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Ancient Tell Ifshar (Tel Hefer)

ABSTRACT: A Middle Bronze Age IIA storage complex (circa 20th to 18th centuries BC) units of which were used for storing grain was uncovered at Tell Ifshar in Israel in 1990. Analysis of charred plant remains from this complex as well as from other locations on the tell allows a broad discussion of MB IIA farming and agricultural decision making within a loosely centralized city-state. Villagers apparently sowed fields in low lying alluvial resource zones rather than sandy clay zones. They planted legume and cereal crops well suited to the physical environment which also were short term capital investments. Farmers planted both emmer and free threshing wheat but mainly emmer wheat --- a species tolerant of environmental extremes and resilient to post harvest loss despite greater processing cost and lower potential yield. Farmers also promoted field species diversity and used various planting strategies to protect crops from environmental risk. In the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age farmers risked higher production costs of free threshing wheat in return for greater harvest potential and easier processing. Despite this overall trend strategies varied over shorter time frames within the Middle Bronze Age ...

INTRODUCTION: Tell Ifshar is the principal settlement site on the central Sharon Plain. It is situated about 5 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean Sea on the right bank of the Alexander River. This river has deposited alluvium in a broad area around the tell (mound). Although summers are dry today winter rainfall is usually adequate for dry farming The tell covers 5 acres ...

Ifshar was first occupied in the middle of the EB I (circa 3100 BC) and then from the Intermediate Early Bronze or Middle Bronze Age (22nd to 21st century BC) to near the end of the Byzantine Period - late in the 6th century AD - when the settlement on the tell was part of the regional economic catchment area of Caesarea Maritima to the north. During the MB IIA (circa 2000 - 1750 BC) - Late Bronze Age (circa 1550 - 1200/1150 BC) - Iron Age (circa 1200/1150 - 586 BC) Tell Ifshar (no ancient name is known) probably played an important political and economic role in the local Canannite city-state system as well as in the Egyptian Empire and Israelite Kingdoms ...

Because a good sequence of Middle Bronze Age IIA occupational strata were uncovered the site has provided an excellent chance to reconstruct farming systems during this period ...

Dynamics of Cereal Production at Tell
Ifshar Israel During the Middle Bronze Age
Chernoff and Paley in Volume 25:397-416 [1998]
Abstract (Journal of Field Archaeology)

Library of Congress # CC 1 J69

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium