Early Bronze age Megiddo and Bet Shean: Discontinuous settlement in sociopolitical context

Raphael Greenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Megiddo was, by late Early Bronze (EB) I, an important cultic center for a large, pastorally oriented village population; Bet Shean was a key redistribution center. Both of these major sites of northern Palestine were essentially abandoned in EB II. Their fate may be related to the shift in the sociopolitical landscape of EB II, characterized by uniform regional entities with an integrated town/village system. Economically incompatible with the new order and located at the border between entities, Megiddo and Bet Shean either succumbed to the new order or fissioned, spawning new polities. When the EB II ethos was exhausted, Megiddo reasserted itself as a city-state in EB III. Bet Shean was apparently unfortified and occupied by people who produced the so-called Khirbet Kerak Ware. These individual histories show that there was no unitary model of Levantine urbanization. Rather, urbanization should be regarded as a concatenation of mutually reflective episodes, with a theme constantly reinterpreted from one region to the next.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Volume16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2003

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