Redefining the centre: The emergence of state in judah

Ze’ev Herzog, Lily Singer-Avitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analysis of settlement traits in Judah during the Iron Age IIA generates fresh insight into the process of state formation in the Kingdom of Judah. Our conclusions are based on observation of the settlement patterns, combined with detailed review of the pottery typology. Instead of assigning the Iron Age IIA to a single century (10th century BCE in traditional High Chronology or 9th in Finkelstein's Low Chronology), we maintain that the period covers about 150–200 years, from the mid 10th to the late 9th or mid 8th centuries BCE. The period is further divided into two sub-phases: the Early Iron Age IIA, characterized by rural settlements, mostly organized in an 'enclosed settlement' pattern, and Late Iron Age IIA, which presents the first introduction of fortifications and water supply systems. Such understanding reduces the gap between the debated low and high chronology. Furthermore, the process did not emerge in the Judean hill country but rather in the Shephelah and in the Beersheba Valley to the south. Our analysis points to a long and gradual process of socio-economic crystallization of the monarchy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-244
Number of pages36
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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