Ancient Israel: Highlights from the Collections of the by Gabrielle V. Novacek

Ancient Israel: Highlights from the Collections of the by Gabrielle V. Novacek

By Gabrielle V. Novacek

On January 29, 2005, the Oriental Institute celebrated the respectable public establishing of the Haas and Schwartz Megiddo Gallery. This celebration marked the go back of a few of the main remarkable artifacts ever excavated within the southern Levant to everlasting public reveal. The Oriental Institute's prolific background of exploration within the zone is testomony to a long-standing scholarly ardour for discovery and the pursuit of information. This quantity attracts from the momentum generated by means of the outlet of the Megiddo Gallery and provides a variety of highlights from the Institute's better Israel assortment.

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29760) n the early years of the Late Bronze Age Egyptian occupation of Megiddo, identified as Stratum IX, a new royal palace was built in the northern part of the city. The palace was rebuilt several times during the Late Bronze Age. The latest phase of the structure, attributed to Stratum VIIA, featured Egyptian-style wall paintings and a three-chambered cellar, often called “the treasury” by scholars. It was within this cellar that the excavators uncovered one of the most important assemblages of Bronze Age ivories known from the Near East.

In addition to the defensive structures, substantial areas of the interior of Middle Bronze Age Megiddo were excavated by the Oriental Institute. Near the primary city gate, a series of palaces were uncovered. Portions of a residential area were also excavated, revealing parallel streets enclosing square blocks of dwellings. The conscious arrangement of dwellings within the residential area suggests that some form of central planning authority was involved. The latter part of the Middle Bronze Age, the Middle Bronze IIB–C (1750–1550 BC), is connected with the ascendance of the Hyksos kings in Egypt.

As urban centers collapsed from a variety of internal and external causes, a more nomadic and village-based form of social organization became prominent. The Syrian pottery is therefore understood as the result of ongoing trade activity. Others, however, suggest that this model downplays the truly radical cultural break that occurred at this time. Instead, they suggest that a vacuum was created by the urban collapse at the end of the Early Bronze Age that was exploited by pastoral nomads who had already been living in the area.

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