|Late-Bronze-I to Late-Bronze-II Occupational Gap at Hazor (Area M)|
The pictures below reveal the occupational gap between Late-Bronze-II/III and Late-Bronze-I Hazor, which demonstrates the large gap in time between the two periods. This archaeological reality argues against a “destruction” by Thutmose III (ca. 1506–1452 BC) and in favor of a destruction by conflagration at the hands of the Israelites during their northern campaign in Canaan under Joshua in ca. 1400 BC. See Douglas Petrovich’s article, “The Dating of Hazor’s Destruction in Joshua 11 via Biblical, Archaeological, & Epigraphical Evidence,” for more details. In some places, the occupational gap measures up to 1½ m from the round-stoned pavement of the later Late-Bronze-IIB/III city, down to the top of the burnline of the earlier Late-Bronze-I city. The photos are viewed from left to right, 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 is a view of the excavations in Area M that were concluded in 2001. The upper levels are from the Iron Age, which translates to the time of the Israelite monarchy, while the lower levels extend to LB II and LB I. The black basalt floor and podium visible in the upper center of the picture are from LB II, and they are probably part of a temple through which visitors passed as they entered into the upper city from below. The black arrows point to the occupational gap between the stoned pavement of LB II and the LB-I level below the gap. The camera points virtually due northward and looks downhill toward the lower city.
PHOTO #2: The red rectangle outlines the thick occupational gap that existed between the stoned pavement of LB II and the burnline from the end of LB I, which dates to ca. 1400 BC. The gap here is approximately 1½ m in thickness.
PHOTO #3: This view shows 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 #4: This picture merely features an abbreviated view of the previous photo, with a red rectangle depicting the occupational gap between LB II (above) and LB I (below). This gap attests to a long period of non-inhabitation after the conquest of Hazor under Joshua. Hazor was not inhabited by the Israelites next, after this destruction, but by another Canaanite population.