The first realization I had regarding the function of the cities mentioned in the lmlk impressions is that the products in the lmlk jars were produced in the land surrounding the relevant cities. The idea the places mentioned on the impressions were royal storehouses makes nonsense of the distribution of the impressions. The second realization I had about these impressions was that lmlk jars were made and, therefore, stamped in the Shephelah (possibly at the houses of Achzib). Thus, the lmlk system may, indeed, have been a tax collection system for four selected wine-growing districts. As the yh(w)d-impression system had two tax collection centers rosette system had five, the lmlk sysem might have had either two (Lachish and Jerusalem, Ramat Rahel being built in the Assyrian period), three (Lachish, Jerusalem, and Ramat Rahel) or as many as six (Lachish, Jerusalem, Ramat Rahel, Gibeon, Mizpah, and Beth-Shemesh) tax-collection centers. Possibly, the jars were sent from Lachish into the central hill country, then back to Lachish, and from there being sent to the other great lmlk-impression-centers. Thus, due to this reconstruction, I suggest the cities Hebron, Ziph, Socoh, and Memshet had nothing to do with the collection of lmlk jars, (though some taxpaying families could have possibly kept some jars to themselves on a small scale), and, thus, the four cities need only have been the capitals of the districts bearing their name. Thus, MMST may, in fact, be Khirbet Abu et-Tuwein.

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