מערכת הביצורים מתקופת-הברונזה התיכונה בתל הרור

Translated title of the contribution: The Middle Bronze Age Defence System at Tel Haror

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the course of excavations at Tel Haror in the Western Negev (1981—1992), the Ben Gurion University expedition systematically explored the Middle Bronze Age defence system that surrounded this 40 acre site and included both a ditch (fosse) and earthen rampart. The ditch was ca. 12—15 m. wide and about 4 m. deep; the base of the rampart measured nearly 20 m. and its height averaged about 7 m. The structure of the rampart suggests that its engineers took full advantage of the existing topographic features and used the readily available soil and kurkar sediments nearby for its construction. No stone or brick core was incorporated in the rampart. Instead, the deposition of alternating layers of soil, sterile sand and kurkar in the core of the rampart, as well as the method of deposition in opposite directions, provided the structure with the desired stability. the face of the rampart was finally capped with kurkar slabs and apparently covered with a thick layer of plaster. Concerning the defence wall at Tel Haror, although the top of the rampart was found badly eroded, it was most likely not crowned with a defensive wall. Also, the expedition failed to identify the location of the city gate, suggesting, perhaps, that entry was obtained, like at neighbouring Tell Farʿa (south), through a ramp that was constructed diagonally across the ditch and on top of the rampart. The ceramic assemblage is diagnostically late MB II, providing a mid-17th century date for the construction of the rampart and a terminal date towards the end of that century, when it went out of use. The formidable fortification system at Tel Haror manifests clearly the high level of political and social organization of the Middle Bronze Age settlement inside the enclosed compound. Also, it helps to elucidate the mechanism of the city state formation at this and other sites in Canaan by providing pertinent data regarding key questions such as: how long did the construction take? Was It designed to comply principally with the immediate needs of an existing population, or did it reflect long-term planning for a larger future population? Was the defence system built by the local population or by a task force recruited specifically for this purpose from elsewhere? These and other issues are addressed in the article. The authors concluded that the fortification of Tel Haror should be viewed in the context of a rapid process of urbanization that the western Negev was undergoing in the late MB II. This process was most likely associated with the political and economic reorganization that took place in the Nile Delta during the Hyksos period and brought about the establishment of new political blocs such as Sharuhen and Ashkelon.
Translated title of the contributionThe Middle Bronze Age Defence System at Tel Haror
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
Journalארץ ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה
Volumeכ"ה
StatePublished - 1996

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