Where did the Israelites originate? What was the fate of the Canaanites? In this revealing introduction, Jonathan M. Golden tackles these and other hotly debated questions. Drawing on the extensive and often surprising archeological record, he looks at daily life in antiquity, providing rich portraits of the role of women, craft production, metallurgy, technology, political and social organization, trade, and religious practices. Golden traces the great religious traditions that emerged in this region back to their most ancient roots, drawing on the evidence of scriptures and other texts as well as the archeological record. Though the scriptures stress the primacy of Israel, the author considers the Canaanites and Philistines as well, examining the differences between highland and coastal cultures and the cross-fertilization between societies. He offers a clear, objective look at the evidence for the historical accuracy of the biblical narrative, based on the latest thinking among archeologists worldwide.
List of Maps; Series Editor's Preface; Preface; Acknowledgments; Chronology; PART 1: INTRODUCTION; 1. Introduction; Cultural History of Ancient Israel: An Overview; Summary of Resources; PART 2: CANAANITE AND ISRAELITE CIVILIZATION; 2. Environment and Ecology; The Physical Landscape; Shifting Patterns of Land Use; 3. Historical and Chronological Setting; Major Events in the History of Syro-Palestinian Cultures; Major Techniques in Chronology Building; A Brief History of Discovery; Israeli Archaeology; Literary Evidence from Ancient Israel; 4. Origins, Growth, and Decline of Levantine Cultures; Prehistoric Cultures: Major Developments in Late Prehistory; The Canaanites; Peoples of the Iron Age; The Israelites of the Iron 2; 5. Economics; Chalcolithic Period: The Origins of Economic Complexity; Early Bronze Age; Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age; Iron 1: The Economy of the Highlands and "Proto-Israelites"; Iron 1: The Economy of the Southern Coastal Plain; Iron 2: The Israelite Economy; The Economy of Philistia in the Iron 2; 6. Social Organization; Chalcolithic Period; Early Bronze Age; Intermediate Bronze Age; Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age; Iron Age 1; Iron 1: Social Organization among the Coastal Peoples; Iron 2: Highland Culture; Iron 2: Coastal Culture; Philistine High Culture; 7. Politcs; Chalcolithic Period; Early Bronze Age: The First Urban Revolution; The End of the Early Bronze Age and the Intermediate Bronze Age; Canaanite Kingdoms: Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age; Iron Age 1: The Highlands and Inland Valleys; Iron Age 1: Southern Coastal Plain/Philistia; Iron Age 2-3: The Israelites; Iron Age 2-3: The Philistines; 8. Religion and Ideology; Chalcolithic Period; Early Bronze Age; Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age; Iron Age; Iron 2-3; Broad Trends in the Evolution of Israelite Religion; Iron 1: Early Philistine Religion; Iron 2: Philistine Religion; 9. Material Culture; Chalcolithic Period; Early Bronze Age; Intermediate Bronze Age; Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age; Material Culture of the Interior during the Early Iron Age (Iron 1); Israelite Material Culture of the Iron2; Philistine Material Culture of the Iron1; Material Culture of the Philistines in the Iron 2; Phoenician Material Culture; 10. Intellectual Accomplishments; The Alphabet (Alephbet); Monotheism; PART 3: CURRENT ASSESSMENTS; 11. Major Controversies and Future Directions; Controversies in Chalcolithic Archaeology; Archaeological Issues concerning the Early; Bronze Age; Bronze Age Chronologies and the Intermediate Bronze Age; Problems in the Archaeology of the Middle Bronze Age; "Biblical Archaeology" and the Iron Age; Glossary; Chronology; Glossary; Resources for Further Study; Index; About the Author