Hazor Expedition

Crouching on the floor of Hazor’s Canaanite palace, conservator Orna Cohen cradles in her hands an encrusted statuette of a seated man while volunteer Milagros Fernandez Algaba gently brushes away three millennia of dirt. The excavators discovered the bronze statue—thought to depict a Canaanite ruler—beneath the palace floor. Presumably, the statue had been buried for safekeeping when marauders ransacked the palace and torched the Canaanite city in the 13th century B.C.E.

The identity of these invaders has long puzzled scholars. The Bible records that the Israelites destroyed the city (Joshua 11:10–14). But until now, archaeology has been unable to corroborate this account. In part two of this report on Hazor, Amnon Ben-Tor and Maria Teresa Rubiato explore the rise and fall of the Canaanite city. Their excavations center on a cultic site in Area M, on the slope leading to Hazor’s lower city, and the Canaanite palace in Area A, in the center of the tell.