The relative and absolute chronology of Khirbet Qeiyafa: Very late Iron Age I or very early Iron Age IIA?

Yosef Garfinkel*, Hoo Goo Kang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the suggestions by Singer-Avitz, Finkelstein and Piasetzky that Khirbet Qeiyafa belongs in the very late Iron Age I, at the end of the third quarter of the tenth century BCE. A close examination of the various arguments presented by these scholars clearly indicates methodological failures and inconsistencies that do not meet their own criteria. The pottery assemblage of Khirbet Qeiyafa is a typological 'bridge' between two periods. It maintains the Iron Age I tradition, while introducing several characteristics that later became the classical markers of the Iron Age IIA. The absolute chronology of Khirbet Qeiyafa is based upon radiometric datings of short-lived olive pits, collected from a destruction layer of a one-period site that existed for a very short time. Nothing at the site indicates a long occupation that lasted over hundreds of years. Khirbet Qeiyafa marks the beginning of a fresh cultural development, with new types of fortifications, city planning, pottery assemblage and administration. These advanced developments clearly marked the beginning of a new era - the Iron Age IIA.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalIsrael Exploration Journal
Volume61
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011

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