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
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
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.