The Geopolitical Landscape of Northern Canaan in the Late Bronze Age

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

The Geopolitical Landscape of Northern Canaan in the Late Bronze Age
Dr. Mario A.S. Martin

During the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1500–1130 BCE) the northern regions of the land of Israel functioned as a buffer zone between the great empires—Egypt in the south and the Mitanni and subsequently the Hittites in the north. The political reality of the Canaanite city states was a blend of foreign influence, hegemony and occupation, diplomatic alliances and an ongoing fight for independence. The geographical landscape of this area was diversified, shaping economic subsistence, strategic locations, trade network and interregional interconnectedness in general. As a result, the polities on the Mediterranean coastal plain, in the Highlands and in the large intersecting valleys (Jezreel and Jordan Valleys) were faced with different circumstances.

This course is a fusion of the textual and archaeological evidence from this period. It covers the main historical events and elaborates on the regional nuances. The textual sources are fascinating but at times sketchy. The highlight are the Amarna letters. Beyond that, it is mainly the archaeological finds at key sites, such as Megiddo, Beth-Shean and Hazor that complement the picture and reveal the true story of what the political life was like in the period under review.

Spring Semester    WED 10:00-14:00