1. See Erez Ben-Yosef, Archaeological Views: “Biblical Archaeology’s Architectural Bias,” BAR, November/December 2019.

2. See Anson Rainey, “Inside, Outside: Where Did the Early Israelites Come From?BAR, November/December 2008.

3. For various views, see Hershel Shanks, “Face to Face: Biblical Minimalists Meet Their Challengers,BAR, July/August 1997; William Dever, “Save Us from Postmodern Malarkey,” BAR, March/April 2000; Hershel Shanks, “A ‘Centrist’ at the Center of Controversy: BAR Interviews Israel Finkelstein,BAR, November/December 2002; Yosef Garfinkel, “The Birth & Death of Biblical Minimalism,BAR, May/June 2011.


1. For a detailed review of our arguments, see Erez Ben-Yosef and Zachary Thomas, “Complexity Without Monumentality in Biblical Times,” Journal of Archaeological Research (2023),

2. A growing body of evidence indicates a period of severe drought that lasted about 150 years, from the mid-13th to the late 12th century BCE; see Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, rev. ed. (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2021). It is likely that mobile societies were able to adapt more easily than city dwellers to changes in the availability of water and pastureland.

3. Kara Larson, Elizabeth Arnold, and James W. Hardin, “Resource Allocation and Rising Complexity During the Iron Age IIA: An Isotopic Case Study from Khirbet Summeily, Israel,” Quaternary International 646 (February 10, 2023),