Biblical Bibliographies
Charles Conroy [www.cjconroy.net]

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Archaeological Debate about a Proposed "Low Chronology" for Iron I-IIA



[see also the bibliography on the Archaeology of Jerusalem in recent discussion]


The following list of selected titles from the intense, and at times acrimonious, discussion among archaeologists (mainly Israelis) since 1996 is divided into three sections:

I.    Contributions by I. Finkelstein, the pioneer of the "Low Chronology"  [in chronological order]

Finkelstein, I., "The Date of the Settlement of the Philistines in Canaan", TA 22 (1995) 213-239.

Finkelstein, I., "The Archaeology of the United Monarchy: An Alternative View", Levant 28 (1996) 177-187.

Finkelstein, I., "The Stratigraphy and Chronology of Megiddo and Beth-Shan in the 12th-11th Centuries B.C.E.", TA 23 (1996) 170-184.

Finkelstein, I., "Bible Archaeology or Archaeology of Palestine in the Iron Age? A Rejoinder", Levant 30 (1998) 167-174. [The rejoinder is to A. Mazar's "Reply" (Levant 1997) to Finkelstein's article in Levant 1996.]

Finkelstein, I., "Notes on the Stratigraphy and Chronology of Iron Age Ta’anach", TA 25 (1998) 208-218.

Finkelstein, I., "Philistine Chronology: High, Middle or Low?", in S. Gitin – A. Mazar – E. Stern (eds.), Mediterranean Peoples in Transition. Thirteenth to Early Tenth Centuries BCE. In Honor of Professor Trude Dothan (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1998) 140-147.

Finkelstein, I., "State Formation in Israel and Judah: A Contrast in Context, a Contrast in Trajectory", NEA 62 (1999) 35-52.

Finkelstein, I., "Hazor and the North in the Iron Age: A Low Chronology Perspective", BASOR 314 (May 1999) 55-70.

Finkelstein, I., "Hazor XII-XI with an Addendum on Ben-Tor's Dating of Hazor X-VII", TA 27 (2000) 231-247.

Finkelstein, I. – D. Ussishkin, "Archaeological and Historical Conclusions", in I. Finkelstein – D. Ussishkin – B. Halpern (eds.), Megiddo III. The 1992-1996 Seasons. 2 vol. (Tel Aviv University, Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Monograph Series, 18; Tel Aviv: Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology, 2000) 2.576-605.

Finkelstein, I., "The Rise of Jerusalem and Judah: The Missing Link", Levant 33 (2001) 105-115. Slightly revised and expanded, under the same title, in A. G. Vaughn – A. E. Killebrew (eds.), Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology. The First Temple Period (SBLSymS 18; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) 81-101.

Finkelstein, I. – L. Singer-Avitz, "Ashdod Revisited", TA 28 (2001) 231-239.

Finkelstein, I., "The Campaign of Shoshenq I to Palestine. A Guide to the 10th Century BCE Polity", ZDPV 118 (2002) 109-135. [see also Fantalkin and Finkelstein (TA 2006) below]

Finkelstein, I. – L. Singer-Avitz, "'Ashdod Revisited' – Maintained", TA 31 (2004) 122-135.

Finkelstein, I., "Tel Reḥov and Iron Age Chronology", Levant 36 (2004) 181-188.

Finkelstein, I., "A Low Chronology Update: Archaeology, History and Bible", in T. E. Levy – T. Higham (eds.), The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (London: Equinox, 2005) 31-42.

Finkelstein, I., "Archaeology, Bible, and the History of the Levant in the Iron Age", in S. Pollock – R. Bernbeck (eds.), Archaeologies of the Middle East: Critical Perspectives (Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology, 4. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 207-222.

Finkelstein, I., "High or Low: Megiddo and Tel Reḥov", in T. E. Levy – T. Higham (eds.), The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (London: Equinox, 2005) 302-309.

Finkelstein, I., "Khirbet en-Nahas, Edom and Biblical History", TA 32 (2005) 119-125.

