The Middle East Time Periods Pre-Bronze age: The Natufian period: 12,000 and 10,200 BCE (before the introduction of agriculture) The pre-pottery Neolithic period: 10,200 and 8,500 BCE The Neolithic period 8500-4300 BCE (The beginning of farming, which produced the "Neolithic Revolution". It ended when metal tools became widespread in the Copper Age or Bronze Age) The Chalcolithic period: 4300-3300 BCE (a phase of the Bronze Age before metallurgists discovered that adding tin to copper formed the harder bronze.) Bronze age: The Bronze Age 3300-1200 BCE - Objects made of bronze were in use. The Bronze Age and Iron Age together are sometimes called the "Biblical period". The periods of the Bronze Age include the following: Early Bronze Age I (EB I) 3330-3050 BCE Early Bronze Age II-III (EB II-III) 3050-2300 BCE Early Bronze Age IV/Middle Bronze Age I (EB IV/MB I) 2300-2000 BCE Middle Bronze Age IIA (MB IIA) 2000-1750 BCE Middle Bronze Age IIB (MB IIB) 1800-1550 BCE Late Bronze Age I-II (LB I-II) 1550-1200 BCE
Iron Age/Israelite period: The Iron Age begins in about 1200 BCE when iron tools came into use. Iron Age I (IA I) 1200-1000 BCE Iron Age IIA (IA IIA) 1000-925 BCE Iron Age IIB-C (IA IIB-C) 925-586 BCE Iron Age III 586-539 BCE (Neo-Babylonian period) Persian period: 539 to 334 BCE Hellenistic period: 334 to 73 BCE Roman period: Early Roman period (including the Herodian period) 63 BCE to 70 CE Middle Roman period: 70-135CE (Jewish-Roman wars period); Mishnaic period: 135-200CE (the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah".) Late Roman period 200-330CE Byzantine period: 330-638 CE, from Rome's adoption of Christianity to the Muslim conquest of Palestine.
What is a Tell? Many of the oldest cities are called tells (also spelled tel, til or tal). Most cities were usually located on a main road, near a water source. The word 'tell' is from the Arabic language, meaning mound or mount. Ancient cities, like modern ones, experience natural and cultural disasters, such as fires, earthquakes, and assaults from enemies. If a city's structures were demolished in prehistory, there was no way to remove all the rubble; People built right on top of the ruins.
Likely candidate for Ziglag. Ziklag was listed as one of the 29 towns in Negev and was assigned to he tribe of Simeon (Josh 15:31; 19:5). It was apparently controlled by the Philistines during King Saul's rule, and was given by King Achish of Gath to David when he was running from Saul. David used it for a home base for raids against various groups who threatened the southern borders of Judah (1 Sam 27). In the middle of the coastal plain, this mound sticks out. A Wadi from the Shephelah runs along the east side with fields for farming surrounding it.
Standing Stones Long before the Israelites arrived on the scene, pagans in the Middle East erected sacred stones to their gods. If one of their gods (or so they believed) caused an important event or provided a significant benefit, a stone was erected as a testimony to the action of the god. If a covenant or treaty was signed between cities or individuals, stones were erected to declare the agreement and to invoke the witness of the gods. Travelers who saw the standing stones would ask, "What happened here?" and the people who knew the story would give testimony to their gods. From: http://followtherabbi.com/guide/detail/standing-stones
The Merneptah Stele aka the Israel Stele or Victory Stele of Merneptah is an inscription by the Ancient Egyptian king Merneptah (reign: 1213 to 1203 BC) discovered by Flinders Petrie in 1896 at Thebes, and now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. kingMerneptah12131203 BCFlinders Petrie Thebes The text is largely an account of Merneptah's victory over the Libyans and their allies, but the last 3 of the 28 lines deal with a separate campaign in Canaan, then part of Egypt's imperial possessions. While alternative translations have been put forward, the majority of biblical archeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs on Line 27 as "Israel", such that it represents the first documented instance of the name Israel in the historical record, and the only mention in Ancient Egypt.
The Meesha Stele (846 BC) Popularly known as the Moabite Stone, it records the revolt of Meesha, King of Moab, against Israel. This incredible stele mentions Omri, King of Israel, and David of the United Monarchy. It even refers to Yahweh, the unique name of the God of Israel! Together with the testimony from the Tel Dan Stele, we have a powerful external witness that the Bible records the true history of the kings of Israel and their interactions with foreign kings.
City Gates in the Bible Since gates were the center of city life, it is not surprising that scripture writers often described important officials as "sitting in the gate. Understanding the important role of city gates brings new light to many biblical stories: