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J. D. Hawkins

[Lat. Europus; now Jerabis, Jerablus]

Site in Turkey on the west bank of the River Euphrates, now on the Turkish-Syrian border. This ancient city is extensively attested in cuneiform records from the mid-3rd to mid-1st millennia bc and mentioned in New Kingdom Egyptian records, c. 1500–1200 bc, and in the Old Testament. It is the source of indigenous sculpture and associated hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions dating c. 1000–700 bc. Excavations commissioned by the British Museum (1878–81) recovered some inscribed sculptures. Regular excavations under C. L. Woolley (1911–14 and 1920) were broken off by war, and latterly the establishment of the Turkish–Syrian frontier immediately to the south of the site has precluded further excavation. Finds are in the British Museum in London and in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

Carchemish has produced evidence of occupation stretching back to the Chalcolithic period (c. 5300 bc) and has a long recorded history. First attested in the Ebla archives ...

Article

A. R. Millard

Name given to the dominant element in the population of Palestine in the 1st millennium bc. The Israelites are first referred to c. 1210 bc on a stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. It is generally believed that they were semi-nomadic people who gradually migrated into Palestine from the east late in the 13th century bc, eventually dominating the local Canaanites, but a few scholars argue that Israel resulted from an internal revolt by oppressed peasants. The archaeological record is difficult to reconcile with the biblical account of a military invasion entailing the destruction of Canaanite cities such as Jericho, but it does demonstrate a major cultural change in Palestine c. 1200–1000 bc. Numerous farming villages arose in the hill country, and in the early Iron Age the elaborate products of Late Bronze Age Canaan gave way to a simpler material culture, less influenced by Aegean, Egyptian and Syrian fashions, with a gradual change from bronze to iron tools. While hazards of discovery may be responsible, the absence of temple buildings in Iron Age Palestine contrasts notably with their presence in the Bronze Age, and there is no evidence that Late Bronze Age (i.e. Canaanite) cult sites continued in use. Open-air hilltop shrines (‘high places’) may have existed, for example on ...

Article

T. Dothan

[Peleset]

Name given to the inhabitants of the south coast of Palestine in the late 2nd millennium bc and the early 1st. Philistine art and architecture offer a syncretistic blend of Aegean, Canaanite and Egyptian elements. The dominant element is Aegean, as demonstrated by cult practices, burial customs, funerary rites, architectural styles and decorative motifs on pottery. The Philistine people were among the invaders known from Egyptian records as the Sea Peoples. These were probably of Aegean origin and first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 13th century bc. At that time the Egyptians and the Hittites controlled the Levant, but both were politically and militarily weak. The Sea Peoples exploited this opportunity by invading areas previously subject to Egyptian and Hittite control and launched land and sea assaults on Syria and Palestine. The Philistine people or Peleset are first mentioned as invaders during the reign of ...