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The Seventh Century B.C.
by Lawrence E. Stager, Daniel M. Master, and J. David Schloen
Winner of the 2012 Levi-Sala award!
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Ashkelon 3: The Seventh Century B.C, written by Lawrence E. Stager, Daniel M. Master, and J. David Schloen has won of the 2012 Irene Levi-Sala Book Prize. The Irene Levi-Sala Book prize award is dedicated by the Sala Family Trust, London, to the memory of Dr. Irene Levi-Sala, who was a gifted archaeologist and maintained a keen interest in the culture and archaeology of Israel. The purpose of this prestigious prize is to encourage and reward high quality publications, both scholarly and popular, on the archaeology of Israel against the wider context of Near Eastern history and archaeology.
The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon continues its final report series with a study of the city destroyed in the campaign of the Babylonian king Nebuchadrezzar in December of 604 B.C. In this era, Ashkelon’s markets linked land routes from the southeast to a web of international Mediterranean merchants, and this volume describes the Iron Age bazaar where shopkeepers sold the goods of Egypt, Greece, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Judah. In addition, in another part of the city, a winery produced a homegrown vintage for distribution abroad.
This volume spans more than 800 full-color pages illustrating the range of imported and local artifacts recovered by more than ten years of excavation. The twenty-eight chapters, by more than two dozen contributors, combine to describe Ashkelon’s pivotal role in the economy and politics of the late seventh century B.C. As such, Ashkelon 3: The Seventh Century B.C. is a indispensable resource for those interested in the Iron Age history of the Eastern Mediterranean and the study of trade and economy in the ancient world.
Publisher: Harvard Semitic Museum / Eisenbrauns
Publication date: 2011
Bibliographic info: 800 pages
Trim Size: 8.5 x 11 inches
As with the previous volumes (Ashkelon 1 and 2), this is an excellent and comprehensive report, covering almost every aspect of the material culture and presenting a synthesis of Ashkelon in its last days at the end of the Iron Age. This volume will serve every scholar who deals with the Iron Age in the southern Levant. It is also of great importance, since it sheds more light on the Philistine material culture in the last quarter of the seventh century B.C.E. — Itzhaq Shai, JAOS 134.3 (2014) 516-19
The publication of a final report on an archaeological site is a good reason to rejoice in our profession, particularly when dealing with finds from a pivotal site such as Ash kelon. The volume under review, the third in the series of final excavation reports from the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon (hopefully with several more on the way), pro vides key information on one of the most important stages in the archaeological history of the site, that of the final phase of Iron Age Philistine Ashkelon, prior to the city’s destruc tion in 604 B.C.E., at the hands of the Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar. While, by definition, the report is limited to the finds from a very brief period of time and from a re stricted part of the actual excavations, the rich remains and the detailed discussions within provide a treasure trove of information for students of the ancient Levant in general and of the late Iron Age in particular.
All in all, this volume can be seen as an exemplary report on a specific portion of the finds from an important site, and the authors and contributors are to be profusely thanked for their efforts. -- Aren M. Maeir, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 368 (2012)
[Ashkelon's] wealth stems from its position between the cen-
tres of Assyrian and Phoenician rule in the north and the areas under Egyptian domi- nation, coupled with the city’s close mari- time contacts with Cyprus and Greece. As a result, Ashkelon can serve as a model for the study of the culture of this period and as an important basis for the chronology of pottery from Greece and Cyprus. . . . All in all, the three excavators, Stager, Master and Schloen, are to be congratu- lated for their painstaking efforts in pro- ducing a work that will undoubtedly be- come an indispensable textbook for all those interested in the study of the seventh century BCE. -- Ephraim Stern, in Israel Exploration Journal 62/2.
In the book under review, the excavators (Stager, Master, and Schloen) have produced a report worthy of their immense commitments and achievements and fittingly honor the contributions of Frank Moore Cross and Benjamin Mazar, to whom the volume is dedicated. The excavators and 24 specialists reveal seventh-century B.C.E. Ashkelon as a thriving commercial and wine-producing center, while thoroughly presenting local phenomena and evidence for interregional connectivity from the perspective of 22 categories of material culture and organic remains. Their efforts culminate commendably in this uniquely coherent and detailed body of work that offers groundbreaking insight into the pivotal place of this Philistine seaport in Iron Age politics and society, including especially its connections to Egypt, Phoenicia, and the Greek world. . . . It is a pleasure to report that the publication of this volume is a worthy testament to the generous and loyal support of Shelby White and Leon Levy, Benjamin Mazar, and Frank Moore Cross, as well as to the perennial and monumental investments of the excavators and staff; in it, we have an admirable example of what cooperation, unflagging dedication, and intellectual excellence can achieve. -- Christine M. Thompson, in American Journal of Archaeology 117/2 (April, 2013)
[Ashkelon 3] is a substantial, luxurious (and good value) volume . . . the kind of final report series that we would all like to publish. . . . [an] impressive and outstanding volume. —Ancient West and East 15 (2016) 306–7
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