Hershel Shanks

The Palace at Hazor. Workers take a well-deserved break from their labors at this site north of the Sea of Galilee. Dig director Amnon Ben-Tor, a protégé of the late Yigael Yadin (who first excavated Hazor in the 1950s and 1960s), is convinced that a cuneiform archive awaits discovery somewhere within this large palace. Measuring more than a hundred feet on each side, the structure dates to the middle of the second millennium B.C. and was destroyed at the end of the Late Bronze Age (13th–12th centuries B.C.)—the time of the Israelite emergence in Canaan. A searing inferno, fed by large stores of olive oil, consumed the palace. Ben-Tor believes the Israelites were responsible for Hazor’s destruction, noting that in the Bible’s account of the conquest of Canaan, Hazor is the only city to have been burned (Joshua 11:11).