Finkelstein, I. – E. Piasetzky, "The Iron I-IIA in the Highlands and Beyond. 14C Anchors, Pottery Phases and the Shoshenq I Campaign", Levant 38 (2006) 45-61.

Finkelstein, I. – E. Piasetzky, "14C and the Iron Age Chronology Debate: Rehov, Khirbet en-Nahas, Dan, and Megiddo", Radiocarbon 48 (2006) 373-386.

Finkelstein, I. – E. Piasetzky, "Radiocarbon, Iron IIa Destructions and the Israel–Aram Damascus Conflicts in the 9th Century BCE", UF 39 (2007) 261-276.

Finkelstein, I., "Is the Philistine Paradigm Still Viable?", in M. Bietak – E. Czerny (eds.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. Proceedings of the 'SCIEM 2000' 2nd EuroConference, Vienna, 28th of May – 1st of June 2003 (Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 37 / Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, 9; Wien; Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007) 517-524.

Finkelstein, I. – E. Piasetzky, "Radiocarbon Dating and Philistine Chronology with an Addendum on el-Ahwat", Ägypten und Levante 17 (2008) 73-82.

Finkelstein, I. – A. Fantalkin – E. Piasetzky, "Three Snapshots of the Iron IIA: The Northern Valleys, the Southern Steppe and Jerusalem", in L. L. Grabbe (ed.), Israel in Transition: From Late Bronze II to Iron IIa (c. 1250-850 B.C.E.). Volume 1: The Archaeology (LHB/OTS 491; London & New York: T & T Clark, 2008) 32-44.

Finkelstein, I., "A Great United Monarchy? Archaeological and Historical Perspectives", in R. G. Kratz – H. Spieckermann (eds.), One God – One Cult – One Nation: Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. In collaboration with B. Corzilius and T. Pilger (BZAW 405; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010) 3-28.

Finkelstein, I.– E. Piasetzky, "The Iron Age Chronology Debate: Is the Gap Narrowing?", NEA 74 (2011) 50-54.

Finkelstein, I., "The Great Wall of Tell en-Nasbeh (Mizpah), The First Fortifications in Judah, and 1 Kings 15:16-22", VT 62 (2012) 14-28.

II.    Contributions by A. Mazar, one of the main critics of the "Low Chronology" and a leading proponent of what is currently termed the "Modified Conventional Chronology"  [in chronological order]

Mazar, A., "Iron Age Chronology: A Reply to I. Finkelstein", Levant 29 (1997) 157-167.

Mazar, A., "Beth Shean during the Iron Age II: Stratigraphy, Chronology and Hebrew Ostraca", in B. A. Levine et al. (ed.), Frank Moore Cross Volume (Eretz-Israel 26; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Soc., 1999) 91-100.

Mazar, A., "The 1997-1998 Excavations at Tel Reḥov: Preliminary Report", IEJ 49 (1999) 1-42.

Mazar, A., "Megiddo in the Thirteenth-Eleventh Centuries B.C.E.: A Review of Some Recent Studies", in E. D. Oren – S. Aḥituv (eds.), Studies in Archaeology and Related Disciplines. Aharon Kempinski Memorial Volume (Beer Sheba XV; Beer Sheba: Beer Sheba University, 2002) 264-282.

Mazar, A., "Greek and Levantine Iron Age Chronology: A Rejoinder", IEJ 54 (2004) 24-36. [in reply to N. Coldstream's contribution in IEJ 2003 below]

Mazar, A., "The Debate over the Chronology of the Iron Age in the Southern Levant: Its History, the Current Situation and a Suggested Resolution", in T. E. Levy – T. Higham (eds.), The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (London: Equinox, 2005) 15-30.

Mazar, A., "Jerusalem in the 10th Century B.C.E.: The Glass Half Full", in Y. Amit – E. Ben-Zvi – I. Finkelstein – O. Lipschits (eds.), Essays on Ancient Israel in its Near Eastern Context. A Tribute to Nadav Na’aman (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006) 255-272.

Mazar, A., "Myc IIIC in the Land Israel: Its Distribution. Date and Significance", in M. Bietak – E. Czerny (eds.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. Proceedings of the 'SCIEM 2000' 2nd EuroConference, Vienna, 28th of May – 1st of June 2003 (Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 37 / Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, 9; Wien; Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007) 571-582.

Mazar, A., "The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth–Ninth Centuries BCE", in H. G. M. Williamson (ed.), Understanding the History of Ancient Israel (Proceedings of the British Academy, 143; Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2007) 143-171.

Mazar, A., "Archaeology and the Biblical Narrative: The Case of the United Monarchy", in R. G. Kratz – H. Spieckermann (eds.), One God – One Cult – One Nation: Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. In collaboration with B. Corzilius and T. Pilger (BZAW 405; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010) 29-58.

Mazar, A., "The Iron Age Chronology Debate: Is the Gap Narrowing? Another Viewpoint", NEA 74 (2011) 105-111.

III.    Contributions by other scholars on both sides of the debate

Barako, T. J., "Coexistence and Impermeability: Egyptians and Philistines in Southern Canaan During the Twelfth Century BCE", in M. Bietak – E. Czerny (eds.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. Proceedings of the 'SCIEM 2000' 2nd EuroConference, Vienna, 28th of May – 1st of June 2003 (Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 37 / Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, 9; Wien; Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007) 509-516.

Ben-Shlomo, D., "The Iron Age Sequence of Tel Ashdod: A Rejoinder to 'Ashdod Revisited' by I. Finkelstein and L. Singer-Avitz", TA 30 (2003) 83-107.

Ben-Shlomo, D. – I. Shai – A. Maeir, "Late Philistine Decorated Ware ('Ashdod Ware'): Typology, Chronology, and Production Centers", BASOR 335 (Aug. 2004) 1-34.

Ben-Tor, A. – D. Ben-Ami, "Hazor and the Archaeology of the Tenth Century B.C.E.", IEJ 48 (1998) 1-37.

Ben-Tor, A., "Hazor and the Chronology of Northern Israel: A Reply to Israel Finkelstein", BASOR 317 (Feb. 2000) 9-15. [in reply to Finkelstein's article in BASOR 314 (May 1999)]

Ben-Tor, A., "Responding to Finkelstein's Addendum (on the Dating of Hazor X – VII)", TA 28 (2001) 301-304. [in reply to Finkelstein's article in TA 2000]

Ben-Tor, A., "Hazor and Chronology", Ägypten und Levante 14 (2004) 45-67.

Bunimovitz, S. – A. Faust, "Chronological Separation, Geographical Segregation, or Ethnic Demarcation? Ethnography and the Iron Age Low Chronology", BASOR 322 (May 2001) 1-10.

Bunimovitz, S. – Z. Lederman, "The Iron Age Fortifications of Tel Beth Shemesh: A 1990-2000 Perspective", IEJ 51 (2001) 121-147.

Coldstream, N. – A. Mazar, "Greek Pottery from Tel Reḥov and Iron Age Chronology", IEJ 53 (2003) 29-48.

Coldstream, N., "Some Aegean Reactions to the Chronology Debate in the Southern Levant", TA 30 (2003) 247-258.

Dever, W. G. "Visiting the Real Gezer: A Reply to Israel Finkelstein", TA 30 (2003) 259-282.

Dever, W. G., "Histories and Non-Histories of Ancient Israel: The Question of the United Monarchy", in J. Day (ed.), In Search of Pre-Exilic Israel. Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar (JSOTSup 406; London: T & T Clark International, 2004) 65-94.

Fantalkin, A. – Finkelstein, I., "The Sheshonq I Campaign and the 8th-Century-BCE Earthquake – More on the Archaeology and History of the South in the Iron I-IIa", TA 33 (2006) 18-42.

Frese, D. A., "The Four Pillars of the Iron Age Low Chronology", in T. E. Levy (ed.), Historical Biblical Archaeology and the Future: The New Pragmatism (London: Equinox, 2010) 187-202.

Gal, Z., "The Iron Age 'Low Chronology' in the Light of the Excavations at Ḥorvat Rosh Zayit", IEJ 53 (2003) 147-150.

Gilboa, A. – I. Sharon, "An Archaeological Contribution to the Early Iron Age Chronological Debate: Alternative Chronologies for Phoenicia and Their Effects on the Levant, Cyprus, and Greece", BASOR 332 (2003) 7-80.

Gilboa, A. – I. Sharon – J. Zorn, "Dor and Iron Age Chronology: Scarabs, Ceramic Sequence and 14C", TA 31 (2004) 32-59.

Haiman, M., "The 10th Century B.C. Settlement of the Negev Highlands and Iron Age Rural Palestine", in A. M. Maeir – S. Dar – Z. Safrai (eds.), The Rural Landscape of Ancient Israel (BAR International Series, 1121; Oxford: Archaeopress, 2003) 71-90.

Halpern, B., "The Gate of Megiddo and the Debate on the 10th Century", in A. Lemaire – M. Sæbø (eds.), Congress Volume Oslo 1998 (VTSup 80; Leiden: Brill, 2000) 79-121.

Halpern, B., "Centre and Sentry: Megiddo's Role in Transit, Administration and Trade", in I. Finkelstein – D. Ussishkin – B. Halpern (eds.), Megiddo III. The 1992-1996 Seasons. 2 vol. (Tel Aviv University, Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Monograph Series, 18; Tel Aviv: Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology, 2000) 2.535-575.

Halpern, B., David's Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001) 427-478 (= "Ch. 23: The Archaeology of David's Reign") [much of this chapter is an adaptation of his paper in the Congress Volume Oslo, VTSup 80, Leiden 2000 (see above)]; = I demoni segreti di David: Messia, assassino, traditore, re (Introduzione allo studio della Bibbia. Supplementi, 19; Brescia: Paideia, 2004).

Herzog, Z. – L. Singer-Avitz, "Redefining the Centre: The Emergence of State in Judah", TA 31 (2004) 209-244.

Herzog, Z. – L. Singer-Avitz, "Sub-Dividing the Iron Age IIA in Northern Israel: A Suggested Solution to the Chronological Debate", TA 33 (2006) 163-195.

Herzog, Z., "State Formation and the Iron Age I-Iron Age IIA Transition: Remarks on the Faust–Finkelstein debate", NEA 70 (2007) 20-21.

Herzog, Z. – L. Singer-Avitz, "Iron Age IIA Occupational Phases in the Coastal Plain of Israel", in I. Finkelstein – N. Na'aman (eds.), The Fire Signals of Lachish: Studies in the Archaeology and History of Israel in the Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Persian Period in Honor of David Ussishkin (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011) 159-174.

Joffe, A., "On the Case of Faust versus Finkelstein, From a Friend of the Court", NEA 70 (2007) 16-20.

Kletter, R., "Chronology and United Monarchy. A Methodological Review", ZDPV 120 (2004) 13-54.

Knauf, E. A., "The 'Low Chronology' and How Not to Deal With It", BN 101 (2000) 56-63.

Knauf, E. A., "Who Destroyed Megiddo VIA?", BN 103 (2000) 30-35.

Knauf, E. A., "Solomon at Megiddo?" in J. A. Dearman – M. P. Graham (eds.), The Land That I Will Show You: Essays on the History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honour of J. Maxwell Miller (JSOTSup 343; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001) 119-134.

Knauf, E. A., "Kinneret and Early Iron Age Chronology", BN 113 (2002) 18-23.

Knauf, E. A., "Low and Lower? New Data on Early Iron Age Chronology from Beth Shean, Tel Rehov and Dor", BN 112 (2002) 21-27.

Levy, T, E. – M. Najjar, "Some Thoughts on Khirbet en-Naḥas, Edom, Biblical History and Anthropology – A Response to Israel Finkelstein", TA 33 (2006) 3-17.

Münger, S., "Egyptian Stamp-Seal Amulets and their Implications for the Chronology of the Early Iron Age", TA 30 (2003) 66-82.

Noort, E., "Reconstructie van de geschiedenis van Israël. De casus van de 'high or low chronology' in de vroege koningstijd", Nederlands theologisch tijdschrift 58 (2004) 309-322.

Oredsson, D., "Jezreel – Its Contribution to Iron Age Chronology", SJOT 12 (1998) 86-101.

Ortiz, S. M., "Methodological Comments on the Low Chronology. A Reply to Ernst Axel Knauf", BN 111 (2002) 34-39.

Ortiz, S. M., "Deconstructing and Reconstructing the United Monarchy: House of David or Tent of David (Currents Trends in Iron Age Chronology)", in J. Hoffmeier – A. Millard (eds.), The Future of Biblical Archaeology: Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions. The Proceedings of a Symposium, August 12-14, 2001 at Trinity International University (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004) 121-147.

Ortiz, S. M., "Does the 'Low Chronology' Work? A Case Study of Tell Qasile X, Tel Gezer X, and Lachish V", in A. M. Maeir – P. De Miroschedji (eds.), "I Will Speak The Riddles Of Ancient Times". Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006) 2.587-611.

Rainey, A. F., "Stones for Bread. Archaeology versus History", NEA 64 (2001) 140-149. [in reply to Finkelstein in NEA 1999 (above)]

Schmitt, R., "Die frühe Königszeit in Israel. Anmerkungen zur aktuellen Diskussion um die niedrigen Chronologie in Palästina / Israel", in UF 36 (2004) 411-430.

Takata, G., "Problems in the Chronology of the Iron Age IIA in Palestine and Research on bīt ḫilāni", Orient 40 (2005) 91-104.

Ussishkin, D., "Was the "Solomonic" City Gate at Megiddo Built by King Solomon?", BASOR 239 (Summer 1980) 1-18.

Ussishkin, D., "Notes on Megiddo, Gezer, Ashdod, and Tel Batash in the Tenth to Ninth centuries B.C.", BASOR 277/278 (Feb.-May 1990) 71-92.

Ussishkin, D., "The Destruction of Megiddo at the End of the Late Bronze Age and its Historical Significance", TA 22 (1995) 240-267.

Ussishkin, D., "The Credibility of the Tel Jezreel Excavtions: A Rejoinder to Amnon Ben-Tor", TA 27 (2000) 248-256.

Ussishkin, D., "A Synopsis of the Stratigraphical, Chronological and Historical Issues", in D. Ussishkin (ed.), The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Lachish (1973-1994) (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, 22; Tel Aviv: Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology, 2004) 50-119.

Ussishkin, D., "Lachish and the Date of the Philistine Settlement in Canaan", in M. Bietak – E. Czerny (eds.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. Proceedings of the 'SCIEM 2000' 2nd EuroConference, Vienna, 28th of May – 1st of June 2003 (Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 37 / Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, 9; Wien; Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007) 601-608.

Ussishkin, D., "Archaeology of the Biblical Period: On Some Questions of Methodology and Chronology of the Iron Age", in H. G. M. Williamson (ed.), Understanding the History of Ancient Israel (Proceedings of the British Academy, 143; Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2007) 131-141.

Ussishkin, D., "Samaria, Jezreel and Megiddo: Royal Centres of Omri and Ahab", in L. L. Grabbe (ed.), Ahab Agonistes: The Rise and Fall of the Omri Dynasty (LHB/OTS 421; London: T & T Clark, 2007) 293-309.

Zarzeki-Peleg, A., "Hazor, Jokneam and Megiddo in the Tenth Century B.C.E", TA 24 (1997) 258-288.

Zimhoni, O., Studies in the Iron Age Pottery of Israel: Typological, Archaeological and Chronological Aspects (Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology, 1997).



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