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From Hamlets to Monarchy: A View from the Countryside on the Formation of the Israelite Monarchy / מכפרירים לממלכה: מבט מהכפר על ראשית המלוכה בישראל

אברהם פאוסט and Avraham Faust
Cathedra: For the History of Eretz Israel and Its Yishuv / קתדרה: לתולדות ארץ ישראל ויישובה
חוברת‎ 94 (טבת תש"ס / דצמבר 1999), pp. 7-32
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23404463
Page Count: 26
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Abstract

An examination of Iron Age rural settlements in Eretz Israel reveals that during the second half of Iron Age I and the first decades of Iron Age II there were major changes in settlement patterns. In contrast to the prevalent view, which assumes a gradual increase in the number of settlements since the beginning of the Iron Age, the small villages and hamlets so characteristic of Iron I gradually disappeared until the first few decades of the tenth century BCE. This process, whose natural consequence was the concentration of population in larger settlements, is analyzed in the article. The process seemingly began as a result of confrontation with other groups and because of security conditions. These led to the abandonment of small sites and to the concentration of population in central villages, which thereafter increased in size and became towns. It is probable that this process also played a major role in the 'state formation process' of the Israelite monarchy. Spatial and chronological examination of the abandonment process seems to indicate that the monarchy, after its establishment, had even accelerated the process of abandonment of the countryside through 'forced settlement'.

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