AdvisorDever, William G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe end of the Middle Bronze Age in Palestine during the 16th century B.C.E. coincides with the expulsion of the Hyksos and the rise of the 18th Dynasty in Egypt. During the transitional period between the Middle Bronze Age and the Late Bronze Age in Palestine (circa. 16th∼15th century B.C.E.), many sites that had enjoyed prosperity in the Middle Bronze Age suffered destruction that was so devastating that they were left abandoned until the Late Bronze Age I period. What exactly happened to cause such prosperous sites to be destroyed and abandoned during the transitional period? To answer this question, we have surveyed Egyptian texts from Ahmose to Thutmosis III and ten key sites: Hazor, Megiddo, Shechem, Shiloh, Jericho, Gezer, Tell Beit Mirsim, Tell el-'Ajjul, Tell el-Far'ah (South) and Tell el-Dab'a (Avaris). The results are as follows: Destruction was observed at all sites with the exception of Megiddo, Tell el-Far'ah (South) and perhaps Tell el-Dab'a, whose graves were thoroughly plundered. There is a consistency in the date of destruction; it occurred in the MB/LB transition while Jericho was destroyed sometime in the Middle Bronze Age. Sites after destruction also show some consistency: They experienced overall collapse as gaps of occupation followed. The fact that Egyptians, led by Ahmose, plundered the graves of Avaris, suggests that the action was punitive. After establishing his campaign residence at Avaris, Ahmose planned to break the power of the Hyksos in southern Palestine and attacked Sharuhen. Thutmosis III's claim that he took 119 cities might not be an exaggeration: His siege of Megiddo lasted seven months, which would have allowed the Egyptians to dispatch auxiliary forces against other cities. After considering various causes that could account for destruction, we have concluded that the only one that can explain why destruction consistently occurred in the same phase, and why gaps of occupation consistently followed destruction, is the Egyptian campaigns.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Near Eastern Studies