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Tell es-Sakan, the Southern Levant, and Egypt in the 4th and 3rd millennium BCE

Pierre de Miroschedji, CNRS

Tel es Sakan, Photo courtesy of P. de Miroschedji

(Image courtesy of Pierre de Miroschedji)

The excavations at Tell es-Sakan in the Gaza Strip have profoundly changed our understanding of the relations between the Southern Levant and Egypt in the early periods. Occupied in the late 4th and in part of the third millennium BCE, the site was initially a fortified settlement founded by Egyptians, possibly the main center of an Egyptian colonial territory in the southern Levant. It was abandoned with the Egyptian retreat from this area at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, when the relations between the two countries changed nature and scope. Reoocupied a few centuries later, it became a Canaanite city-state with powerful fortifications, a major settlement in an area against which the Egyptians conducted repeated military expeditions. The lecture will present the discoveries made at Tell es-Sakan in the larger context of the southern Levant and its relations with early Egypt.

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