Did you know…?
- Hazor is the largest tel in the modern state of Israel, perhaps reflecting its key role in the region, especially during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages.
- Several fragmentary cuneiform clay tablets have been recovered at Hazor, hinting at the existence of an important second-millennium B.C.E. archive.
- The 200-acre Late Bronze Age settlement at Hazor was destroyed by fire during the 13th century B.C.E. Who destroyed Hazor remains a mystery.
- For much of the early Iron Age (12th and 11th centuries B.C.E.), Hazor was abandoned. Only during the 11th century was a modest settlement reestablished at the site.
- The nature and extent of 10th-century Hazor, or the “Solomonic city,” remains a topic of debate.
Why was Hazor known as the “head of all these kingdoms?”
These excavations have revealed an extensive and impressive Canaanite urban center of about 200 acres, with an acropolis, or upper city, and a fortified lower city, illustrating the reference in
Among the more recent spectacular discoveries is a monumental ceremonial complex, identified as either a palace or a temple, in the upper city. With walls built of mud bricks on a stone foundation and floors made of costly cedar from Lebanon, this building exhibits evidence of the wealth that characterized the Bronze Age city, including ivory plaques and boxes, jewelry and cylinder seals, bronze figurines, and more. This large public structure, along with many other Late Bronze Age buildings (circa 1550 – 1200 B.C.E.), was destroyed by fire during the 13th century B.C.E. Interpretations differ regarding the precise date of the 13th-century destruction and its perpetrators. The most recent suggestions include an internal rebellion of disaffected Canaanites (Zuckerman) or an attack by Israel (Ben-Tor), a group that first appears in the late 13th-century-B.C.E. victory stela of the Egyptian pharaoh Merenptah.
Did Solomon rebuild Hazor as described in 1 Kings 9:15?
Following the destruction of Canaanite Hazor, the site was largely abandoned and settlement was confined to a small area in the upper city. During the early first millennium, the upper city was refortified with the construction of a casemate wall and six-chamber gate similar to those built at Megiddo, Gezer, and other sites around the same time. Controversy surrounds the date of the earliest Iron II fortifications and their associated structures. Traditionally, they have been assigned to the 10th-century B.C.E. building program of King Solomon (
Hazor developed into a major Israelite center during the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.E. In addition to the fortifications, archaeologists have uncovered several large public structures, storage facilities, domestic houses, and an unusual basalt workshop in the upper city. Israelite Hazor was destroyed in 732 B.C.E. by the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (