The “Valley of the king “Project

Exploring the Economic and Social Hinterland of Jerusalem in the Iron, Persian and Early Hellenistic times

Emeq Rephaim

The Rephaim Valley

The goal of this project is to explore the rural hinterland of Jerusalem during the late Iron Age II period, when Jerusalem’s urban growth was at its peak and the Kingdom of Judah came under Imperial domination. How did Jerusalem sustain itself as an urban environment as it mushroomed into a city covering over 50 hectares? Did the demands of the Imperial yoke cause exploitation of the countryside? Was there a sophisticated administrative system that promised that rural agricultural production and crop collection would satisfy both local and global demands? Thus far, these and other related questions have been addressed by a view from the center—primarily by excavations conducted in Jerusalem. The purpose of the present research is to address these issues by viewing them not from the center out, but from the hinterland in—from the vantage point of Jerusalem’s economic cradle.

The projects holds two tracks:

er ras picture 2

Kh. Er-Ras Excavations


The Emergence of Terrace Farming in the Judean Highlands of Israel


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