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Biblical Shechem (Tell Balata)

The Book of Judges (Oakview Bible Fellowship)

Palestinian site and biblical city with its most important period of occupation in the Middle Bronze Age circa the 17th century BC when it was given a great insloping wall of cyclopean masonry. To the same period belongs a stone plaque bearing one of the earliest known alphabetic inscriptions. The town was destroyed at the end of the Middle Bronze Age and not reoccupied until the 16th century BC. The site included a glacis of the Hyksos period when it probably controlled the territory from Megiddo to Gezer. It was clearly an important city in the Late Bronze Age and it figures prominently in the Amarna letters. At that time fortifications and a temple with a massebah (sacred pillar or stone monument) were erected. The town was destroyed in the 12th century BC and there was another break in occupation until the 10th century BC when it became an Israelite city and the short-lived capital of the kingdom of Israel. This was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BC after which there was intermittent occupation until its final destruction in 101 BC. The Romans abandoned the original site and built a new city to the west in AD 67 calling it Flavius Neapolis. The Greek name Neapolis ("new city") later became enshrined in Arabic as Nablus. In Hebrew the city is still called Shekhem. There was also some occupation in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (1).

Pages 61-2 in (2) Who Were the Early Israelites By William Dever (2006)

(1) Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology by Barbara Ann Kipfer (2000)

(2) Who Were the Early Israelites By William Dever (2006)

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium