The second half of the ninth century BCE had witnessed the initial expansion of the Damasean kingdom to the southern Levant. Headed by king Hazael, the Aramaean power defeated cities and local kingdoms, leaving on its way heavy destructions. A broad scholarly consent is that these conquests marked a relatively short, albeit significant, Aramaean political rule in northern Palestine.
While the Aramaean destructions are well documented, the nature of the Aramaeam political domination is far from being clear. The difficulty to isolate distinctive Aramaean culture resulted in scholarly perceptions that confuse Aramaean political rule with ethnic groups – a problem that stemmed from the traditional image of the Aramaeans in the biblical and other historical sources.
Located at the crossroads of Assyrian, Aramaean and Phoenician spheres of influence,
Iron Age II city of Dan reflects a variety of cultural and political inputs and illustrates the complex relationships the city maintained with neighboring kingdoms. A renewed systematic study of its archaeological remains has yielded a material culture assemblage that is a crucial source for understanding the complexity of the Aramaean presence in the city
, suggesting a gap between the ancient reality and the modern perception and allowing a reexamination of current suppositions regarding the extent of the Aramaean involvement in constructing and dominance of the Iron Age II city of Dan.
About the speaker
Dr. Thareani is currently a research archaeologist at the
Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Union College
, Jerusalem and a graduate post-doctoral student at the
École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE)
, Sorbonne V, Paris (research topic:
Between Israel, Aram and Assyria: Tel Dan at the Iron Age II
) and at the Leon-Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa (research topic:
The Empire and the Sea: The Case of the Assyrians and the Mediterranean
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