This is my official, but tenative and incomplete, Archaeological Chronology of Palestine and the lands surrounding it, heavily based on the work of Israel Finkelstein and Lily Singer-Avitz. At present, anything above the Chalcolithic on this page should not be seen as reliable. Links are provided for references. It is, as all my other pages, subject to updating. Asterisk indicates destruction. Two asterisks indicate disturbance. Three asterisks indicate abandonment. No asterisk indicates no destruction. Lack of a mention indicates a gap or a need for more information. For maps of Palestinian sites, see here and here. At present, the Lachish and Megiddo standards are most commonly used by archaeologists for the Iron and Late Bronze ages. The Tell Beit Mirsim standard is an obsolete standard used for periods between EBIII to 701 BC until the 1970s, though it is still useful for eras earlier than the Late Bronze. The naming of these phases only incidentally corresponds to reality; little bronze was used in the EB and little iron was used in the Iron I.
Chronology is first constructed largely from historical records, which show the Persian period began in 539 BC, Megiddo III was occupied during the Assyrian period (c. 720-c. 622 BC), Lachish III (and, almost certainly, all contemporary sites in Judah with a destruction layer) was destroyed in 701 BC (the Albrightians originally went for 597 BC, then for the two-campaign hypothesis; the Lachish relief of Sennacherib does not come with a date, but certainly dates the campaign to 701 BC), Jerusalem’s Iron IIB fortifications and tunneling attempts were built up during the Hezekian revolt, Egyptian-influenced Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 14 was destroyed in 604 BC (Babylonian Chronicles, Weidner Tablets, and Jeremiah 47) and Lachish II was destroyed in 588-6 BC (Jeremiah 34:7, Lachish Letters). Ekron’s IC prosperity phase seems to have been spurred by the 701 BC campaign against Judah, although its full scale settlement probably occurred some 10 or more years after the campaign. The 733/2 BC campaign of Tiglath Pileser certainly caused the destruction of Galilee at the end of Iron IIB, and probably that of the Jezreel Valley and Gezer. The conquests of Hazael (late 9th C BC), mentioned in 2 Kings 13, are supposed to have destroyed numerous Late Iron IIa sites throughout the Galilee, Sharon, and Jezreel. The Omride Kingdom, described in the Mesha stele as taking over Transjordan, almost certainly belongs in the Late Iron IIa, the first civilized phase of Iron Age Palestine and the age of the founding of Israelite Samaria, with Jezreel being a major site in this phase, as confirmed by the book of Kings. Shoshenq I’s list seems to date to the era before the Omride period, to the Early Iron IIa. Radiocarbon dating at Ekron has been used to reconstruct the chronology of Early-Mid Iron I and at ‘Atar Haroa (30°54’27″N, 34°51’12″E) and Tel Rehov to reconstruct the chronology of early Iron IIa. For Early Iron I Dor, we have the Tale of Wenamun. Before that, we have Egyptian chronology, based on radiocarbon, Sothic, and lunar dates. Before this, physical dating methods, stone tool typology, faunal and floral remains, and stratigraphy are the last tools which remain for us to use.
For anything before the dawn of humanity, see websites regarding geology.
Middle Acheulean (c. 800,000 BC-c. 250,000 BC) Type sites include Umm Qatafa.
Late Acheulean (c. 250,000-c. 120,000 BC)
Yabrudian (Galilee) (c. 200,000-c. 120,000 BC)
Middle Paleolithic (c. 120,000-c. 50,000 BC)-Homo Sapiens Sapiens evolves. Type sites include Skhul, Qafzeh.
Ahmarian (c. 50,000-c. 22,500 BC)
Aurignacian (c. 35,000-c. 22,500 BC)
Early Kebaran (c. 22,500-c. 19,500 BC) Type sites include Ohalo II,
Late Kebaran/Nizzanean (c. 19,500-17,500)
Geometric Kebaran A (c. 17,500-16,000 BC)
Geometric Kebaran B (c. 16,000-c. 12,500 BC)
Early Natufian (c. 13,400-c. 11,800 BC)
Late Natufian (c. 11,800-c. 9,800 BC) Type sites include Jericho Stratum XIII/City Ia***.
Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic A/Khiamian (c. 9800-c. 9300 BC) Type sites include Abu Madi (late in this phase), el-Khiam, Gesher (Phase I).
Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic A/Sultanian (c. 9300-8700 BC) Type sites include Jericho Stratum XII/City Ib***.
Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (c. 8700-c. 8200 BC) Type sites include Motza Layer VI.
Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (c. 8200-c. 7500 BC) Type sites include Motza Layer V, Jericho XI/City Ic1**, ‘Ain Ghazal, Munhata Layers 6-5.
Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (c. 7500-c. 6200 BC) Type sites include Neolithic Ashkelon, Jericho X/City Ic2***, Munhata Layers 4-3B***.
Pottery Neolithic/ Yarmoukian (c. 6200-c. 5000 BC) Type site include Motza Layer IV, Jericho Stratum IX/City IIa and Stratum VIII/City IIb***, Munhata Layer 2B.
Wadi Rabah/Early Chalcolithic (c. 5000-c. 4500 BC) Type sites include Motza Layer IV pit, Wadi Rabah, Munhata Layer 2A*** Beth-Shean XIX.
Chalcolithic (c. 4500-c. 3250 BC) Type sites include Arad V/XVII, Tell el-Hesi Field III, Area 5 structure (Stratum XVII), Ghassul IV, Gezer XXVI (Old I; see here for fields at Gezer), Beth-Shean Beth Shean XVIII and XVII North and XVII South and XVI.
Early Bronze IA (c. 3250-c. 3150 BC)-Contemporary with the late Naqada II. First time Canaanite history can be connected with recorded history. Type sites include Bab edh-Dhra V, Jericho Stratum VII/City IIIa1, Gezer XXVI, Munhata Layer 1, Beth-Shean XV. Pottery styles include Red and Grey Burnished Ware.
Early Bronze IB (c. 3150-c. 3020 BC)-Contemporary with the early 1st Dynasty and late pre-dynastic. Ends in the reign of Djer, as is evidenced from the fact Abydos Ware, found in his tomb, appears only in the next phase in South Canaan. Type sites include En Besor III, Arad IV (XVI when counting from latest settlement), Bab edh-Dhra IV (first structures)*, Erani C (to c. 3100 BC), Jericho Stratum VI/City IIIa2, City of David 20, Gezer XXV, et-Tell X and IX (Pre-Urban), Beth-Shean XIV, Megiddo XIX and XVIII***, Khirbet Kerak V.
Early Bronze II (c. 3020-c. 2700 BC)-Due to contacts with Byblos, Egyptian trade with Canaan, very strong in the previous phase, rapidly tapers off, though South Palestine is still influenced by Egypt. Type sites include Arad III [XV, fortifications] and II (XIV, to c. 2750 BC)* and I (XIII, squatter settlement)*** Bab ed-Dhra III, Jericho Stratum IV/City IIIb, City of David 19***, Gezer XXIV and XXIII***, Jericho Strata V and IV/Cities IIIb1 and IIIb2, et-Tell VIII (first fortifications/Urban A)* and VII and VI (Urban B)*, Khirbet Kerak Fortification A (Stratum IV)**, Dan XV.
Early Bronze IIIA (c. 2700-c. 2500 BC)-Egypt keeps its influence over et-Tell. Type sites include Halif XV* and XIV, Mirsim J, Tell el-Hesi Field VI Pre-City Sub-I (Stratum XVI), Jarmuth B-III/C-4, Jericho Stratum III/City IIIc1, et-Tell V and IV (Urban C), Beth-Shean XIII, Megiddo XVII, Khirbet Kerak III, Dan XIV, Leilan Period IIId. The first Khirbet Kerak Ware, spread by a migrating Urartian population, appears at its southernmost in the Jezreel-Jordan valleys.
Early Bronze IIIB (c. 2500-c. 2300 BC)-The Khirbet Kerak Ware producers’ peak, and also that of Canaanite civilization in the Bronze Age. Type sites include Halif XIV and XIII and XII***, Mirsim J (Main Phase), Tell el-Hesi City Sub-I (Stratum XV), Jarmuth B-II, Jericho Stratum III/Cities IIIc1 and IIIc2, et-Tell III (Urban C)*, Beth-Shean XII, Megiddo XVI*, Khirbet Kerak Fortification B (Stratum II), Dan XIV, Leilan Period IIa. Pottery styles include Khirbet Kerak Ware, which seems to appear only in this phase in the areas south of et-Tell, which, becoming even more dominated by Egypt, was destroyed in this phase. Egyptian artifacts almost cease in Canaan.
Early Bronze IIIC (c. 2300-c. 2190 BC) Ben-Tor’s Early Bronze IV. Contemporary with the 6th Dynasty of Egypt, the early Akkadian period in Mesopotamia, and the beginnings of the 4.2 ka event. Egyptian campaigns take place at the beginning of this phase, and climate tapers off rapidly toward its end. Type sites include Mirsim J, Tell el-Hesi City I (Stratum XIV), Gath E6, Jarmuth B-I (Palace B)/G-II and G-I***, Jericho Stratum III/City IIIc2***, Beth-Shean XI, Megiddo XV, Khirbet Kerak Fortification C (Stratum I)***, Tyre XX, Leilan Period IIb, Shahr-i Sokhta Period III/Phase 3. Khirbet Kerak Ware ceases in the South of Palestine in this phase completely.
Intermediate Bronze (c. 2190-c. 1850 BC)-The dark age of Canaan. Since in it continue the Early Bronze pottery styles, and no Middle Bronze pottery appears, it cannot be called Middle Bronze I, as it sometimes is. However, its large nomadic population required a constant supply of good weapons, which led to a flourishing bronze industry, tin-bronze being introduced to Palestine only in this age. It was caused by a combination of factors, including the 4.2 ka event, the enmity of Egypt to Canaan, and the lack of trade coming into Egypt. It is contemporary with the late Akkadian and Gutian periods in Mesopotamia and the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th dynasties in Egypt. Type sites include Bab ed-Dhra I, Mirsim I (‘eye’) and H, Jericho Stratum II/Cities IIId1 (gap w/cemetary, then small settlement) and IIId2 (major village), Beth-Shean XI, Megiddo XIV, Tyre XIX***, Shahr-i Sokhta Period IV/Phases 2 and 1.
Middle Bronze IIA (c. 1900-c. 1710 BC) The 12th and 13th Dynasty period. The Execration Texts date to this period. Type sites include Tell el-‘Ajjul pre-Palace I, Mirsim G (poor)**, and F (poorer, first city wall), Jericho Stratum II/City IVa [new fortifications]*, Gezer XXII, Megiddo XIIIB and XIIIA and XII, Gesher (Phase II), Hazor XVIII (from c. 1730 BC), Shahr-i Sokhta Period IV/Phases 1 and 0.
Middle Bronze IIB (c. 1720-c. 1630 BC) The 14th Dynasty period. Type sites include Tell el-‘Ajjul Palace I*, Mirsim E1 and E2 and D1, City of David 18B (city wall) and 18A, Jericho Stratum I/City IVb, Timnah XII, Gezer XXI and XX, Megiddo XII and XI, Hazor XVII/Lower City 4, Kanesh (Kultepe) Ib (from c. 1730 to c.1655 BC).
Middle Bronze IIC (c. 1635-c. 1550 BC) The Hyksos Period proper. Contemporary with Late Helladic IA. Type sites include Tell el-‘Ajjul Palace II, Nagila VII*, Mirsim D1 and D2 (to before c. 1580 BC)*, City of David 17**, Jericho Stratum I/City IVc, Gezer XIX [first wall, high place; Old III and II] and XVIII*, Timnah XI*, Beth-Shean XI/XB and XB and XA*, Megiddo XI, Hazor XVI/Lower City 3*.
