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SV: SV: [ANE-2] Re: Final LBA Hazor's Destruction; Was Sea Peoples, a dubious term.

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  • Thomas L. Thompson
    Anger seems to run away with Michael Banjai s letter and he distorts some things. I find it objectionable that I need to defend myself against personal attack
    Message 1 of 148 , Dec 4, 2011
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      Anger seems to run away with Michael Banjai's letter and he distorts some things. I find it objectionable that I need to defend myself against personal attack on this list. There are four points that he makes(which I have cropped and number below) with which I must disagree. To three of these I will add a brief comment.

      1) Has Finkelstein really made substantial changes in his interpretation of Iron Age datam, which radically distinguishes a number of our mutual historical interpretations? I do not believe that any more than that Lemche has suppressed any of Finkelstein's comments. I think lots of archaeologists support some of my theories. To give one example, Bill Dever and I are in almost complete agreement in our descriptions of the EB IV/MB I settlement of the Negev. He is however no longer active, so I would suggest Israel Finkelstein who agrees with my evaluation of the settlement history of Jerusalem (see my article in the new SJOT issue).

      2) I was around in the "early" years and between 1962 and 1978, for example, I in fact published in more than a single peer reviewed journal: in Philosophy Today, Journal of Ecumentical Studies, Vetus Testamentum, Biblica, Welt des Orients, Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästinavereins, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament and elsewhere: all in "peer-reviewed" journals.

      3) no comment

      4) If one allows for considerable minor differences: for starters: my The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, 1974; Lemche's Early Israel, 1985; Lemche's The Canaanites and Their Land, 1991; my The Early History of the Israelite People from the Written and Archaeological Sources, 1992 (by the way, all peer-reviewed monographs), just to mention some of the early things.


      Thomas L. Thompson
      Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

      Michael Banjai wrote:

      1) I find it also hard to digest the permanent censorship you have reached over your chairmanship in several scholarly fora. Last time you have supressed my comments concerning the same bad habit as applied to Finkelstein – as soon as he changed mind concerning the archaeological interpretation of Iron age data. I suppose not finding almost a single nameful active archaeologist to support the Copenhagen theories makes them the paramount of progressive.

      2) I need to remind that most of its early years the Copenhagen group was not able to publish not in a single peer refereed journal.

      3) There are such who also do not wish to acknowledge the Copenhagen contribution as anything more than a contribution to uncontrolled chit-chat without serious factual cover.

      4) Does there exist a single positive statement on which any two Copenhagen scholars can agree?
    • aren
      Raz, 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
      Message 148 of 148 , Dec 6, 2011
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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...

        Aren Maeir
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