Israel Finkelstein

Where pastoralists became Israelites? Khirbet el-Jarayish, in the desert fringe of the land of Ephraim, is just one of about 250 known Iron I settlement sites (also occupied during other periods) in the region between the Jezreel and Beer-Sheva valleys. This explosion of new settlement during the Iron I period probably resulted, the author suggests, from pastoralists adopting a sedentary way of life.