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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dig Spotlight: Hazor, Head of All Those Kingdoms

And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and
smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime
was the head of all those kingdoms.

-- Joshua 11:10

Among all the ancient biblical excavation sites in Israel, Hazor is hands down the largest. Spanning 200 acres, the population of this city in the second millennium B.C. was approximately 20,000, which, for its time, made it the largest and most significant city in what was then known as ancient Canaan. Strategically located along the route connecting Babylon and Egypt, it figured prominently in ancient texts of both Mesopotamia and Egypt. Joshua's conquest of Hazor led the way for settlement of the Israelites in Canaan, and the city was rebuilt and fortified by King Solomon and prospered until its destruction by the Assyrians in 732 BCE. Evidence of the violent destruction was discovered in various excavation areas of the site.

If you are after sheer magnitude, few sites can match the experience. Under the direction of Professor Amnon Ben-Tor of the Hebrew University, an international team of scholars, students and volunteers will be investigating a monumental Bronze Age Canaanite palace and its associated fortifications at this location this summer. Dig participants will be staying in the air conditioned ETAP Hotel (a hotel!), and opportunities to visit other significant archaeological sites in Israel will be available. If you are interested in additional information, go to the
Hazor excavations website, where you will also find application instructions.

Books to read on the subject:

Books about Hazor

The Archaeology of Ancient Israel , by Amnon Ben-Tor.


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