A Clarification Regarding Psamtik and Ashdod

According to Herodotus, Psamtik I managed to capture Ashdod (Azotos) after a twenty-nine siege. Ashdod proper was inhabited in the Persian period. However, Finkelstein and Singer-Avitz’s re-analysis made it sure that Ashdod was very lightly inhabited after 711 BC, and was certainly abandoned during the reign of the first Psamtik. There were two main settlements of Ashdod during the 7th C BC: Ashdod-North (31°45’39″N, 34°39’25″E) and Ashdod-Yam. Ashdod North was an Assyrian palace, destroyed sometime during the course of the 7th C BC (when, it is uncertain). It does not seem to have had an Egyptian stratum. It seems, therefore, that it was Ashdod-Yam which Herodotus refers to, which does have an Egyptian stratum. Ashdod-Yam did have its fortifications, but it seems highly improbable it could have been besieged for twenty nine years. Nor is it likely Ashdod-Yam submitted to Egypt in the twenty-ninth year of Psamtik I, which would be 636 BC; Ashurbanipal was still strong during this time. Rather, the twenty-nine years could be a confusion for weeks, months, or even hours.

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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