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El-Ahwat, A Fortified Site from the Early Iron Age Near Nahal 'Iron, Israel (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East)

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Archaeological report on el-Ahwat, a mysterious but important site in the highlands of ancient Canaan. In previous publications, the author suggested that el-Ahwat may be identified with the biblical site of harosheth hagoiim (Judges 4-5).

I first heard of el-Ahwat in the summer of 1995, when I was invited to see the new site and participate in a meeting of scholars trying to understand some rather unusual aspects about the place. It was my first chance to see, and then suggest, the possible cultural connection between the Nuraghic culture of Sardinia and this new site in Canaan.

Only rarely does an archaeologist or historian have the opportunity to encounter such a connection. In most of our work we meet facts of varying value: dates, events, names, or, in the field of archaeology, architecture and small finds. A direct relationship between an historical narrative — like that of the Shardana, in our case — and a newly discovered site is extremely rare. Moreover, the part played by hypothesis in such a case is quite large, and many details invariably remain theoretical.

However, many unusual items in the archaeological examination of el-Ahwat deserve attention and explanation. For this reason, simply limiting oneself to the realm of pure data does not sufficiently meet the true intellectual challenge: 1 To our great sorrow and regret, Professor Michael Heltzer did not live to see the final publication of this volume. attempting to draw a new picture from a synthesis of the revealed architecture and artifacts.
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