A Clarification of Samarian Stratigraphy

The Samaria Ostraca, from Pottery Period IV, appear to date from the reign of Jeroboam II (783 BC) on paleographic and logical (Year 14) grounds. The Ostraca, however, seem to have been found in a fill below the floor of the Ostraca House. This makes it certain that the Ostraca were written before Building Period III. For the convenience of not having four building periods ascribed to the the time of Jeroboam II to 723 BC, it seems we can still conclude Building Period III might be contemporary with the Ostraca, but the possibility of four building periods between 790 and 723 BC should not be definitively excluded. The Osorkon II jar, dating by the conventional chronology from the reign of Ahab, found in a fill of the Osorkon house (which dates after the Ostraca House, probably after c. 630 BC), tells us only that Osorkon must have reigned before the construction of the Osorkon house. We can therefore reconstruct the following chronology for Samaria:

Pottery Period I (Building Period 0)-Late Iron I and Early Iron IIA-Shemer Family

Pottery Period II (Building Period 1)-Late Iron IIA-Omri to Jehoahaz

Building Period II (Pottery Periods III and IV)-Joash to Jeroboam II

Pottery Period IV/Building Period III-Jeroboam II to 720 BC. Ostraca House built in this phase.

Pottery Period V/Building Period IV-First Assyrian rebuilding, dating to Sargon II.

Pottery Period V/VI/Building Period V-Second Assyrian rebuilding, dating to Sennacherib and Esarhaddon.

Period VI-Last Assyrian. Destroyed at the end of Assyrian rule.

Period VII-Post-Assyrian, Pre-Chaldean or Chaldean. Osorkon House built here.

Period VIII-Chaldean-Persian or Persian

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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