In what follows, we will illustrate how an over-reliance on extra-biblical textual data for ancient Edom has led to major chronological problems and consequently, problems with historical and anthropological interpreta-tion. This contrast in rainfall patterns between the highlands and the lowlands has made rainfed agriculture possible in the highlands and more limited agriculture primarily with the aid of irrigation technologies possible in the lowlands. Finkelstein's Low Chronology LC Since , Finkelstein , went one step further by suggesting the wholesale lowering by years of archaeological assemblages traditionally attributed to the 12thth centuries BCE. Sites and strata that were traditionally dated to the late 11th century BCE, such as Megiddo VIA, are dated to the 10th century BCE, until Shishak's campaign Finkelstein a, h, b, a, b, , and Chapters 3 and 17, this volume. As such we can be very confident of ascribing the accession of Sheshonq I to the middle of the s BCE.
Since archaeology supplies the only first-hand evidence for this period, apart from Shishak's inscription at Karnak, it is essential to define properly which archaeological remains can be dated to the time of this kingdom. Between these two secure anchors is a period of about years, which leaves us with enough room for a continuous debate. The lower anchor is related to the Assyrian conquests between and BCE. In fact, Bienkowski b: Due to the danger of circular arguments, it works entirely from Egyptian records, rather than combining these with biblical or Assyrian dates as is normal. In doing this it draws extensively on Kitchen , a standard reference work for this period, but one that may not be totally accessible to those not specializing in Egyptian archaeology. BCE 15 , For the past ca. The highly specialized nature of the KEN fortress which serviced the metal production activities of 10th-9th-century BCE Edom is thus enigmatic. The aim of this chapter is to look again at one incident where two of these ancient nations are apparently interconnected. This book also inspired the work of Israel Finkelstein. This conclusion based, as mentioned above, on agreements between all sides in this debate makes the LC impossible, at least in Judah, Northern Negev, and the southern coastal plain. After clearing much of the collapse from the gate house, it was clear that we had found a typical Four-Chamber Iron Age Gate Fig. In the interests of preservation we left more than half of the gate house unexcavated for the future and focused our excavations on the two most northern rooms in the four-room gate house. However, Bienkowski's caution and the later publication of the report of the soundings at Khirbat en-Nahas in German which included radio-carbon dates Engel ; Fritz fell on deaf ears. This is not impossible, but not very feasible, especially when taking into consideration the tight stratigraphy and pottery developments at sites like Hazor and Tel Rehov, and the clear 10th-century BCE date of two Iron IIA levels at Tel Rehov. The two northern guard rooms exposed in the KEN gate, To obtain an archaeological 'signature' of the fortress complex, we decided to focus our work on sampling what appeared to be the gate located on the western perimeter of the fortress. It should though be acknowledged that a definition of the material culture of the United Monarchy is strewn with difficulties. BC 3 , any reference in the text to events earlier than ca. Middle Bronze—Iron Age in the southern Levant did adopt many of the methodologies proposed by the New Archaeology, such as interdisciplinary research and a real interest in the application of new technologies for archaeological research. It does, however, stand up remarkably well to such findings, and the arguments now usually revolve around one or two years on the end of reigns and the affiliations of individual kings rather than wholesale changes in the length or nature of the chronology. Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar A major point in this debate is the question of whether we are able to establish secondary chronological anchors between the two main ones mentioned above. Wightman and especially by David Jamieson-Drake whose influential book included a frontal attack from an archaeological standpoint on the very concept of the United Monarchy of ancient Israel. Silberman in their book David and Solomon 6. Concerning the Negev Highland settle-ments, Finkelstein dated them to the 11th century BCE, forcing an historical interpretation which would fit this period; more recently he lowered this date to the 10th century BCE, in accord with his LC Finkelstein h and thus he now agrees to the mainstream conventional dating of these sites Cohen ; Cohen and Cohen-Amin ; Haiman ; Herzog and Singer-Avitz
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