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LB-I Burnline at Hazor (Area M) PDF Print E-mail

            The pictures below reveal the burnline for Late-Bronze-I (1550-1400 BC) Hazor, which must have been destroyed by the Israelites during the northern campaign under Joshua in ca. 1400 BC, since he “burned Hazor with fire” (Josh 11:11) and since only this scenario synchronizes with Biblical chronology. The LB-I burnline measures up to ½ m in some places here in Area M, which is located on the northern slope of the upper city (tel). Hazor’s chief excavator, Amnon Ben-Tor, says that this “phase ended in a conflagration, similar to the one that brought an end to the later phase,” meaning the end of the Late Bronze IIB/III city (ca. 1234 BC), which often is wrongly understood as the Hazor destroyed by Joshua. See Douglas Petrovich’s article, “The Dating of Hazor’s Destruction in Joshua 11 via Biblical, Archaeological, & Epigraphical Evidence,” for more details. The photos are viewed from left to right and from above to below, with corresponding captions provided underneath. Click on an image to see a larger view of it. All pictures were taken in 2007.


            PHOTO #1: This view principally features two different eras in Hazor’s history: the city of Late Bronze IIB/III (1300-1200 BC), and that of Late Bronze I, which preceded it. The LB-IIB/III stoned pavement immediately atop the deep layer of dirt (actually the occupational gap) represents the final LB city’s ground level, and this pavement was part of a courtyard that surrounded a Canaanite temple through which residents and visitors of Hazor entered the upper city. Below the occupational gap is a red oval encircling the burnline of LB I. This burnline attests to the Israelite destruction of Hazor under Joshua in ca. 1400 BC. Hazor was not inhabited by the Israelites next, after this destruction, but by another Canaanite population.

            PHOTO #2: This picture features a cutout of several periods. Moving chronologically from most ancient to most recent, at bottom is the LB-I burnline, with the occupational gap above it. The small and finely arranged stones above the gap are part of the LB-IIB/III pavement. The larger stones above the pavement are part of a wall from the early Iron Age, while the stones at the top of the picture are from the later Iron Age city, which was destroyed by the Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser III, in 732 BC.

            PHOTO #3: This picture offers a worm’s-eye view of the occupational gap between LB IIB/III and LB I, along with the LB-I burnline below, which again is encircled with a red oval.

            PHOTO #4: This closeup shot of the LB-I to LB-II transition reveals some charred remains that were exposed during the 2001 excavations in Area M, and were still visible when this picture was taken in 2007.

            PHOTO #5: This photo is similar to the previous one, though this time a red circle displays the charred remains of the LB-I destruction by conflagration (a mass burning by fire).

            PHOTO #6: This picture displays a stone wall in use during LB I, along with several spots of conspicuous, black ashes that are outlined by red circles.

            PHOTO #7: This photo is a closeup of one of the larger of the spots of conspicuous, black ashes that were described in the previous photo.

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