Re: SV: [ANE-2] Re: Final LBA Hazor's Destruction; Was Sea Peoples, a dubious term.
- N P Lemche wrote: Pre-Hellenistic Palestine was never able to sustain cities of the Hazor size.
I beg to differ. There are several Early Bronze Age sites that are as sizable. Notably, the largest building ever unearthed to date at Megiddo is the Level J4 temple, which is truly monumental. Beth Yerah in EB was larger than 35 hectares. Tel Yarmuth was very large as was Tel Erani and Ai/et-Tell.
Perhaps it is time for people to look beyond the bible for the archaeological record of the southern Levant.
Eliot Braun, Ph D
Sr. Fellow WF Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem
Associate Researcher Centre de Recherche Français de Jérusalem
PO Box 21, Har Adar 90836 Israel
Tel 972-2-5345687, Cell 972-50-2231096
From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...>
To: "ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org" <ANEemail@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 3, 2011 10:57 AM
Subject: SV: [ANE-2] Re: Final LBA Hazor's Destruction; Was Sea Peoples, a dubious term.
It was during a visit to Copenhagen more than ten years ago that Ben Tor said so. Maybe to please us! At the time where Ben Tor still thought that he would find the archive, because of a similar layout in the palace at Hazor in the LB, and the one in Alalakh. Another look at Hazor will tell you that this site is extraordinary in a Palestinian context. It is enormous according to local standards. FRom a logistic point of view it is blocking the access from Lower Galilee to central Lebanon and further on towards the NW towards Syria. It is also quite notable that in the Iron Age, when we are talking of Hazor as an Palestinian city, it is reduced to the acropolis. Pre-Hellenistic Palestine was never able to sustain cities of the Hazor size.
Kitchener is simply of no use in biblical studies except to the evangelicals where his religious home is. Hoffmeier also belongs here. That Yadin was a national biblical archaeologist is known to everybody in the field. I do not think that he would himself have objected.
The discussion as such is moving into forbidden areas of biblical historicity, which is not a subject for the ANE-2. Furthermore, I guess that you know Aharoni's ideas about Hazor. Well, there always was this conflict between archaeology at Tel Aviv University and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
By the way, when talking about Hazor and the letter in which the ruler of Hazor claims that he will protect the city, you should consult Liverani and see what he writes about the spring and fall letters from Egypt (“A Seasonal Pattern for the Amarna Letters.” In Lingering over Words. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran, (Tzvi Abusch, ed.; Harvard Semitic Monographs 37; Atlanta: Scholars Press 1990) 337-348). Also his article about "the other language". (“Stereotipi della lingua „altra‟ nell'Asia anteriore antica.” Vicino Oriente 3 (1980) 15-31.). Reading a comprehensive selkection of Liverani's Amarna output (cf. his bibliography http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/files/liverani-bibliography-aug-1-2011-1.pdf) should give you an impression of how complicated the LB in the Levant was, and far removed for the simplicity of biblically based authors like Kitchen, Hoffmeier and Yadin.
Niels Peter Lemche
Fra: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:ANEemail@example.com] På vegne af Douglas Petrovich
Sendt: den 3 december 2011 07:50
Emne: [ANE-2] Re: Final LBA Hazor's Destruction; Was Sea Peoples, a dubious term.
Thanks for your input. I always enjoy your replies. Someday maybe I will have the pleasure of meeting you face-to-face.
“couldn't you bring up something better than 50+ years old rabble. I see no reference to any literature really post-Yadin. At least we could ask you to include works like Redford's definitely not new book on Egypt and Canaan from c 1992.”
I know Redford’s book well, having used it to teach Egyptian history. He is quite weak when it comes to Canaan, however, and there really is not much insight from him whatsoever on Hazor, which is well beyond his area of focus. Allow me to prove this claim. Redford refers to Hazor 10 times. Half of those references are to MBA Hazor, and thus have no bearing on my posts. One reference, which I will treat below, is to the LB I Age. Two references are to LB II, while one is undefined, and the final reference is to Iron I.
In Redford’s 1st reference to LB-II Hazor, he notes that Hazor was one of the medium-sized metropolitan states around which Canaanite society was shaped. The 2nd reference is a repetition of the 1st. The one chronologically undefined reference to Hazor is to note that in Joshua 11, Hazor is a region that was “peopled”. The Iron-I reference is to Hazor as one of the cities that Solomon was reported to have fortified.
All in all, there is nothing in Redford, in reference to Hazor, into which we can sink our teeth. There is nothing tangible for our attempt to define the true destroyer of the LB-II city. To be honest, this exonerates me, and it shows that I have not only a good grasp of what is the literature on Hazor, but which sources out there are truly useful in the issue at hand.
As for your accusation that I only referred to outdated literature (“post-Yadin”), I believe this to be an ill-founded claim. Please allow me to demonstrate by dating the sources to which I did refer:
1) Yadin: 1972, 1993 (Note: d. 1984; the 1993 publication was jointly the work of Yadin & Ben-Tor)
2) Ben-Tor: 1993, 1998, 1999
3) Zuckerman: 2006, 2007
4) Bienkowski: 1987
5) Kitchen: 2003
6) Pritchard: 1969
7) Hoffmeier: 1989
The fact is that all of my sources but one (Pritchard’s ANET) postdate Yadin. Moreover, 3 of them date within the last 8 years. And finally, 6 of my sources postdate the Redford work you suggested. Therefore, I fully believe that your accusation is proven to be unjustified.
“I remembered from oral communication the present excavator Ben Tor saying that LB Hazor was not a Palestinian but a Syrian city.”
Having dug with Ben-Tor at Hazor, and having conversed numerous times with him (short and long conversations), I never recall his asserting that Hazor was a Syrian site. Moreover, in the extensive reading of his publications that I have read, I also do not recall reading such an assertion. Perhaps someone who has heard or read this from him can confirm your recollection. Until then, I honestly tend to doubt that this would be true.
The other question certainly is to what time period was he referring, if this recollection be true. Certainly in the MBA, Hazor was an Amorite city, but I am not too comfortable calling Amorite “Syrian”. Nonetheless, the period of focus in my posts is LB II (mostly) and LB I (tangentially).
In these periods, Hazor is clearly Canaanite (or perhaps Canaanite/Amorite). The Amarna Letters confirm this reality quite clearly. Hazor mingled with Canaanite cities and with Egypt. This was clear even during LB I. Redford (Egypt, Canaan, 168, ftn. 201) lists the representatives of Djahy (Palestine) whom Amenhotep II convened. This list includes, among others, Ashkelon, Sharon, Megiddo, Tanaach, Chinneroth, and Hazor.
So, the textual evidence clearly portrays Hazor of the entire LBA as being Canaanite/Palestinian, and not Syrian. If you can prove to me that Ben-Tor views Hazor of the LBA—of any phase—to be Syrian, I will be willing to paint my hair pink. Certainly they traded freely with Syria and the lands beyond, but this does not make them Syrian.
“I would use Yadin for nothing today.”
You know, at the University of Toronto, as at many other places, we have the loveliest fights between the archaeologists and the epigraphers. I just love listening to these debates. But your comment shows me that you are not an archaeologist.
I remember writing a paper for a PhD class that was taught by a prominent Syro-Pal archaeologist, and he chewed me out for citing a zillion modern commentators/article-writers while omitting ONE author who was an earlier 1st-hand archaeologist at the site. Probably all text-people, epigraphers, and language-people similarly would get burned in the same way.
His point was well taken for me, though. The most important sources with which to interact are those produced by the actual archaeologists, be they ultra-recent or from 50 years ago. So for my money, I’ll take Yadin’s actual interaction with the material over a more recent writer’s musings any day. But in the end, my preferred approach is a “both-and”, not an “either-or”. But in my opinion, the 3 most important people to cite on Hazor are Yadin, Ben-Tor, and Zuckerman, our 3 most recent excavators.
“Biblical archaeologist, and Israeli propagandist, an unholy alliance.”
I am never so interested in citing or not-citing authors and scholars due to their views of the Bible, or being anti- or pro-Israeli. I do not see that as a scholarly means of judging. I prefer to evaluate their work apart from their leanings on such issues. I just want to know how accurate are there reportings and their interpretation of the evidence. As one of my profs used to say: truth has a way of rising to the top. That is all I am out to find; as I sift, the truth just seems to keep rising to the top.
Appreciating the interaction,
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Once again, I'm rather hesitant to get into this, since the ongoing back and forth is most often done on the basis of "party lines" and self-perceived "truths" and often without reference to the latest research in various areas.
I was not, in any way stating who has the truth or not, at this or that university. For that matter, I felt that both sides of what appeared to be a completely aimless argument were not arguing about details of the most updated discussions and recent evidence of the LB destructions and/or the Sea Peoples, but rather going over their "party lines" - of which each side was totally convinced that his/her "truth" had "won" long ago (and nothing scares me more [in research, religion and politics] than those who know for sure that they are absolutely right).
Simplistic conceptions of the various ideological divisions and scholarly camps are really only useful if you are interested in the debate - and not the content (or the history and sociology of research). Current research, with an overflow of wide ranging data, has shown, in my humble opinion, if anything, that the various ideological "camps" of the historical reconstruction of the beginning of the Iron Age are all wrong (or if you want, they are all partially right)! Things were much more complicated than previously assumed.
For example, the simplistic explanation of the Philistines as monolithic conquerors does not hold - but neither does the often repeated mantra that there is no evidence of the influx of Aegean (or rather "western") oriented cultural elements. Au contraire - there is plenty of evidence of this, and that it can most probably be connected to the actual arrival of bona fide "bodies" who carried these cultural influences to the Levant.
And to make things ever more multi-faceted, this is true to varying degrees in different areas, such as if we compare the situation in Philistia, Phoenicia and the Amuq. To try and explain away all these things in simplistic terms may sound good in a debating society - but not for those of us who are intimately involved in the nitty-gritty details of the relevant archaeological finds.
Knowing Hebrew is not a sine qua non for studying the archaeology of this region, just like you can study the archaeology of Denmark, or Finland, without knowing the local languages. But, it can be very helpful (to say the least, as you well know).
AND, when dealing with a topic such as the destruction of Hazor (which much of the recent discussion on this list was not demonstrating an awareness of much of the most updated research), if the most recent discussion is in Hebrew, it is worthwhile to relate to it.
But hey - I've long ago had the feeling that this list is all too often more about the sociology of research and the psychology of the researchers, than research itself.
But that is my opinion - and what do I know...