2018 Results

The Expedition operated in five areas (S,K,H,T,Z), featuring finds from the Middle Bronze and the Iron Age.

Aerial Photo of Tel Megiddo (Looking South)

Area S

Area S is located in the northern sector of the mound. Middle and Late Bronze fortifications and gates were unearthed here by the University of Chicago team in the 1930s. We are investigating the history of the fortifications and the earliest Middle Bronze layers at Megiddo

Area S features several layers dating to the early phases of the Middle Bronze (early second millennium BCE), to be radiocarbon dated. These finds are expected to shed light on the much-discussed absolute date and nature of the transition from the non-urban Intermediate Bronze to the urban Middle Bronze. One of the Middle Bronze layers features evidence for destruction (orange color in the baulks), the first of its kind to have been found at Megiddo.

Aerial Photo of Area S

Area K

Area K is located in the southeastern sector of the mound. Here we continue to unearth the history of Bronze Age Megiddo layer after layer, focusing on detailed stratigraphic work, control over ceramic assemblages and radiocarbon dating. Area K features a series of domestic courtyard buildings constructed one on top of the other. In the following picture (looking north), mainly remains of Level K-13 of the Middle Bronze II (ca. 1800 BCE).

We continue the intensive ancient DNA project –a joint study of Tel Aviv, Harvard and the Hebrew universities. Combining archaeological data, physical anthropology, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA, we are aiming at reconstructing the population of a Middle Bronze III (ca. 1600 BCE) quarter –families, relationship between individuals etc. The results also shed light on the genetic profile of the Middle Bronze population –local background and foreign impact.

Aerial Photo of Area K (Looking North)

Area H

Excavations in Area H, which commenced in 1996, came to an end. The aim of the last season of excavation here was to identify the floor which relates to the “royal tomb”, unearthed in 2016.

Area H features an unparalleled stratigraphic sequence (in the picture, floors in the sector covering ca. 700 years between the Middle Bronze III and the Iron I). Here too we are working with full control over ceramic assemblages and radiocarbon dating. The floor of Level H-16 below correlates with the royal tomb unearthed in 2016.

Aerial Photo of Area H

Area T

The Assyrian palace was built after the takeover of Megiddo by Assyria in 732 BCE. The stables and probably the water system too belong to the last Israelite city of the Iron IIB, in the 8thcentury BCE. The location of the administrative center of this city is unknown. There is logic in locating it under the Assyrian palace.

In the two squares outside of the Assyrian palace (top-left corner of the followong picture) we uncovered remains of the University of Chicago’s Strata IVA and VA-IVB of the 8thand 9thcenturies BCE respectively.

Under the courtyard of the Assyrian palace we reached remains of Stratum IVA –the last Israelite city. Results regarding the location of the administrative center of this city are still inconclusive.

In several places we uncovered evidence of destruction, possibly representing the takeover of the last Israelite city by Assyria in 732 BCE. This seems to be the top of the destruction, meaning that the main remains are still to be found below.

Aerial Photo of Area T (Looking South)

Area Z

The Iron Age gate was exposed by the University of Chicago team in the 1930s. Several decades later, it was dated by Yadin to the time of King Solomon in the 10thcentury BCE (based on 1 Kings 9: 15). Recent research has shown that the gate should be down-dated to the time of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, in the 9thor 8thcenturies BCE. We were commissioned by the National Parks Authority to carry out a salvage excavation here prior to reconstruction of the missing wing of the six-chambered gate.

According to our understandings of the remains, we can identify Four gates:
1. Two-chambered gate, Stratum VIA, late Iron I (late 11th, early 10th centuries, “New Canaan”).
2. Six-chambered gate, Stratum VA-IVB + beginning of IVA, late Iron IIA and early Iron IIB (9th and early 8th centuries, Northern Kingdom).
3. Four-chambered gate, Iron IIB (8th century BCE, Northern Kingdom).
4. Two-chambered gate, Iron IIB-C (late 8th and 7th centuries BCE, Assyrian city).

Area Z – the Iron Age Gate

All this reflects on the outer gate: It was first built when the city-wall was constructed, in the early 8th century and functioned with the six-chambered gate; it was then reused with the four-chambered gate.

The Outer and the Main Gate of Megiddo