Open this page in a new tab

Megiddo

Aerial View of Tel Megiddo Aerial View of Tel Megiddo Left

Tel Megiddo from the NorthWest

Click on Image for high resolution magnifiable image

Used with permission from BibleWalks.com



Right

Tel Megiddo from the Southeast

Click on Image for high resolution magnifiable image

Drone photos taken by Jefferson Williams on 27 April 2023


Names
Names

Megiddo

Megiddo
Transliterated Name Source Name
Megiddo Hebrew מגידו
Tel Megiddo Hebrew תל מגידו
Har Məgīddō Hebrew הַר מְגִדּוֹ‎
Magiddu, Magaddu Akkadian
Maketi, Makitu, Makedo Egyptian
Magidda, Makida Canaanite-influenced Akkadian used in the Amarna tablets
Megiddo Greek Μεγιδδώ
Mageddou Greek Μαγεδδών
Megiddó, Mageddón Greek in the Septuagint
Mageddo Latin in the Vulgate
Armagedōn Late Latin
Armageddon New Testament Book of Revelation
Harmagedōn Greek Ἁρμαγεδών
Tell el-Qedah Arabic تل القدح
Tell el-Mutesellim Arabic مجیدو

Legio

Legio
Transliterated Name Source Name
Kefar ʿUthnai Hebrew כפר עותנאי
Legio Latin
Caporcotani Latin in the Tabula Peutingeriana Map
Legionum ? Latin
al-Lajjun Arabic اللجّون

Qina Brook

Qina Brook
Transliterated Name Source Name
Qina, Kina, Qinnah Egyptian
"Waters of Megiddo" in Song of Deborah
Qyni ? Hebrew קיני
Nahal Qeni ? Hebrew נַחַל קֵינִי

Introduction
Introduction

Due to its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several influential battles and as a result has gained global fame for the metaphor it spawned - Armageddon. In Revelation, the final book of the New Testament Armageddon (which is linguistically derived from Megiddo) is prophesied as the place where the final battle of human history will be fought. The site has been excavated by multiple expeditions.

Identification

The identification of biblical Megiddo with el-Lejjun, about 1 km (0.6 mi.) south of Tel Megiddo (Tell el-Mutesellim, map reference 1675.2212) was suggested as early as the fourteenth century by Estori ha-Pari and in the nineteenth century by E. Robinson. Tel Megiddo is one of the most important city mounds in Israel. It rises 40 to 60 m above the surrounding plain and covers an area of about 15 a. This area was enlarged in various periods by a lower city. The position of the mound at the point where Nahal 'Iron (Wadi 'Ara) enters the Jezreel Valley gave it strategic control in ancient times over the international Via Maris, which crossed from the Sharon Plain into the Valley of Jezreel by way of the 'Iron Valley. This position, astride the most important of the country's roads, made Megiddo the scene of major battles from earliest times through our own.

History

The excavations conducted on the mound have shown that, in the Early and Middle Bronze ages, Megiddo was already a fortified city of major importance, despite the fact that it is not mentioned in historical sources until the fifteenth century BCE. At that time it appeared in inscriptions of Thutmose III. The annals of this pharaoh record that Megiddo led a confederation of rebel Canaanite cities that, together with Kadesh on the Orontes, attempted to overthrow Egyptian rule in Canaan and Syria. The Egyptian army and Canaanite chariotry fought the decisive battle of this rebellion at the Qinnah Brook (Wadi Lejjun), near Megiddo. This is the earliest military engagement whose details are preserved. After thoroughly routing the Canaanite force in the field, Pharaoh captured a rich booty, including 924 chariots. According to the Jebel Barkal stela, the siege of the city lasted seven months. During this time, the Egyptian army harvested the city's fields and took 207,300 kor of wheat (apart from what the soldiers kept for themselves).

After his great victory, Thutmose turned Megiddo into the major Egyptian base in the Jezreel Valley. Evidence of its importance and military strength is found in three documents: In one of the Taanach letters, in which the king of Taanach was ordered to send men and tribute to Megiddo; in a description of Amenotep II's second campaign (c. 1430 BCE), which ended "in the vicinity of Megiddo"; and in one of the el-Amarna letters (EA 244), in which the king of Megiddo asks Pharaoh to return to that city the Egyptian garrison that had been stationed there.

Megiddo is mentioned in the city lists of Thutmose III and Seti I - in Thutmose's list of Canaanite emissaries (Leningrad Papyrus 1116-A). Among the el-Amarna letters are six sent by King Biridiya (an Indo-Aryan name) of Megiddo to the Egyptian pharaoh. These letters show that Megiddo was one of the mightiest cities in the Jezreel Valley, and that its major rivals were Shechem and Acco. In one of his letters, Biridiya mentions that he brought corvee workers from Yapu (Japhia ?) to plow the fields of Shunem (a city that, according to another letter, had been previously destroyed). In the Papyrus Anastasi I, dated to the reign of Ramses II, Megiddo is mentioned in a detailed description of the road from the city down to the Coastal Plain, following the course of the 'Iron Brook'.

During the period of the Judges, Megiddo was one of the major Canaanite cities in the Jezreel Valley. It is mentioned in the Song of Deborah: "The kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of Canaan, at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo" (Jg. 5:19; and cf. Jos. 12:21). It is also listed among the Canaanite cities not conquered by the tribe of Manasseh (Jos. 17: 11-13; Jg. 1:27-28;and cf. l Chr. 7:29). How or when Megiddo fell into lsraelite hands is not known, but it appears during the period of the United Monarchy, together with Hazor and Gezer, among the Israelite cities fortified by Solomon (I Kg. 9:15). It is also mentioned as one of the cities in Solomon's fifth administrative district (I Kg. 4: 12).

Thereafter, there are few written references to Megiddo, but it is clear that it continued to be one of the major northern cities. Pharaoh Shishak conquered it during his campaign against Israel in the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign (about 925 BCE), and it is mentioned in the story of the death of Ahaziah king of Judah, during Jehu's revolt (2 Kg. 9:27). In 733-732 BCE, Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, conquered the northern part of lsrael and made Megiddo the capital of the Assyrian province of Magiddu. This province included the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee (the district "of the nations" in Isaiah 9:1). The fact that Josiah's battle against Pharaoh Necho [II] in 609 BCE was fought at Megiddo (2 Kg. 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22) indicates that, at least for a short time, the city was under Judean rule. This was in all likelihood the last period of prosperity in Megiddo's long history because, after Josiah's defeat, nothing more is heard of Megiddo. The strategic role of guarding the 'Iron Pass' was assumed by Kefar 'Othnai, a small village that became the base of the Sixth Roman Legion after the Bar-Kokhba Revolt. The village became known as Legio (in Arabic: el-Lejjun). Megiddo's military importance and long history as an international battleground were aptly reflected in the Apocalypse of John [aka Revelations] (Rev. 16:12 ff.), in which Armageddon ('Ἁρμαγεδών, the Mount of Megiddo) is designated as the site where, at the end of days, all the kings of the world will fight the ultimate battle.

Excavations

History of Excavations

The excavations conducted at Megiddo were very large and extensive. From 1903 to 1905, the mound was excavated by G. Schumacher on behalf of the German Society for Oriental Research. Schumacher dug a trench 20 to 25m wide running north-south along the entire length of the mound.In part of the trench he dug down to the Middle Bronze Age II occupation levels, reaching bedrock in a small section. In his reports, Schumacher described six building levels from the Middle Bronze Age II to the Iron Age. Two large buildings discovered in the trench, the Mittelburg and the Nordburg (Schumacher's terms), were both built during the Middle Bronze Age II and continued in use, with some repairs and additions, until the Late Bronze Age. Beneath these buildings were two unique tombs with false-arch roofs that some scholars considered were tombs of the Megiddo royal dynasty in the Late Bronze Age. At the south end of the trench, Schumacher uncovered part of a large building dating to the Israelite period (Iron Age), which he called the Palast, or palace-building 1723 of the Chicago expedition (see below). Schumacher also made several soundings in different parts of the mound and on the slopes along the city walls. The sections of walls that he excavated belonged mostly to the Israelite city, but some were earlier. Near the east end of the mound, Schumacher excavated a large Israelite building he thought was a sanctuary because of its stone pillars (identified by him as the stelae of a sanctuary). He called the building the Tempelburg. Similar stone pillars, however, have been found in ordinary houses from the Israelite period. A proto-Aeolic capital, reused as a building stone, was discovered in the wall of this building. It was the first such capital found in the country. The finds of the excavation were published by C. Watzinger in a separate volume. Especially noteworthy are two seals inscribed "(belonging) to Shema' servant of Jeroboam" and "(belonging) to Asaph," which were found in the ruins of the "palace," and a stone incense burner with painted decoration found in the upper (sixth) stratum at the south end of the trench.

In 1925, excavations at Megiddo were renewed by the Oriental Institute of Chicago, on the initiative of J. H. Breasted, and continued until l939, under the successive direction of C. S. Fisher, P. L. 0. Guy, and G. Loud. The original goal of the expedition was to excavate the entire mound, removing stratum after stratum, from top to bottom. This ambitious project was carried out for the first four strata (Persian period to ninth century BCE). The finds from the four strata and from part of the excavation of the fifth stratum were published by R. Lamon and G. M. Shipton.

During the final four years of the expedition, it became evident that the work could not be continued on such a grand scale, and the excavations were thereafter concentrated in two main areas: area AA in the north, in the vicinity of the city gate, where the excavators reached stratum XIII (Middle Bronze Age IIA), and area BB, in the east, the area of the temples, where bedrock was reached (stratum XX). The expedition reached stratum VI in two additional areas, area CC in the south (the area of Schumacher's Palast) and area DD in the northeast, situated between areas AA and BB.

The outbreak of World War II put an unexpected end to the excavations. The results have appeared only in a "Catalogue Publication of floor plans and finds" - to quote Loud's definition.

Because the east slope of the mound was to be used as a dump for the excavated earth, the expedition first undertook to clear and examine this area. Its investigation revealed many burial caves from different periods. They contained rich and varied finds that provided valuable additions to the discoveries made on the mound. The finds from the burial caves were published separately by Guy and R. M. Engberg.

The east slope also yielded remains from seven levels from Early Bronze Age settlements (the excavators previously assumed that the earliest settlement level dated to the Chalcolithic period). These levels, called stages I-VII, were published separately by Engberg.

One of the most significant discoveries was the city's monumental water tunnel. It was fully excavated and made the subject of a separate study by R. Lamon. The excavators suggested that the tunnel had been dug in the twelfth century BCE. Later excavations by Y. Yadin showed that it was probably built in the Iron Age (see below). In another, separate study, H. G. May assembled the cult finds from the various levels. The magnificent hoard of ivories (see below) from the Late Bronze Age was published by Loud.

In 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967, and 1971, an expedition headed by Y. Yadin excavated Megiddo on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the course of reexamining Iron Age strata VIA-III, this expedition was able to distinguish the buildings already uncovered in the previous excavations, such as the northern stable compound, the gate area, and the subterranean water system. Extensive excavations were also carried out in area B of the Yadin expedition, east of area DD and north of area BB of the Chicago expedition. A more limited probe was done near gallery 629, gate 2153, and a trench in the lower terrace of the mound.

Renewed Excavations

The renewed excavations at Megiddo have been undertaken under the auspices of Tel Aviv University, with Pennsylvania State University as the senior American partner. Consortium institutions are George Washington University, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, the University of Bern, and Rostock University. The directors of the expedition are I. Finkelstein and D. Ussishkin, who lead the excavation; and B. Halpern, who heads the academic program and acts as the coordinator of the consortium. The expedition is endorsed by the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, which maintains the site as a national park, and the Israel Exploration Society.

The renewed excavations, aiming at a long-term, systematic study of Tel Megiddo and its history, commenced in two short seasons in 1992 and 1993. The first full season took place in 1994, and the expedition has operated in the field every other year since. Eight areas have thus far been chosen for excavation. They include two trenches in the upper periphery of the site—one to the northwest and the other to the southeast; one trench in the lower mound; two areas aimed at further investigating remains uncovered in the previous excavations; and three areas in conjunction with development plans of the Nature and National Parks Protection Authority. These excavation areas consist of the following:
  • Area F: Located in the lower terrace of the mound, with remains of the Middle Bronze Age earthen embankment, Late Bronze Age I and Iron Age I domestic houses, and a Late Bronze Age II monumental building.
  • Area G: The Late Bronze Age city gate excavated by the University of Chicago team in their area AA.
  • Area H: A sectional trench on the northwestern edge of the mound; investigation concentrated on the relationship between the Assyrian palaces excavated in the 1920s, the destruction debris of stratum IVA, and Iron Age II stratigraphy.
  • Area J: A renewed study of the Early Bronze Age temples, uncovered by the University of Chicago excavations in area BB.
  • Area K: A sectional trench in the southeastern edge of the mound, with remains of Iron Age I–II domestic buildings.
  • Area L: A renewed study of palace 6000 partly excavated by Y. Yadin, and the “northern stables” partially unearthed by the University of Chicago team.
  • Area M: Located in the center of the mound, in and around the great north–south trench dug by G. Schumacher in the early twentieth century. Excavation was devoted to the clarification of the date and nature of the Nordburg and the monumental chamber tomb f uncovered by Schumacher, and to the exposure of an elaborate building of stratum VI to the east of Schumacher’s trench.
  • Area N: Located at the northwestern foot of the mound and containing Middle Bronze Age III/Late Bronze Age I remains.
The renewed excavations dealt with almost the entire sequence of occupation at Megiddo, from stratum XX of the Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age IA to stratum III of the late Iron Age II. A dual system for labeling the strata has been adopted. In each excavation area the local strata have been labeled as “levels,” the letter designating the area used as a prefix for the number of the level, e.g., “level K-3” in area K or “level H-2” in area H. In each excavation area the levels are counted from top to bottom, except for area J, where local conditions dictated a count from bottom up. As to the general stratigraphy of the site, the Chicago Expedition’s strata numbering system, e.g., “stratum XII,” has been followed.

Maps, Aerial Views, Plans, Sections, and Photos
Maps, Aerial Views, Plans, Sections, Drawings, and Photos

Maps

  • Fig. 31.1 - Faults and Epicenters near Meggiddo from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 25 Late Iron I destructions in the southern Levant from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Aerial Views

  • Annotated Aerial View of Tel Megiddo from biblewalks.com
  • Annotated Aerial View of Tel Megiddo from the north from BibleWalks.com
  • Unannotated Aerial View of Tel Megiddo from the north from BibleWalks.com
  • Aerial View of Tel Megiddo from wikipedia
  • Aerial View of Tel Megiddo in 1948 from Loud (1948)
  • Fig. 2 Annotated Aerial View of Tel Megiddo and Tel Megiddo East from Sapir-Hen et al. (2022)
  • Megiddo in Google Earth
  • Megiddo on govmap.gov.il

Plans, Sections, and Drawings

Site Plans and Sections

Modern Excavations

General Plans

Normal Size

  • Fig. 5.1 - Map of the mound and excavation areas of the Tel Aviv University expedition from Ussishkin (2018))
  • Map of the site and renewed excavation areas from Stern et al (2008 v. 5)
  • Fig. 1 Map of the site with excavation areas from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Fig. 5.1 - Map of the mound and excavation areas of the Tel Aviv University expedition from Ussishkin (2018))
  • Map of the site and renewed excavation areas from Stern et al (2008 v. 5)
  • Fig. 1 Map of the site with excavation areas from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Stratum specific plans

Normal Size

  • Plan of Strata VA-IVB and IVA from Stern et al (1993 v. 3)
  • Fig. 15.2 - Plan of Strata VA-IVB from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 18.1 - Plan of Stratum IVA from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 19.3 - Plan of Stratum III from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 24 Evidence for the fierce conflagration of Stratum VIA from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Plan of Strata VA-IVB and IVA from Stern et al (1993 v. 3)
  • Fig. 15.2 - Plan of Strata VA-IVB from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 18.1 - Plan of Stratum IVA from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 19.3 - Plan of Stratum III from Ussishkin (2018)

Deformed Structures Map

 Fig. 31.2

Location map of deformed structures at Megiddo. Arrows indicate direction of shaking. Stars mark deformation that cannot be associated with a particular sense of movement.

Marco et. al. (2006)


Early Excavations

Normal Size

  • Fig. 2.5a - Excavation areas of Schumacher from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 2.5b - North-South section of Schumacher from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 3.5 - Excavation areas of Oriental Institute expedition (Univ. of Chicago) from Ussishkin (2018)

Magnified

  • Fig. 2.5a - Excavation areas of Schumacher from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 2.5b -          North-South section of Schumacher from Ussishkin (2018)
  • Fig. 3.5 - Excavation areas of Oriental Institute expedition (Univ. of Chicago) from Ussishkin (2018)

Magnified X 2

  • Fig. 2.5b -          North-South section of Schumacher from Ussishkin (2018)

Area Plans, Sections, and Photos

Area H

Normal Size

Magnified

Area M

Normal Size

Magnified

Area Q

Normal Size

  • Fig. 2 Aerial view of Squares H–I/4–5 in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Plan of Level Q-9 of the Late Bronze III from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 6 Plan of Level Q-8 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Plan of Level Q-7b from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 10 Plan of Level Q-7a from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Fig. 2 Aerial view of Squares H–I/4–5 in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Plan of Level Q-9 of the Late Bronze III from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 6 Plan of Level Q-8 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Plan of Level Q-7b from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 10 Plan of Level Q-7a from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Cultic Area

Normal Size

  • Fig. 2.6 - Superposition of temples in the cultic area from Ussishkin (2011)

Magnified

  • Fig. 2.6 - Superposition of temples in the cultic area from Ussishkin (2011)

Area J

Normal Size

  • Fig. 3 Reconstruction of the Great Temple of Stratum XVIII (Level J-4) from Sapir-Hen et al. (2022)
  • Fig. 2.7 - Reconstruction of the Great Temple of Stratum XVIII (Level J-4) from Ussishkin (2011)

Magnified

  • Fig. 3 Reconstruction of the Great Temple of Stratum XVIII (Level J-4) from Sapir-Hen et al. (2022)
  • Fig. 2.7 - Reconstruction of the Great Temple of Stratum XVIII (Level J-4) from Ussishkin (2011)

Photos

Stratum XVIII Earthquake (End of Level J-4) - Early Bronze IB ca. 3000 BCE

  • Fig. 31.3D - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 31.3E - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 31.3F - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 40.1 - Extension Fractures in Stone Wall of Level J-4 Temple from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 3)
  • Fig. 2.47 - Fractures in Temple 4040 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Stratum VIIA Earthquake (?) - Late Bronze Age - after ~1200 BCE

  • Fig. 31.3H - Extension cracks and shifted Ashlars in the Late Bronze gate from Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum VIA Earthquake (?) - Late Iron Age I ~950 BCE

  • Fig. 5.3 - Destruction Layers H-5 and H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.8 - Photo of Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.9 - Smashed storage jar and charred beam in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.10 - Complete storage jar in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.11 - Smashed pottery vessels in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 3 Stratum VIA destruction debris in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 5 Pottery on the floor of Level Q-9 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 7 Floor of Level Q-8 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 9 Stone pillars in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 11a pavement of Level Q-7a building from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 11b broken stelae originating from pavement of Building 16/Q/48 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 12 Level Q-7 (Stratum VIA) destruction layer from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 13 Level Q-6b stone monolith erected above the ruins of the Iron I destruction from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 14 Skeletal reamins from Stratum VIA destruction in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 17 Iron blades and stacked bronze bowls from cache from Locus 12/Q/76 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 21 Burials in Area CC along with smashed pottery from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 22 Skeletal remains in Area K from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE

  • Fig. 5.26 - View of Level H-5 looking north from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.27 - Level H-5 Destruction Layer from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.28 - Level H-5 Destruction Debris from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Canaanite Gate (Strata VIII-VII)

  • Fig. 2.12 - Strata VIII-VII Canaanite Gate before restoration from Ussishkin (2011)
  • Old photo of the Canaanite Gate from Stern et al (1993 v. 3)

Chronology
Stratigraphy

System for labeling strata in the renewed excavations

The renewed excavations dealt with almost the entire sequence of occupation at Megiddo, from stratum XX of the Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age IA to stratum III of the late Iron Age II. A dual system for labeling the strata has been adopted. In each excavation area the local strata have been labeled as “levels,” the letter designating the area used as a prefix for the number of the level, e.g., “level K-3” in area K or “level H-2” in area H. In each excavation area the levels are counted from top to bottom, except for area J, where local conditions dictated a count from bottom up. As to the general stratigraphy of the site, the Chicago Expedition’s strata numbering system, e.g., “stratum XII,” has been followed.

Entire Site

Entire Site

Summary of Megiddo stratigraphy updated to 2008 Table 1.1

Summary of Megiddo stratigraphy updated to 2008

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)


Strata VB-VIIA

Area J Stratigraphy Table 1

Stratigraphic correlation between excavated areas at Megiddo

Kleiman et al. (2023)

Area H

Stratigraphy of Area H Table 5.1

Updated Stratigraphy of Area H

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)


Area J

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Area J Stratigraphy Table 2.2

Revised and Augmented Stratigraphy of Area J

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)


Ussishkin (2015)

Area J Stratigraphy Table 1

The Cultic Compound in the Early Periods

Ussishkin (2015)


Area J Stratigraphy Table 2

The Six Stages of the Sacred Area during Strata XX-XIV Levels J-1 - J-8

Ussishkin (2015)


Area M

Stratigraphy of Area M Table 4.1

The Stratigraphy of Area M

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)


Stratigraphy of Area M Table 4.3

UPDATED STRATIGRAPHY OF AREA M (REPLACING FINKELSTEIN, USSISHKIN AND DEUTSCH 2006: 80, TABLE 5.1)

Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)


Area Q

Stratigraphic Sequence

Area J Stratigraphy Table 2

The stratigraphic sequence in Area Q

Kleiman et al. (2023)

Radiocarbon Dates

Table

Area J Stratigraphy Table 3

Radiocarbon dates from Level Q-9 to Q-6b (Boaretto 2022: table 41.1

Kleiman et al. (2023)

Plot

Area J Stratigraphy Fig. 20

The Area Q radiocarbon sequence ((based on the data reported in Boaretto 2022: table 41.1

Kleiman et al. (2023)

Chronological Divisions

Stern et al (1993)

Age Dates Comments
Early Bronze IA-B 3300-3000 BCE
Early Bronze II 3000-2700 BCE
Early Bronze III 2700-2200 BCE
Middle Bronze I 2200-2000 BCE ‎EB IV - Intermediate Bronze
Middle Bronze IIA 2000-1750 BCE
Middle Bronze IIB 1750-1550 BCE
Late Bronze I 1550-1400 BCE
Late Bronze IIA 1400-1300 BCE
Late Bronze IIB 1300-1200 BCE
Iron IA 1200-1150 BCE
Iron IB 1150-1100 BCE
Iron IIA 1000-900 BCE
Iron IIB 900-700 BCE
Iron IIC 700-586 BCE
Babylonian & Persian 586-332 BCE
Early Hellenistic 332-167 BCE
Late Hellenistic 167-37 BCE
Early Roman 37 BCE - 132 CE
Herodian 37 BCE - 70 CE
Late Roman 132-324 CE
Byzantine 324-638 CE
Early Arab 638-1099 CE Umayyad & Abbasid‎
Crusader & Ayyubid 1099-1291 CE
Late Arab 1291-1516 CE Fatimid & Mameluke‎
Ottoman 1516-1917 CE

Meyers et al (1997)

Phase Dates Variants
Early Bronze IA-B 3400-3100 BCE
Early Bronze II 3100-2650 BCE
Early Bronze III 2650-2300 BCE
Early Bronze IVA-C 2300-2000 BCE Intermediate Early-Middle Bronze, Middle Bronze I‎
Middle Bronze I 2000-1800 BCE ‎Middle Bronze IIA
Middle Bronze II 1800-1650 BCE ‎Middle Bronze IIB‎
Middle Bronze III 1650-1500 BCE ‎‎Middle Bronze IIC
Late Bronze IA 1500-1450 BCE
Late Bronze IIB 1450-1400 BCE
Late Bronze IIA 1400-1300 BCE
Late Bronze IIB 1300-1200 BCE
Iron IA 1200-1125 BCE
Iron IB 1125-1000 BCE
Iron IC 1000-925 BCE Iron IIA‎
Iron IIA 925-722 BCE Iron IIB‎
Iron IIB 722-586 BCE ‎Iron IIC
Iron III 586-520 BCE Neo-Babylonian‎
Early Persian 520-450 BCE
Late Persian 450-332 BCE
Early Hellenistic 332-200 BCE
Late Hellenistic 200-63 BCE
Early Roman 63 BCE - 135 CE
Middle Roman 135-250 CE
Late Roman 250-363 CE
Early Byzantine 363-460 CE
Late Byzantine 460-638 CE
Early Arab 638-1099 CE
Crusader & Ayyubid 1099-1291 CE
Late Arab 1291-1516 CE
Ottoman 1516-1917 CE

The Iron Age in the Southern Levant

Stratum XVIII Earthquake (End of Level J-4) - Early Bronze IB ca. 3000 BCE

Photos

Photos

  • Fig. 31.3D - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 31.3E - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 31.3F - Fractured Temple Walls from Marco et. al. (2006)
  • Fig. 40.1 - Extension Fractures in Stone Wall of Level J-4 Temple from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 3)
  • Fig. 2.47 - Fractures in Temple 4040 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Discussion

Marco et. al. (2006) reported that in Area J, the monumental walls of the Level J-4 temple are fractured in several places along their strike (Fig. 31.3d) as well as perpendicular to the strike (Figs. 31.3e-f) while the overlying walls of the EB III temple 4050 are not fractured. They attributed this to probable catastrophic horizontal shaking and categorized this as an earthquake event that was beyond doubt. This archaeoseismic evidence is indeed compelling. Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1331) reports that Adams in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3 Ch.3 Part III) argues against this interpretation attributing abandonment of the temple in particular and Megiddo in general to socio-political change. Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1331) summarized Pro and Con arguments in the Table below while asserting that an earthquake was likely responsible for the wall fractures.

Megiddo EBIB pro and con quake arguments Table 39.1

EB IB Earthquake Theory Arguments, Pro and Con

Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1331)


References
Raphael and Agnon (2018)

Period Age Site Damage Description
EB II 3000-2700 BCE Megiddo earthquake shock probably led to the partial destruction and abandonment of Level J-4 temple (Stratum XVIII), dated to c. 3000 BCE (Marco et al. 2006: 572; Braun 2013: 51; Ussishkin 2015: 85-86).
LB II 1400-1200 BCE Megiddo cracks and fractures in the Level J-4 gate and temple (Marco 2006: 569).
Iron IIA 1000-900 BCE Megiddo destruction of domestic and cultic buildings, late 10th century BCE (Stratum VIA, Levels K4, M4, F4, H4, L4). Signs of fierce fire with evidence of a hurried evacuation. Skeletons of people trapped covered by debris (Guy 1935: 203-204). Guy’s date was later corrected to the 10th century BCE (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 7; Kempinski 1993: 89-90; Marco et al. 2006: 572, Cline 2011; Harrison 2003: 32, 60; 2004: figs. 30-32, 72-73, 82-83).
Iron IIBA 900-700 BCE Megiddo northern stables (Level L-2, Stratum VA-IVB), 835-800 BCE or later (Marco et al. 2006:572).

Stratum VIIA Earthquake (?) - Late Bronze Age - after ~1200 BCE

Photos

Photos

  • Fig. 31.3H - Extension cracks and shifted Ashlars in the Late Bronze gate from Marco et. al. (2006)

Discussion

Marco et. al. (2006) observed extension cracks and shifted Ashlar stones in the Late Bronze Age Gate. The ashlars shifted sub-parallel to N-S trend of the wall (Fig. 31.3h). They noted that the gate lacked a foundation making it vulnerable to seismic destruction. Unfortunately, this compelling archaeoseismic evidence lacks a reliable terminus ante quem so all that could be said was that this presumed seismic destruction post dates c. 1200 BCE and could have been caused by the ~950 BCE Stratum IVA seismic event. Marco et. al. (2006) also noted that stone plates in the roof of Schumacher's Chamber f (see Chapter 5) are fractured at 90°. This presumed roof collapse also lacks a reliable terminus ante quem and could be associated with a Late Bronze Age Earthquake or a later event such as the ~950 BCE Stratum IVA seismic event. Kleiman et al. (2023:4) noted that the destruction of the Late Bronze III city (Stratum VIIA) in the second half of the 12th century BCE was partial and did not lead to radical changes in either the spatial organization of the settlement or its material culture. Kleiman et al. (2023:34) also noted that to date, signs of destruction were documented mainly in the area of the palace in Area AA and partially in Area M (Level M-6, see Finkelstein 2013a: 234), as well as in the domestic quarter in Area K (Level K-6, see Arie and Nativ 2013).

Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1335-1336) seems to suggest that the destruction of Stratum VIIA was due to human agency.

References
Stratum VIIA destruction layer in the Megiddo V Reports



THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LATE BRONZE CITY

Stratum VIIA — the last layer of Late Bronze Megiddo — was exposed in all four areas dug by the University of Chicago (AA, BB, CC and DD) and in four areas of the current Tel Aviv University-led excavations (F, G [which is part of the University of Chicago's Area AA], K and M).

Interesting data pertaining to the end of Stratum VIIA was collected in the 2004-2008 seasons in Areas M and K. In Area M, the Nordburg was destroyed, though not in a conflagration. In one room of the edifice (04/M/75), LB III (Level M-6), pottery was found smashed on the floor. No evidence of fire was observed. The excavation of this room revealed an accumulation of almost a metre of unburned brick collapse. Whether the collapse took place in the end days of Stratum VIIA or the walls were pulled down in the early days of Stratum VIB in preparation for new construction is not clear. Carbonized olive pits were found in the olive press in nearby Room 00/M/2, which had already been excavated by Schumacher (1908: Taf. XII).

In Area K, traces of destruction were observed in Level K-6, which also dates to the LB III, in the sense that some vessels were found broken on the floors. There was no collapse and evidence of fire could be seen only in limited spots (the northern baulk of Square P/11 plus carbonized olive pits in Olive Press 02/K/60 in nearby Square P/10).

Our past excavation of the Late Bronze gate (Area G) revealed evidence of the last days of the Late Bronze city, including evidence of its destruction (Ussishkin 1995). No such evidence could be traced in Area F on the lower terrace of the mound.

Loud (1948: 29) described a violent destruction of the palace in Area AA, which he affiliated with the end of Stratum VIIB. Ussishkin (1995: 241-246) argued that this was the destruction of Stratum VIIA. The palace was annihilated in a heavy conflagration that left an accumulation of fallen stones a metre-and-a-half-thick, with another accumulation of fallen bricks over it. Baked' mudbricks were found still standing in the upper parts of the walls (Loud 1948: Figs. 71-72 and a schematic section in Ussishkin 1995: Fig. 6: 2-3).

The situation in Area BB was more complicated. Loud (1948: 105) mentions a destruction of Temple 2048, with a "partially burned lime floor" adjacent to the platform at the back of the temple-hall, both in relation to Stratum VIIB. Yet, the pottery from the only floor in the temple-hall (Kenyon 1969: 54) is typical of Stratum VIA (Mazar 1985: 97; see also Kempinski 1989: 77-83; Ussishkin 1995: 256), which means that the destruction is post-Late Bronze. In other words, no clear destruction of Stratum VIIA was observed in Area BB.

Loud's short description of the results in Areas CC and DD does not mention destruction. This, of course, may be due to the brevity of his description, but it is still significant because the published pictures also do not show evidence of destruction.

The destruction of Stratum VIIA can be summarized as follows: evidence for violent conflagration and thick collapse was traced solely in the area of the palace. Lesser pieces of evidence for destruction were found in the gate (which, in fact, is part of the palace complex), in the Nordburg — another large building of palatial nature — and to a certain extent in Level K-6. There is no clear data for Areas CC and DD and no destruction was observed in Area BB of the University of Chicago and in Area F of the current excavations. It seems, then, that the main target for the assault on the city of Stratum VIIA was the palace.

Stratum VIIA was destroyed in the 1130s BCE, as indicated by the base of a statue of Ramesses VI found by the University of Chicago team in Area CC (Breasted 1948). This find, though retrieved from a problematic stratigraphic context, must have originated in Stratum VIIA (Singer 1988-1989; Ussishkin 1995). The 14C results discussed in this volume (Chapter 25) are in line with this date (see also Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2009). Ussishkin (1995) suggested that Stratum VIIA was destroyed by a group of Sea Peoples; an assault by a local unruly group in the chaotic days of the late 12th century BCE is also possible.

Raphael and Agnon (2018)

Period Age Site Damage Description
EB II 3000-2700 BCE Megiddo earthquake shock probably led to the partial destruction and abandonment of Level J-4 temple (Stratum XVIII), dated to c. 3000 BCE (Marco et al. 2006: 572; Braun 2013: 51; Ussishkin 2015: 85-86).
LB II 1400-1200 BCE Megiddo cracks and fractures in the Level J-4 gate and temple (Marco 2006: 569).
Iron IIA 1000-900 BCE Megiddo destruction of domestic and cultic buildings, late 10th century BCE (Stratum VIA, Levels K4, M4, F4, H4, L4). Signs of fierce fire with evidence of a hurried evacuation. Skeletons of people trapped covered by debris (Guy 1935: 203-204). Guy’s date was later corrected to the 10th century BCE (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 7; Kempinski 1993: 89-90; Marco et al. 2006: 572, Cline 2011; Harrison 2003: 32, 60; 2004: figs. 30-32, 72-73, 82-83).
Iron IIBA 900-700 BCE Megiddo northern stables (Level L-2, Stratum VA-IVB), 835-800 BCE or later (Marco et al. 2006:572).

Stratum VIA Earthquake (?) - Late Iron Age I ~950 BCE

The destruction of Stratum VIA is described by Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1336-1337) as total with evidence in every area excavated by our team and by our predecessors including from Levels H-9 and M-4. Kleiman et al. (2023:3) noted that Megiddo in Stratum VIA was destroyed by a fierce conflagration, followed by a short gap of occupation, radical change in material culture and a cessation of activity in the lower settlement and that the destruction debris, one of the most reliable stratigraphic anchors at Megiddo — is characterized by a massive accumulation of burnt mudbrick collapse, sometimes over 1 m thick, with restorable vessels and ash debris. In Area Q, Kleiman et al. (2023:15) reports that Level Q-7a, which is equivalent to Stratum VIA, contained Iron I pottery which was sealed from above by Level Q-6b whose ceramic assemblage exhibits distinctive characteristics of the Iron IIA traditions, such as red slipped and hand-burnished vessels (Kleiman 2022: 937). Kleiman et al. (2023:15) noted that a radiocarbon study published a few years ago [before 2023], which was based on a larger quantity of samples, suggested that the event [Stratum VIA destruction equivalent to the Level Q-7a destruction] occurred in the range of 985–935 BCE (Toffolo et al. 2014) while a more recent model puts it [the destruction of Stratum VIA] in the early 10th century BCE (Finkelstein and Piasetzky in press).

While Marco et al. 2006 suggested that it was probable but not conclusive that the destruction of Stratum VIA was caused by an earthquake, Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1336-1337), using the results of radiocarbon dating of 7 nearby sites along the same approximate time horizon, concluded that that the destruction stemmed from early steps in the rise of a north Israelite territorial entity — the expansion of the highlanders into the northern valleys. Kleiman et al. (2023:24) suggested that the Stratum VIA destruction was caused by human agency and that the available evidence hints that this was probably the culmination of a process which included a siege, rather than a sudden and unexpected military attack. Kleiman et al. (2023:19, 22) noted that over the years, scholars have remained undecided regarding the cause of Megiddo VIA’s destruction with some favoring an earthquake and others favoring human agency.

References

Iron Age I destruction layer in the Megiddo V Reports



THE IRON I

In contrast to the destruction at the end of the LB III, as well as the destructions in the late Iron IIA and Iron IIB, which were partial and encompassed only certain sectors of the settlement, the destruction of the late Iron I city was total. Evidence for this annihilation is now evident in every area excavated by our team and by our predecessors. The 2004-2008 seasons added the evidence from Levels H-9 and M-4.

For the moment, large numbers of radiocarbon results are available only for the late Iron I (Levels K-4, H-9 and M-4), while the number of determinations for Levels K-5, H-7 and H-5 does not allow the reaching of clear conclusions (many more samples for these and other Iron Age layers are now being processed and will be published in the future). Boaretto (Chapter 25) puts the destruction of late Iron I Megiddo in the first half of the 10th century or ca. 950 BCE (see also Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2007; 2009).

Many other late Iron I settlements in the northern valleys and the northern coastal plain came to an end in a violent conflagration. As is well known, scholars have suggested a single event for the end of this phase in the north: a major earthquake (Lamon and Shipton 1939:7; Marco et al. 2006; Cline 2011), King David's conquests (Yadin 1970: 95; Harrison 2004: 108), or Pharaoh Sheshonq I's campaign (Watzinger 1929: 58, 91; Finkelstein 2002).

Seven sites, five of which were destroyed by fire, supply 88 14C determinations (for the data, see Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2007; 2009). When an uncalibrated date is established for each of these layers separately (by averaging its determinations — a legitimate procedure in the case of destruction layers, because one can assume that all samples came from the last years before the destruction), it becomes clear that the results do not provide similar dates. Rather, the uncalibrated dates fall into two groups that show geographical logic: the western Jezreel Valley-Acco Plain sites and the eastern Jezreel Valley-Sea of Galilee sites. The two groups are separated by 58 uncalibrated years (2852±13 and 2794±10 respectively), that is, 3.5 σ; the probability that they represent a single date is therefore low.

Most likely, then, the late Iron I horizon in northern Israel came to an end in two main events, or two clusters of events, in 1047-996 BCE and 974-915 BCE according to the `uncalibrated weighted average' method (Finkelstein and Piasetzky, 2007); 1017-984 and 969—898 BC according to a Bayesian model constructed for this purpose (idem. 2009).7

This conclusion renders the earthquake and single military campaign theories invalid. The most reasonable historical reconstruction would explain this gradual destruction in the north as representing early steps in the rise of a north Israelite territorial entity — the expansion of the highlanders into the northern valleys.
Footnotes

7 Accordingly, the transition from the late Iron Ito the early Iron BA falls in the second half of the 10th century ( Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2010, contra Mazar and Bronk Ramsey, 2008).

Level H-9 in the Megiddo V Reports

Plans, Sections, and Photos

Plans, Sections, and Photos

  • Fig. 5.2 - Plan of Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.3 - Destruction Layers H-5 and H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.4 - South section of Area H from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.5 - East section of Area H from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.6 - West section of Area H from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.7 - Eastern section of Area H from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.8 - Photo of Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.9 - Smashed storage jar and charred beam in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.10 - Complete storage jar in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.11 - Smashed pottery vessels in Level H-9 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Discussion

Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1336) reports the following regarding Iron Age stratigraphy in Area H
Area H provides the best stratigraphic sequence for Iron Age Megiddo, with two pre-732 BCE Iron IIB layers (levels H-3 and H-4), four Iron IIA layers (levels H-5 to H-8), one late Iron I layer (level H-9) and at least two early Iron I layers (levels H-10 and H-11, which will be reported on in the next Megiddo report). This system of nine layers (only five were detected by the University of Chicago) covers a time span of ca. 370 years (ca. 1100–732 BCE) with an accumulation of ca. 5.5 m. three of the settlements – levels H-9, H-5 and H-3 – ended in destruction.
Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:253-256) reported the following about Level H-9:
Level H-9

Level H-9 (Fig. 5.2) was violently destroyed by a fierce fire leaving a thick accumulation of red burnt mudbrick debris. In some places the collapse debris reached over 1 min height (Figs. 5.3-5.5). This red brick debris and the typical pottery retrieved from this phase leave no doubt regarding the correlation between Level H-9 and Stratum VIA of the University of Chicago expedition, dated to the late Iron I. The excellent state of preservation of Level H-9 is manifested by a large number of pottery vessels and small finds.

Due to the narrow dimensions of Area H, the architecture assigned to Level H-9 does not provide a clear layout of a building. It comprises architectural elements that were reconstructed in this report as one unit called Building 08/H/38 (Fig. 5.8).

CENTRAL COURTYARD 08/H/38

Due to its large expanse it is logical to assume that this architectural unit served as a courtyard. Still, two flat stones that probably served as pillar bases, which were found in the western side of this unit, may suggest that it was partly roofed. Several carbonized beams that were found here could have originated from this roof or from the pillars themselves (Fig. 5.9).

While the floor of most of the courtyard was made of beaten earth, two parts of it were paved with fieldstones. The first (06/H/55) located in the southeastern corner of the courtyard, was probably constructed in order to support the weight of Basin 08/H/30 (see below). Above this pavement, a thick phytolith layer was found, identified by Ruth Shahack-Gross (personal communication) as some kind of a mat. The second paved area (06/H/51), which was found in the northwestern part of the courtyard, slopes down toward the south probably due to sinking (Fig. 5.10). It originally abutted Wall 06/H/13 and probably represents a larger floor that was not preserved.

Courtyard 08/H/38 yielded the largest accumulation of finds retrieved from Level H-9. The thick debris of red-fired mudbricks spread all over the courtyard contained dozens of pottery vessels (Fig. 5.11). It is worth mentioning that the southwestern part of the courtyard can be distinguished from its western sector by the character of its finds: a significant number of small vessels in the former versus mostly big storage vessels in the latter (see Chapter 12).

...

It is worth mentioning that below the floors dated to the last destruction of Level H-9 an accumulation of beaten earth floors (ca. 0.20 m thick) was excavated all over the courtyard. These represent the life span of Level H-9. This phenomenon was recognized only in this unit, seemingly also testifying to its function as a courtyard.

Level M-4 in the Megiddo V Reports

Plans and Tables

Plans and Tables

Discussion

Norma Franklin in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1) interpreted Area M while noting that her interpretation also took into account the results of past excavations in this area, mainly Schumacher's. She reported the following on pages 202-203 about the demise of Level M-4:
THE DEMISE OF LEVEL M-4

Level M-4 came to an end in a dramatic destruction, with heavy conflagration. This destruction is the contemporary of Level K-4 (Gadot et al. 2006: 94-101) and Level H-9 (Chapter 5).

There was a marked difference between the burnt mudbrick material deposited over Rooms 04/M/44 and 04/M/55 in Squares AV—AW/27 and the material deposited over the open area in Squares AV/28-29 and AW/28-29. The former featured a thick concentration of (unburnt) mudbrick debris. In Square AW/27 (Locus 04/M/24) there was disturbed mudbrick debris, rock tumble, pottery sherds, and broken fragments of worked basalt, and the Level M-4 walls had been partially robbed of their stones. Square AV/27 featured a similar picture: a north-south robber trench traversed the east side of the square (Locus 04/M/14); it was located over Level M-4 Wall 04/M/5, and possibly represents the robbing of part of the wall's superstructure.

The other squares were covered with a thick layer of burnt mudbrick. For example Loci 00/M/31 and 00/M/33 north and south of Wall 00/M/27, respectively, contained burnt mudbrick debris that appeared to have been deposited, after burning, on the ashy surfaces of Level M-4. Only a few of the burnt mudbricks were in situ, e.g., part of the mudbrick superstructure of Wall 00/M/27.

The most dramatic picture of the conflagration that marked the end of Level M-4 was seen in Square AW/28. The best preserved and most colourful selection of burnt mudbrick debris was revealed here, including whole mudbricks measuring 46 x 30 x 12 cm. Some were black due to carbonized organic material, others ranged from yellow ochre, through burnt sienna to burnt umber. The pile was at its highest in the southeast corner of the square and sloped down to the west and north; on excavation it resembled a veritable cascade of mudbrick (Fig. 4.26). However the `cascade' was in fact a post-occupation level deposit that contained Level M-4 material (see below). The lowest point of the `cascade' cut through the original Level M-4 surface (02/M/71), but the bulk of the burnt material rested on the floor and covered Wall 00/M/27.

Raphael and Agnon (2018)

Period Age Site Damage Description
EB II 3000-2700 BCE Megiddo earthquake shock probably led to the partial destruction and abandonment of Level J-4 temple (Stratum XVIII), dated to c. 3000 BCE (Marco et al. 2006: 572; Braun 2013: 51; Ussishkin 2015: 85-86).
LB II 1400-1200 BCE Megiddo cracks and fractures in the Level J-4 gate and temple (Marco 2006: 569).
Iron IIA 1000-900 BCE Megiddo destruction of domestic and cultic buildings, late 10th century BCE (Stratum VIA, Levels K4, M4, F4, H4, L4). Signs of fierce fire with evidence of a hurried evacuation. Skeletons of people trapped covered by debris (Guy 1935: 203-204). Guy’s date was later corrected to the 10th century BCE (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 7; Kempinski 1993: 89-90; Marco et al. 2006: 572, Cline 2011; Harrison 2003: 32, 60; 2004: figs. 30-32, 72-73, 82-83).
Iron IIBA 900-700 BCE Megiddo northern stables (Level L-2, Stratum VA-IVB), 835-800 BCE or later (Marco et al. 2006:572).

Kleiman et al. (2023)

Plans

Plans

Normal Size

  • Fig. 1 Map of the site with excavation areas from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2 Aerial view of Squares H–I/4–5 in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Plan of Level Q-9 of the Late Bronze III from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 6 Plan of Level Q-8 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Plan of Level Q-7b from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 10 Plan of Level Q-7a from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Fig. 1 Map of the site with excavation areas from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2 Aerial view of Squares H–I/4–5 in Area Q from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Plan of Level Q-9 of the Late Bronze III from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 6 Plan of Level Q-8 from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Plan of Level Q-7b from Kleiman et al. (2023)
  • Fig. 10 Plan of Level Q-7a from Kleiman et al. (2023)

Discussion
Abstract

The destruction of Iron I Megiddo in the early 10th century BCE was a momentous event in the history of the southern Levant. It marked an abrupt break in the long cultural development of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. Despite extensive field research, essential questions related to this event remain unanswered, especially regarding the processes that took place in the city immediately before its destruction. In this article, findings from recent excavations in the south-eastern sector of the mound, where a detailed Iron I stratigraphic sequence was explored, are reported. In addition, finds from two nearby areas previously excavated were re-evaluated, focusing mostly on contextual aspects of the osteological data. This study sheds light on the deterioration of the city in the decades preceding its final demise, and suggests that the event was caused by human agents rather than a natural disaster. It also hints that in its last days, Megiddo may have been besieged, which explains the peculiar re-appearance of intra-mural burials at the site. The case of Iron I Megiddo provides a high-resolution snapshot of actions taken by the inhabitants of a Near Eastern city on the eve of a major crisis.

Introduction

At the end of the Late Bronze Age, in the 12th century BCE, eastern Mediterranean societies experienced a series of disruptive events leading to the gradual collapse of the old socio-political and economic orders. Scholars tend to agree that the crisis was a multi-faceted process stemming from a major climate event, long-standing weaknesses of political entities, over exploitation of human resources and migrations of groups from the west (see, e.g., Cline 2014; Knapp 2021; Millek 2020; for Canaan, see Langgut et al. 2013). Still, in the lowlands of the southern Levant, the material culture and geographical disposition of the Iron I city-states were very similar to those of the Late Bronze II–III. The decisive cultural change, which marked the beginning of a new era, occurred only in the Iron I/II transition (e.g., Faust 2021; Finkelstein 2003; Gilboa et al. 2014; Lehmann 2021: 295–99; Mazar 2020: 85–86). Radiocarbon dates from well-stratified sites place this transition, which includes the destruction of nearly all cities in the region, in the 10th century BCE (Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2009; in press; Lee et al. 2013; Mazar 2020: 83–85; Toffolo et al. 2014).

At Megiddo, one of the most investigated sites in the Ancient Near East, the Iron I/II transition is marked by a fierce conflagration that consumed the city of Stratum VIA. Remnants of this event were unearthed in all sectors of the mound (Arie 2011: 89–94; Ussishkin 2018: 309–15), including on the lower terrace (Ilan et al. 2000: 97–99). Current work at the site involves a detailed investigation of the stratigraphic sequences and ceramic typologies, a robust radiocarbon dating programme and the integration of cutting-edge micro-archaeological techniques: it established Megiddo as a key site for understanding this turning point in the history of the Levant. And yet, critical questions relating to the destruction of Stratum VIA remain unresolved, especially regarding events and processes that took place in the city before its destruction, and whether clues for the upcoming crisis can be identified in the material culture of the site prior to its devastation.

This article looks to shed light on these issues by presenting the results of three excavation seasons (in 2012, 2014 and 2016) carried out in Area Q, located in the south-eastern sector of Megiddo (Figs 1–2). In addition, the finds from two nearby areas, which had been excavated in the past — Area CC of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (hereafter, OI) and Area K of Tel Aviv University — with a special focus on contextual aspects of the osteological data, are re-evaluated. The broader implications of the finds for the study of the Iron I/II transition at Megiddo and beyond are then discussed.

The destruction of Stratum VIA

Stratum VIA at Megiddo, the best example of an Iron I city in the southern Levant, was first encountered by Gottlieb Schumacher in the early 20th century. Schumacher labelled its ruins as his ‘fourth stratum’ and gave it the title die brandschicht, i.e., the burnt layer (1908: 75–90). It was further investigated by the OI, especially in Area AA near the city gate and Area CC in the southern sector of the site (Esse 1992; Harrison 2004; Loud 1948: 33–45, 105, 114– 16). In the Hebrew University excavations, led by Yigael Yadin, Stratum VIA remnants were found mainly in probes dug below Palace 6000 of Stratum VA–IVB (Yadin 1970: 69–70, 77–79; Zarzecki-Peleg 2016: 13–51; for a history of research of the old excavations, see also Esse and Harrison 2004: 1–6). Over the last three decades, the current Tel Aviv University expedition exposed the remains of Stratum VIA in eight additional areas (e.g., Gadot et al. 2006).

The cumulative exposure of Stratum VIA across the mound revealed the remains of a prosperous city that represents the ‘swan song’ of the southern Levantine 2nd millennium BCE material culture (Finkelstein 2003). It was destroyed by a fierce conflagration, followed by a short gap of occupation, radical change in material culture and a cessation of activity in the lower settlement (for domestic and cultic continuity until this event, see Martin 2022; Kleiman et al. 2017: 24–25, 40–44). The destruction debris of Stratum VIA — one of the most reliable stratigraphic anchors at Megiddo (Table 1) — is characterized by a massive accumulation of burnt mudbrick collapse, sometimes over 1 m thick, with restorable vessels and ash debris (Finkelstein 2009: 115–16; Loud 1948: 33–37; for the pottery, see Arie 2006; 2013; see, e.g., Fig. 3)

The Iron I stratigraphic sequence in Area Q

Introduction

Area Q features a stratigraphic sequence of more than ten layers and sub-phases, covering the era from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the Iron IIB (Figs 1– 2; Table 2). Previous studies of the finds concentrated on the Iron II strata, mainly from the northern part of this area (see list of references in Homsher and Kleiman 2022). In 2012, the excavation was extended to the southern part of the area (Squares H–I/1–4), where a heavy rainstorm had exposed the ruins of the Iron I city. The original objectives were to:
  1. re-study the destruction of the city using a variety of micro-archaeological approaches (Forget and Shahack-Gross 2016; Forget et al. 2015; Shahack-Gross et al. 2018)
  2. re-examine the date of Schumacher’s Südliches Burgtor (Homsher and Finkelstein 2018), a monumental structure erroneously interpreted as a gate complex (Schumacher 1908: 77–80).
These excavations also revealed five short-term phases, radiocarbon dated from the late 12th century to the 10th century BCE, providing unique snapshots of the events leading up to the destruction of the Iron I city

Phase 1, Level Q-9: partial destruction in the Late Bronze/Iron Age transition

The events associated with the end of the Late Bronze Age at Megiddo have been discussed extensively (e.g., Ussishkin 1995). New evidence from the current excavations in Areas H and K (Arie 2022; Martin 2022, respectively), as well as a re-evaluation of the data from Area AA (Finkelstein et al. 2017: 263–64), shed light on the events. These studies demonstrate that the destruction of the Late Bronze III city (Stratum VIIA) in the second half of the 12th century BCE was partial and did not lead to radical changes in either the spatial organization of the settlement or its material culture (as already hinted by Engberg 1940; see also Esse 1992: 84, n. 21; Ussishkin 1995: 260–61). To date, signs of destruction were documented mainly in the area of the palace in Area AA and partially in Area M (Level M-6, see Finkelstein 2013a: 234), as well as in the domestic quarter in Area K (Level K-6, see Arie and Nativ 2013).

In Area Q, current excavations reached the Late Bronze III (Level Q-9) only in limited probes dug below the floors of Level Q-8 in Squares I/1 and I/2 (Fig. 4). A few complete vessels found on beaten-earth surfaces to the east of the Südliches Burgtor suggest a small-scale disturbance (Fig. 5). Due to the limited assemblage and exposure, it is difficult to securely date this phase. Based on a preliminary review of the pottery, Homsher and Finkelstein (2018: 305) suggested correlating Level Q-9 with Level H-11 of the Late Bronze III, or the beginning of the Iron I (for Level H-11, see Arie 2022: 97–109; Finkelstein et al. 2017: 267–69).

Phase 2, Level Q-8: recovery in the Iron I

More apparent, but still restricted in extent, are the remains of Level Q-8 (Fig. 6). In Squares I/1–3, the finds associated with this phase were limited to two ashy surfaces between the floors of Levels Q-9 and Q-7b (Fig. 7). One of these surfaces abuts the eastern wall of the Südliches Burgtor, indicating the continuing function of this monumental building at the beginning of the Iron I, corroborating the results of the OI excavations in nearby Area CC (see below). Fragmentary remains of domestic structures belonging to this phase were exposed in Squares H/4–5, c. 15–20 m to the east of the Südliches Burgtor. The floors associated with these buildings include patchy phytolith surfaces and dark grey ash layers found c. 45 cm below the floors of Level Q-7b. A few restorable jars were found in these structures, testifying to another small-scale disturbance. The pottery of Level Q-8 is generally similar to that of Levels Q-7b and Q-7a, suggesting its possible correlation with Stratum VIB of the OI, which was allegedly absent from the nearby Area CC (Harrison 2004: 19; Loud 1948: 113).

Phase 3, Level Q-7b: new architecture towards the end of the Iron I

Level Q-7b portrays a substantial change in Area Q. It is represented by the construction of Building 14/Q/ 53, apparently an eastern expansion of the Südliches Burgtor (Figs 8–9) and Building 14/Q/145 further to the east. The remains of the former structure suggest the existence of a sizable unit that measures about 7.5 × 8.0 m. It consists of three large and at least partially paved rooms, constructed in lesser quality compared to the massive walls of the Südliches Burgtor. The new addition nearly doubled the size of the previous structure and could be considered part of an ad-hoc defence system. The remains of Building 14/Q/145 in Squares H–I/4 represent a small structure, of which only one wall, a semi-circular fire installation and a beaten-earth floor survived. Exceptional finds in this context were three carefully cut, small octagonal stone pillars, arranged as an equilateral triangle; the tops of all three were cut intentionally (Kleiman et al. 2017: 26; see Fig. 9: a–b). Possible parallels to these pillars can be found in the Level VI temple, in Area P, at Lachish, where they are assumed to have functioned as part of two adjoining cult niches (Arie 2016; Ussishkin 2004: 231–38, pl. 6.29). At Megiddo too, these finds seem to be part of a small shrine, although no other strong indication of cult-related activity was traced here (but for broken basalt stelae reused in Level Q-7a, see below).

The separation of the ceramic assemblages of Level Q-7b and Q-7a was difficult as some of the structures associated with the former phase continued to function through both levels, until the destruction of the city (e.g., Building 14/Q/53). Still, there is enough evidence to assign Level Q-7b to the late Iron I, probably a short while before the destruction of Stratum VIA.

Phase 4, Level Q-7a: another change and fierce destruction

In the last phase before the destruction of the city, designated Level Q-7a, a large stone-paved structure (Building 16/Q/48) was constructed above the remains of the building with the octagonal pillars (Building 14/Q/145), an action that represents a significant change in the area (Fig. 10). The new structure includes a c. 80-cm-wide wall, which was preserved to a length of almost eight metres. On both sides of this wall, stone pavements were laid. The eastern one included broken basalt slabs laid over a 30–50-cm-thick fill (e.g., Fig. 11:a).1 These slabs may represent parts of broken stelae originating from a small Level Q-7b shrine (most likely Building 14/Q/145). Large quantities of mudbricks were found in Squares H/4–5, arranged in piles along what could be the northern wall of the structure. They may be understood as building materials collected in preparation for new construction. Both the construction technique and orientation of Building 16/Q/48 differ from the remains associated with Building 14/Q/53 of Level Q-7b. The eastern expansion of Schumacher’s Südliches Burgtor continued to function, but the pavement in its south-eastern room was replaced by a beaten-earth floor on which a small installation was built (Locus 12/Q/210). Some of the features associated with the previous phase were still visible in Level Q-7a, for example, the upper part of at least two of the three octagonal stone pillars.

Level Q-7a ended in the massive conflagration of Stratum VIA (Fig. 12). It includes burnt reddish mudbricks, charred beams and charcoal, and collapsed architecture. In Square I/2, the destruction debris reached more than a metre. Preliminary geoarchaeological analysis of the burnt bricks from the destruction indicates that they were exposed to up to 700–800°C (Forget et al. 2015; see also Forget and Shahack-Gross 2016).
Footnotes

1 In earlier reports, these remains are described as a platform (Homsher and Kleiman 2022: 120; Kleiman et al. 2017: 26), but further analyses suggest that this is part of a distinct structure, built over the remains of Building 14/Q/53. In addition, further investigation shows that the pavement exposed in Square I/3 (Locus 12/Q/137) and assigned to Level Q-6b must be associated with Building 16/Q/48 of Level Q-7a.

Phase 5, Level Q-6b: post-destruction gap and revival

Following the destruction of Stratum VIA, the settlement may have been abandoned for a few decades at the very end of the Iron I. Two pieces of evidence support this possibility: 1) radiocarbon determinations, which indicate that sites in the eastern sector of the Jezreel/Beth-she’an Valley were destroyed later than Megiddo VIA and Yokne‘am XVII, but still within the late Iron I (Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2009: 266–67); and 2) the pottery of Yokne‘am XVI and possibly other sites in the north (e.g., Tel Kinrot), which hint at a post-destruction phase still within the Iron I (Arie 2011: 275; Münger et al. 2011: 87).

At any rate, Megiddo recovered in the early Iron IIA (Level Q-6b). The earliest activity that can be attributed to this period is represented by meagre architectural remains constructed directly above the ruins, with little continuity from the previous settlement (Homsher and Kleiman 2022: 122–27; Kleiman 2022: 937, e.g., fig. 23.41: 5, 9). The only exception here was a stone monolith that towered above the ruins and may indicate evidence of a ruin cult (Kleiman et al. 2017: 26; Fig. 13).

Other relevant finds from Area Q

Introduction

Beyond architectural remains, several additional finds illuminate the ongoing processes leading up to the destruction of Stratum VIA:
  1. human remains documented in Building 16/Q/48
  2. a hoard of metal items near the eastern wall of the Südliches Burgtor, within Building 14/Q/45
  3. faunal remains associated with Levels Q-7b and Q-7a, which reveal the subsistence economy of the local residents shortly before the destruction

Human remains in Building 16/Q/48

Fragmentary remains of a young adult, probable female (Fig. 14:a; for additional details, see Supplemental Material 1), were exposed in Baulk H–I/4 on a floor to the north-east of Building 16/Q/ 48 of Level Q-7a, directly below the destruction debris (Locus 16/Q/79). The individual was found oriented on a south–north axis, with the head in the north, but the exact body position was difficult to determine due to fragmentation.

All skeletal elements show evidence of burning; the range of colour being grey, white, blue and pink. The cranium was mostly grey (medium-high temperature), the bones of the axial skeleton were yellow-white (low temperature), while the bones of the appendicular skeleton (limbs) were yellow-white to grey (medium/high temperature) (Delvin and Herrmann 2015; Symes et al. 2015). One warp-fractured long-bone fragment was blue (high temperature), and the right temporal showed portions of pink discolouration (medium temperature) near the zygomatic process (Delvin and Herrmann 2015) (Fig. 15). A fragment of an un-sideable humeral head had a stark colour differentiation on its articular surface (Fig. 15), and colour differences were seen throughout the articulated proximal femur and right os coxa (Fig. 14:b), reflecting burn patterns consistent with the ‘tissue-shielding’ of a fleshed human body (Symes et al. 2015: 36, 54–55). The signs of warping, shrinkage and surface cracking were most pronounced on the right skeletal elements (Fig. 14:c–d), and indicate that the bone experienced prolonged heat damage in excess of 700 °C (Ubelaker 2009). Warping, irregular splitting and fractures most commonly occur in fleshed bodies (Baby 1954; Ubelaker 2009; Whyte 2001). Bone shrinks when heat denatures proteins in bone tissue (Symes et al. 2015: 46), and the degree to which bone shrinks increases exponentially at around 650 °C (Shipman et al. 1984).

Bones from the individual and sediments above and below the skeleton were analysed by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometry to refine burning temperature estimates and confirm the depositional relationship between the destruction and the individual. FTIR is well established as a means of estimating firing temperature based on changes to clay minerals (Berna et al. 2007; Forget et al. 2015: 81 and references therein) and calcite (Regev et al. 2010), and has been used extensively at Megiddo to study destruction processes (Forget et al. 2015; Regev et al. 2015; Shahack-Gross et al. 2018). FTIR is also commonly used to explore bone properties, including diagenesis, preservation and burning (Ellingham et al. 2015; Weiner 2010). Bone samples for FTIR analysis were assigned burn codes following Stiner et al. (1995), and both bone and sediment samples were analysed between 4000 and 400 cm-1 at a 4 cm-1 resolution using a Thermo Scientific Nicolet iS5 spectrometer at the Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology, University of Haifa (details in Supplemental Material 2). The bone mineral spectra corroborate the macroscopic analysis, indicating that some bones were unburnt (or heated to temperatures below 200 °C) and others were exposed to higher temperatures (>600 °C) (Fig. 16, more details in Supplemental Material 2). This is consistent with the tissue shielding identified macroscopically. The clay minerals in sediments above and below the skeleton were exposed to temperatures of 700–800°C and ∼600 °C respectively, similar temperatures to the bones, demonstrating that the body was burnt in situ. This provides strong evidence that this individual was burnt — and likely died — in the destruction event.

A cache of metal objects in Locus 12/Q/76

In 2012, a hoard of metal objects was discovered near the eastern wall of the Südliches Burgtor (Level Q-7a; Fig. 17). It included two stacked bronze bowls, beside which eight or nine iron blades were found (some of them are bimetallic; see details in Hall 2021). Bronze scale pans, jewellery and other items were found inside the bronze bowls, the outer of which contained remains of textile on its exterior. It appears that both the bowls and the blades were wrapped in textiles before final deposition. Was this hoard buried in a ritual deposit, intended for permanent deposition, or as a cache for temporary storage with the intent of future retrieval? There are several reasons to suggest that this was a foundation/building deposit (see also Bjorkman 1994: 7–8):
  1. the hoard itself contained a bird’s beak, which is best explained as an apotropaic offering
  2. bimetallic knives, such as those uncovered in the hoard, are often found in association with ritual contexts (Dothan 2002: 14– 17; Mazar 1985: 6–8, fig. 2). However, the fact that the items were arranged neatly and buried in a textile may point to the non-ritual status of the hoard, i.e., its burial with the intention of future retrieval.
One way or another, a substantial number of examples of non-ritual hoarding activities in Stratum VIA exist at Megiddo (Hall 2016: table 5.1; 2021: table 1). The rise in hoarding at Megiddo before destruction events seems to represent ‘crisis behaviour’ (more below), which was spurred by the instability of the inhabitants’ socio-political and economic surroundings. Crisis hoards are found elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially prior to the Late Bronze Age collapse, and are representative of a response to the failure of the socio-political systems (Knapp et al. 1988)

Faunal remains of Level Q-7

A total of 280 animal bones (macrofauna) were retrieved from the floors of Levels Q-7b and Q-7a. Identification of fragments to skeletal elements and the lowest taxonomic level was achieved using the comparative collections stored at the Zooarchaeology Laboratory and at The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History of Tel Aviv University. All skeletal fragments were recorded, i.e., epiphysis as well as diaphysis. Long-bone fragments were coded according to the completeness of five morphological zones (proximal and distal epiphysis, proximal and distal diaphysis and mid-shaft diaphysis). Other bone fragments were coded according to their percentage of total completeness of element. Quantifying species and body parts frequencies were based on NISP (Number of Identified Specimens).

The assemblage is dominated by caprines (sheep (Ovis aries) and goats (Capra hircus); 80% of the assemblage; identification based on morphological criteria following Zeder and Lapham 2010), followed by cattle (Bos taurus; 18%) and supplemented with pig (Sus scrofa) and game animals (NISPs in Fig. 18). Unlike the situation in Levels H-9 and K-4 of the same late Iron I horizon (Sapir-Hen et al. 2016: table 1), the caprine assemblages include a higher representation of goats to sheep (a ratio of 3:1). The age profile of these caprines, based on epiphyseal fusion (following epiphyseal fusion sequences of Zeder 2006), shows a focus on young and young-adult animals; very few animals were kept beyond three years (table 4 in Supplemental Material 3). This low frequency of older animals implies that caprines were probably mainly exploited for their meat, and not kept for their secondary products. Skeletal elements frequencies of the caprines (table 5 in Supplemental Material 3) indicate that the upper parts of the fore and hind limbs are highly represented, more than the lower parts of these limbs and extremities, suggesting a higher presence of parts that are rich in meat, although all body parts are represented to some extent. Unfortunately, although cattle constitute 18% of the assemblage, the small sample did not allow for the analysis of age profiles and body parts. Still, there is a representation of young-adult and adult animals (table 6 in Supplemental Material 3).

The profile of caprines and cattle exploitation for Level Q-7 resembles the contemporaneous assemblage from Area H (Level H-9) and differs from the one found in Area K (Level K-4), located only a few metres away from Area Q. A previous study demonstrated that the people of Areas H (near the palace and city-gate) and K (in the south-eastern sector of the site) had differential access to animals and their products (Sapir-Hen et al. 2016). The inhabitants of Area H were provisioned with good cuts of caprine meat (meat-rich parts of young animals) and were not engaged in agriculture, while the lower-status inhabitants of Area K raised and consumed their own livestock. The observation that the access to animals in Area Q is similar to that in Area H is supported by other finds, showing a similar public-related function of the two areas at the end of Iron I. However, a notable difference between Areas Q and H is the preference for goats over sheep in Area Q. Among the two caprine species, sheep are considered more expensive (Redding 1981; 2010) and were preferred by the elites of the southern Levant (Sapir-Hen forthcoming; Sapir-Hen et al. 2022). Possibly, the higher frequency of goats, the less expensive caprine species that is also more reliable and less sensitive to disease (Redding 1981; 1984), fits other clues for ‘crisis behaviour’ observed in the south-eastern sector of the mound. It is acknowledged, nonetheless, that the interpretation of this specific pattern is more difficult than other lines of evidence presented here.

Relative and absolute dating of Levels Q-9 to Q-6b

A preliminary review of the pottery suggests that Level Q-9 belongs to the Late Bronze III (Homsher and Finkelstein 2018: 305) and that Levels Q-8 to Q-7a belong to the Iron I (see, e.g., Fig. 19). Sealing the sequence from above is the ceramic assemblage of Level Q-6b, which exhibits distinctive characteristics of the Iron IIA traditions, such as red slipped and hand-burnished vessels (Kleiman 2022: 937).

In terms of absolute chronology, eight short-lived samples from Levels Q-9 to Q-6b were selected for radiocarbon dating (Table 3; Fig. 20; Boaretto 2022). All originated from secure contexts, although in two of them, the possibility of contamination, due to their proximity to the edge of the mound (RTD-8047 and RTD-8050), is noted. These radiocarbon determinations were modelled previously by Boaretto (2022) as part of the entire sequence of Area Q (Levels Q-9 to Q-2), and two outliers were identified: Sample RTD-7645 (from Hoard 12/Q/76) and Sample RTK-6753. Level Q-5, which seals the sequence dealt with here, dates to c. 900 BCE and represents the early days of the late Iron IIA (Kleiman et al. 2019; ‘middle Iron IIA’ in Finkelstein and Kleiman 2019). When placed in a Bayesian model, the results span about two centuries, from c. 1100 to the late 10th century BCE (Boaretto 2022; Finkelstein and Piasetzky in press). As for the destruction of Stratum VIA, a radiocarbon study published a few years ago, which was based on a larger quantity of samples, suggested that the event occurred in the range of 985–935 BCE (Toffolo et al. 2014). A more recent model puts it in the early 10th century BCE (Finkelstein and Piasetzky in press). This means that Levels Q-8 to Q-7a are squeezed into about a century, between the early 11th and early 10th centuries BCE.

The evidence from adjacent areas

Introduction

An overview of the remains associated with Stratum VIA across the mound is provided elsewhere (Arie 2011: 89–95; Esse and Harrison 2004; Finkelstein 2009: 115–16; Finkelstein et al. 2017; Homsher and Finkelstein 2018: 297–99). Here only remains exposed immediately to the east and west of Area Q are discussed.

The Oriental Institute’s Area CC

In Area CC of the OI’s expedition, finds associated with the Iron I were exposed under the residential quarter associated with Stratum V of the Iron IIA (Harrison 2004; Lamon and Shipton 1939: 3–4, fig. 5). No remains were assigned to Stratum VIB, although small-scale changes in the domestic architecture of Stratum VIA were noted (Harrison 2004: 19; Loud 1948: 113). This area is also the location of the Südliches Burgtor mentioned above. Some of the massive walls of this structure were preserved to a height of more than a half-metre. Homsher and Finkelstein (2018) discussed the history of the Südliches Burgtor in detail and concluded, primarily based on the new evidence from Area Q, that the earliest possible date for its construction was around the Late Bronze III, and that it functioned until the destruction of Stratum VIA. The latter observation corresponds to Schumacher’s description of a thick accumulation of yellowish-red burnt bricks with burnt wood and ash (1908: 80; see also the Iron I ceramic finds in Taf. XXII), as well as to the attribution of the structure to Strata VII and VI in Megiddo II (Loud 1948: 409–10; see also Harrison 2004: 9). As most of the structure was excavated at the beginning of the 20th century, it is difficult to reassess its function, but it may have been another temple in the city (details in Homsher and Finkelstein 2018).

Similar to other areas at Megiddo, this residential quarter was utterly destroyed at the end of the Iron I. This is evident in the wealth of finds, the high number of skeletons found within the ruins and the piles of burnt debris (Harrison 2004: 20, 23; for the accumulation of debris in this area, see also Sections P–Q and R–S in Lamon and Shipton 1939: fig. 35). An exceptional phenomenon observed here is the burials of individuals prior to the destruction of the city (see, e.g., Fig. 21; and description in Harrison (2004: 20); for a full list and re-evaluation, see Table 4). These are the first intramural burials observed in the city since the beginning of the Late Bronze Age when this characteristic Middle Bronze Age practice ceased (Martin et al. 2022a: 32; 2022b; for earlier intramural burials in Area CC, see Cradic 2018: 196–97, table 3). P. L. O. Guy (in a letter from Guy to H. Breasted quoted in Harrison 2004: 8–9) and Finkelstein et al. (2000: 260), raised the possibility that the burials in Area CC were either cut into the destruction debris of Stratum VIA, or belonged to an earlier phase in the Area CC sequence (see also Cline 2011: 60; Gadot and Yasur-Landau 2006: 586; Kreimerman 2021: 236). A fresh look at photos published by Harrison (2004) after the publication of Megiddo III refutes this interpretation and indicates that these burials predate the destruction of Stratum VIA (see more below). The sudden reintroduction of intramural burials at the site, nearly half a millennium after they had decidedly gone out of fashion, is an important clue as to what was happening in the city prior to its destruction.

The Tel Aviv University’s Area K

Remains of a domestic courtyard house belonging to Level K-4 were exposed in Area K, situated c. 30 m to the east of Area Q (Arie 2006; Gadot and Yasur-Landau 2006: 586; Gadot et al. 2006). The finds included large quantities of restorable vessels within and below a thick layer of burnt destruction debris. Essentials for the current discussion are the following finds:

  • a human skeleton in the western courtyard of the house (Square M/9; Locus 98/K/40). A nearly complete krater covered the skull of this individual (Arie 2006: 196–97; Gadot and Yasur-Landau 2006: 586; Gadot et al. 2006: 101; see also Harrison 2004: 8–9).

  • remains of a child in the south-western room of the house (Baulk N–O/9; Locus 98/K/100). The skull of this individual was encircled by three small stones (Sameora and Adams 2022: table 14.1).

  • a child burial in the northern part of the area (Baulk N–O/11; Locus 04/K/38; Fig. 22). In the original report, this find was associated with Level K-5 (Gadot et al. 2006: 92), as it was found on top of one of the walls of Level K-6 (Wall 04/K/7; for the association of this burial with Level K-4, see below).

Previous studies assumed that the first individual mentioned above (Burial 98/K/40) was interred after the destruction of the settlement, presumably by people who returned to the site (Arie 2006: 196–97; Gadot and Yasur-Landau 2006: 586; Gadot et al. 2006: 101). In retrospect, no evidence of a pit cut through the destruction debris, or any other clue of post-destruction activity was found here, and thus, the possibility that this individual was buried before the event must be considered.2 In contrast, Burial 98/K/ 100, the second burial listed above, was clearly found below the collapse, meaning that the child must have been buried before the destruction of Stratum VIA.3 As for Burial 04/K/38, it is reasonable to argue that it was dug from the floor of Level K-4 down, an option which was already raised by the excavators (Gadot et al. 2006: 92). Other skeletal remains that likely belong to pre-destruction burials were found in additional contexts in Area K (e.g., Loci 98/K/64 and 00/K/11; see details in Table 4), but were not well preserved. All of this means that, along with individuals trapped in the destruction of Stratum VIA, several burials preceding the event can be discerned in Area K, a trend that aligns with the evidence from Area CC described above.
Footnotes

2 We do not exclude the possibility of squatters’ activity after the destruction of Stratum VIA (e.g., Cline 2011: 60; Gadot and Yasur-Landau 2006: 586; Gadot et al. 2006: 100–01), but only reject the idea that such actions involved the burials of individuals in Area K and CC (and elsewhere at the site). After all, and as mentioned above, no clear pits were marked on the plans and sections of Square M/9 in either Level K-4 (Gadot et al. 2006: fig. 7.7) or K-3b (Lehmann et al. 2000: fig. 6.5; for the section drawing, see Arie and Nativ 2013: fig. 3.25). The same holds true also for a section of Area CC published in Megiddo I (Lamon and Shipton 1939: fig. 35).

3 According to the field records, the locus above the Burial (98/K/93) also contained material from the collapse. Understanding the exact relations between the human remains (165.92–165.80 m) and the nearest floor (c. 165.95 m.a.s.l.) is a bit complicated, as this area experienced architectural changes that included the raising of surfaces, cancellation of pillars and addition of partitions (Gadot et al. 2006: 97). And yet, we assume that the individual was most likely buried in a shallow pit in the ground, similar to some of the burials exposed in Area CC (e.g., Fig. 21). The possibility that the deceased, who was clearly treated after his death, as evidenced by the three stones that encircled his head, was left on the floor of the building is improbable in our view.

Discussion

Summary of the archaeological data

The picture which emerges from the south-eastern sector of the mound fits well with the finds from other parts of the site (e.g., Areas AA and H), but also presents several distinct local trends. Most important is the phenomenon of pre-destruction burials, documented in Areas CC (15 individuals) and K (3– 5 individuals), which has not been observed in the northern sector of the mound (details in Table 4).4 Most of the buried individuals were placed in an extended supine position in shallow pits (see especially, Harrison 2004: fig. 73); the position of the clavicles and the tight placing of the ankles suggest that some of them were buried in shrouds (Duday et al. 2009). Similar to earlier Bronze Age mortuary traditions in the southern Levant (Martin et al. 2022b: 244), the pre-destruction burials in Stratum VIA were interred along the axes of wall foundations (Harrison 2004: fig. 10), indicating purposeful placement prior to the coverage of the architecture by debris. This evidence makes a strong case against identifying these burials as dug into the ruins after the destruction. All this suggests a unique behaviour, distinctive to the south-eastern sector of Megiddo.

Another distinct phenomenon documented in the south-eastern sector of the mound is that of individuals, including children and women (i.e., families), who were trapped beneath the collapse: two or three skeletons in Area CC, up to five in Area K and one in Area Q (Fig. 23). Each individual is characterized by atypical body position, similar to those found in association with the Late Bronze III destruction at Tel Azekah in the Judean Shephelah (Berendt et al. 2021; see also the review in Kreimerman 2017). At least in the case of the Area Q individual, the bones are unequivocally burnt, as indicated by colour, morphology and FTIR analysis. In contrast, excavations of Iron I contexts in the northern sector of the mound resulted in only a single bone fragment, probably of a child (Area H, see Sameora and Adams 2022: table 14.1). However, this fragment may be a relic related to earlier burial activities (e.g., Cradic 2018; Martin et al. 2022b) and/or later disturbances. In theory, one could argue that the exposure of Stratum VIA in the south-eastern sector of the mound was more extensive than in the north (especially in light of the large extent of Area CC), and that is why clear evidence for trapped individuals was only found there. However, the consistent discovery of skeletal remains in all three areas excavated in this sector vis-à-vis the absence of such finds elsewhere in the city, especially in the widely-exposed Area AA,5 is significant and important for the reconstruction of the events preceding the destruction of the Iron I city. According to one possible scenario, in the final days of Stratum VIA, the city’s population concentrated in the south-east, perhaps because this was the highest point in the town (Homsher and Kleiman 2022: 119, table 5.1).

Excavations in Area Q also suggest that the crisis was not limited to the final days of Stratum VIA, but may have begun a few decades earlier, as evidenced, for instance, by rapid architectural changes in the vicinity of monumental buildings. In particular, two crucial architectural transformations are noted: 1) the expansion of the Südliches Burgtor to the east (Building 14/Q/53); and 2) the establishment of a small shrine near it (Building 14/Q/145) and its quick decommission in favour of a larger structure (Building 16/Q/48), the construction of which was never completed; no other structure in Stratum VIA was discovered in such a state (Fig. 24). Another piece of evidence that might be related to the city’s crisis is the peculiar preference for goats over sheep, as observed in the faunal remains of Area Q.
Footnotes

4 Excluding the necropolis of the city (Guy and Engberg 1938), the only other burial associated with an Iron I context was found in Area F (Ilan et al. 2000: 95–96). It was assigned by the excavators to Stratum VIB based on pottery typology, but attributing it to a later date within the Iron I is also possible (see also Finkelstein et al. 2000: 257–60).

5 Due to its public/palatial elements, Area AA was probably less populated than the domestic areas of Megiddo (e.g., Areas CC or K). And yet, the fact that the entrance to the city, as well as its royal sector, were abandoned on the eve of destruction is itself further evidence of the crisis.

Crisis behaviour in Iron I Megiddo?

Over the years, scholars have remained undecided regarding the cause of Megiddo VIA’s destruction. Some scholars theorized devastation by a natural disaster, i.e., an earthquake (e.g., Gadot and YasurLandau 2006: 583; Kempinski 1989: 89–90; Lamon and Shipton 1939: 7; Marco et al. 2006: 572; Mazar 2007: 85; Cline 2011 with references to earlier studies). One of the main arguments in favour of this scenario has been the alleged absence of evidence for weapons (e.g., arrowheads or slingstones) in Stratum VIA (Cline 2011: 65; Fiaccavento 2014: 222), similar to the cases of Stratum III at Lachish (Gottlieb 2004) or Stratum II at Beersheba (Gottlieb 2015). A review of the registration records published in the final reports reveals, nonetheless, that more than 20 arrowheads were found in Stratum VIA (Blockman and Sass 2013: 889, fig. 15.8: no. 405; Harrison 2004: 85–86; Gadot and Finkelstein 2000: 626, without illustrations) along with more than 100 slingstones (Sass and Cinamon 2006: 398, nos 688– 690; Blockman and Finkelstein 2006: 449–54, without illustrations). Furthermore, the majority of destructions in the southern Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages, including those unanimously assumed to be destroyed by a human agent, did not produce similar evidence to that of Lachish and Beersheba (Kreimerman 2016: 234–35), for instance, Stratum XIII at Hazor (Zuckerman 2007) or Stratum IV at Tel Rehov (Mazar 2020: 126). Lastly, it can be emphasized here that Marco et al. (2006), who noted several possible indications of an earthquake in the finds from Stratum VIA (e.g., titled walls in Area K), ultimately defined the physical evidence as inconclusive (see also P. L. O. Guy cited in Harrison 2004: 9; Mazar 2022: 10).

Other scholars argued that the destruction of Stratum VIA was caused by a human agent (e.g., Albright 1936: 28–29; Arie 2011: 388–90; Finkelstein 2003: 78–89; 2013b: 34–36; Harrison 2004: 108; Watzinger 1929; Ussishkin 2018: 309–315, who stressed the total devastation of the city, something that is unlikely to happen in the case of an earthquake or an incident). The main argument against this model has frequently been the absence of clear signs of ‘crisis behaviour’ in the archaeological record of Stratum VIA (e.g., Arie 2011: 388). This term refers, inter alia, to a situation in which people react to a ‘deeply felt frustration or basic problem with which routine methods, secular or sacred, cannot cope’ (La Barre 1971: 11; see also Driessen 1995: 65; Zuckerman 2007). Crisis behaviour may be detected in architectural changes (Driessen 1995; Ikehara 2021), anomalous burial practices (Tamorri 2019) and hoarding (Fokkens 1997; Hall 2016; Knapp et al. 1988). In terms of architecture, unfinished building projects may signal socio-political breakdowns (Ikehara 2021). Monuments abandoned in the process of construction likewise hint at social and political unrest, or simply, the loss of control over the workforce. Abandonment may also reflect economic instability, with leaders unable to organize labour efficiently. In terms of priorities, in the lead-up to a crisis, leaders would likely abandon monumental building projects in favour of the construction of defensive works. Quick architectural changes and poor construction techniques may also point to crisis behaviour, wherein buildings are constructed hastily, signalling a lack of support from the ruling authorities (Driessen 1995: 67–76; Zuckerman 2007: 11). In the case of burials, deviant/ anomalous practices include the deposition of bodies outside of formal cemeteries, sometimes due to the lack of physical access (Tamorri 2019: 92). A dearth of grave goods associated with burials may also be a sign of economic depression or socio-political crisis. Regarding hoarding, some scholars see the increase in the number of hoards as a ‘failure of confidence’ in the ruling systems (Knapp et al. 1988: 258). At Megiddo, most non-ritual hoards are dated to the Late Bronze III and late Iron I, periods that saw partial or total destruction events (Hall 2016: 112).

All the above-mentioned characteristics of ‘crisis behaviour’ can be observed in Stratum VIA in the south-eastern sector of the mound:
  1. Rapid changes in public architecture, including the enlargement of a monumental building (Schumacher’s Südliches Burgtor) using inferior construction techniques, the possible establishment of a small shrine next to it, and the quick decommissioning of the structure in favour of a much larger building, the construction of which was never completed (a distinct case in the architecture of Stratum VIA).

  2. Abandonment by most of the local residents, as evident in the small number of people caught in the collapse (no more than ten individuals in all excavated areas across the site) and the possible concentration of the population in the inner, highest part of the settlement.

  3. Pre-destruction intramural burials, suggesting the necropolis was inaccessible (for the finds from the necropolis, see Guy and Engberg (1938); and Arie (2011: 103–05)).

  4. Caching of luxurious objects, e.g., the hoard in Area Q, possibly reflecting the abandonment of the town by individuals/families with economic means (as evidenced by the lack of grave goods discovered in the burials).

  5. Clues for preference of goats in the faunal remains from Area Q, which are considered to be cheaper, more reliable and less sensitive to disease than sheep.

These points demonstrate that the crisis that befell Megiddo in the early 10th century BCE was anticipated by the local residents and that the agent of destruction of the city was human. Moreover, the available evidence hints that this was probably the culmination of a process which included a siege, rather than a sudden and unexpected military attack

The destruction of Megiddo in historical context

The devastation of Megiddo VIA is ultimately one of many destruction episodes which characterized the Iron I/II transition in the southern Levant (Mazar 2022: 10–11) and were often linked in the literature to historical or allegedly historical events (Fig. 25). Over the years, several historical scenarios have been offered for the Megiddo destruction, among them a long-term conflict with the neighbouring city of Ta‘anach (e.g., Knauf 2000, but see Arie 2011: 388), the military campaign of Shoshenq I (e.g., Finkelstein 2002: 120–22; Watzinger 1929), an early Israelite conquest (e.g., Harrison 2004: 108; Kochavi 1989: 15; Maisler 1951: 23; Mazar 1980: 46–47), or a Philistine territorial expansion (e.g., Albright 1936: 28–29). According to a more nuanced model, which underscored the radical changes that occurred in the city following the destruction, Megiddo was destroyed during the expansion of the highlanders into the valley, a development that soon brought about the emergence of the Kingdom of Israel (Arie 2011: 388–90; Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2007: 257–58). Memories of these events may have been embedded in pre-Deuteronomistic biblical texts, first and foremost the saviours’ story (and song) in Judges 4–5 and the Saul narrative in 1 Samuel (e.g., Arie 2011: 391–90; Finkelstein 2017; see also Engberg 1940: 6–7).

Summary

In this article, new evidence concerning the period preceding the destruction of Iron I Megiddo (Stratum VIA) has been presented. It has been suggested that the deterioration of the city accelerated in its final days. In the years preceding this event, rapid architectural changes occurred in the area of the Südliches Burgtor. Especially noteworthy is the extension of this monumental structure to the east. Next to it, a small cult-related building, with an installation made of three octagonal pillars, was constructed. In the next phase, this structure, which may have included basalt stelae, was decommissioned (and the stelae broken) in order to clear a space for a much larger building that was never completed. Another important piece of evidence for the crisis that plagued the city in this period is the intramural burials identified in Areas CC and K, which clearly preceded the destruction. They may indicate that access to the necropolis of the town was impossible, perhaps due to a siege.

From a broader perspective, the major difference between the destruction of Megiddo at the end of the Late Bronze Age (Stratum VIIA) and the one at the end of the Iron I (Stratum VIA) should be stressed. The former event was clearly the result of geopolitical changes, i.e., the gradual retreat of Egypt from Canaan in the late 12th century BCE; it was partial and was not accompanied by a radical transformation in material culture. The latter, in contrast, represents total devastation and was followed by radical changes in material culture that encompassed all aspects of life, and marked the shift in the southern Levant from the city-states of the Bronze Age to the territorial kingdoms of the Iron Age

Stratum VA-IVB Earthquake - Early Iron Age II - between 835 and 830 BCE or a bit later

Discussion

Marco et. al. (2006) reported on tilted columns and a tilted floor which they attributed to probable catastrophic horizontal shaking and categorized as an earthquake event that was beyond doubt. They suggested a terminus post quem of the Early Iron II (Stratum VA-IVB) and a terminus ante quem of Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) because the northern stables were undamaged. This led to a narrow time window between 835 and 800 BCE or perhaps a bit later (?). They also assigned an ash horizon overlain by collapsed mud-bricks in Area H to this event.

References

Raphael and Agnon (2018)

Period Age Site Damage Description
EB II 3000-2700 BCE Megiddo earthquake shock probably led to the partial destruction and abandonment of Level J-4 temple (Stratum XVIII), dated to c. 3000 BCE (Marco et al. 2006: 572; Braun 2013: 51; Ussishkin 2015: 85-86).
LB II 1400-1200 BCE Megiddo cracks and fractures in the Level J-4 gate and temple (Marco 2006: 569).
Iron IIA 1000-900 BCE Megiddo destruction of domestic and cultic buildings, late 10th century BCE (Stratum VIA, Levels K4, M4, F4, H4, L4). Signs of fierce fire with evidence of a hurried evacuation. Skeletons of people trapped covered by debris (Guy 1935: 203-204). Guy’s date was later corrected to the 10th century BCE (Lamon and Shipton 1939: 7; Kempinski 1993: 89-90; Marco et al. 2006: 572, Cline 2011; Harrison 2003: 32, 60; 2004: figs. 30-32, 72-73, 82-83).
Iron IIBA 900-700 BCE Megiddo northern stables (Level L-2, Stratum VA-IVB), 835-800 BCE or later (Marco et al. 2006:572).

Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE

Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) reported on a collapse and destruction layer in Level H-5 which correlates with Stratum VA-IVB. The most significant evidence for collapse and destruction is located in the southern parts of the area may testify that a building stood right to the south of Area H. Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) noted that the destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117).

Knauf (2002:2) reports that the occupation of Phase H5a [which correlates to Stratum IVA] was terminated by an earthquake, which cracked the city wall and strewed parts of walls of these southern buildings all over Area H.

Marco et. al. (2006) observed that a staircase between the Iron II gate complex and a reservoir was tilted and faulted, a wall in the courtyard of the Southern Stables tilted to the west, there were fractures in the walls of a Silo (1404), and there were fractures in the limestone bedrock of Tunnel 1000 of the water system. Although they suggested the most likely candidate for this archaeoseismic evidence was the ~760 BCE Amos Quake, they noted that an inability to establish a terminus ante quem created chronological uncertainty and opened up the possibility that the causitive earthquake struck later. The terminus post quem was c. 800 BCE.

References

Level H-5 in the Megiddo V Reports

Plans, Photos, and Tables

Plans, Photos, and Tables

  • Fig. 5.25 - Plan of Level H-5 from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.26 - View of Level H-5 looking north from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.27 - Level H-5 Destruction Layer from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Fig. 5.28 - Level H-5 Destruction Debris from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)
  • Table 5.1 - Updated Stratigraphy of Area H from Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1)

Discussion

Israel Finkelstein in Adams et al. (2013 Vol. 3:1336) reports the following regarding Iron Age stratigraphy in Area H
Area H provides the best stratigraphic sequence for Iron Age Megiddo, with two pre-732 BCE Iron IIB layers (levels H-3 and H-4), four Iron IIA layers (levels H-5 to H-8), one late Iron I layer (level H-9) and at least two early Iron I layers (levels H-10 and H-11, which will be reported on in the next Megiddo report). This system of nine layers (only five were detected by the University of Chicago) covers a time span of ca. 370 years (ca. 1100–732 BCE) with an accumulation of ca. 5.5 m. three of the settlements – levels H-9, H-5 and H-3 – ended in destruction.

... It is now clear that level H-5 is indeed part of Stratum VA-IVB (Arie, Chapter 13).
Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) reported the following about Level H-5:
Level H-5

Level H-5 (Figs. 5.25-5.26), which is reported here, is equivalent to Knauf's Level H-5a (Knauf 2006: 142). As far as I can judge, there is no evidence for his earlier phases (his Levels H-5b and H-5c). The reconstruction of Finkelstein and Ussishkin (2006: 145) is also inaccurate, as it combined remains of both Levels H-6 and H-5.

During Level H-5, Area H served as an open space devoid of any architectural remains. A plaster floor set with pebbles covered most of the area. Some of the highest stones of Level H-6 walls could be seen on top of this. The level of the floor was 161.00±15 all over the area. The floor was damaged by three large pits. While two pits (98/H/22 and 98/H/63) are related to an intermediate phase between Levels H-4 and H-3 (Petit 2006: 136), the third (00/H/14) was probably dug during the time of Level H-4.

Installation 00/H/4 was probably used for cooking. It was made of three stones; the central one was crumbling since it was exposed to fire. A semicircular installation (00/H/9) was located in the southwestern part of this open space. It is stone-lined and could have been used as a posthole. Another installation (06/H/14) is located in the southwestern part of the area. It was dug to a depth of ca. 70 cm below the floor of Level H-5 and it therefore cuts a Level H-6 floor (this is seen in the southern and western sections of the area). The floor of this installation was paved; it was laid at almost the same elevation as that of the highest floor of the Level H-7 courtyard (Fig. 5.27). Because only a limited part of this installation was uncovered, its function is unknown. It is important to emphasize that in the past this installation was wrongly interpreted as related to either Level H-7 (Knauf 2006: 137) or to Level H-6 (Finkelstein and Ussishkin 2006: 145); this led to a misunderstanding of the relationship between the University of Chicago strata and the Megiddo Expedition levels.

Level H-5 came to its end in a violent destruction. This is best seen in the southern part of the area, where a collapse of big stones, burnt mudbricks, large chunks of charcoal and restorable pottery vessels were found (Fig. 5.28). Evidence for this destruction was also found on the floor of Installation 06/H/14.

CONCLUSION

Level H-5 represents a complete change in the architectural planning of Area H. After many years in which the area comprised domestic buildings surrounded by open courtyards, Area H became an open space that probably functioned as a public area. The gap in elevation between the floors of Level H-6 (ca. 160.40 m) and Level H-5 (ca. 161.00 m) can be explained as a result of the clearing and flattening of the debris originating from the architecture of Level H-6 and the preparation of the area for plastering.

It is logical to assume that this plaster floor and the plaster floor reported by Loud (1948: Fig. 380) in the adjacent Square L6, which are at the same elevation (161.00±15 m), were connected to each other. Loud affiliated this floor with Stratum IVA and according to his plan it abuts City Wall 325. Yet, it seems that Loud's floor could not have abutted the city wall, because today it is clear that Addition 1055, which was reported in Megiddo I (and was affiliated with Stratum III [Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 89]), must have cut this floor from the city wall. Consequently, Loud's floor has to be understood as the continuation of the Level H-5 floor; both are earlier than the construction of City Wall 325. This assumption is strengthened by the fact that Loud (1948: Fig. 388) did not associate any architectural elements with Stratum VA (the equivalent to Level H-5) in Square L6. The large size of this plaster floor (all of Area H and the floor reported by Loud) placed in a public area, may hint that a central government was involved in its construction.

The fact that the most significant evidence for collapse and destruction is located in the southern parts of the area may testify that a building stood right to the south of Area H. A wood sample from this area was recognized as Cedar of Lebanon, hinting at the probable wealth of this building's inhabitants (Liphschitz 2006: 515). The nature of destruction of Level H-5, together with its stratigraphic position and its characteristic pottery, enable its correlation with Stratum VA-IVB. The destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117).

Observations and Analysis by Knauf (2002)

What did we excavate in the season of 2000 in Area H ?

At the lowest level, we reached an elaborate semi-monumental building added to a pre-existing, small-scale domestic occupation (Phase H6b). The monumental building was never finished; it may have housed some squatters in the period of its abandonment (Phase H6a). Squatter occupation continued in the ruins (Phase H5d), followed by the construction of city Wall 325 (Phase H5Sc). It is obvious from the inclination of the Area H surfaces that Wall 325 represents the first city wall of Iron Age Megiddo. Throughout — the different phases of occupation of Level H5, Area H is devoid of architecture; it contains a sequence of more than 20 floor levels with abundant traces of open-air domestic activity. There was domestic architecture immediately to the south of Area H (unexcavated), for the occupation of Phase H5a was terminated by an earthquake, which cracked the city wall and strewed parts of walls of these southern buildings all over Area H. Our Phases H6b-a should be assigned to the University of Chicago’s Stratum V, while our Phases HSd-a (plus Levels H4 and H3 excavated in past seasons) cover the time-span of the University of Chicago’s Stratum IVA.

How to decipher all this historically? The commencement of elaborate construction in Level H6b testifies to the prosperity at the end of the Omride dynasty as its abandonment may reflect the consequences of Jehu’s revolt. The destruction of Phase H6a and the subsequent squatter- occupation (H5d) illustrate the fate of Israel under Aramaean domination (II Kgs 10:32- 33; 13:3, 22). The construction of the city wall in Level HSc indicates the beginning of Israel’s recovery under Joash and Jeroboam II (II Kgs 13:24f; 14:25-28). City Wall 325 was the wall of the city conquered by Tiglat-pileser III in 733 BCE. The destruction of Phase H5a should probably be attributed to the earthquake in the time of Jeroboam II, mentioned in Amos 1:1 and archaeologically also attested at Hazor and Tell Deir ‘Alla in the Jordan Valley, where it toppled and buried the stele with the famous Balaam-text.

Synchronizing the stratigraphy of Area H with the biblical record is perfectly possible within the framework of the “Low Chronology”. According to the traditional chronology, Phase H6b (= University of Chicago’s VA) should reflect the time of Solomon. The subsequent decline would then be due to the demise of the “United Monarchy” and the civil wars in Israel between Jeroboam I and Omri. It would have been Omri or Ahab who built city Wall 325. But then, the earthquake of Jeroboam II’s time would not have left any trace in the occupational deposits, whereas the earthquake in our Phase H5a escaped the attention of the ancient texts.

Stratum III Earthquake - after ca. 700 BCE

Marco et. al. (2006) reported on a tilted pillar, a tilted and partially collapsed wall, and a folded wall in Stratum III. They noted that it was probable but not sure that these distortions were caused by seismic activity. The Stratum III structures provided a terminus post quem of ~700 BCE, but unfortunately, it was not possible to establish a terminus ante quem. In addition, no photos were provided which would allow one to assess the evidence. They also suggested that fractured walls in Silo 4004 could have been caused by the Stratum IVA or Stratum III earthquake.

Seismic Effects
Stratum XVIII Earthquake (End of Level J-4) - Early Bronze IB ca. 3000 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Fractured Walls Site 1


  • Event - ca. 3000 BCE (see Chapter 29)
  • Lower limit - Late EB IB building (Level J-4, Stratum XVIII).
  • Upper limit - Overlying walls of EB III temple are not fractured.
  • end of 4th millennium BCE
  • Early Bronze I
  • Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)


  • In Area J, the monumental walls of the Level J-4 temple are fractured in several places along their strike (Fig. 31.3d) as well as perpendicular to the strike (Figs. 31.3e-f). The overlying walls of the EB III temple 4050 are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock which should probably be related to the abandonment of the Level J-4 temple. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured Walls Site 1







Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)
  • Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 3) echoes and concurs with Marco et. al. (2006) in viewing these as seismically induced fractures parallel to the edge of these monumental stone walls of the Level J-4 temple.

  • JW: This rather severe crack looks like it was caused by the kind of shaking one finds in the epicentral zone. If this building had a foundation, there might have been fractures to the foundation. If this wall fracture did form in the epicentral zone, the causitive fault break would have been on a nearby segment(s) with the magnitude limited by the nature of the fault segments in this area.

Stratum VIIA Earthquake (?) - Late Bronze Age - after ~1200 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Fractured and Shifted Ashlar Stones Site 3
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 14th- 12th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze
  • probably built in Stratum VIII and continued to function in Stratum VII



Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (east side)
Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (west side)
  • Extension cracks in the Late Bronze [aka Canaanite] gate. Ashlar stones in courses in the middle of the walls (sandwiched between other courses) are fractured in opening mode. Horizontal sliding of the fragments occurred everywhere in the same direction, sub-parallel to N-S trend of the wall (Fig. 31.3h). The gate has no foundations, a fact that could have made it particularly vulnerable to seismic vibrations. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • JW: Through-going joints can be observed in several parts of the gate (below the restoration line - see 3D scans) however the cracks could have formed for a long time after the gate was first built and if some of them have a seismic origin, they could be a product of multiple events.

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock postdating the two monuments. No upper limit — date unknown - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • damage to the Late Bronze Age [...] buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

Fractured Roof Plate Site 2
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 13th-12th or late 1lth-10th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze II or late Iron I
  • Level M-6 (Stratum VIIA) or Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)

Stratum VIA Earthquake (?) - Late Iron Age I ~950 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Folding and Liquefaction Site 4
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • 12th or 10th centuries BCE - probably 10th
  • Strata VIIA or VIA - probably VIA
  • Distorted and liquefied sand horizon in the western section of the Schumacher trench, excavated in the early 20th century. (Fig. 31.3g). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

  • The observed liquefaction (Fig. 31.3g), which is a typical earthquake-induced feature, may be regarded supportive evidence, but unfortunately its age is not absolutely clear. - Marco et. al. (2006:569)
Fractures Site 5b
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
Below the destruction layer of Level K-4 (Stratum VIA).

Date of Level K-4
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • Area K, north section of Square M/11. A few joints appear 90 cm above the bottom of the excavation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Folded Wall Site 5a
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)

  • A warped wall trending 220° in Area K is tilted to both sides 12°-15°. (Fig. 31.3i.) - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Pressure of accumulating earth is unlikely where the wall tilts inward. Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • A deformed, wall in Megiddo, part of a Late Iron Age, 8th century BC building - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Collapsed Walls Site 6
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • In Upper Area M, Square AV/28 a pile of collapsed mudbrick is covered by a thick layer of ashes. Similar piles of brick collapse can be seen in many other places across the mound. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Possibly catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
  • Collapsed Walls
  • Fire
Area Q

  • Level Q-7a
  • Late Iron I

  • Level Q-7a ended in the massive conflagration of Stratum VIA (Fig. 12). It includes burnt reddish mudbricks, charred beams and charcoal, and collapsed architecture. In Square I/2, the destruction debris reached more than a metre. Preliminary geoarchaeological analysis of the burnt bricks from the destruction indicates that they were exposed to up to 700–800°C (Forget et al. 2015; see also Forget and Shahack-Gross 2016). - Kleiman et al. (2023:8-9)

Human Remains Area Q - Baulk H–I/4 on a floor to the north-east of Building 16/Q/48 of Level Q-7a, directly below the destruction debris (Locus 16/Q/79)

  • Level Q-7a
  • Late Iron I
  • Fragmentary remains of a young adult, probable female (Fig. 14:a; for additional details, see Supplemental Material 1), were exposed in Baulk H–I/4 on a floor to the north-east of Building 16/Q/ 48 of Level Q-7a, directly below the destruction debris (Locus 16/Q/79). The individual was found oriented on a south–north axis, with the head in the north, but the exact body position was difficult to determine due to fragmentation.

    All skeletal elements show evidence of burning; the range of colour being grey, white, blue and pink. The cranium was mostly grey (medium-high temperature), the bones of the axial skeleton were yellow-white (low temperature), while the bones of the appendicular skeleton (limbs) were yellow-white to grey (medium/high temperature) (Delvin and Herrmann 2015; Symes et al. 2015). One warp-fractured long-bone fragment was blue (high temperature), and the right temporal showed portions of pink discolouration (medium temperature) near the zygomatic process (Delvin and Herrmann 2015) (Fig. 15). A fragment of an un-sideable humeral head had a stark colour differentiation on its articular surface (Fig. 15), and colour differences were seen throughout the articulated proximal femur and right os coxa (Fig. 14:b), reflecting burn patterns consistent with the ‘tissue-shielding’ of a fleshed human body (Symes et al. 2015: 36, 54–55). The signs of warping, shrinkage and surface cracking were most pronounced on the right skeletal elements (Fig. 14:c–d), and indicate that the bone experienced prolonged heat damage in excess of 700 °C (Ubelaker 2009). Warping, irregular splitting and fractures most commonly occur in fleshed bodies (Baby 1954; Ubelaker 2009; Whyte 2001). Bone shrinks when heat denatures proteins in bone tissue (Symes et al. 2015: 46), and the degree to which bone shrinks increases exponentially at around 650 °C (Shipman et al. 1984).

    Bones from the individual and sediments above and below the skeleton were analysed by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometry to refine burning temperature estimates and confirm the depositional relationship between the destruction and the individual. FTIR is well established as a means of estimating firing temperature based on changes to clay minerals (Berna et al. 2007; Forget et al. 2015: 81 and references therein) and calcite (Regev et al. 2010), and has been used extensively at Megiddo to study destruction processes (Forget et al. 2015; Regev et al. 2015; Shahack-Gross et al. 2018). FTIR is also commonly used to explore bone properties, including diagenesis, preservation and burning (Ellingham et al. 2015; Weiner 2010). Bone samples for FTIR analysis were assigned burn codes following Stiner et al. (1995), and both bone and sediment samples were analysed between 4000 and 400 cm-1 at a 4 cm-1 resolution using a Thermo Scientific Nicolet iS5 spectrometer at the Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology, University of Haifa (details in Supplemental Material 2). The bone mineral spectra corroborate the macroscopic analysis, indicating that some bones were unburnt (or heated to temperatures below 200 °C) and others were exposed to higher temperatures (>600 °C) (Fig. 16, more details in Supplemental Material 2). This is consistent with the tissue shielding identified macroscopically. The clay minerals in sediments above and below the skeleton were exposed to temperatures of 700–800°C and ∼600 °C respectively, similar temperatures to the bones, demonstrating that the body was burnt in situ. This provides strong evidence that this individual was burnt — and likely died — in the destruction event.
    - Kleiman et al. (2023:9-11)

  • Kleiman et al. (2023) discussed skeletal remains at other Areas of Megiddo suggesting that some were due to burials that occurred during a siege preceding the Stratum VIA destruction event and some were due to casualties during the destruction event itself.

Stratum VA-IVB Earthquake - Early Iron Age II - between 835 and 830 BCE or a bit later

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Tilted Walls Site 8


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB
  • The corner of Building 338 is tilted. The eastern wall, which strikes 008° is tilted 3° to the east. The southern wall, which strikes 278° is tilted 5° to the south. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Floor Site 10


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Levels L-3 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • The south-western corner of Palace 6000 (Area L, Squares D/5, E/4-5) is tilted 3°-5° (top dipping to 250°-260° — Fig. 31.3a). In the northern baulk of Squares D-E/4, a white layer which belongs to the palace's floor make-up is also tilted. Immediately to the east, in the northern section of Square E/4, there are two fissures, each about 10-15 cm wide in the same floor make-up. The fissures are filled with grey unconsolidated soil that contains a few ceramic fragments. The white make-up for Floor 98/L/59 and plaster Floor 98/L/120 — both of the Level L-2 stables — are horizontal - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Large scale deformation. Could be either a slow process (because of pressure on the westward slope) or a catastrophic one. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • An episode of tilting is exhibited by an angle between tilted stone floor and an overlying horizontal plaster floor in Megiddo. The stratigraphy shows that the tilting postdates the lower and predates the upper floor, but the precise time of construction is archaeologically indistinguishable. Both were built in the Iron Age II (9th century BC). Since the upper floor remained perfectly horizontal in the last 3 millennia we assume that the tilting of its precedent was rapid and exceptional, probably associated with an earthquake (Marco et al., 2006). Site 10 in Fig. 1. - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Columns Site 7


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB






Link to 3D scan of 3 tilted pillars (Site 7)
  • A group of six pillars in Building 1A (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 6) are all tilted 8°-11° to the west (265°-295°). (Fig. 31.3b). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Measurements taken by Jefferson Williams on 27 April 2023 found the center column tilting 8.2° to the west (288°) in good agreement with Marco et. al. (2006).

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Leaning Iron Age II (9th century BC) columns in Megiddo (Marco et al., 2006). The supports at the bottom are modern - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Collapsed Walls Site 9
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE or early 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB) or an early phase of Stratum IVA
  • An ash horizon overlain by collapsed mud-bricks in Area H. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Tilted and Faulted Staircase Site 12



  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA

Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase
Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase (closeup)
  • Staircase leading from the Iron II gate complex to a water system/reservoir (Loud 1948: Fig. 389, Square H/10) is tilted 9°/000°. The staircase is built on a steep slope. (Fig. 31.3c). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be either a slow down-slope slide or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Wall Site 11

  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • In the courtyard of the Southern Stables, the westernmost (trend 010°-190°) wall is tilted 18° westward. This wall supported a fill several metres deep (see Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 43), which had been laid under the surface of the courtyard and which was cleared in the course of the University of Chicago excavations. The present height of the wall is 80 cm. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Outward pressure of the fill. Could be either a slow or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured bedrock Site 13

  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • Faults and joints in the bedrock in rock-cut Tunnel 1000 of the water system. The bedrock is composed of limestone and chalk with scattered chert nodules; Eocene Maresha Formation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be a slow and/or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured Walls Site 14

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE or Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA or Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th or 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA or III
  • The walls of Silo 1414 (Lamon and Shipton 1939:77) are lined with stones (mostly limestone and some basalt) that are up to 0.5 m in diameter. Many of the limestone stones are fractured and some are even shattered in various orientations. There is no dominant orientation and there is no relation between the original bedding planes and the fractures. Most of the basalt stones are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains - no upper limit OR Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)
Destruction and Collapse Layer Area H


  • 8th century BCE (?)
  • Iron IIA
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1) reported on a destruction layer in Level H-5 which correlates with Stratum VA-IVB. The most significant evidence for collapse and destruction is located in the southern parts of the area may testify that a building stood right to the south of Area H. Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1) noted that the destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117).

  • Knauf (2002:2) reports that the occupation of Phase H5a [which correlates to Stratum IVA] was terminated by an earthquake, which cracked the city wall and strewed parts of walls of these southern buildings all over Area H.

Stratum III Earthquake - after ca. 700 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Fractured Walls Site 14

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE or Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA or Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th or 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA or III
  • The walls of Silo 1414 (Lamon and Shipton 1939:77) are lined with stones (mostly limestone and some basalt) that are up to 0.5 m in diameter. Many of the limestone stones are fractured and some are even shattered in various orientations. There is no dominant orientation and there is no relation between the original bedding planes and the fractures. Most of the basalt stones are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains - no upper limit OR Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

Tilted Pillar Site 15



  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • A stone pillar (1 x 0.3 x 0.3 m) located north of the northern wall of the southern stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513), is tilted 12° (top dipping to 275°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably slow sinking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
Tilted and partially collapsed wall Site 16



  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • Three ashlars in a row, located to the north of the northern wall of the Southern Stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513, wall between Rooms 1512 and 1513), are tilted eastward. The easternmost one dips 22° (top dipping to 280°), the middle one fell eastward on a heap of small stones, and the western one is tilted 5° ( top dipping to 90°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
Folded Wall Site 17

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III

All Earthquakes

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description
Fractured Walls Site 1
  • Event - ca. 3000 BCE (see Chapter 29)
  • Lower limit - Late EB IB building (Level J-4, Stratum XVIII).
  • Upper limit - Overlying walls of EB III temple are not fractured.
  • end of 4th millennium BCE
  • Early Bronze I
  • Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)


  • In Area J, the monumental walls of the Level J-4 temple are fractured in several places along their strike (Fig. 31.3d) as well as perpendicular to the strike (Figs. 31.3e-f). The overlying walls of the EB III temple 4050 are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock which should probably be related to the abandonment of the Level J-4 temple. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured Walls Site 1





Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)
  • Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 3) echoes and concurs with Marco et. al. (2006) in viewing these as seismically induced fractures parallel to the edge of these monumental stone walls of the Level J-4 temple.

  • JW: This rather severe crack looks like it was caused by the kind of shaking one finds in the epicentral zone. If this building had a foundation, there might have been fractures to the foundation. If this wall fracture did form in the epicentral zone, the causitive fault break would have been on a nearby segment(s) with the magnitude limited by the nature of the fault segments in this area.
Fractured and Shifted Ashlar Stones Site 3
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 14th- 12th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze
  • probably built in Stratum VIII and continued to function in Stratum VII


Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (east side)
Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (west side)
  • Extension cracks in the Late Bronze [aka Canaanite] gate. Ashlar stones in courses in the middle of the walls (sandwiched between other courses) are fractured in opening mode. Horizontal sliding of the fragments occurred everywhere in the same direction, sub-parallel to N-S trend of the wall (Fig. 31.3h). The gate has no foundations, a fact that could have made it particularly vulnerable to seismic vibrations. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • JW: Through-going joints can be observed in several parts of the gate (below the restoration line - see 3D scans) however the cracks could have formed for a long time after the gate was first built and if some of them have a seismic origin, they could be a product of multiple events.
  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock postdating the two monuments. No upper limit — date unknown - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • damage to the Late Bronze Age [...] buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured Roof Plate Site 2
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 13th-12th or late 1lth-10th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze II or late Iron I
  • Level M-6 (Stratum VIIA) or Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)
Folding and Liquefaction Site 4
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • 12th or 10th centuries BCE - probably 10th
  • Strata VIIA or VIA - probably VIA
  • Distorted and liquefied sand horizon in the western section of the Schumacher trench, excavated in the early 20th century. (Fig. 31.3g). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

  • The observed liquefaction (Fig. 31.3g), which is a typical earthquake-induced feature, may be regarded supportive evidence, but unfortunately its age is not absolutely clear. - Marco et. al. (2006:569)
Fractures Site 5b
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
Below the destruction layer of Level K-4 (Stratum VIA).

Date of Level K-4
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • Area K, north section of Square M/11. A few joints appear 90 cm above the bottom of the excavation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Folded Wall Site 5a
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)

  • A warped wall trending 220° in Area K is tilted to both sides 12°-15°. (Fig. 31.3i.) - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Pressure of accumulating earth is unlikely where the wall tilts inward. Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • A deformed, wall in Megiddo, part of a Late Iron Age, 8th century BC building - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Collapsed Walls Site 6
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • In Upper Area M, Square AV/28 a pile of collapsed mudbrick is covered by a thick layer of ashes. Similar piles of brick collapse can be seen in many other places across the mound. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Possibly catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Walls Site 8
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB
  • The corner of Building 338 is tilted. The eastern wall, which strikes 008° is tilted 3° to the east. The southern wall, which strikes 278° is tilted 5° to the south. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Floor Site 10
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Levels L-3 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • The south-western corner of Palace 6000 (Area L, Squares D/5, E/4-5) is tilted 3°-5° (top dipping to 250°-260° — Fig. 31.3a). In the northern baulk of Squares D-E/4, a white layer which belongs to the palace's floor make-up is also tilted. Immediately to the east, in the northern section of Square E/4, there are two fissures, each about 10-15 cm wide in the same floor make-up. The fissures are filled with grey unconsolidated soil that contains a few ceramic fragments. The white make-up for Floor 98/L/59 and plaster Floor 98/L/120 — both of the Level L-2 stables — are horizontal - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Large scale deformation. Could be either a slow process (because of pressure on the westward slope) or a catastrophic one. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • An episode of tilting is exhibited by an angle between tilted stone floor and an overlying horizontal plaster floor in Megiddo. The stratigraphy shows that the tilting postdates the lower and predates the upper floor, but the precise time of construction is archaeologically indistinguishable. Both were built in the Iron Age II (9th century BC). Since the upper floor remained perfectly horizontal in the last 3 millennia we assume that the tilting of its precedent was rapid and exceptional, probably associated with an earthquake (Marco et al., 2006). Site 10 in Fig. 1. - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Columns Site 7
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB






Link to 3D scan of 3 tilted pillars (Site 7)
  • A group of six pillars in Building 1A (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 6) are all tilted 8°-11° to the west (265°-295°). (Fig. 31.3b). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Measurements taken by Jefferson Williams on 27 April 2023 found the center column tilting 8.2° to the west (288°) in good agreement with Marco et. al. (2006).

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Leaning Iron Age II (9th century BC) columns in Megiddo (Marco et al., 2006). The supports at the bottom are modern - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Collapsed Walls Site 9
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE or early 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB) or an early phase of Stratum IVA
  • An ash horizon overlain by collapsed mud-bricks in Area H. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted and Faulted Staircase Site 12


  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA

Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase
Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase (closeup)
  • Staircase leading from the Iron II gate complex to a water system/reservoir (Loud 1948: Fig. 389, Square H/10) is tilted 9°/000°. The staircase is built on a steep slope. (Fig. 31.3c). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be either a slow down-slope slide or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Tilted Wall Site 11
  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • In the courtyard of the Southern Stables, the westernmost (trend 010°-190°) wall is tilted 18° westward. This wall supported a fill several metres deep (see Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 43), which had been laid under the surface of the courtyard and which was cleared in the course of the University of Chicago excavations. The present height of the wall is 80 cm. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Outward pressure of the fill. Could be either a slow or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Fractured bedrock Site 13
  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • Faults and joints in the bedrock in rock-cut Tunnel 1000 of the water system. The bedrock is composed of limestone and chalk with scattered chert nodules; Eocene Maresha Formation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be a slow and/or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
Destruction and Collapse Layer Area H
  • 8th century BCE (?)
  • Iron IIA
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) reported on a destruction layer in Level H-5 which correlates with Stratum VA-IVB. The most significant evidence for collapse and destruction is located in the southern parts of the area may testify that a building stood right to the south of Area H. Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) noted that the destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117).

  • Knauf (2002:2) reports that the occupation of Phase H5a [which correlates to Stratum IVA] was terminated by an earthquake, which cracked the city wall and strewed parts of walls of these southern buildings all over Area H.
Fractured Walls Site 14
  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE or Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA or Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th or 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA or III
  • The walls of Silo 1414 (Lamon and Shipton 1939:77) are lined with stones (mostly limestone and some basalt) that are up to 0.5 m in diameter. Many of the limestone stones are fractured and some are even shattered in various orientations. There is no dominant orientation and there is no relation between the original bedding planes and the fractures. Most of the basalt stones are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains - no upper limit OR Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

Tilted Pillar Site 15


  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • A stone pillar (1 x 0.3 x 0.3 m) located north of the northern wall of the southern stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513), is tilted 12° (top dipping to 275°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably slow sinking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
Tilted and partially collapsed wall Site 16


  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • Three ashlars in a row, located to the north of the northern wall of the Southern Stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513, wall between Rooms 1512 and 1513), are tilted eastward. The easternmost one dips 22° (top dipping to 280°), the middle one fell eastward on a heap of small stones, and the western one is tilted 5° ( top dipping to 90°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
Folded Wall Site 17
  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III

Deformation Maps
Stratum XVIII Earthquake (End of Level J-4) - Early Bronze IB ca. 3000 BCE

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum VIIA Earthquake (?) - Late Bronze Age - after ~1200 BCE

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum VIA Earthquake (?) - Late Iron Age I ~950 BCE

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum VA-IVB Earthquake - Early Iron Age II - between 835 and 830 BCE or a bit later

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Stratum III Earthquake - after ca. 700 BCE

Deformation Map

Modified by JW from Fig. 31.2 of Marco et. al. (2006)

Intensity Estimates
Stratum XVIII Earthquake (End of Level J-4) - Early Bronze IB ca. 3000 BCE

Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Fractured Walls (Displaced Walls) Site 1


  • Event - ca. 3000 BCE (see Chapter 29)
  • Lower limit - Late EB IB building (Level J-4, Stratum XVIII).
  • Upper limit - Overlying walls of EB III temple are not fractured.
  • end of 4th millennium BCE
  • Early Bronze I
  • Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)


  • In Area J, the monumental walls of the Level J-4 temple are fractured in several places along their strike (Fig. 31.3d) as well as perpendicular to the strike (Figs. 31.3e-f). The overlying walls of the EB III temple 4050 are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock which should probably be related to the abandonment of the Level J-4 temple. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VII+
Fractured Walls (Displaced Walls) Site 1







Level J-4 (Stratum XVIII)
  • Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 3) echoes and concurs with Marco et. al. (2006) in viewing these as seismically induced fractures parallel to the edge of these monumental stone walls of the Level J-4 temple.

  • JW: This rather severe crack looks like it was caused by the kind of shaking one finds in the epicentral zone. If this building had a foundation, there might have been fractures to the foundation. If this wall fracture did form in the epicentral zone, the causitive fault break would have been on a nearby segment(s) with the magnitude limited by the nature of the fault segments in this area.
VII+
This archaeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VII (7) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224) however if there were foundation cracks, intensity would have been higher - IX (9) or above.

Stratum VIIA Earthquake (?) - Late Bronze Age - after ~1200 BCE

Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Fractured and Shifted Ashlar Stones (displaced masonry blocks) Site 3
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 14th- 12th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze
  • probably built in Stratum VIII and continued to function in Stratum VII



Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (east side)
Link to 3D scan of Canaanite Gate (west side)
  • Extension cracks in the Late Bronze [aka Canaanite] gate. Ashlar stones in courses in the middle of the walls (sandwiched between other courses) are fractured in opening mode. Horizontal sliding of the fragments occurred everywhere in the same direction, sub-parallel to N-S trend of the wall (Fig. 31.3h). The gate has no foundations, a fact that could have made it particularly vulnerable to seismic vibrations. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • JW: Through-going joints can be observed in several parts of the gate (below the restoration line - see 3D scans) however the cracks could have formed for a long time after the gate was first built and if some of them have a seismic origin, they could be a product of multiple events.

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock postdating the two monuments. No upper limit — date unknown - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • At Megiddo, the only cases of structural damage that can be related to earthquakes with high certainty are the extension fractures in the walls of the Level J-4 temple and in the Late Bronze gate complex (Fig. 31.3h). - Marco et. al. (2006:569)

  • damage to the Late Bronze Age [...] buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

VIII+
Fractured Roof Plate (displaced walls) Site 2
  • Event - Post ca. 1200 BCE (possible construction of Chamber f). Could be mid-to-late 10th century event.
  • Lower limit - Late Bronze gate and Chamber f
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 13th-12th or late 1lth-10th centuries BCE
  • Late Bronze II or late Iron I
  • Level M-6 (Stratum VIIA) or Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)
VII+
Although this archaeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224), Marco et. al. (2006) noted that the Late Bronze Age Gate where the shifted ashlars were observed lacked a foundation making it vulnerable to seismic destruction. Hence, the Intensity Estimate is downgraded to VII (7) due to a site effect stemming from weak construction.

Stratum VIA Earthquake (?) - Late Iron Age I ~950 BCE

Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Folding and Liquefaction Site 4
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • 12th or 10th centuries BCE - probably 10th
  • Strata VIIA or VIA - probably VIA
  • Distorted and liquefied sand horizon in the western section of the Schumacher trench, excavated in the early 20th century. (Fig. 31.3g). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)

  • The observed liquefaction (Fig. 31.3g), which is a typical earthquake-induced feature, may be regarded supportive evidence, but unfortunately its age is not absolutely clear. - Marco et. al. (2006:569)
VII+
Fractures (penetrative fractures) Site 5b
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
Below the destruction layer of Level K-4 (Stratum VIA).

