Lachish in the Bronze Age

Posted: June 6, 2014 in Ancient Near Eastern History, History
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Tel-Lachish was probably first settled in the fourth millennia BCE by early Bronze Age farmers. By the third millennia it had developed into a heavily fortified city. At this time the area was very much under control of the Egyptians, who had built their own cities or established trade centres in independent cities throughout the area. The area, provided much of the resource material which was absent from the Egyptian homeland. It is unclear from the archaeology, whether at this period Lachish was an Egyptian founded city or an independent Canaanite city which just had strong trade ties to Egypt. In the second millennia, it appears that the Egyptian influence in the area declined and by the 15th century BCE, Lachish is clearly a large Canaanite city-state. It had obviously still maintained its trade links to the local superpower as witnessed by the discovery of 14th century BCE letters regarding the city found in the archive at Armana in Egypt. These letters are from the Canaanite kings of the area to the Egyptian Pharaoh, whom they still clearly saw as the person to arbitrate in disputes between the city-states.

A bronze age temple which has become known as the Fosse temple was built over a disused defensive ditch outside the city. Over time this temple which initially consisted of a ‘cult room’ and subsidiary rooms was enlarged and new rooms were added to the complex, suggesting that it was a flourishing centre of worship.

Ivory statuette heads from the Fosse temple

Ivory statuette heads from the Fosse temple

Bronze Statuette of a disabled man from the Fosse Temple

Bronze Statuette of a disabled man from the Fosse Temple

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