A population explosion. During his archaeological survey of the hill country, desert fringes and eastern river valleys of the territory of Manasseh, Zertal identified 39 settlement sites from the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 B.C.E.) and 136 sites from Iron Age I (1200–1000 B.C.E.). This dramatic increase in settlements suggests the entry of a new population into the area during Iron Age I. This correlates with the Biblical account of Israel’s entry into Canaan during this same period.