Date of Level K-4
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • Area K, north section of Square M/11. A few joints appear 90 cm above the bottom of the excavation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Folded Wall Site 5a
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level K-4 (Stratum VIA)

  • A warped wall trending 220° in Area K is tilted to both sides 12°-15°. (Fig. 31.3i.) - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Pressure of accumulating earth is unlikely where the wall tilts inward. Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • A deformed, wall in Megiddo, part of a Late Iron Age, 8th century BC building - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VII+
Collapsed Walls Site 6
  • Event - Mid-to-late 10th century
  • Lower limit - Late-Iron I buildings (Level K-4 and M-4, Stratum VIA)
  • Upper limit - Collapse of brick walls throughout the mound.
  • late 11th-10th centuries BCE
  • Late-Iron I
  • Level M-4 (Stratum VIA)
  • In Upper Area M, Square AV/28 a pile of collapsed mudbrick is covered by a thick layer of ashes. Similar piles of brick collapse can be seen in many other places across the mound. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Possibly catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock, which possibly brought about the destruction of Stratum VIA. This is the opinion shared by Marco, Agnon and Finkelstein. Ussishkin believes that Stratum VIA must have been destroyed in an enemy attack - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Another event, which brought about the end of Stratum VIA, is probable but not conclusive (see Chapter 7). - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VIII+
  • Collapsed Walls
  • Fire
Area Q

  • Level Q-7a
  • Late Iron I

  • Level Q-7a ended in the massive conflagration of Stratum VIA (Fig. 12). It includes burnt reddish mudbricks, charred beams and charcoal, and collapsed architecture. In Square I/2, the destruction debris reached more than a metre. Preliminary geoarchaeological analysis of the burnt bricks from the destruction indicates that they were exposed to up to 700–800°C (Forget et al. 2015; see also Forget and Shahack-Gross 2016). - Kleiman et al. (2023:8-9)

  • VIII+
  • ?
This archaeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224). However, as noted in the Chronology section, there are doubts whether the destruction of Stratum VIA was due to an earthquake rather than human agency.

Stratum VA-IVB Earthquake - Early Iron Age II - between 835 and 830 BCE or a bit later

Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Tilted Walls Site 8


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB
  • The corner of Building 338 is tilted. The eastern wall, which strikes 008° is tilted 3° to the east. The southern wall, which strikes 278° is tilted 5° to the south. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Tilted Floor Site 10


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Levels L-3 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • The south-western corner of Palace 6000 (Area L, Squares D/5, E/4-5) is tilted 3°-5° (top dipping to 250°-260° — Fig. 31.3a). In the northern baulk of Squares D-E/4, a white layer which belongs to the palace's floor make-up is also tilted. Immediately to the east, in the northern section of Square E/4, there are two fissures, each about 10-15 cm wide in the same floor make-up. The fissures are filled with grey unconsolidated soil that contains a few ceramic fragments. The white make-up for Floor 98/L/59 and plaster Floor 98/L/120 — both of the Level L-2 stables — are horizontal - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Large scale deformation. Could be either a slow process (because of pressure on the westward slope) or a catastrophic one. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • An episode of tilting is exhibited by an angle between tilted stone floor and an overlying horizontal plaster floor in Megiddo. The stratigraphy shows that the tilting postdates the lower and predates the upper floor, but the precise time of construction is archaeologically indistinguishable. Both were built in the Iron Age II (9th century BC). Since the upper floor remained perfectly horizontal in the last 3 millennia we assume that the tilting of its precedent was rapid and exceptional, probably associated with an earthquake (Marco et al., 2006). Site 10 in Fig. 1. - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VIII+
Tilted Columns (treated like tilted walls) Site 7


  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum VA-IVB






Link to 3D scan of 3 tilted pillars (Site 7)
  • A group of six pillars in Building 1A (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 6) are all tilted 8°-11° to the west (265°-295°). (Fig. 31.3b). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Measurements taken by Jefferson Williams on 27 April 2023 found the center column tilting 8.2° to the west (288°) in good agreement with Marco et. al. (2006).

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Leaning Iron Age II (9th century BC) columns in Megiddo (Marco et al., 2006). The supports at the bottom are modern - Marco (2008)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Collapsed Walls Site 9
  • Event - Between 835 and 800 BCE (possibly a bit later?)
  • Lower limit - Early Iron II buildings (Stratum VA-IVB)
  • Upper limit - Level L-2 (Stratum IVA) northern stables undamaged
  • 9th century BCE or early 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB) or an early phase of Stratum IVA
  • An ash horizon overlain by collapsed mud-bricks in Area H. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Shock between the end of Stratum VA-IVB and the construction of the northern stables of Stratum IVA. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Two earthquake events at Megiddo are beyond doubt: one at the end of the fourth millennium BCE (for relevance to the history of the site in the Early Bronze Age see Chapter 3) and another in the 9th century BCE (which caused the damage in Stratum VA-IVB) - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VIII+
This archaeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE

Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Tilted and Faulted Staircase (Fractures folds and popups on pavements) Site 12


  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA

Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase
Link to 3D scan of faulted staircase (closeup)
  • Staircase leading from the Iron II gate complex to a water system/reservoir (Loud 1948: Fig. 389, Square H/10) is tilted 9°/000°. The staircase is built on a steep slope. (Fig. 31.3c). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be either a slow down-slope slide or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Tilted Wall Site 11

  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • In the courtyard of the Southern Stables, the westernmost (trend 010°-190°) wall is tilted 18° westward. This wall supported a fill several metres deep (see Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 43), which had been laid under the surface of the courtyard and which was cleared in the course of the University of Chicago excavations. The present height of the wall is 80 cm. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Outward pressure of the fill. Could be either a slow or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Fractured bedrock (fractures, folds, and popups on irregular pavements) Site 13

  • Event - Postdating ca. 800 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 700 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA.
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA
  • Faults and joints in the bedrock in rock-cut Tunnel 1000 of the water system. The bedrock is composed of limestone and chalk with scattered chert nodules; Eocene Maresha Formation. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Could be a slow and/or a catastrophic process. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains. No upper limit. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • biblical evidence for a major earthquake in ca. 760 BCE (Amos 1:1) seems to indicate that the damage in the buildings of Stratum IVA should indeed be assigned to the 8th century BCE. - Marco et. al. (2006:573)

  • damage to [...] 8th century (Stratum IVA) buildings could have been caused in later periods. - Marco et. al. (2006:572)
VI+
Fractured Walls (displaced wallls ?) Site 14

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE or Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA or Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th or 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA or III
  • The walls of Silo 1414 (Lamon and Shipton 1939:77) are lined with stones (mostly limestone and some basalt) that are up to 0.5 m in diameter. Many of the limestone stones are fractured and some are even shattered in various orientations. There is no dominant orientation and there is no relation between the original bedding planes and the fractures. Most of the basalt stones are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains - no upper limit OR Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)
VII+
Destruction and Collapse Layer (collapsed walls) Area H


  • 8th century BCE (?)
  • Iron IIA
  • Level H-5 (Stratum VA-IVB)

  • Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1) reported on a destruction layer in Level H-5 which correlates with Stratum VA-IVB. The most significant evidence for collapse and destruction is located in the southern parts of the area may testify that a building stood right to the south of Area H. Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1) noted that the destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117).

  • Knauf (2002:2) reports that the occupation of Phase H5a [which correlates to Stratum IVA] was terminated by an earthquake, which cracked the city wall and strewed parts of walls of these southern buildings all over Area H.
VIII+
The best evidence appears to be the Collapse and Destruction layer in Area H provided its destruction was due to an earthquake. Eran Arie in Finkelstein et al. (2013 Vol. 1:270-272) noted that the destruction of this city was not complete and certain parts of the mound did not show evidence of destruction by fire (Finkelstein 2009: 117). The fractured bedrock lacks a reliable terminus ante quem and may not have been fractured by seismic activity. If it was fractured by seismic activity, one would expect city-wide collapse as it suggests an Intensity of IX or higher. If Level H-5 destruction was due to an earthquake, this evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

Stratum III Earthquake - after ca. 700 BCE

Seismic Effects
Effect(s) Location Dating Info Image(s) Description Intensity
Fractured Walls (displaced walls ?) Site 14

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE or Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Remains belonging to Stratum IVA or Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 8th or 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum IVA or III
  • The walls of Silo 1414 (Lamon and Shipton 1939:77) are lined with stones (mostly limestone and some basalt) that are up to 0.5 m in diameter. Many of the limestone stones are fractured and some are even shattered in various orientations. There is no dominant orientation and there is no relation between the original bedding planes and the fractures. Most of the basalt stones are not fractured. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating the relevant remains - no upper limit OR Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

VII+
Tilted Pillar (treated as a tilted wall) Site 15



  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • A stone pillar (1 x 0.3 x 0.3 m) located north of the northern wall of the southern stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513), is tilted 12° (top dipping to 275°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably slow sinking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
VI+
Tilted and partially collapsed wall Site 16



  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
  • Three ashlars in a row, located to the north of the northern wall of the Southern Stables courtyard (Lamon and Shipton 1939: Fig. 72, Building 1513, wall between Rooms 1512 and 1513), are tilted eastward. The easternmost one dips 22° (top dipping to 280°), the middle one fell eastward on a heap of small stones, and the western one is tilted 5° ( top dipping to 90°). - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Probably catastrophic horizontal shaking. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • Interpretation - Possible shock postdating Stratum III. - Marco et. al. (2006)

  • the classification of the damage in the Stratum III structures as evidence for a quake is probable but not sure. - Marco et. al. (2006:572-573)
VIII+
Folded Wall Site 17

  • Event - Postdating ca. 700 BCE. Could be assigned to Postdating ca. 800 BCE event
  • Lower limit - Structures of Stratum III
  • Upper limit - Unknown
  • 7th century BCE
  • Iron II
  • Stratum III
VII+
This archaeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

Notes and Further Reading
References

Articles and Books

Austin, S. A., et al. (2000). "Amos's Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C." International Geology Review 42(7): 657-671.

Ben-Menahem, A. (1991). "Four Thousand Years of Seismicity along the Dead Sea rift." Journal of Geophysical Research 96((no. B12), 20): 195-120, 216.

Danzig, D. (2011). A Contextual Investigation of Archaeological and Textual Evidence for a Purported mid-8thCentury BCE Levantine Earthquake Book of Amos, Dr. Shalom Holtz.

Dever (1992). A Case-Study in Biblical Archaeology: The Earthquake of ca. 760 B.C.E: PERA.

Finkelstein, I. and Piasetzky, E. 2007. Radiocarbon Dating and the Late-Iron I in Northern Canaan: A New Proposal. Ugarit-Forschungen 39: 247-260..

Finkelstein, I. and Piasetzky, E. 2010. The Iron I/IIA Transition in the Levant: A Reply to Mazar and Bronk Ramsey and a New Perspective. Radiocarbon 52: 1667-1680.

Gorner, Aaron BY, (2023) Mazar's Modified Modified Chronology: The Preservation of Solomonic Possibilities, BYU Scholars Archive

Karcz, I., et al. (1977). "Archaeological evidence for Subrecent seismic activity along the Dead Sea-Jordan Rift." Nature 269(5625): 234-235.

Kleiman, A., Hall, Erin, Kalisher, Rachel, Dunseth, Zachary C., Sapir-Hen, Lidar, Homsher, Robert S., Adams, Matthew J., and Finkelstein, (2023) Israel "Crisis in motion: the final days of Iron Age I Megiddo." Levant: 1-28.

Kleiman, A., Hall, Erin, Kalisher, Rachel, Dunseth, Zachary C., Sapir-Hen, Lidar, Homsher, Robert S., Adams, Matthew J., and Finkelstein, (2023) Israel "Crisis in motion: the final days of Iron Age I Megiddo." Levant: 1-28. Supplemental Material

Knauf, E. A. (2002), ‘Excavating Biblical history, revelations from Megiddo’, The Newsletter of the Megiddo Expedition 6, Tel Aviv: Technical University of Tel Aviv

Levy, Thomas., Higham, Thomas. The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis, 2014. - can be borrowed with a free account from archive.org

Mazar, A. (2000) Megiddo in the Thirteenth-Eleventh Centuries BCE: A Review of Some Recent Studies in Oren and S. Ahituv (eds), Aharon Kempinki Memorial Volume Studies in Archaeology and Related Disciplines

Marco, S., A. Agnon, I. Finkelstein, and D. Ussishkin (2006). Megiddo earthquakes, Chapter 31 in Megiddo IV: The 1998–2002 Seasons. I. Finkelstein et. al. Tel Aviv, Israel, The Emery and Claire Yass Publ. in Archaeol.: 568–575.

Marco, S. (2008). "Recognition of earthquake-related damage in archaeological sites: Examples from the Dead Sea fault zone." Tectonophysics 453(1-4): 148-156.

Mazar, A. and Bronk Ramsey, C. 2008. 14C Dates and the Iron Age Chronology of Israel: A Response. Radiocarbon 50: 159-180.

Raphael, Kate snd Agnon, Amotz (2018). EARTHQUAKES EAST AND WEST OF THE DEAD SEA TRANSFORM IN THE BRONZE AND IRON AGES. Tell it in Gath Studies in the History and Archaeology of Israel Essays in Honor of Aren M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday.

Sapir-Hen, L., et al. (2022). "The Temple and the Town at Early Bronze Age I Megiddo: Faunal Evidence for the Emergence of Complexity." Bulletin of the American Society of Overseas Research 387: 207-220.

Ussishkin, D. (2015). "The Sacred Area of Early Bronze Megiddo: History and Interpretation." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research: 69-104.

Ussishkin, D. (2018) "Megiddo-Armageddon; The Story of the Canaanite and Israelite City" Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem - open access at academia.edu

Ussishkin, D. (2011) "On Biblical Jerusalem, Megiddo, Jezreel and Lachish - open access at academia.edu

Excavation Reports

Shumacher. G.B. 1908. Tell el-Mutesellim, Volume I: Report of Finds. Leipzig - open access and translated from German to English from The Megiddo Expedition Website

Lamon, R.S. and Shipton, G.M. 1939. Megiddo I: Seasons of 1925-34 Strata I-V. (Oriental Institute Publications 42) Chicago. Text and Plates

Loud, G. 1948. Megiddo II: Seasons of 1935-39. (Oriental Institute Publications 62) Chicago. Text and Plates - open access at archive.org - must be downloaded to your pdf viewer so can be slow to load

Yadin's Report on Excavations at Megiddo in Qedem

Zarzecki-Peleg, Anabel (2016) Qedem, Vol. 56, YADIN'S EXPEDITION TO MEGIDDO: FINAL REPORT OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS (1960, 1966, 1967 AND 1971/2 SEASONS) TEXT (2016), pp. I-XXXI, 1-333 (346 pages)

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2000). Megiddo III: The 1992-1996 Seasons Volume I, Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2000). Megiddo III : the 1992 - 1996 seasons. Volume II (2000), Emery and Claire Yass Publ. in Archaeology.

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2006) Megiddo IV: The 1998–2002 Seasons. Volume II Tel Aviv, Israel, The Emery and Claire Yass Publ. in Archaeol.

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2013). Megiddo V: The 2004-2008 Seasons Volume I, Pennsylvania State University Press.

Adams, M. J., et al. (2013). Megiddo V: The 2004-2008 Seasons Volume II, Tel-Aviv Univ. [u.a].

Adams, M. J., et al. (2013). Megiddo V: The 2004-2008 Seasons Volume III, Tel-Aviv Univ. [u.a].

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2022). Megiddo VI: The 2010-2014 Seasons Volume I, Pennsylvania State University Press.

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2022). Megiddo VI: The 2010-2014 Seasons Volume I, Pennsylvania State University Press.

Finkelstein, I., et al. (2022). Megiddo VI: The 2010-2014 Seasons Volume 2, Pennsylvania State University Press.

Adams, M. J., et al. (2024) Megiddo VII

Bibliography from Stern et. al. (1993 v.3)

Identification

Robinson, Biblical Researches 23, 329-330.

Main Publications

G. Schumacher, Tell ei-Mutesellim 1, Leipzig 1908

C. Watzinger, Tell el-Mutesel/im, 2, Leipzig 1929

P. L. 0. Guy, New Light from Armageddon, Chicago, 1931

P. L. 0. Guy and R. M. Engberg, Megiddo Tombs, Chicago 1938

C. S. Fisher, The Excavation of Armageddon, Chicago 1929

R. M. Engberg, Notes on the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Pottery of Megiddo, Chicago 1934

H. May, Material Remains of the Megiddo Cult, Chicago 1935

R. Lamon, The Megiddo Water System, Chicago 1935

R. Lamon and G. M. Shipton, Megiddo 1, Chicago 1939

G. M. Shipton, Notes on the Megiddo Pottery of Strata VI-XX, Chicago 1939

G. Loud, The Megiddo Ivories, Chicago 1939

id., Megiddo 2, Chicago 1948

A. Kempinski, Megiddo: A City-State and Royal Centre in North Israel (Materialien zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Archiiologie 40}, Munich 1989.

Studies and Yadin's excavations

W. F. Albright, BASO R62 (1936),29

63 (1937}, 25

78 (1940), 7~9

94(1944}, 12~27;id., AJA 44(1940}, 546~550

53 (1949),213~215

J. A. Wilson, ibid. 42 (1938), 333~336

id., AJSLL 58 (1941), 225~231

R. M. Engberg, BASOR 78 (1940}, 4--7

id., BA 3 (1940}, 41~51

4 (1941), 11~16

A. Alt, ZAWNF 19(1944),67~85(KSch 1,256~273);C.G.Howie,BASOR 117(1950), 13~19;G. E. Wright,BA 13 (1950), 28~46;id.,J AOS70 (1950), 56~60

B. Mazar(Maisler), BASO R 124(1951 ), 21~25

id., IEJI8( 1968), 65~97;id.,MagnaliaDei(G. E. Wright Fest.}, Garden City, N.Y.l976, 187~192

K. M. Kenyon,EI5(1958}, 51*~60*

id., BIAL4 (1964), 143~156

id., Levant I (1969), 25~60

id., Royal Cities of the Old Testament, London 1971, 58~68, 93~105, passim

Y. Yadin, BA 23(1960}, 62~68

33 (1970), 66~69

id., IEJ!5(!965), 278~280

16 (1966), 142

17 (1967), 119~121

22 (1972}, 161~164

id., Hazor (Schweich Lectures 1970), London 1972, 147~164

id.,JNES32 (1973}, 330

id., BAR 2/3 (1976), 18~22

id., MagnaliaDei(op. cit.}, 249~252

id., BASOR 239 (1980), 19~23

id., Jerusalem Cathedra I (1981}, 120~151

id., Recherches Archeologiques en Israel, 155~162

C. Epstein, IEJ 15 (1965), 204--221

I. Dunayevsky and A. Kempinski, ibid.l6(1966), 142;id.,ZDPV89(1973}, 161~187;D. Ussishkin,IEJI6(1966}, 174~186;20(1970),213~215; 39 (1989), 149~172

id., BA 36 (1973), 78~105

id., BASOR 239 (1980}, 1~18

277~278 (1990), 71~91; V. Muller, ZDPV 86 (1970}, 50~86

L. T. Thompson, ibid., 38~48

J. B. Pritchard, NEAT, 268~275; Y. Aharoni, ibid., 254~267

id., JNES 31 (1972), 302~311

id., IEJ24(1974), 13~16

H. E. Kassis, Berytus 22 (1973), 5~22

A. Malamat, The Gaster Festshrift (Journal of the Ancient Near East Society of Columbia University 5), New York 1973, 267~279

0. Tufnell, Levant 5 (1973), 69~82

A. Eitan, ibid., 275~276; P. Beck, Opuscula Atheniensia 11 (1975), 1~16

Y. Shiloh and A. Horowitz, BASOR 217 (1975}, 37~48; Y. Shiloh, ibid. 222 (1976), 67~69

id., The Proto-Aeolic Capital and Israelite Ashlar Masonry (Qedem II}, Jerusalem 1979, 2~7, 52~56

id., Levant 12 (1980), 69~76

id .. Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation (D. Glenn Rose Fest.), Atlanta 1987, 204~207

BAR 2/3 (1976), I

A. Siegelmann, TA 3 (1976), 141

F. R. Brandfon, TA 4 (1977), 79~84

M. Artzyet a!., Levant !0 (1978}, 99~111

A. Harif, ZDPV94 (1978), 24~ 31

id., Levant II (1979), 162~167

G. Lello, JNES37 (1978}, 327~330

V. Fritz, MDOG Ill (1979}, 63~74; id., ZDPV99 (1983), 1~29

W. H. Shea, IEJ29 (1979), 1~5

A. Spalinger, G6ttinger Miszellen 33 (1979), 47~54

D. Cole, BAR 6/2 (1980), 8~29

M. Ottosson, Temples and Cult Places in Palestine (Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations 12}, Uppsala 1980

A. F. Rainey, EI 15 (1981), 61 *~66*

D.P. Barag, Journal of Glass Studies 24 (1982), 11~19

B. Wood, Levant 14 (1982), 73~ 79

V. M. Fargo, BAR9/5 (1983), 8~13

0. Misch-Brandland M. Tadmor, The Israel MuseumJournal3 (1984), 47~ 51

E. Reiflerand H. J. Griffin, Ancient Hebrew and Solomonic Building Construction, London 1984

G. J. Wightman, TA 11 (1984), 132~145

id., Levant 17 (1985), 117~129

id., BASOR 277~278 (1990), 5~22; G. R. H. Wright, Zeitschriftfiir Assyriologie 74 (1984), 267~289

G. I. Davies, Megiddo (Cities of the Biblical World), Cambridge 1986

ibid. (Reviews), RB94 (1987), 631~633. -PEQ 120 (1988), 150~151. - BA 52 (1989), 55

id., Oudtestamentische Studien 24 (1986}, 34~53

id., PEQ 120 (1988}, 130~141

J. S. Holladay, Jr., The Archaeology of Jordan and Other Studies (S. H. Horn Fest.), Berrien Springs, Mich. 1986, 103~165

D. Milson, ZDPV!02 (1986}, 87~92;id., BASOR272(1988), 75~78

id., PEQ 121 (1989), 64~68

R. Gonen, Levant 19 (1987}, 83~100

id., Burial Patterns and Cultural Diversity in Late Bronze Age Canaan (ASOR Dissertation Series 7), Winona Lake, Ind. (in prep.)

H. Liebowitz, BASOR 265 (1987), 3~24

L. G. Herr, ibid. 272 (1988), 47~67

N. Na'aman, Society and Economy,.177~!85

Weippert 1988 (Ortsregister)

I. Singer, TA 15~16 (1988~1989), 101~112

T. Tsuk, ibid., 92~97

P. Bienkowski, Levant 21 (1989), 169~179

E. Braun, PEQ 121 (1989), 1~43

A. Kempinski, Megiddo (Reviews), BAIAS9 (1989~ 1990), 53~54.- ZDPV 106 (1990), 188~191. -Levant 23 (1991), 193~194

MdB 59 (1989), 4~40

W. E. Rast, EI 20 (1989), 166*~173*

B. Williams and T. J. Logan, JNES 48 (1989), 125~129

W. G. Dever, BASOR 277~278 (1990), 121~130

G. D. Pratico, Tell el-Kheleifeh, 1937~1940 (Ph.D. diss., Harvard Univ. 1983

Ann Arbor 1990), 99~120

E. Stern, IEJ 40 (1990), 12~30, 102~107

The Architecture of Ancient Israel (eds. A. Kempinski and R. Reich), Jerusalem (in prep.).

Bibliography from Stern et. al. (2008)

Main Publications

A. Kempinski, Megiddo: A City-State and Royal Centre in North Israel, Jerusalem 1993 (Heb.)

Megiddo: Battlefield of Armageddon (National Parks of Israel), Ramat Gan 1997

Revelations from Megiddo: The Newsletter of the Megiddo Expedition (ed. I. Finkelstein), 1–7ff, Tel Aviv 1997–2003–to date

E. H. Cline, The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, Ann Arbor, MI 2000

ibid. (Reviews) Adumatu 4 (2001), 53–56. — BAR 27/6 (2001), 58–59. — BASOR 327 (2002), 89–90. — JNES 63 (2004), 60–61

Megiddo III: The 1992–1996 Seasons (The Emery & Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology

Tel Aviv University Sonia & Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series 18

eds. I. Finkelstein et al.), 1–2, Tel Aviv 2000

ibid. (Reviews) BAR 26/6 (2000), 64, 66. — Bibliotheca Orientalis 58 (2001), 449–453. — BASOR 327 (2002), 80–83

Megiddo IV: The 1998–2002 Seasons (eds. I. Finkelstein et al.), Tel Aviv (in press)

Megiddo-Tell el-Mutesellim-Armageddon: Biblische Stadt zwischen Krieg und Frieden (Veröffentlichungen des Helms-Museums 88/Hamburger Museum für Archäologie und die Geschichte Harburgs 88

ed. R. Busch), Neumünster 2002

E. Arie, “Then I Went Down to the Potter’s House”: Intrasite Spatial Analysis in the Pottery of Megiddo VIA (M.A. thesis), Tel Aviv 2004 (Heb.)

T. Harrison, Megiddo, 3: Final Report on the Stratum VI Excavations (The University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications 127), Chicago, IL 2004

ibid. (Review) BAR 31/6 (2005), 64–66; A. Zarzecki-Peleg, Tel Megiddo during the Iron Age I and IIA–IIB: The Excavations of the Yadin Expedition at Megiddo and Their Contribution for Comprehending the History of the Site and Other Contemporary Sites in Northern Israel, 1–2 (Ph.D. diss.), Jerusalem 2005 (Eng. abstract)

Studies

B. Brandl, The Nile Delta in Transition, Tel Aviv 1992, 441–476

J. D. Currid, ZDPV 107 (1992), 28–38

D. L. Esse, JNES 51 (1992), 81–103

Z. Herzog, ABD, New York 1992, 1/1031–1044, 2/844–852, 1031–1044

A. M. Maeir, Levant 24 (1992), 218–223

É. Puech, RB 99 (1992), 753–755 (Review)

id., Ki Baruch hu: Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical and Judaic Studies (B. A. Levine Fest.

eds. R. Chazan et al.), Winona Lake, IN 1999, 51–61

D. Ussishkin, ABD, 4, New York 1992, 666–679

id., BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 67–85

id., Scripture and Other Artifacts, Louisville, KY 1994, 410–428

id., TA 22 (1995), 240–267; id., Congress Volume, Cambridge 1995 (VT Suppl. 66), Leiden 1997, 351–364

id., OEANE, 3, New York 1997, 460–469

id., Mediterranean Peoples in Transition, Jerusalem 1998, 197–219

H. Weippert, ZDPV 108 (1992), 8–41

G. Ahlström Werner, Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 7 (1993), 208–215

P. Daviau, Houses, Sheffield 1993, 88–132, 259–299, 463–465

R. Hachmann, Biblische Welten (M. Metzger Fest.

Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 123

ed. W. Zwickel), Freiburg 1993, 1–40

A. H. Joffe, Settlement and Society in the Early Bronze Age I and II, Southern Levant: Complementarity and Contradiction in a SmallScale Complex Society (Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology), Sheffield 1993

id., Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands, Chicago, IL 2001, 355–375

id., JMA 17 (2004), 247–267; N. A. Silberman, BAR 19/2 (1993), 8 (Review)

id. (et al.), Archaeology 52/6 (1999), 32–39

id., Eretz 87 (2003), 50–54

id., Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series 18

eds. A. G. Vaughn & A. E. Killebrew), Leiden 2003, 395–405

H. -G. Buchholz, Beiträge zur Altorientalischen Archäologie und Altertumskunde (Fest. B. Hrouda

eds. P. Calmeyer et al.), Wiesbaden 1994, 43–59

G. I. Davies, BAR 20/1 (1994), 44–49

I. Finkelstein & D. Ussishkin, ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994), n.p.

45/2 (1995), 20

id., BAR 20/1 (1994), 26–33, 36–43

id., ESI 14 (1994), 60–61

id., TA 30 (2003), 27–41

I. Finkelstein, Levant 28 (1996), 177–187

30 (1998), 167–174

36 (2004), 181–188

id., TA 23 (1996), 170–184

25 (1998), 208–218

30 (2003), 283–295 (with E. Piasetzky)

id., UF 28 (1996), 220–255

id., BASOR 314 (1999), 55–70

id., EI 26 (1999), 233*

27 (2003), 289*–290*

id., NEA 62 (1999), 35–52

id., ZDPV 116 (2000), 114–138

118 (2002), 109–135

id. (& S. Laurant), MdB 142 (2002), 50–55

id. (& E. Piasetzky), Antiquity 77/298 (2003), 771–779

id., BAIAS 21 (2003), 96–100

id., Symbiosis, Symbolism, and the Power of the Past, Winona Lake, IN 2003, 75–83, 543

id., Jahrbuch des Deutschen Evangelischen Instituts für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes 10 (2004), 178–181

J. - D. Macchi, Transeuphratène 7 (1994), 9–33

L. Nigro, BASOR 293 (1994), 15–29

id., Synchronisation, Wien 2003, 345–363

id., Archeologie dans l’Empire Ottoman autour de 1900: entre politique, economie et science (eds. V. Krings & I. Tassignon), Brussel 2004, 215–229

J. G. Van der Land, Bijbel, Geschiedenis en Archeologie 1 (1994), 1–12

M. D. Coogan, BAR 21/3 (1995), 36–47

B. Routledge, PEQ 127 (1995), 41– 49

I. Singer, BA 58 (1995), 91–93

id., Across the Anatolian Plateau: Readings in the Archaeology of Ancient Turkey (AASOR 57

ed. D. C. Hopkins), Boston, MA 2002, 145–147

S. Bourke, PEQ 128 (1996), 57–62 (Review)

R. L. Daly, Kings of the Hyksos: Tell el ‘Ajjul in the Bichrome Ware Period: A Comparative Stratigraphic Analysis (Ph.D. diss., University of Utah 1994), Ann Arbor, MI 1996

V. Fritz, The Origins of the Ancient Israelite States (JSOT Suppl. Series 228

ed. V. Fritz), Sheffield 1996, 187–195

id., Vom Halys zum Euphrat (eds. U. Magen & M. Rashad), Münster 1996, 131–138

A. Mederos Martin, Trabajos de Prehistoria 53/2 (1996), 95–115

P. Parr, PEQ 128 (1996), 57–62 (Review)

A. Perez Largacha, Boletin de la Asociacion Espanola de Orientalistas 32 (1996), 23–30

A. Ruderman, The Jewish Bible Quarterly (formerly: Dor le Dor) 24 (1996), 199–200

D. Wengrow, OJA 15 (1996), 307–326

A. Zertal, Michmanim 9 (1996), 73–82

B. E. Colless, Abr-Nahrain 34 (1996–1997), 42–57

The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium (Studies in the History & Culture of the Ancient Near East 11

ed. L. K. Handy), Leiden 1997

E. H. Cline, ASOR Newsletter 47/2 (1997), 25

id., BR 16/3 (2000), 22–31, 46; L. G. Herr, BA 60 (1997), 122, 137–138

C. Herzog & M. Gichon, Battles of the Bible, 2nd ed., London 1997

A. Leonard Jr. & E. H. Cline, AJA 101 (1997), 365

id., BASOR 309 (1998), 3–39

A. Nur & H. Ron, BAR 23/4 (1997), 48–55

id., Tectonic Studies of Asia and the Pacific Rim (eds. W. G. Ernst & R. G. Coleman), Columbia, MD 2000, 44–53

A. Zarzecki-Peleg, TA 24 (1997), 258–288

J. Zorn, IEJ 47 (1997), 214–219

A. Ben-Tor, ibid. 48 (1998), 1–37

B. Halpern, NEA 61 (1998), 53–65

id., VT Suppl. 80, Leiden 2000, 79–121

id., David’s Secret Demons (The Bible in Its World), Grand Rapids, MI 2001

H. Shanks, BAR 24/2 (1998), 56–61

29/2 (2003), 50–55

31/1 (2005), 50–53

I. Shirun-Grumach, Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Egyptologists, Cambridge, 3–9.9.1995 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 82; ed. C. J. Eyre), Leuven 1998, 1067–1073

J. N. Tubb, Canaanites (Peoples of the Past), London 1998

S. Wimmer, Jerusalem Studies in Egyptology, Wiesbaden 1998, 109–110

S. Wolff, Mediterranean Peoples in Transition, Jerusalem 1998, 449–454

O. Zuhdi, KMT, A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt 9/4 (1998–1999), 68–75

S. Blakely, ASOR Newsletter 49/1 (1999), 17–19

T. Haettner Blomquist, Gates and Gods: Cults in the City Gates of Iron Age Palestine: An Investigation of the Archaeological and Biblical Sources (Coniectanea Biblica: Old Testament Series 46), Stockholm 1999, 76–80

A. Golani, Levant 31 (1999), 126–127; G. Hagens, Antiquity 73/280 (1999), 431–433

A. E. Killebrew, ASOR Newsletter 49/1 (1999), 9–10

id., Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 3 (1999), 17–32

J. B. Lambert et al., Analytical Chemistry 71 (1999), 614A–620A

R. A. Mullins, ASOR Newsletter 49/1 (1999), 7–9

C. E. Suter, Aula Orientalis 17–18 (1999–2000), 421–430

M. Bietak & K. Kopetzky, Synchronisation, Wien 2000, 117

J. Braun, Stringed Instruments in Archaeological Context (Studien zur Musikarchäologie 1

DAI Orient Archäologie 6

eds. E. Hickmann & R. Eichmann), Rahden 2000, 5–10

A. Faust, PEQ 132 (2000), 2–27; R. Gophna, Les civilisations du basin Mediterraneen (Fest. J. Sliwa), Cracovie 2000, 99–104

Y. Goren (& S. Zuckermann), Ceramics and Change, Sheffield 2000, 165–182

id. (et al.), Inscribed in Clay, Tel Aviv 2004, 243–247

P. Guillaume, UF 32 (2000), 215–217

R. John, BAIAS 18 (2000), 127–128

E. A. Knauf, BN 103 (2000), 30–35

107–108 (2001), 31

id., The Land That I Will Show You: Essays on the History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (J. M. Miller Fest.

JSOT Suppl. Series 343

eds. J. A. Dearman & M. P. Graham), Sheffield 2001, 119–134

H. M. Niemann, TA 27 (2000), 61–74

id., VT 52 (2002), 93–102

id., UF 35 (2003), 421–485

Y. Roman, Eretz 73 (2000), 17–26

87 (2003), 42–49

D. Bar-Yosef, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 1

id., Mitekufat Ha’even 35 (2005), 45–52

A. Fantalkin, Levant 33 (2001), 117–125

N. Franklin, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 29

id., Radiocarbon Dating and the Iron Age of the Southern Levant: The Bible and Archaeology Today (eds. T. Levy & T. Higham), London (in press)

R. S. Hallote, Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands, Chicago, IL 2001, 199–214

B. Hesse & P. Wapnish, ibid., 251–282

J. Heller, Unless Some One Guide Me (K. A. Deurloo Fest.

Amsterdamse cahiers voor exegese van de Bijbel en zijn tradities Suppl. Series 2

eds. J. W. Dyk et al.), Maastricht 2001, 312–345

D. Ilan, Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands, Chicago, IL 2001, 307–316

B. J. Kedar, Das Erwachen Palästinas im 19. Jahrhundert (A. Carmel Fest.

eds. Y. Perry & E. Petry), Stuttgart 2001, 13–19

P. R. de Miroschedji, Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands, Chicago, IL 2001, 465–492

E. Oren, The White Slip Ware of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, Wien 2001, 127–144

J. D. Schloen, The House of the Father as Fact and Symbol: Patrimonialism in Ugarit and the Ancient Near East (Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant 2), Winona Lake, IN 2001, 140–143

E. J. Van der Steen, Bibliotheca Orientalis 58 (2001), 303–311

id., AJA 109 (2005), 1–20

W. Zanger, Jewish Bible Quarterly 29 (2001), 226–231

M. Artzy, Tropis VII: Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity, Pylos, Greece, 1999 (ed. H. Tzalas), Athens 2002, 21–28

P. Beck, Imagery and Representation, Tel Aviv 2002, 228–251

S. L. Cohen, Canaanites, Chronologies, and Connections, Winona Lake, IN 2002 (index)

S. Laurant, MdB 142 (2002), 50–55; A. Lemaire, ibid. 146 (2002), 34–39

S. Lev-Yadun & M. Weinstein-Evron, TA 29 (2002), 332–343

A. Mazar, Beer-Sheva 15 (2002), 264–282

id., BAR 29/2 (2003), 60–61

id., Symbiosis, Symbolism, and the Power of the Past, Winona Lake, IN 2003, 85–98

D. M. Rohl, Biblische Archäologie am Scheideweg?: Für und Wieder einer Neudatierung archäologischer Epochen im alttestamentilchen Palästina (Studium Intergrale: Archäologie

eds. P. Van der Steen & Uue Zerbst), Holzgerlingen 2002, 211–246

R. Bonfil, Tel Qashish: A Village in the Jezreel Valley, Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1978–1987) (Qedem Reports 5), Jerusalem 2003, 319–326

N. Coldstream, TA 30 (2003), 247–258

R. Greenberg, EI 27 (2003), 285*

id., JMA 16 (2003), 17–32

T. P. Harrison, BAR 29/6 (2003), 28–35, 60–62

id. (& R. G. V. Hancock), Archaeometry 47 (2005), 705–722

O. Ilan & Y. Goren, TA 30 (2003), 42–53

K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Grand Rapids, MI 2003 (subject index)

R. Reich, BASOR 331 (2003), 39–44

E. Yannai et al., Levant 35 (2003), 101–116

T. W. Burgh, NEA 67 (2004), 128–136

W. G. Dever, BAR 30/6 (2004), 42–45

E. Noort, Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 58 (2004), 309–322

E. Villeneuve & S. Laurant, MdB 168 (2005), 45.

Ivories

R. L. Alexander, JNES 50 (1991), 161–182

D. Barag, Annales du 12e Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre, Vienna, 26–31.8.1991, Amsterdam 1993, 1–9

BAR 20/1 (1994), 34–35

B. M. Bryan, The Study of the Ancient Near East in the 21st Century (The William Foxwell Albright Centennial Conference), Winona Lake, IN 1996, 49–79

Silvana Di Paolo, UF 28 (1996), 189–215

id., Vicino Oriente 10 (1996), 163–208

id., Orient Express 1997, 21–23

id., Rivista degli Studi Orientali 71 (1997), 25–53

A. Yasur-Landau, TA 32 (2005), 168–191

I. Ziffer, ibid., 133–167.

Water Supply

N. Franklin, Megiddo III/2 (op. cit.), Tel Aviv 2000, 515–523

UNESCO, Ancient Water Systems in the Biblical Tell: Proposed World Heritage Serial Nomination by the State of Israel, 1–2, Jerusalem 2001

Y. Y. Baumgarten, Cura Aquarum in Israel, Siegburg 2002, 235–236

J. Häser, SHAJ 8 (2004), 155–159.

Meggido Earthquakes from Marco et. al. (2006)
Wikipedia pages

Tel Megiddo

  • from Wikipedia - click link to open new tab


Legio

  • from Wikipedia - click link to open new tab


Surveys
Lidar Scans

Description Scan Date Scanner Processing Downloadable Link
  • Faulted Staircase
  • Site 12
  • Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE
24 April 2023 Jefferson Williams Photogrammetry Right Click to download
  • Faulted Staircase (closeup)
  • Site 12
  • Stratum IVA Earthquake - after ca. 800 BCE
24 April 2023 Jefferson Williams Photogrammetry Right Click to download
  • Tilted Columns
  • Site 7
  • Stratum IVA-IVB Earthquake - 9th century BCE - Iron II
27 April 2023 Jefferson Williams Area Right Click to download
  • East Side of Late Bronze (Canaanite) Gate
  • Site 3
  • where Marco et. al. (2006) documented "Fractured and Shifted Ashlar Stones"
  • probably built in Stratum VIII and continued to function in Stratum VII
  • Quake is variously dated to Post ca. 1200 BCE or 14th- 12th centuries BCE
27 April 2023 Jefferson Williams Area Right Click to download
  • West Side of Late Bronze (Canaanite) Gate
  • Site 3
  • where Marco et. al. (2006) documented "Fractured and Shifted Ashlar Stones"
  • probably built in Stratum VIII and continued to function in Stratum VII
  • Quake is variously dated to Post ca. 1200 BCE or 14th- 12th centuries BCE
27 April 2023 Jefferson Williams Area Right Click to download

kmz's for Site Visits
kmz's