Late Bronze IA (c. 1550 BC-1458 BC) Canaan in collapse. It is not known what took place to cause such a change in this phase, although it must have been something big. Hurrian migrations and Egyptian campaigns (of Ahmose I and Thutmose I) have been suggested. Contemporary with Late Helladic IB. Santorini (Thera) erpution takes place toward the end of this phase, at the beginning of Late Helladic II. Type-sites include Tell el-‘Ajjul Palace II (to c. 1535 BC)*, Halif XI, Tell el-Hesi Cities Sub II (Stratum XIII, from c. 1510 BC?), Gezer XVII, Timnah X*, Jericho City IVc*, Mevorakh XII, Megiddo IX (to 1458 BC?)*, Hazor XV/Lower City 2, Arkata . Pottery styles include Elaborate Bichrome Ware, Black/Gray Lustrous Ware, and Chocolate on White Ware.
Late Bronze IB-Essentially the Pre-Amarna Egyptian Empire Age (1458-1388 BC). Contemporary with Late Helladic II. Type sites include Tell el-‘Ajjul Palace III, Halif X*, Mirsim C1*, Tell el-Hesi City II (Stratum XII), Lachish IX (Fosse Temple I), Gezer XVII, Timnah IX*, Ashdod XVII, Beth-Shean IX2, Mevorakh XI, Kinneret VII**, Hazor XV/Lower City 2* (to c. 1400 BC), Dan VIII, Tyre XVIII.
Late Bronze IIA-Essentially the Amarna Period, and the intermediate period after it (1388-1290 BC). Type sites include Avaris General Phase B/3 (Hormemheb to Ramesses II) Tell abu Salima M and L, Tell el-Ajjul Palace IV, Mirsim C2, Tell el-Hesi City III (Egyptian Outpost; EA 333, dating to the 1350s, found, Stratum XII)*** and ash layer (caused by wind-borne ash from plant-burning in lower LB settlement, see here, pg. 26, and here, or, possibly, burnt-off threshing floors made by the inhabitants of that same settlement), Lachish VIII (Fosse Temple II), City of David 16, Timnah (Tel Batash) VIIB and VIIA*, Ekron IX, Gezer XVI (old IV), Jericho Middle Building/City V***, Shechem XIII, Rehov D-9b and D-9a, Beth-Shean IX1*, Megiddo VIII and VIIB, Hazor XIV/Lower City 1B**, Dan VIIA (Mycenaean Tomb), Kumidi 12. Pottery styles include Mycenaean IIIA2 (from c. 1350 BC), White Slip II, Tyre XVII, Gordion 9.
Late Bronze IIB-Essentially the Ramesside Era (1290-1177 BC). Type sites include Avaris General Phase B/2, Deir el-Balah, Jemmeh LB II, Tel Haror B7, Tel Sera X, Tell el-Ajjul Palace V, Mirsim C2, Tell el-Hesi Sub-IV (Winepress, Stratum XI), Lachish VII (Fosse Temple III)*, Ashkelon Grid 38 (pg. 108) (31°39’48.52″N, 34°32’47.44″E) Phase 22 (captured and modified by Merenptah c. 1210 BC), Gath A9/E5, Ashdod XV, Tel Mor (pre-Assyrian Ashdod-Yam) VII*, City of David 16, Timnah VIB, Ekron VIIIB, Gezer XV (old Upper IV, to 1209 BC?)*, Beitin LB Phase 2*, Aphek X12*, Shechem XII, Dor G 12-11 (to c. 1170? BC) Rehov D-8, Beth-Shean VIII and VII*, Megiddo VIIB*, Abu Hawam VC*, Hazor XIII/Lower City 1A (unfortified)**, Dan VIIB, Tyre XVI and XV, Kumidi 12 and 11, Gordion 8. Pottery styles include Mycenaean IIIB, used until about 1180. Trojan Grey Ware (sometimes called Anatolian Grey Ware) appears here first. Late in this phase, Late Mycenaean IIIB begins to appear; it continued until after the destruction of Ugarit in the first major Sea Peoples’ Wave. Contemporary with Late Cypriot IIC.
Late Bronze III-Strata contemporary with Ramesses III, who repelled the Philistines and the late Ramessides (1177-c. 1120 BC). A part of Albright’s Iron IA, since he thought this phase was contemporary with the Early Iron I. As hieratic inscriptions from later than 1177 BC were found at Lachish and Tel ‘Sera, and a thriving Egyptian administration was found at Beth-Shean throughout this period, it is obvious Egyptian administration lasted well into the 12th C BC. Due to the Bronze Age collapse, imports from Cyprus and Greece decline drastically during this period. Most sites at the end of of this era were either resettled by the Philistines, destroyed by the Philistines and abandoned, simply abandoned, or continued as they were. Type sites for this era include Avaris General Phase B/1, Tell el-Far’ah S. Building Y-R and Cemetery 900*, Tel Haror B6 and B5*, Tel Sera IX*, Mirsim C2*, Halif VIII, Tell el-Hesi City IV (Petrie’s “Pilaster Building” and a Governor’s Residency, Stratum X)*, Lachish VI*, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 21**, Gath Lower F3/A8/E4, Tel Mor VI and V, Ekron VIIIA*, Timnah VIA*, Beth-Shemesh Level 7 [fine oil village; no imports], Ashdod XIV*, Gezer XIV*, Aphek X11, Saidiyeh XII, Shechem XII and XI, Rehov D-7 and, later, Rehov D-6, Beth-Shean Late VII-Lower VI*, Megiddo VIIA (K-6)*, Dan VIIA*, Tyre XV, Kumidi 10, Enkomi IIIA. Pottery styles include Levanto-Helladic (Myc IIIC:1a)-c. 1180-c. 1150, which also appears in Cyprus, and Painted Qurayyah Ware, which reaches its peak here. In Cyprus, the Sea Peoples of the Aegean establish Late Cypriot IIIA, as stated by Ramesses III.
Early Iron I-Strata contemporary with the first conquest of the Philistines and the settlement of the Israelites. A part of Albright’s Iron IA. Ekron becomes the most powerful city of Philistia, Gath second or third, Ashkelon fourth, and Ashdod fifth. Lasts until about 1050 BC, by Finkelstein’s radiocarbon model. Most LB III sites mentioned above were abandoned in this era, Canaanite culture totally ending in Philistia, yet, the “Governor’s Residency” style of architecture continuing. Dor is inhabited by a minority of Sikil/Tjeker, inspiring the Tale of Wenamun. The Izbet Sartah ostracon, found in an Early Iron IIa stratum (II), certainly belongs here. Later Israelite traditions tell of Abimelech causing disturbances in the area of Shechem, perhaps representing the end of Shechem XI. The Nahas-Masos network, operating by the way of Mampsis/Kurnub, becomes operational, partially replacing the Timnah mine, and stays so to the end of the Iron Age. Type sites for this era include Qudeirat 4c, Nahas S4, Tel Masos IIIA and B, Mirsim B1, Tel Haror B4 and B3, Halif VIII*, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phases 20 B and A and 19, Gath Lower F2/A7/E4, “Giloh”, Ashdod XIIIB, City of David (fills), Ekron VII [Lower City re-inhabited] to VIB, Beitin Iron I Phases 1* and 2*, Izbet Sartah III, Shechem XI*, Dor Late Iron Ia Early (to c. 1050 BC), Rehov D-5*, Dan VI, Tyre XIV. Pottery styles include Philistine Monochrome (locally made Myc IIIC:1b, “Early-Middle”) in Philistia (almost) alone, in Greece, Myc IIIC:1c (“Late”), in Cyprus, Late Cypriot IIIA, and, in Palestine and N. Arabia, Painted Qurayyah ware, which does not continue into the next phase.
Middle Iron I-Contemporary with a renewed Philistine settlement, lasting maximally from 1060 to 1020 BC by Finkelstein’s model. A part of Albright’s Iron IB. A small amount of Philistine bichrome originating from the Lebanese coast and from the area of Dor itself has been found in the earliest Iron Age stratum at Dor, demonstrating that Philistine bichrome was produced outside Philistia. Tjeker/Sikil Dor was occupied by the Phoenicians in Iron Ia/b. Ekron reaches peak prosperity. Type sites for this era include Tell el-Far’ah S. X, Masos IIIB, Tel Beersheba IX, Jemmeh JK (V), Tel Sera VIII, Tel Haror B2, Mirsim B2, Halif VII, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 18 and Grid 50 Phase 9, Gath A6, Ashdod XIIIA and XII* and XI*, Tel Mor IV, Beth-Shemesh Levels 6* and 5 (“Stratum III”), Ekron VIB and VC and VB, Timnah V, Tell el-Ful I, Tell en-Nasbeh (Mizpah) IV, Gezer XIII and XII, et-Tell II**, Beitin Iron I Phase 3, Shiloh V*, Aphek X10, Qasile XII-XI, Rehov D-4, Dor Late Iron Ia Early (to c. 1050 BC) and Late Iron Ia Late (to c. 1020 BC)*, Taanach IA?, Megiddo VIB (K-5), Yokneam XVII, Abu Hawam IV, Kinneret VI, Hazor XII/XI, Dan VI and V (to c. 1030-1010)*, Tyre XIII. Pottery styles for this era include Philistine Bichrome, Late Cypriot IIIB, and Phoenician Monochrome. Myc IIIC Late transitions into Sub-Mycenaean (Myc. IIIC:2).
Late Iron I-A period stretching from about 1030-the 920s BC. A part of Albright’s Iron IB. Ekron remained the most powerful city in Philistia, but was destroyed late in this phase, Ashdod and Timnah ceased to exist, Ashkelon and Gath continued, although Philistine presence overall is weakened throughout the rest of Canaan. As evidenced by the finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a literate (in a very limited sense) state in the Elah valley existed in the early part of this period. In the Hill Country, David is said by the later Judahite traditions to have taken over the City of David, an unfortified village. The Jezreel Valley was totally destroyed in c. 1010-940 BC. A Masos IIIB-Nahas S3-based trading network began in the South. First Phoenician script appears (Kefar Veradim, Early Byblian inscriptions [those before Shipitbaal], possibly Gezer Calendar). The first Tripartite Pillared Buildings, serving the function of bazaars, appear at Tels Hadar and Qasile, to continue until the Assyrian conquests. Type sites include Nahas S3, Esdar III, Masos IIIB*, Tel Beersheba XI* and VIII*, Jemmeh JK (V), Tel ‘Sera VIII, Halif VII, Mirsim B2, Beth-Zur IV (sometimes III)*, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 17B and A, Gath A5, Khirbet Qeiyafa IV (to c. 960)***, City of David 15, Tel Mor III, Tell el-Ful I, Gibeon “Iron I”**, Mizpah IV, Raddanah 3, et-Tell I, Beth-Shemesh III/Level 4 (to c. 1000 BC)*, Ekron VA and IV (in IV, Philistine Bichrome ends), Heshbon 20 and 19, Gezer X and IX (old V) [Gezer Calendar, c. 930-910 BC]*, Aphek X9, Qasile XI and X (earthquake?)*, parts of Samaria PP 1/BP 0 [Shemer estate], Far’ah N. VIIa, Hammah Late Iron I*, Ahwat, Rehov D-3, Beth-Shean Upper VI and some Lower V*, Dor Iron Ia/b (to c. 990 BC) and Late Iron IB (earthquake) (to c. 950 BC)** and Iron I/II (to c. 920 BC), Taanach IB (to c. 1000 BC)*, Megiddo VIA (K-4) (to before c. 940 BC)*, Yokneam XVIIB and XVIIA*, Abu Hawam IV*, Hadar V and IV (c. 940 BC)*, Keisan 9a*, Kinneret VI [early] and V [rich regional center] and IV [poor non-urban settlement], Dan IVB*, Tyre XII. Pottery styles for this era include Degenerate Philistine Bichrome in Philistia in the earlier phase (disappearing from the rest of Canaan), “Middle Philistine” Decorated Ware (sometimes called “Ashdod”, not actually purely Philistine), and Phoenician Bichrome. Unburnished Red Slip pottery appears in the Shephelah toward the end of this period. Early-Mid Cypro-Geometric I and some Cypro-Geometric IB first appears in Palestine. In Greece, Sub-Mycenaean transitions into Greek Proto-Geometric.
