming Even the Diversity of the Locations of their Ancient Positions and Doing So as the Holy Scriptures Indicate, a geographic map from the studio of Tobiae Conradi... It has been suggested that First agricultural revolution be merged into this article or section. ... Three temperature records, the GRIP one clearly showing the Younger Dryas event at around 11 kyr BP The Younger Dryas stadial, named after the alpine / tundra wildflower Dryas octopetala, and also referred to as the Big Freeze [1], was a brief (approximately 1300 ± 70 years [1]) cold climate period following... The Levant The Levant (IPA: /ləvænt/) is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ...

Bronze Age

Early Bronze Age

Middle Bronze Age

Late Bronze Age

The Late Bronze Age is characterized by individual city-states, which from time to time were dominated by Egypt until the last invasion of Egypt by Merenptah in 1207 BCE. The Amarna Letters are an example of a specific period during the Late Bronze Age when the vassal kings of the Levant corresponded with their overlords in Egypt Merneptah (occasionally: Merenptah) was pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (1213 – 1203 BC), the fourth ruler of the 19th Dynasty. ... EA 161, letter by Aziru, leader of Amurru, (stating his case to pharaoh), one of the Amarna letters in cuneiform writing on a clay tablet. ...

Israelite period (Iron age)

There has been a great deal of interest among archaeologists and lay people as to whether the archaeological evidence in this period confirms or denies the historical accounts in the Hebrew Bible. Over the past thirty years, some archaeologists have led an effort to divorce archaeology in Israel from the biblical texts.[citation needed] Reflecting the change in biblical studies from historical reconstruction to textual criticism, the archaeology has become more sociological and processual and less a search for the realia of biblical life.[citation needed] 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh (Jewish tradition) or Old Testament (Christian tradition). ...

The earlier assumptions of people such as Albright[citation needed] and Wright[citation needed] who faithfully accepted the biblical events as history have now been seriously questioned. The work of the so-called "minimalists" such as Lemche, Thompson, Davies and prominent Israeli archaeologists,[citation needed] have led to a re-examination of what we can really say we know about the period. Apart from certain externally attested events (e.g., siege of Lachish), the answer is very little.[citation needed] Other authors such as Jamieson-Drake and Israel Finkelstein[3] have suggested that the empires of David and Solomon never existed - Judah not being in a position to support an extended state until at least the start of the 8th century. (Nevertheless, Finklestein accepts the existence of King David or the Kingdom of Judah, but doubts their chronology, significance and influence as described in the Bible.)[4] Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist. ... For the novel by Michael Crichton, see Timeline (novel). ...

The "minimalist" view suggests that the term "Israelite Period" is misleading, reflecting modern Israeli nationalistic sentiments rather than historical fact, and therefore carrying political connotations and implications, especially regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This view criticizes historical revisionism as a tool in promoting the Israeli side of that dispute. However, the minimalists have also been accused of historical revisionism in promoting the Palestinian side of the dispute. The term Palestinian has other usages, for which see definitions of Palestinian. ... In Parson Weems Fable (1939) Grant Wood takes a sly poke at a traditional hagiographical account of George Washington Historical revisionism has both a legitimate academic use and a pejorative meaning. ...

Despite an on-going debate of the issue, the prevailing view still holds that the Bible is not wholly a work of fiction, and that the Israelite Archaeological Period corresponds (through its artifacts) with some major Biblical events and figures.

The non-"minimalist" archaeologists do not claim that all or even most of the Bible is historically accurate, merely that the Bible reflects, at the very least, the spiritual culture of the Israelites in the 1200–539 BCE period. They claim that some of the major non-supernatural Biblical story elements correspond to physical artifacts and other archaeological findings. Examples include mention of the Hebrew Kingdoms of David and Solomon in inscriptions that were traced to non-Hebrew cultural origin,[citation needed] as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls and House of David inscription, both found in Israel.[5][6][7] Much of the debate remains centered on the chronology of the events.[citation needed] Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This page is about the Biblical king David. ... It has been suggested that Sulayman be merged into this article or section. ... Fragments of the scrolls on display at the Archeological Museum, Amman The Dead Sea scrolls (Hebrew: מגילות ים המלח) comprise roughly 825-872 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet...

This period marks the weakening of regional empires and the strengthening of local powers such as Israel, Judah and the kingdom of the Philistines. During this period, settlement of Israel led to the foundation of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. Much of the spiritual (although not necessarily chronological/historical) content of this period is described in the Old Testament. Later in the period, the Assyrian and Babylonian empires put an end to the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, culminating in the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yəhûḏāh) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah... Map showing the location of Philistine land and cities of Gaza, Ashdod, and Ashkelon Map of the southern Levant, c. ... 10th century BCE: The Land of Israel, including the United Kingdom of Israel Commonwealth of Israel redirects here. ... Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yəhûḏāh) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... An Assyrian winged bull, or lamassu. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Solomons Temple was the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem which functioned as a religious focal point for worship and the sacrifices known as the korbanot in ancient Judaism. ...

The Israelite period is characterized by large numbers of urban dwellings and a new local culture. The rich and diverse archaeological findings attest to strong international links and trade relations. The abundance of writings found indicate a broad distribution of knowledge among common people of ancient Israel and not just scribes, a unique phenomenon in the ancient world. hello

Persian period

Cyrus II of Persia conquered the Babylonian Empire by 539 BC and incorporated the entire area into the Persian Empire. Cyrus organized the empire into provincial administrations called satrapies. The administrators of these provinces, called satraps, had considerable independence from the emperor. The Persians allowed the Jews to return to the regions that the Babylonians had exiled them from. Cyrus the Great (Old Persian: Kūruš,[1] modern Persian: کوروش بزرگ, Kurosh-e Bozorg) (c. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC Events and Trends 538 BC - Babylon occupied by Jews transported to Babylon are allowed to return to... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The exiled Jews who returned to their traditional home encountered the Jews that had remained, surrounded by a much larger non-Jewish majority. One group of note (that exists up until this day) were the Samaritans, who adhered to most features of the Jewish rite and claimed to be descendants of the Assyrian Jews. For various reasons (at least some of which seem to be political) the returning exiles did not recognize the Samaritans as Jews. The return of the exiles from Babylon reinforced the Jewish population, which gradually became more dominant. For the ethnic group of this name, see Samaritan. ...

Hellenistic period

In the early 330s BC, Alexander the Great conquered the region, beginning an important period of Hellenistic influence in Palestine. Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC - 330s BC - 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC Years: 339 BC 338 BC 337 BC 336 BC 335 BC 334 BC 333 BC 332 BC... Alexander the Great (Greek: ,[1] Megas Alexandros; July 356 BC–June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III, king of Macedon (336–323 BC), was one of the most successful military commanders in history. ...

After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his empire was partitioned. The competing Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires occupied various portions of the eastern Mediterranean. The Jews were divided between the Hellenists who supported the adoption of Greek culture, and those who believed in keeping to the traditions of the past, which led to the Maccabean revolt of the 2nd century BC. On his way from Ecbatana to Babylon, Alexander the Great fights and crushes the Cossaeans. ... The Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt began following Alexander the Greats conquest in 332 BC and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC. It was founded when Ptolemy I Soter declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt, creating a powerful Hellenistic state from southern Syria... The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... Hellenization (or Hellenisation) is a term used to describe a cultural change in which something non-Greek becomes Greek (Hellenistic civilization). ... The Maccabees were a Jewish family who fought against the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty, who was succeeded by his infant son Antiochus V Eupator. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 2nd century BC started on January 1, 200 BC and ended on December 31, 101 BC. // Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ...

Roman period

Byzantine period

Archaeology in Israeli Culture

Each university in Israel possesses a strong department or institute of archaeology and is involved in research, excavation, conservation and training. Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek: αρχαίος, archaios, combining form in Latin archae-, ancient; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ...

Israeli archaeologists frequently achieve a high profile, both at home and internationally.[citation needed]

Yigael Yadin, one-time Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, was one of the more influential among the older generation of Israeli archaeologists.[citation needed] Eilat Mazar, granddaughter of the pioneering Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, has emerged as a frequent spokesperson for concerns regarding the archaeology of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.[citation needed] Yigael Yadin (March 20, 1917 - June 28, 1984) was an Israeli archeologist, politician, and the second Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). ... There are currently two Deputy Prime-Ministers in the State of Israel. ... Dr. Eilat Mazar Eilat Mazar is a third-generation Israeli archaeologist, specializing in Jerusalem and Phoenician archaeology. ... Benjamin Mazar (June 28, 1906 - September 9, 1995) was a pioneering Israeli archaeologist who shared the national passion for the archaeology of Israel that also attracts considerable international interest due to the regions Biblical links. ... The Temple Mount as it appears today. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ...

