See Itzhaq Beit-Arieh, “Edomites Advance into Judah,” BAR 22:06.


See Philip C. Hammond, “New Light on the Nabataeans,” BAR 07:02.


See Avner Raban and Robert R. Stieglitz, “The Sea Peoples and Their Contributions to Civilization,” BAR 17:06.



E.g., Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed (NY: Free Press, 2001), p. 68 (“Archaeological investigations indicate that Edom reached statehood only under Assyrian auspices in the seventh century B.C.E. Before that period it was a sparsely settled fringe area inhabited mainly by pastoral nomads.”) and p. 40 (“From the Assyrian sources we know that there were no real kings and no state in Edom before the late eighth century B.C.E. Edom appears in ancient records as a distinct entity only after the conquest of the region by Assyria … The archaeological evidence is also clear: the first large-scale wave of settlement in Edom accompanied by the establishment of large settlements and fortresses may have started in the late eighth century B.C.E. but reached a peak only in the seventh and early sixth century B.C.E.”).


Seir is used for Edom in the mid-14th century B.C.E. in an el-Amarna text (el-Amarna letter 288, line 26) (See Kitchen, K.A. 1992. “The Egyptian Evidence on Ancient Jordan,” in P. Bienkowski, ed., Early Edom and Moab—The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan (Sheffield: J.R. Collis Publications, p. 26) and in an Egyptian list from the time of Ramesses II (first half of the 13th century B.C.E.) found at ‘Amarah West (H.W. Fairman, “Preliminary Report on the Excavations at ‘Amarah West, 1938–39,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 25 [1939], pp. 139–144). Deuteronomy 2:12 states that “Seir was formerly inhabited by the Horites; but the descendants of Esau dispossessed them, wiping them out and settling in their place.”


S.v. “Edom” in David Noel Freedman, ed., Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000).


For the Papyrus Anastasi VI, see J.B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, (3rd. ed.) (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969), p. 259. This is the same pharaoh associated with the famous Merneptah or Israel Stele (See H. Shanks, W.G. Dever, B. Halpern and P.K. McCarter, Jr., The Rise of Ancient Israel [Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1992]).


For an outstanding guidebook to all the wadis of Biblical Edom, Moab and Ammon, see I. Haviv, Trekking and Canyoning in the Jordanian Dead Sea Rift (Israel: Desert Breeze Press, 2000).


Jordanian School Atlas (Amman: Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre, 2001).


Piotr Bienkowski, “The Edomites: The Archaeological Evidence from Transjordan,” in Diane V. Edelman, ed., You Shall Not Abhor an Edomite for He Is Your Brother: Edom and Seir in History and Tradition, Archaeological and Biblical Studies 3 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), pp. 44–45.


M.F. Oakshott, “A Study of the Iron Age II Pottery of East Jordan with Special Reference to Unpublished Material from Edom” (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, 1978); M.F. Oakshott, “The Edomite Pottery,” in J.F.A. Sawyer and D.J. A. Clines, eds., Midian, Moab and Edom: The History and Archaeology of Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and North-West Arabia (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1983); S. Hart, “The Archaeology of the Land of Edom” (Ph.D. thesis, Macquarie University, 1989).


Our work has built on the pioneering archaeometallurgical investigations in the Faynan region by Professor Andreas Hauptmann (German Mining Museum) and Mohammad Najjar (Department of Antiquities of Jordan) and Volkmar Fritz’s initial soundings at Khirbat en-Nahas. The 2002 excavations at Khirbat en-Nahas were carried out under the auspices of the University of California, San Diego and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (DOAJ) as part of the Jabal Hamrat Fidan Regional Archaeology Project. We are grateful to Dr. Fawwaz al-Khraysheh, director general of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, for his support, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan for permitting us to work in the Dana Nature reserve where Khirbat en-Nahas is located, Dr. Pierre Bikai, then director of the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman for his logistical support. The senior principal investigator of the project was Professor Thomas E. Levy (UCSD); co-principal investigator and ceramics specialist, Dr. Russell B. Adams (Ithaca University); and co-director, Dr. Mohammad Najjar (Department of Antiquities of Jordan). The following individuals served as key staff members of the project: Dr. James D. Anderson, senior surveyor (North Island College, BC); Professor Andreas Hauptmann, archaeometallurgist (German Mining Museum); Neil Smith, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ceramics analyst (UCSD); Adolfo Muniz, digital archaeology coordinator and archaeozoologist (UCSD); Yoav Arbel, field supervisor (UCSD), Lisa Soderbaum, field supervisor; Elizabeth Monroe, field supervisor; Anthony Arias, Boomer (Goa); Sarah Malena, Victoria Sears, Beccah Landman, assistant field supervisors; Lynne Murone-Dunn and Stacie Wilson, field lab supervisors; the late Professor Alan Witten, geophysicist (University of Oklahoma); Dr. John Grattan, geoarchaeologist (University of Wales, Aberystwyth); Kristiana Smith, photography (San Diego), Aladdin Madi, camp manager (Jordan); Dr. Caroline Hebron, illustrator (UK); Marion Riebschläger, conservation (Germany); and Alina Levy, Financial (USA). We are grateful to all these individuals for their help.


Sixty-four sites along the Wadi al Guwayb and twenty-seven sites along the Wadi Jariyah.


Nelson Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (New Haven: ASOR, 1940), pp. 60–61.


T.E. Levy, R.B. Adams, M. Najjar, J. van der Plicht, N.G. Smith, H.J. Bruins, T. Higham, “Lowland Edom and the High and Low Chronologies: Edomite State Formation, the Bible and Recent Archaeological Research in Southern Jordan,” in T.E. Levy and T. Higham, eds., The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating—Archaeology, Text and Science (London: Equinox Publishing, Ltd, 2005). The full publication of the Groningen dates appears here. We are indebted to Drs. Tom Higham, Hans van der Plicht and Hendrik Bruins for their collaboration on this radiocarbon-dating project.


The one earlier radiocarbon date came from an earlier piece of charcoal that was mixed in with material from the later stratum.


For a more in-depth discussion of this hypothesis, see T.E. Levy, “‘You shall make for yourself no molten gods’—Some thoughts on Archaeology and Edomite Ethnic Identity” in S. Dolansky, ed., Sacred History, Sacred Literature: Essays on Ancient Israel, the Bible, and Religion in Honor of R.E. Friedman on His 60th Birthday (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbraun, in press).


These scarabs indicate that other carbon samples dating to the tenth–ninth centuries B.C.E. came from later contexts and that the stratum should indeed be dated to the Iron I period. We will resolve this problem, however, only through additional controlled excavations in other building complexes with larger exposures of each stratum.


For an overview of the problem of defining chiefdoms and states in the anthropological and historical record, see G.M. Feinman and J. Marcus, eds., Archaic States (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1998).