“A ‘Centrist’ at the Center of Controversy—BAR Interviews Israel Finkelstein,” BAR 28:06.



See in particular, “The Archaeology of the United Monarchy: An Alternative View,” Levant 28 (1996), pp. 182–183; “The Stratigraphy and Chronology of Megiddo and Beth-Shan in the 12th-11th Centuries B.C.E.,” Tel Aviv 23 (1996), p. 180; “Bible Archaeology or Archaeology of Palestine in the Iron Age? A Rejoinder,” Levant 30 (1998), p. 169; and “State Formation in Israel and Judah; A Contrast in Context, A Contrast in Trajectory,” Near Eastern Archaeology 62 (1999), p. 38.


Just before his death, Esse published an important preliminary report on the project, which details his views about Stratum VI, in “The Collared Pithos at Megiddo: Ceramic Distribution and Ethnicity,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (1992), pp. 81–103.


The monograph, currently in press, will appear as the next volume of the Megiddo reports published in the Oriental Institute Publication (OIP) series.


The uneven treatment of the Stratum VI material excavated in Area CC is seen in the brief description and incomplete plan that appear in G. Loud, Megiddo II; Seasons of 1935–39 (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1948), p. 113 and fig. 410. Breasted did grant Lamon and Shipton permission to publish the Stratum VI material in full, but the projected publication never materialized, and the two were soon preoccupied with processing and analyzing the new data being produced by the Loud excavations.


Not just the so-called “degenerated” variety, but true Bichrome Wares as well.


For a full description of this vessel, see Benjamin Mazar, “The ’Orpheus’ Jug from Megiddo,” in F.M. Cross, W.E. Lemke and P.D. Miller, Jr., eds., Magnalia Dei. The Mighty Acts of God (New York: Doubleday, 1976), pp. 187–192.


Othmar Keel, “Philistine ’Anchor’ Seals,” Israel Exploration Journal 44 (1994), pp. 21–35.


Lawrence Stager, “The Impact of the Sea Peoples in Canaan (1185–1050 B.C.E.),” in Thomas E. Levy, ed., The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land (London: Leicester Univ. Press, 1998), p. 346.


Samuel Wolff, “An Iron Age I Site at ’En Hagit (Northern Ramat Menashe),” in Seymour Gitin, Amihai Mazar and Ephraim Stern, eds., Mediterranean Peoples in Transition; Thirteenth to Tenth Centuries B.C.E. (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1998), p. 452.


Trude Dothan, “Initial Philistine Settlement: From Migration to Coexistence,” in Mediterranean Peoples in Transition, pp. 155–159.


In Area CC.


Contrary to recent assertions by Finkelstein and others, the Chicago Expedition field records indicate that the excavators were well aware of what they were uncovering, and were careful to separate Stratum VI from earlier and later cultural strata. They were also astute enough to observe that the life of the Stratum VI settlement was long enough to accomodate renovations in some areas of the site. When sub-phasing occurred, therefore, it was recognized as such, and delineated accordingly. In Areas AA and DD, for example, Loud detected an intermediate construction phase and labeled it Stratum VIB to distinguish it from the remains preserved by the final destruction, which he assigned to Stratum VIA.


For a similar view, utilizing the concept of trade diaspora, see John Holladay, “The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah: Political and Economic Centralization in the Iron IIA-B (ca. 1000–750 B.C.E.),” in Levy, The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land, pp. 381–382.


Letter from Guy to Breasted, dated July 13, 1934.


W. F. Albright, “The Song of Deborah in the Light of Archaeology,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 62 (1936), pp. 26–31; and “Further Light on the History of Israel from Lachish and Megiddo,” BASOR 68 (1937), pp. 22–27.


R. Lamon and G. Shipton, Megiddo I; Seasons of 1925–34, Strata I-V (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1939), p. 7; and R. Engberg, “Historical Analysis of Archaeological Evidence: Megiddo and the Song of Deborah,” BASOR 78 (1940), pp. 4–7.


Carl Watzinger, Tell el-Mutesellim II (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1929), pp. 56–59.


Benjamin Mazar, “The Stratification of Tell Abu Hawam on the Bay of Acre,” BASOR 124 (1951), p. 23.


P.L.O. Guy, New Light from Armageddon (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1931), pp. 44–48.


Yokneam (Stratum XIV), Hazor (Strata X-IX), Tanaach (Stratum IIB), Beth-Shean (Stratum S-1 [=Lower V]), and now also Rehov (Stratum V).


Finkelstein argues that similar-looking pottery from the enclosure at Tel Jezreel, which is dated to the ninth century B.C.E., should also be used to date Megiddo Stratum VA/IVB to the ninth century. Despite this similarity, however, the presence of additional vessel types in the Jezreel assemblage that occur elsewhere in stratigraphically later Iron Age contexts place this assemblage later in the Iron Age II sequence.


H.J. Bruins, J. van der Plicht and A. Mazar, “14C Dates from Tel Rehov: Iron-Age Chronology, Pharaohs, and Hebrew Kings,” Science 300 (2003), pp. 317–318.


Recently published radiocarbon dates from the current Tel Aviv University excavations at Megiddo (which Israel Finkelstein co-directs) have now virtually confirmed this datum. Three samples of carbonized olive wood recovered from Stratum VI (their Level K-4) have produced calibrated date ranges of 1112–1102 B.C.E. (at 10 percent confidence) and 1062–1006 B.C.E. (at 90 percent confidence). See I. Finkelstein, “Bible Archaeology or Archaeology of Palestine in the Iron Age?” p. 170; and I. Carmi and D. Segal, “Radiocarbon Dates,” in I. Finkelstein, D. Ussishkin and B. Halpern, eds., Megiddo III; The 1992–1996 Seasons (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Univ. Press, 2000), pp. 502–503. Since it is conceivable, however, that these wood fragments might have been in circulation for a considerable period of time after they were first cut from a tree, this radiocarbon evidence can only suggest a general date for the destruction of Stratum VI that falls toward the end of the 11th century, or even later, in the tenth century.