Stemming from its Biblical possibilities, controversy remains a hallmark of Israeli archaeology. Recent issues centered on the veracity of such artefacts as the Tel Dan Stela,[citation needed] the Jehoash Inscription[citation needed] and the James Ossuary,[citation needed] as well as the validity of whole chronological schemes.[citation needed] Amihai Mazar and Israel Finkelstein represent leading figures in the debate over the nature and chronology of the United Monarchy. The Tel Dan Stele The Tel Dan Stele, found at Tel Dan in Israel in 1993/1994, is a fragment (in three sections) of an Aramaic inscription on basalt, which appears to be from a stele erected for Ben-Hadad of the Aramaean nation, an enemy of the kingdom of... The James Ossuary is a sepulchral urn for containing bones, which was found in Israel in 2002 and was claimed to have been the ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus. ... The James Ossuary is a sepulchral urn for containing bones, which was found in Israel in 2002 and was claimed to have been the ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus. ... Amihai Ami Mazar (born 1942) is an Israeli archaeologist. ... Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist. ... United Monarchy - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ...

Excavation in Israel continues at a relatively rapid pace and is conducted according to generally high standards. Excavators return each year to a number of key sites that have been selected for their potential scientific and cultural interest. Current excavated sites of importance include Ashkelon, Hazor, Megiddo, Gamla and Rehov.[citation needed] Hebrew אַשְׁקְלוֹן (Standard) AÅ¡qÉ™lon Arabic عسقلان Founded in 1951 Government City Also Spelled Ashqelon (officially) District South Population 105,100 (2004) Jurisdiction 55,000 dunams (55 km²) Mayor Roni Mahatzri Ashkelon (Hebrew: ‎; Tiberian Hebrew ʾAÅ¡qÉ™lôn; Arabic: ‎  ; Latin: Ascalon) is a city in the western Negev, in the... Hazor (Hebrew: courtyard or settlement) is the name of several places in ancient and modern Israel: // Locations in ancient Israel One of the most important Caananite towns. ... Megiddo (Hebrew: ) is a hill in Israel near the modern settlement of Megiddo, known for theological, historical and geographical reasons. ... The remains of the city of Gamala lies on the Golan Hights. ... Rehov (occasionally spelt Rehob) was the site of an important Bronze and Iron Age Canaanite city and is the name given to Tel Rehov תל רחוב, a large earthern city mound in the Jordan Valley of Israel, approximately 5 kilometres south of Bet Shean and 3 kilometres west of the Jordan...

Archaeological sites

Ongoing excavations

IAA maps of ongoing excavations in Israel


  1. ^ Dates for Biblical Period follow Amihai Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (New York: Doubleday 1990). ISBN 0-385-23970-X.
  2. ^ What is here called the "Middle Roman" Period is called either "Late Roman" or "Early Roman" depending on a scholar's viewpoint. The end of this intermediate period marks the end of Jewish civilization in Judea but its beginning marks the beginning of Rabbinic Judaism through Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai in the city of Yavne.
  3. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University Web page
  4. ^ Shifting Ground In The Holy Land
  5. ^ King David and Jerusalem: Myth and Reality
  6. ^ Are The Bible's Stories True?
  7. ^ Top Ten Archaeological Findings of the 20th Century Relating to the Biblical World

Map of the southern Levant, c. ... Rabbinic Judaism (or in Hebrew Yahadut Rabanit - יהדות רבנית) is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the written Torah as well as the Oral Law (the Mishnah, Talmuds and subsequent rabbinic decisions) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... Yohanan ben Zakkai was a Jewish sage of the first century of the common era, and a primary contributor to the core text of rabbinic Judaism, the Mishnah. ... Yavne (Hebrew יבנה, Arabic يبنة Yibnah) is a city in the Center District of Israel in Israel. ...

See also

Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Canaanite period

For other uses, see Canaan (disambiguation). ... Map of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was an organized civilization of the Nile Valley from around 3300 BC until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, although recent excavations reveal a cattle-herding society of peoples living in the region as early as 6000 BC. By 4000 BC... Retenu, also rendered Retchenu, was an Ancient Egyptian name for Canaan and Syria. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ...

External links

Canaanite period

Roman period

  Results from FactBites:
Geography of Israel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1668 words)
Israel is divided into four regions: the coastal plain, the central hills, the Jordan Rift Valley, and the Negev Desert.
In Israel the Rift Valley is dominated by the Jordan River, Lake Tiberias (known also as the Sea of Galilee and to Israelis as Lake Kinneret), and the Dead Sea.
The climate is determined by Israel's location between the subtropical aridity of the Sahara and the Arabian deserts, and the subtropical humidity of the Levant or eastern Mediterranean.
Archaeology of Israel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (802 words)
The archaeology of Israel is a national passion that also attracts considerable international interest on account of the region's Biblical links.
Each university in Israel possesses a strong department or institute of archaeology and is involved in research, excavation, conservation and training.
In regard to the latter, Amihai Mazar and Israel Finkelstein represent the leading lights in a debate regarding the nature and chronology of the United Monarchy.
  More results at FactBites »



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