See Israel Finkelstein, “Shiloh Yields Some, But Not All, of Its Secrets,” BAR 12:01.


At Shiloh, we compared the number of sheep/goat bones to the number of cattle bones to get a ratio or percentage of sheep/goat bones, on the one hand, and cattle bones, on the other. In Middle Bronze II and Iron I the percent of sheep/goat bones was low and the percent of cattle bones was high. In the Late Bronze Age, there was a dramatic increase in sheep/goat bones, compared to the percent of cattle bones (which declined). The increase in sheep/goats in the Late Bronze Age is typical of a society changing to a pastoralist mode of existence. See Salo Hellwing and Moshe Sadeh, “Animal Remains: Preliminary Report,” in “Excavations at Shiloh 1981–1984: Preliminary Report,” ed. Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv 12 (1985), pp. 159–165.



For my views on the usage of the term “Israelite” for the Iron I period, see Israel Finkelstein, The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1988), pp. 27–28.


William F. Albright, “The Israelite Conquest of Canaan in the Light of Archaeology,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 74 (1939), pp. 11–23; Yigael Yadin, “The Transition from a Semi-Nomadic to a Sedentary Society in the Twelfth Century B.C.E.,” in Symposia, ed. Frank Moore Cross (Cambridge, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1979), pp. 57–68.


Albrecht Alt, “Erwägungen über die Landnahme Israeliten in Palästina,” Palästina Jahrbuch 35 (1939), pp. 8–63; Yohanan Aharoni, The Archaeology of the Land of Israel (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1982), pp. 153–180.


George E. Mendenhall, “The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine,” Biblical Archaeologist (BA) 25 (1962), pp. 66–87; Norman K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1979).


For the end of the third millennium B.C., see William G. Dever, “New Vistas on EB IV (“MB I”) Horizon in Syria-Palestine,” BASOR 237 (1980), pp. 35–64.


Finkelstein, ‘Izbet Sartah: An Early Iron Age Site near Rosh Ha‘ayin, Israel (Oxford, UK: BAR International Series 299, 1986), pp. 124–128.


G. W. Ahlström, “The Early Iron Age Settlers at Khirbet el-Msas (Tel Masos),” Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins 100 (1984), pp. 35–52; “Giloh: A Judahite or Canaanite Settlement?” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 34 (1984), pp. 170–172.


See, for example, certain similarities in the pottery assemblages of Izbet Sartah, which was probably an Israelite village, and those of Aphek, an Egypto-Canaanite urban center. Incidentally, the degree of similarity between Israelite material culture and the preceding Canaanite material culture should be evaluated at indisputably Israelite sites, and not at borderline or questionable sites such as Tel Masos.


Magen Broshi and R. Gophna, “Middle Bronze Age II Palestine: Settlements and Population,” BASOR 261 (1986), pp. 73–90.


Adam Zertal, The Israelite Settlement in the Hill Country of Manasseh, Ph.D. thesis, Tel Aviv Univ., 1986, pp. 175–200 (in Hebrew).


Finkelstein, “Summary and Conclusions: History of Shiloh from Middle Bronze Age II to Iron Age II,” in “Excavations at Shiloh 1981–1984: Preliminary Report,” ed. Finkelstein, Tel Aviv 12 (1985), pp. 159–165.


Rivka Gonen, “Urban Canaan in the Late Bronze Period,” BASOR 253 (1984), pp. 61–73.


Z. Gal, The Lower Galilee in the Iron Age, Ph.D. thesis, Tel Aviv Univ., 1982, pp. 43–55 (in Hebrew); James A. Sauer, “Transjordan in the Bronze and Iron Ages: A Critique of Glueck’s Synthesis,” BASOR 263 (1986), pp. 7–8.


Finkelstein, “Summary and Conclusions,” pp. 165–167.


Broshi and Gophna, “Middle Bronze Age II Palestine”; Gonen, “Urban Canaan.”


Zertal, The Israelite Settlement, and lecture at Bar-Ilan Univ., 1982.


Piotr Bienkowski, Jericho in the Late Bronte Age (Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips, 1986), pp. 127–128.


Benjamin Mazar, “The Middle Bronze Age in Palestine,” IEJ 18 (1968), pp. 89–97.


Dever, “The MB II C Stratification in the Northwest Gate Area at Shechem,” BASOR 216 (1974), p. 31.


