Aharoni also relies on a two-and-a-half letter inscription found on a collar-rim jar at Khirbet Raddana. Aharoni dates the letters—and therefore the jar—to 1,300 B.C. at the latest. Thus, he argues, the collar-rim jar was in use in the Late Bronze Age. Two of the world’s most skilled epigraphists, Frank Moore Cross of Harvard and David Noel Freedman of the University of Michigan date this inscription, on epigraphic grounds, 100 years later, to the Iron Age. Moreover, as Moshe Dothan has pointed out, several iron implements were found with the collar-rim jar at Khirbet Raddana, also indicating a later date.
Similarly, we must reject the argument recently put forward by Aharon Kempinski that a single scarab found on the surface of Tell Masos dates the earliest settlement there to the Late Bronze Age. The dating of the scarab to the reign of Ramses II or Seti II is unconvincing. The whole repertoire of pottery found at the settlement is typical Iron Age and to date has not been found in any context of Late Bronze Age cultures. Moreover, the Pharaoh on the scarab holds a straight sword rather than a sickle-shaped sword, indicating that it probably dates to the Iron Age. In any event, this surface find could well be an heirloom from an earlier period, so it is a thoroughly unreliable basis for dating the Tel Masos settlement.