See Anson Rainey, “Inside, Outside: Where Did the Israelites Come From?BAR 34:06.



V. Gordon Childe, The Danube in Prehistory (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1929), pp. v–vi.


Fredrik Barth, “Introduction” in Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1969), pp. 11, 13.


R.H. McGuire, “The Study of Ethnicity in Historical Archaeology,” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 1 (1982), p. 160.


James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten: The Archaeology of Early American Life (New York: Anchor, 1996), pp. 187–211.


One may ask whether the lack of decorated pottery and elaborate tombs in ancient Israel was more a result of the population’s poverty than an ideology. The issue cannot be dealt with in detail here, but it is clear that Israelite society of Iron Age II was neither poor nor egalitarian. To the contrary, we have clear evidence of social stratification and social classes (including a wealthy population). The lack of decoration (and other features) cannot, therefore, be attributed to social reality, but rather should be interpreted as an expression of ideology. Even in Iron Age I, the simplicity of the culture cannot be attributed to “poverty,” since much simpler (and poorer) societies, such as the Neolithic cultures of the Levant, often did decorate their pottery (and use elaborate tombs, etc.). It is quite clear, therefore, that even in Iron Age I, the lack of decoration (and other features) was a result of an ethos, and not only a reflection of the poverty of the hill country. This is even more clearly the case in Iron Age II.


For the connection between hierarchical, or asymmetrical, relations and the development of ethnic consciousness, see especially John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, Ethnography and the Historical Imagination (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), pp. 49–67; see also McGuire, “The Study of Ethnicity in Historical Archaeology”; Geoff Emberling, “Ethnicity in Complex Societies: Archaeological Perspectives,” Journal of Archaeological Research 5 (1997), pp. 295–344; Stephen Shennan, “Introduction: Archaeological Approaches to Cultural Identity,” in J.S. Shennan, ed., Archaeological Approaches to Cultural Identity (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989), pp. 1–32.


See, e.g., Rivka Gonen, Burial Patterns and Cultural Diversity in Late Bronze Age Canaan, American Schools of Oriental Research, Dissertation series 7 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992).


See, e.g., Raz Kletter, “People Without Burials? The Lack of Iron I Burials in the Central Highlands of Palestine,” Israel Exploration Journal 52 (2002), pp. 28–48; Avraham Faust, “ ‘Mortuary Practices, Society and Ideology’: The Lack of Iron Age I Burials in the Highlands in Context,” Israel Exploration Journal 54 (2004), pp. 174–190.


See especially Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography and the Historical Imagination.


Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography and the Historical Imagination, pp. 49–67.