Qedesh in the Galilee: The Emergence of an Early Bronze Age Levantine Megasite

Ido Wachtel, Uri Davidovich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Early Bronze Age (ca. 3700–2500 b.c.) was an era of wide-ranging changes in the Southern and Central Levant, commonly interpreted in the context of the advent of urban structures in this region. Key elements in regional narratives of urbanization are large fortified sites viewed as regional centers, whose local history is often perceived as a paradigmatic expression of the entire process. Here we present the first stage of research at the site of Qedesh in the Galilee (Israel), that emerged as a large Levantine hub at the turn of the 4th millennium b.c. The study is based on systematic high-resolution surface survey followed by density analysis, probing, and small-scale excavations. Our research suggests that Qedesh was a hitherto unknown key player in the interregional trajectory of social complexification by virtue of its size (min. 50 ha), composite inner structure, and ecotonal location that enhanced connectivity within an economic network associated with the production and distribution of South Levantine Metallic Ware.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)260-274
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Roi Sabar for his co-directorship of the survey and trial excavations at Qedesh, and the team members and volunteers of the Hebrew University Expedition to Tel Qedesh (https://sites.google.com/view/huqedesh/home). We are grateful to Gideon Shelach-Lavi for his continuous support and useful comments on an earlier version of this paper, as well as to the three anonymous reviewers whose careful reading and detailed comments greatly improved the final version. This study was supported by the Ruth Amiran Fund of the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University, and by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 1534/18).

Publisher Copyright:
© Trustees of Boston University 2021.


  • early urbanization
  • ecotone
  • pottery distribution
  • regional centers
  • systematic survey


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