Early Iron IIA-(c. 940-c. 880 BC)-Characterized by the reign of Shoshenq I and its effects, which included expansion (not contraction) of the copper producing network in the South, which fizzled out with the advent of the Cypriot copper trade. A part of Albright’s Iron IC. Timna of the Aravah was re-inhabited in this phase. Radiocarbon dating at ‘Atar Haroa proves this phase lasted well into the early 9th C BC. In Ephraim, the oil and wine producing estate became a modestly popular form of settlement. In Philistia, Ashdod revives while Gath becomes the mightiest city of Philistia, Ekron becoming the least poweful and Ashkelon the third or fourth least. The Tel Zayit Abecedary is written. In Benjamin, after Shoshenq I’s destruction of the Benjamin polity, the weakly-fortified Mizpah IIIC is built, supposedly after Asa’s war with Baasha (2 Kings 15:22). Type sites include the Negev Sites (settlements of pastoralists connected with Philistine-influenced copper mining; not fortresses!), the Haserim of the W. Beersheba V., Nahas S2, Esdar II, Arad XII, Tel Beersheba VII, Tel Masos II**, Jemmeh GH (IV), Tel Sera VII, Halif VII, Nagila IV, Mirsim B3, Lachish V*(?), Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 16, Gath A4 B and A/E3, City of David 14, Tell el-Ful I*, Raddana 3*, et-Tell I***, Khirbet ed-Dawwara*, Ashdod X, Ekron III, Timnah IV*, Mizpah IIIC, Aphek X8, Izbet Sartah II [estate] and I, Qasile IX and VIII*, Samaria BP 0/PP 1 [Shemer estate], Far’ah N. VIIa, Dor Iron I/II (no red-slipped pottery yet) (to c. 920 BC) and Iron IIa, Rehov VI, Beth Shean Area S 1b (“Lower V”), Taanach IIA, Megiddo VB, Yokneam XVI and XV, Rosh Zayit III, Bethsaida VIB*, Tyre XI. Widespread Red Slip (around 60-80% in the South), Hand Burnished ware present in all areas (to a minimal extent, even in Galilee) except in Phoenicia. Cypro-Geometric IB/II appears. “Ashdod” (Late Philistine Decorated) Ware appears. Euboean Mid-Late Protogeometric found at Dor, and Euboean Sub-Protogeometric first appears at the end of this phase.
Late Iron IIA (Omride, c. 870s-820s/810s BC)- This is the period of Omride domination over Israel and the surrounding area. A part of Albright’s Iron IC, it was formerly ascribed to Solomon, and its destruction to Shoshenq I’s campaign, but the havoc this wreaked on Greek chronology and the Atar Haroa radiocarbon dates forced it to its present location. It is characterized in the areas ruled by the Omrides by Omride architecture. Its clearly royal sites began no earlier than the reign of Omri, although the Late Iron IIa pottery and economic system might have developed a decade or so before him, and began to end no later than Hazael’s incursions after 826 BC. It is not known whether the forts in Judah were built before or after the destruction of Gath, but we could guess before; Lachish never was part of the Gittite kingdom. The KeN copper network was taken over by Judah, as implies 2 Kings 3, and its easternmost part was taken over by a local chieftain in 849 BC, as stated in 2 Kings 8:20, though the Edomite plateau remained a wilderness and Judah continued its control over the Beersheba Valley. Each and every one of the following destructions except that of Rehov V was caused by Hazael’s conquests. Type sites for this era include Qudeirat 4a, Arad IX, Tel Beersheba VI (work camp) and V*, Tel ‘Ira VIII, Tel Sera’ VII*, Mirsim B3, Nagila IV, Tell el-Hesi City V (two phases of use of tripartite pillared buildings), Lachish IV, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 16 [MB fortifications modified], Tel Zayit I*, Gath A3 B and A3 A/F9/E2*, City of David 13, Ashdod X/IX*, Ekron III, Jericho IVb, Gezer VIII (old Maccabean Castle)*, Mizpah IIIC, Beitin Iron I Phase 4, Tel Hamid VII*, Tell es-Saidiyeh XI*, Shechem X*, Samaria BP 1/PP 2, Far’ah N. VIIb, Hammah Lower Iron IIa*, Dor Iron IIa, Jezreel Enclosure*, Rehov V* and IV*, Beth-Shean Area S 1a and Area P 10 (“Lower V”)*, Taanach IIB*, Megiddo VA-IVB (H-5)*, Yokneam XIV [water system]*, Abu Hawam IIIA, Keisan 8, Rosh Zayit IIb and a*, Bethsaida VIA*, Hazor Xb (c. 880-870) and Xa (c. 870-850) and IXb (c. 850-840) and IXa (c. 840-c. 825)*, Tyre X2 and X1, Hamath F1 (to c. 860 BC) and E. Pottery styles for this era include a diminished, but present, burnishing of pottery (roughly half of all assemblages in the South, about a quarter at Hazor) with Red Slip and Cypriot Geometric III and Black-on-Red Ware Cypriot imports in Judah, (from c. 870 BC; some sherds appear in seemingly EI2a contexts at Megiddo) and the “Jezreel Cluster” in Israel. Contemporary with Euboean Sub-Protogeometric and Attic Middle Geometric I (c. 845-c. 780 BC) first appears
Aramean Period (at or after 826-at or after 796 BC)-This category had to be created due to the fact Iron IIA had its transitional phase with Iron IIB in Judah at c. 750 BC, and the supposition of Hazael building Iron IIB cities some 70 years earlier, most notably, the “splendid” Hazor VIII, having its successor the “seedier” Hazor VII, destroyed by Joash (though Peter James, a notorious ultra-skeptic, has suggested a dating of this stratum to the following phase and Hazor VI-V to the Assyrian period). This phase is characterized by attempted occupation of sites destroyed by Hazael by the Israelites and by Damascene occupation of the North. Philistia is held under Hazael’s thumb, Gath, its most powerful city, being desolated. Judah’s fortifications are strengthened, Tel Beersheba IV and Mizpah’s Great Wall being built after Hazael’s Gittite campaign, but before the resurgence of Israel under Joash. Type sites include Qudeirat 4a*, Arad XI, Tel Beersheba IV, Mirsim B3, Nagila IV, Lachish IV, City of David 12b, Beth-Shemesh IIa/Level 3, Mizpah IIIB, Samaria PP2/BP1, Hammah Upper Iron IIa*, Jezreel Iron IIa post-enclosure, Beth Shean post-S1a/P9, Taanach III and IV, Yokneam XIII, Abu Hawam IIIA, Kinneret III?, Rosh Zayit I, Bethsaida VB, Hazor VIII [water system] and VII*, Dan IVA*, Tyre VIII, Hamath E.
Transitional Iron IIA-B (Judahite, c.790-c. 750 BC)-This period is characterized by wares similar to those of Beth-Shemesh 3, which fell c. 750 BC. Finkelstein originally strongly argued for a transition half a century earlier, at the same time as the Israelite transition, but radiocarbon dating is superior to pottery dating in his eyes. Type sites include Arad XI (Amos’s Earthquake)*, Beersheba IV (Amos’s Earthquake)*, Mirsim B3 (?)*, Lachish IV (Amos’s Earthquake?)**, City of David 12b, Fill in Late 8th/Early 7th C BC House in Rock Cut Pool near Gihon Spring, Beth-Shemesh IIa/Level 3 *, Mizpah IIIB.
Iron IIB (Israelite, 798-723 BC)-Israel rose and prospered under Joash and Jeroboam II, the enclosure of Samaria being built in this phase. However, Galilee for certain, and supposedly the Sharon and Jezreel V. (Gazru, probably Gezer is seen on a Tiglath-Pileser III relief) fell in 733/2 BC, during Tiglath Pileser III’s conquest of the land of Damascus, largely due to the fact Pekah (735-732 BC), who had overthrown his predecessor, had revolted against Tiglath-Pileser while Tiglath-Pilseser was planning a direct attack on Urartu/Ararat. It seems likely the Transjordan and the cities listed in 2 Kings 15:29 were conquered in 733 and the rest of the land except the Hill Country fell in 732 BC. Hoshea (732/1-723/2 BC) became king either by command of Tiglath-Pileser or by overthrowing his predecessor. Samaria fell without destruction in 723 BC, to become a thriving provincial capital throughout Iron IIC. Philistia was partitioned between Gaza and Ashdod during the recovery after the Aramean period. Type sites for this era include Kuntillet ‘Ajrud***, Tell Abu Salima H, Tel ‘Sera VI (Gazite, to 720 or 716/15 BC)*, Tell el-Hesi VIIId (Gazite, “Manasseh Wall”, chamber and fill structure)/VIIIc (first occupation in stratum, City VI) and VIIIb, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 15, Tel Erani IX (fill and plaster)/VIII (first occupation) and VII (wall), Gath Upper F9 (Amos’s Earthquake)***, Ekron IIB, Ashdod IX/VIII/VII, Gezer VII and VIB and VIA (to 732 BC)*, Tel Hamid VI and V*, Aphek X7 and X6 (to 732 BC)*, Qasile VII, Shechem IX and VIII and VII (to 722 BC)*, Samaria PP 3 to 4, BP 2 [great fills]-3 (to 722 BC), Far’ah VIIc (to 722 BC)*, Dor Area A Phase 10 [new wall]/Area B1 [City Gate] Phase 7 (to 732 BC)*/Area C1 Phase 6/Area D2 Phase 7, Rehov III (to 732 BC)*, Beth-Shean Area P 8B and 8A and 7 (Upper V and IV; to 732)*, Taanach V (to 732 BC)*, Megiddo IVA [water system] (to 732 BC)*, Yokneam XII*, Abu Hawam IIIB (to 732 BC)*, Keisan 7 and 6, Kinneret II (to 732 BC)*, Bethsaida VA (to 733 BC)*, Hazor VI (Amos’s Earthquake)* and V (to 733 BC)*, Dan IIIB and IIIA and II (to 733 BC)*, Tyre VII (to c. 780 BC) and VI (to c. 760 BC), and V to I (c. 760-c. 700 BC), Hamath E (to 720 BC)*.
Iron IIB (Judahite, c. 760-720 BC) Type sites include Qudeirat 3b, Arad X-IX, Tel Beersheba III, Mirsim A1[wall], Lachish III, Timnah IIIB, City of David 12b, Beth-Shemesh IIb/Level 2. Unpainted Edomite ware begins here.
Iron IIB (Judahite, 720-701 BC)-Judah grew and prospered significantly during this period. The southern trade routes became better fortified, Judah’s king, Hezekiah (726-798 BC) building Qudeirat and Assyria building Tell el-Kheleifeh (Elat) and Ein Hatzeva (Tamar). The newly formed Province of Samaria was quickly settled by deportees. A large amount of Iron IIB sites were destroyed in 701 BC by Sennacherib, after Hezekiah encouraged all southern Palestine to revolt after Sargon II’s death. Type sites include Qudeirat 3b, Ein Hatzeva V, Tel ‘Aroer IVb*, Arad VIII (701 BC)*, Malhata IV (to 701 BC?)*, Tel Beersheba II (to 701 BC?)*, Halif VIB (to 701 BC)*, Mirsim A2, Rabud B2 (to 701 BC)*, Tel ‘Eton A3a*, Tel Nagila IV, Tell el-Hesi VIIIa (to 720 BC)*, Lachish III (to 701 BC)*, Hebron Iron IIb (to 701 BC)*, Beth-Zur III (sometimes, II), Erani VI*, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 15, Zayit Subphase 1a, Gath Upper F8 (to 711 BC)* and Gath Upper F7 (to 701 BC)*, Ramat Rachel VB, Ashdod VIII/VII (to 712/11 BC)** and VI (to the construction of Ekron IC), City of David 12a, W. Jewish Q 9 [refugee houses] and 8 [Broad Wall, from 702 BC], Tel Mor III (to 711 BC)*, Gibeon “Iron II” [city wall], Beth-Shemesh IIb/Level 2 (to 701 BC)*, Timnah IIIA (from 720 BC?, to 701 BC)*, Ekron IIA (to the construction of Ekron IC), Mizpah IIIA, Gezer V (old Va and parts of VI). Pottery styles include non-late lmlk stamps, used to mark oil and wine made by the Judahite crown, lmlk-type jars, used to hold oil, new wine, and grain, and very thin Assyrian Palace Ware made in sites settled under Sargon II such as Tells Jemmeh and Sera. Unpainted Edomite Ware continues into here. Personal seals and stamp impressions on jars first appear here, including those of Eliakim steward of Jehoiachin/Ywkn (obviously, not the king).
Iron IIB (Judahite, post 701 BC)-Squatter and refugee settlements after Sennacherib’s campaign, and also sites which remained. Type sites include Tel Aroer IVa and III, Tel Beersheba I, Tel ‘Ira VII, En Gedi V, Tel ‘Eton A2, Halif VIA, Ramat Rachel Vb*, City of David 12a, Tell el-Ful IIIA, Jericho IVc/II. Pottery styles include Divided Inscription, Top-Register and Generic lmlk stamps.
Iron IIC ([c. 732-c. 650]-623 BC)-Roughly contemporary with the reign of Manasseh (697-643 BC), though all Assyrian-era sites are included in this list. Megiddo III is the type site for this period. Type sites include Tell Abu Salima G, Khirbet en-Nahas Fort and S2a, Hatzeva IV, Tel Aroer III**, Tel ‘Ira VII, Malhata IIIB, Arad VII, Jemmeh EF (III) and CD (II), Tel Sera V (from 716/15 BC) and IV (Assyrian citadels)*, Tel Nagila III, Tell el-Hesi VII (1980s VI, Assyrian building, from 716/15 BC), Lachish II, Tel Erani V (re-fortification), En Gedi V, Beth-Zur III, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 15, Ashdod-Yam Assyrian, Giv’at Yonah, Ramat Rachel Va (Assyrian Citadel), City of David 11, W. Jewish Q 8, Tell el-Ful IIIA, Ekron IC (from c.700-c.670 BC), Gibeon “Iron II”, Mizpah IIIA, Gezer VB, Jericho City VI, Heshbon 16, Tell es-Sa’idiyeh IV, Shechem VI, Samaria PP 5 and 6 and BP 4 (from 720 BC) and 5 and 6**, Far’ah VIIe, Dor Area A Phase 9/Area B1 Phase 6 (from 733 BC)/Area C1 5b/Area D2 Phase 6, Rehov II, Beth-Shean Area P 6, Megiddo III (from 720 BC), Yokneam XI, Abu Hawam II, Keisan 5 and 4, Kinneret I, Hazor IV (from 733 BC) and III [Assyrian fortress], Ayyelet Ha-Shahar (from 720 BC or earlier), Dan I*, Hamath E-D***. Pottery styles include locally-produced Assyrian Palace Ware. In Greece, Transitional Corinthian Ware (c. 630-620 BC) and Attic Black-Figure Ware (c. 625 BC-c. 595 BC) appears toward the end of this period and Laconian I (c. 650-c. 620 BC) appears in the latter half of this period. Painted Edomite ware first appears here.
Late Iron IIC (622-[604-586 BC])-The pre-Babylonian, post-Assyrian period. All the Sharon and Philistine Plain (especially the coast) was indirectly (at Megiddo, directly) dominated by a rising Egypt. Ashkelon was the most powerful city in Philistia, then Ekron, then Gaza, then whatever was at Gath, then whatever remained of Ashdod. All known dates of destructions correlate with Babylonian campaigns. Type sites include Khirbet en-Nahas post-Fort and S1, Qudeirat 2*, Hatzeva III, Tel Aroer II*, Tel ‘Ira VI*, Malhata IIIA*, Arad VI, Tell el-Hesi VI (one pit), Lachish II (to 588-6 BC)*, Tel Erani IV*, Rabud A2/B1, En Gedi V (to 588-6 BC)*, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 14 and Grid 50 Phase 7 (to 604 BC)*, Ashdod-Yam Egyptian (to 588-6 BC)*, Ramat Rahel Va, W. Jewish Q (“Area A”) 7 (to 586 BC)*, City of David 10 (to 586 BC)*, Tell el-Ful IIIA (to 597?)* and IIIB, Gibeon “Iron II”, Beth-Shemesh IIc/Level 1 (to 588-6 BC)*, Timnah II (to 588-6 BC)*, Ekron IB (to 588-6 BC)*, Mizpah IIIA (to 588-6 BC), Gezer VA (to 588-6 BC)*, Jericho City VI*, Heshbon 16 (to 582 BC)*, Beitin Iron IIC (to 588-6 BC)*, Mesad Hashavyahu, Qasile VII, Shechem VI, Samaria BP 6 and PP 6, Far’ah N. VIIe, Dor Area A Phase 8, Megiddo II (to 604 BC?)*, Tell Keisan 4, Tell Kabri E2a. Pottery features include Rosette stamped handles. Carved Tricandara shells from Phoenicia first appear here. In Greece, Early Corinthian Ware (c. 620-c. 590 BC) flourishes.
