Archaeology and History of the Land Of Israel – Iron Age II – Early Persian Period

·         Credit: 2

·         Lecturer: Dr. Omer Sergi

·         Semester: 2

·         Dates: 13.03.17 – 11.05.17

·         Tour date: 11.05.17

Historically speaking, the Iron Age II (ca. 980–586 BCE) was the period that saw the rise and fall of the territorial kingdoms in the Levant. As early as the Iron Age IIa (ca. 980–800 BCE) territorial-political entities ruled by local dynasts were formed throughout the Levant, among them also the Biblical kingdoms of Judah and Israel. By the Iron Age IIb-c (ca. 800–586 BCE), these kingdoms dissolved and integrated into a larger imperial system of different successive imperial powers: Assyria, Egypt, and Babylonia. By the time, the Persian Empire took over the Levant (ca. 539 – 330 BCE) the territorial kingdoms no longer existed, and the imperial provinces formed the political – territorial organization of the region. 

The main goal of the class is to discuss and to reconstruct the rise and fall of the southern Levantine territorial kingdoms in the land of Israel, by focusing on the archaeology and history of Israel and Judah. In order to do that, we shall review the archaeological record from excavations and surveys throughout Israel, trying to clarify the settlement trends, urbanization process and material culture indicating centralization of political power. Consequently, we shall study the important ancient Near Eastern historical documents that may shed light on the historical circumstances for the rise and fall of the local kingdoms. On this ground, we will be able to examine also some Biblical texts in order to assess their date, their historical point of view and accordingly, their contribution to the historical reconstruction of the period.