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The Contribution of the Amarna Letters to the Debate on Jerusalem's Political Position in the Tenth Century B. C. E.

Nadav Naʾaman
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
No. 304 (Nov., 1996), pp. 17-27
DOI: 10.2307/1357438
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1357438
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Contribution of the Amarna Letters to the Debate on Jerusalem's Political Position in the Tenth Century B. C. E.
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Abstract

Understanding of the problems involved in the excavations of multilayered highland sites and an examination of the long-range perspective are both essential for the correct appreciation of Jerusalem's political position in the tenth century B. C. E. No negative conclusions about Jerusalem in the Late Bronze II and Iron Age I-IIA should be drawn from the results of the excavations conducted on the Ophel Hill. A comparison between the evidence of the Amarna tablets and contemporaneous archaeological data is essential for the correct evaluation of the data about Jerusalem. Investigation of the archaeological data and written sources indicates that tenth-century Jerusalem must have been a highland stronghold and the center of a kingdom, dominating large, hilly territories with many settlements, and thus was able to expand to nearby lowland territories and possibly even to the areas of neighboring kingdoms. According to "modern" socioarchaeological criteria, the tenth-century kingdom was a prestate, polymorphous chiefdom with Jerusalem as its center of government.

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