PHOTO COURTESY OF TEL REKHESH
POTTERY BENEATH THE FLOOR. Initially, archaeologists had difficulty determining the date of the large Iron Age citadel at Tel Rekhesh, but they found a big clue in the southwestern part of the complex. There, they excavated a rock-cut installation sealed under a packed-earth floor. On top of this floor, they found pottery that dated to the end of the Iron Age, specifically to the Iron Age IIC (700-586 B.C.E.). Underneath the floor—and, therefore, underneath the citadel—they found pottery dating mostly to the Iron Age IIA-IIB (1000-700 B.C.E.), including cooking pots. Since the citadel stood on top of an Iron Age IIB level and contained pottery from the Iron Age IIC, it stands to reason that the citadel was built after the Iron Age IIB and functioned during the Iron Age IIC.