This is their argument that Israelites are present without leaving any archaeological evidence. Some pottery in the hills would be more helpful. In any event, the claim that the hills could not be peopled until the invention of iron and slaked-lime cisterns is preposterous. There were numerous MB II hill settlements (some of which B&L mention), and these presuppose cistern linings, whether of lime or of clay. Further, as late as the eighth century B.C., Assyrian kings were cutting mountain roads for chariotry with bronze tools: Bronze was the metal of choice for clearing and terracing even late into the Iron Age (and note the image of Shalmaneser III, who cut through mountains that were like “iron daggers” with “bronze and copper pick-axes,” deliberately suggesting the superiority of bronze [Henry C. Rawlinson, The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia (London: R. E. Bowler, 1861–1864), 3.7.i:19]).