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An Emic Anthropological Approach to the Polities of the Early Iron Age Southern Levant

Zachary Thomas, Postdoctoral Fellow at The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
Friday, October 22, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
The early Iron Age (Iron Age I-IIA) and more specifically the 12th-10th centuries BCE, saw the emergence of new polities within the political landscape of the southern Levant. The early kingdoms of Israel and Edom are two well-known examples that have been prominent in recent scholarship. How exactly do we understand the development and nature of these polities at a theoretical level? How and when can we use archaeological evidence to do so, and how does this relate to our historical sources, including the Hebrew Bible? These are questions that are important, but often overlooked by scholars. In this presentation I will discuss the history of scholarship on these questions and present an emic, anthropological approach to tackling them, focusing on two important areas: first, the use of the household as a metaphor that structured the formation of political relationships in the early kingdom of Israel; and second, the central but previously-disregarded role that nomads played in the formation of the kingdom of Edom.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Anthropology, Archaeology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, Judaic Studies, Classical Studies, Department of Middle East Studies, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology