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Copper, crises and the birth of kings: What happened in the early Iron Age?

Bruce Routledge, University of Liverpool. A joint lecture with the AIAS.

Iron Age Ruins in Moab. Photo courtesy of Bruce Routledge

(Iron Age Ruins in Moab. Photo courtesy of Bruce Routledge)

High precision radiocarbon dating has revolutionized our understanding of the early Iron Age in the Southern Levant.  So far, debate has focused mainly on whether or not radiocarbon dates undermine the correlations traditionally drawn between archaeological finds and biblical narratives relating to the United Monarchy of Saul, David and Solomon.  However, this focus on critique has failed to realize the potential of radiocarbon dating for writing new narratives of archaeological events that are independent of the Bible.  In this lecture, Dr. Routledge will show how new dates from archaeological sites in Jordan, Israel and Palestine suggest wide-spread social and economic changes across the Southern Levant early in the Tenth Century B.C.E.  These changes suggest an interesting new narrative of how and why kingdoms emerged in this region at end of the early Iron Age. 

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