Babylonian Period (586-539 BC)-Generally, this would fall after the Babylonian conquests of Philistia and Jerusalem. Babylonian policy was to impoverish and desolate, not to use all aspects of the economy of the subject lands to enrich the empire, as the Assyrians had done. Only the agricultural sector was encouraged by the Chaldeans, and, apparently, nowhere but a section of the former kingdom. The Judahite provincial capital was kept at Mizpah/Tell en-Nasbeh, Judah’s northernmost fortress, 12 km from Jerusalem, the desolate capital. The Ammonite provincial capital was kept at Tall al-‘Umayri, 11 km away from Rabbat-Ammon, the desolate capital. Type sites include Horvat Qitmit, Gibeon “Iron II” [Winery continues], Mizpah II, Ekron IA, Jericho City VI, ‘Umayri Stratum 16, Shechem V, Samaria PP 7 and BP 7, Far’ah N. VIIe1. Mwsh (Mozah) seal impressions are found here first, and continue a little into the succeeding period.
Early Persian (539-c. 400 BC)-A period characterized by an overall continuation of Babylonian control with much expansion in territory beyond the lands conquered by the Babylonians. Palestine revives to an extent, but remains a backwater, covered in cesspits, though Egypt becomes a prize jewel in the Achaeminid empire. This phase is called “Persian” since the other Persian periods in Palestine are too short to be clearly distinguished from the phases surrounding it in the archaeological record. Type sites include Jemmeh AB (IC, Building A), Tell el Hesi Vd (to 456 BC)and Vc (City VII; to c. 440 BC) and Vb, Lachish IA, Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 13, Ramat Rahel Va Phase 2, City of David 9, Gibeon “Iron II” (to c. 500 BC)***, Jericho City VII, Mizpah II, Shechem V (to c. 475 BC), Dor Area A Phase 7/Area C Stratum VI/Area D2 Phase 5/Area G Phase 5, Megiddo I, Bhir IV. Mwsh seal impressed-jars continue into this period for a little while (though probably without their former status as crown property), since they are found at Jerusalem and Ramat Rachel, however, they are soon replaced by Lion stamp impressions. Contra Lipschits, lion stamp impressions surely belong to this phase. Lion impressions are fully replaced by Early Yhwds about c. 450 BC, though some early yhwds are contemporary with lion impressions.
Late Persian (c. 400 BC-332 BC)-A period characterized by a revival in Persian interest in Palestine, largely due to its loss of control over Egypt. Type sites include Jemmeh AB (IB, Building B/Residence (to c. 343 BC), and IA, Granary), Tel Sera III, Tell el-Hesi Va* and IVc and IVb, Lachish IB (Residence, to c. 343 BC) and IC, Beth-Zur II pre-fortification (sometimes I, unfortified), Ashkelon Grid 38 Phase 12 and Phase 11, Ramat Rahel Va Phase 2, City of David 9, Gezer IV, Jericho City VII***, Mizpah II*, Dor Area A Phase 6/Area C Stratum VI/Area D2 Phase 4/Area G Phase 4, Megiddo I (to 332 BC)*, Hazor II [re-use and expansion of III], Bhir III. Yh(w)d stamp impressions continue, but become more standardized, Lipschitz’s types 13-15 (“Middle”, 53% of assemblage) belonging to this phase and the next. First Yehud coinage appears.
Early Hellenistic (Macedonian, 332-323 BC, Antigonid, 323-312 BC, Ptolemaic, 312-198 BC)-A period characterized by the continuation of Persian rule in Palestine, though Egypt becomes even richer. Type sites include Avaris General Phase A, Tell el-Hesi IVa (City VIII)*, Lachish IC, Mareshah Northwest Tower Early, Khirbet Qeiyafa III, Gezer III, Tel Dan Hellenistic (from c. 280-c. 250 BC). “Middle” Yh(w)d stamp impressions continue.
Early Hellenistic (Seleucid, 198-141 BC) Some fortifications were erected by Bacchides. Type sites include Arad IV*, Lachish IC***, City of David Stratum 8, Gezer IIC (to 141 BC)*, .
Late Hellenistic (Hasmonean, 141-36 BC) Type sites include Mareshah Northwest Tower Late, Khirbet Qeiyafa IIE, Ramat Rahel IVb, Gezer IIB (from 142 BC) and IIA (to 64 BC). Yh(w)d plus sign impressions, Lipschits’s late types, and “YRSLM” seal impressions are exclusive to this phase.
Herodian (36 BC-66 AD) Type sites include City of David 6, Ramat Rahel IVa, Khirbet Qeiyafa IID, Gezer I (to 66-70 BC)
Between the Two Revolts (70/73 AD-132 AD) Type sites include City of David 5 (collapse of 6),
Late Roman (132-325 AD) Type sites include Te’omim Cave (from 132 to 135 AD), City of David 4 (runoff from Western Hill), Khirbet Qeyafa IIC, Ramat Rahel III
Byzantine (325-614 AD) Type sites include City of David 3 (from Eudocia’s rebuilding), Ramat Rahel II, Khirbet Qeiyafa IIB, Jericho City IX (in practice, VIII, Byzantine Building).
Sassanid (614-628 AD) Khirbet Qeiyafa IIC
Very Late Byzantine (628-634 AD) Khirbet Qeiyafa IIC
Rashidun (634-661 AD) Khirbet Qeiyafa IIB
Umayyad (661-750 AD) Type sites include City of David 2, Ramat Rahel I
Abbasid (750-1099 AD)
Crusader (1099-1187 AD)
Ayyubid (1187-1250 AD) Type sites include City of David 2,
Mamluk (1250-1517 AD)
Early Ottoman (1517-1720 AD)
Middle Ottoman (1720-1840 AD)
Late Ottoman (1840-1918 AD) Type sites include Khirbet Qeiyafa I.
Mandate (1918-1948 AD)
State of Israel (1948 AD-today)