|Periods||Bronze Age, Iron Age|
El-Ahwat is an archaeological site in the Manasseh region of Israel, located 10 miles east of Caesarea in northwestern Samaria near Katzir. The site was discovered in November 1992 during a survey by archaeologist Adam Zertal. It is considered to be the location of the northwesternmost settlement of the ancient Israelites in the region. The settlement has been dated to the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Zertal's hypothesis is that the site, which resembles late Bronze Age sites in Sardinia (Italy), is in fact a settlement of the Shardana tribe of the Sea People, a seafaring culture from the 12th century, as the architecture of the site is similar to Nuraghe sites in Sardinia. Zertal dates the site to 1160–1150 BCE, which conforms with the supposed date of the Sea Peoples' incursion to Israel, and the Biblical conflict between Sisera and Barak ben Avinoam (Judges 4-5). Zertal suggests that the site may have been the city of Harosheth Haggoyim, mentioned in Judges 4:2 as Sisera's place of residence. A chariot linchpin found at the site gives further weight to the claim that the site may have been an official residence.
Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein says that Zertal erred in his dating of the site. By comparing ceramic typologies and radiocarbon dating with other early Iron Age sites in Israel, Finkelstein estimates its date to be around 100 years later than Zertal.
- Ahwat Homepage
- Jerusalem Post: Long time archaeological riddle solved (July 2, 2010)
- University of Haifa press release
- Finkelstein, I. and Piasetzky, E. 2007. Radiocarbon Dating and Philistine Chronology with an Addendum on el-Ahwat. Ägypten und Levante: Internationale Zeitschrift für ägyptische archäologie und deren nachbargebeite Vol. 17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to El-Ahwat.|