Archaeologists Excavate Early Bronze Age City of Greater Megiddo
Popular Archaeology, 24-01-2013
Excavations at the site of Tel Megiddo, one of Israel’s oldest and largest archaeological excavations, have yielded finds that have added greatly to ancient Levantine archaeological history and established standards for exploration of early Bronze Age settlements in present-day Israel for decades. There, one of the Levant’s largest Canaanite temple complexes was discovered and systematically uncovered, and current excavations under the auspices of Tel Aviv University and the directorship of Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin have recently uncovered much more, including a large Iron IIA (1000 – 925 BCE) building featuring rows of a total of 18 pillars.
But farther east of the Tel (mound of the ancient acropolis), in the lower valley adjacent to the Tel, rest largely unexplored remains of the greater settlement of Megiddo. A slight mound in the topography and scatterings of pottery shards and other artifacts have given clues to an anciently settled area, likely associated with the Temple acropolis, but extending over a broader area. Scholars have speculated that it could contain the remains of the city or town that housed the majority of the Megiddo population — the commoners, workmen, artisans, and merchants who made the ancient Canaanite center hum. For the past few years, a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers under the leadership of Matthew Adams, Director of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project in Israel, have been investigating the large area and have thus far uncovered evidence of a major stone quarry worked by ancient workmen, walls of extensive Early Bronze Age structures, and evidence of a monumental building. They will be returning in 2013 to continue the excavations, focusing on the monumental structure and other selected sections of the area.