Fredrik Barth, Nomads of South Persia (Oslo: Oslo Univ. Press, 1961), p. 118; B. Glatzer, “Processes of Nomadization in West Afghanistan,” in Contemporary Nomadic and Pastoral Peoples; Asia and the North, ed. Phillip C. Salzman (Williamsburg, VA: William and Mary Univ., 1982), pp. 61–63.


Amnon Cohen, Palestine in the 18th Century (Jerusalem: Magnus Press, 1973), pp. 324–327; W. Hütteroth, “The Pattern of Settlement in Palestine in the Sixteenth Century,” in Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman Period, ed. Moshe Ma‘oz (Jerusalem: Magnus Press, 1975), pp. 3–10.


Avshalom Shmueli, Nomadism About to Cease (Tel Aviv, 1980), p. 73 (in Hebrew).


Henk J. Franken, “Deir ‘Alla, Tell,” in Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations, vol. I, ed. Michael Avi-Yonah (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1975), p. 322; Finkelstein, “Summary and Conclusions,” pp. 165–167; Ephraim Stern, Excavations at Tel Mevorakh Part Two: The Bronze Age, Qedem 18 (Jerusalem: Hebrew Univ., 1984), p. 36; Robert G. Boling, “Bronze Age Buildings at the Shechem High Place: ASOR Excavations at Tananir,” BA 32 (1969), pp. 82–103. On the possibility that the Amman and Shechem structures served as shrines of tribal groups, see Edward F. Campbell and G. Ernest Wright, “Tribal League Shrines in Amman and Shechem,” BA 32 (1969), pp. 104–116.


At Lachish the intramural shrine of stratum VI was built after the Fosse Temple went out of use, but it is logical to assume that there was a sanctuary on the mound at that time too. See David Ussishkin, “Lachish—Key to the Israelite Conquest of Canaan?” BAR 13:01.


Gonen, Burial in Canaan of the Late Broze Age as a Basis for the Study of Population and Settlements, Ph.D. thesis, Hebrew Univ. (Jerusalem), 1979, pp. 229–230 (in Hebrew); Sauer, “Transjordan in the Bronze and Iron Ages,” p. 8.


M. Rowton, “Enclosed Nomadism,” Journal of the Economy and Social History of the Orient 17 (1974), pp. 14, 22.


Nadav Na’aman, “Eretz Israel in the Canaanite Period: The Middle and Late Bronze Ages,” in The History of Eretz Israel, vol. 1, ed. Israel Eph‘al (Jerusalem, 1982), pp. 233–241 (in Hebrew).


Manfred Weippert, “The Israelite ‘Conquest’ and the Evidence from Transjordan,” in Symposia, ed. Cross, pp. 32, 35; R. Giveon, Les Bédouins Shosou des documents égyptiens (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1971), pp. 269–271; Donald B. Redford, “The Ashkelon Relief at Karnak and the Israel Stela,” IEJ 36 (1986), pp. 199–200; Na’aman, “Eretz Israel,” p. 240.


Shmueli, Nomadism; Salzman, ed., When Nomads Settle (New York: Praeger, 1980), pp. 119; Anatoli M. Khazanov, Nomads and the Outside World (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1984), pp. 200–201.


D. G. Bates and S. H. Lees, “The Role of Exchange in Productive Specialization,” American Anthropologist 79 (1977), pp. 824–841.


J. M. Weinstein, “The Egyptian Empire in Palestine: A Reassessment,” BASOR 241 (1981), pp. 17–22, Niels P. Lemche, Early Israel (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1985), p. 423; Bienkowski, Jericho, p. 155.


Ostensibly this model contradicts our views on the nomadization of the population at the end of the Middle Bronze. But the background of each period was so completely different that absolute comparisons between the two inverse processes cannot be drawn, especially since urban centers continued to flourish in the lowlands of the country during the Late Bronze period. Moreover, it is definitely possible to suggest the following sequence of events: weakening of the urban/rural communities and nomadization of large groups at the end of the Middle Bronze; further deterioration of the sedentary system at the end of the 13th century, forcing pastoral groups to settle down.


See Volkmar Fritz, “The Israelite ‘Conquest,’ in the Light of Recent Excavations at Khirbet el-Meshâsh,” BASOR 241 (1981), pp. 61 73, but he claimed that the groups of settlers came from without, i.e., from the desert.


At the same time, groups in Transjordan were undergoing a similar process of consolidation.