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The Chronology of the Late Bronze (LB)-Iron Age (IA) Transition in the Southern Levant: A Response to Finkelstein’s Critique

  • Elisabetta Boaretto (a1), Yotam Asscher (a2), Louise A Hitchcock (a3), Gunnar Lehmann (a4), Aren M Maeir (a5) and Steve Weiner (a6)...


The question under discussion is whether the dates of the Late Bronze (LBIIB)-LBIII (Iron IA) transitions in three sites in the southern Levant, namely Megiddo, Tell es-Safi/Gath and Qubur el-Walaydah occur at the same time, as has been proposed by Israel Finkelstein in his article in 2016 in Egypt and Levant. Here we respond to Finkelstein’s comments. We add some new data, clarify the issues that were raised, and conclude that the Late Bronze (LBIIB)-LBIII (Iron IA) transitions occurred at different times in northern and southern Israel.


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Asscher, Y, Cabanes, D, Hitchcock, LA, Maeir, AM, Weiner, S, Boaretto, E. 2015a. Radiocarbon dating shows an early appearance of Philistine Material Culture in Tell es-Safi/Gath, Philistia. Radiocarbon 57(5):825850.
Asscher, Y, Lehmann, G, Rosen, SA, Weiner, S, Boaretto, E. 2015b. Absolute dating of the Late Bronze to Iron Age Transition and the appearance of Philistine culture in Qubur el-Walaydah, southern Levant. Radiocarbon 57(1):7797.
Finkelstein, I. 2016. To date or not to date: radiocarbon and the arrival the Philistines. Ägypten und Levante (Egypt and Levant) 26:275284.
Killebrew, AE. 2013. Early Philistine pottery technology at Tel Miqne-Ekron: implications for the Late Bronze–Early Iron Age transition in the eastern Mediterranean. In: Killebrew AE, Lehmann G, editors. The Philistines and Other “Sea Peoples” in Text and Archaeology. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. p 77129.
Maeir, AM, Hitchcock, LA. 2017. The appearance, formation and transformation of Philistine culture: new perspectives and new finds. In: Fischer P, Bürge T, editors. The Sea Peoples Up-to-Date: New Research on the Migration of Peoples in the 12th Century BCE. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. p 149162.
Toffolo, MB, Maeir, AM, Chadwick, JR, Boaretto, E. 2012. Characterization of contexts for radiocarbon dating: results from the Early Iron Age at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. Radiocarbon 54(3–4):371390.
Toffolo, MB, Arie, E, Martin, MAS, Boaretto, E, Finkelstein, I. 2014. The absolute chronology of Megiddo, Israel in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages: high-resolution radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 56(1):221244.



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