The Levant – modern Lebanon, southern Syria, Jordan, Israel and Palestine – is one of the most intensively excavated regions of the world. This richly documented and illustrated survey offers a state-of-the-art description of the formative phase of Levantine societies, as they perfected the Mediterranean village economy and began to interact with neighbouring civilizations in Egypt and Syria, on the way to establishing their first towns and city-state polities. Citing numerous finds and interpretive approaches, Greenberg offers a new narrative of social and cultural development, emulation, resistance and change, illustrating how Levantine communities translated broader movements of the Near Eastern and Mediterranean Bronze Age – the emergence of states, international trade, elite networks and imperial ambitions – into a uniquely Levantine idiom.
2. Villages and the growth of social power in the Early Bronze I
3. Urbanism and its demise in the Early Bronze II and III
4. The Intermediate Bronze Age – entering the orbit of Syria
5. Villages, manors, and integrated city-states of the Middle Bronze Age
6. The Late Bronze Age – under Egypt's heel
7. Conclusion – the legacy of the Bronze Age Levant
Raphael Greenberg is an associate professor of archaeology at Tel-Aviv University. Specializing in the study of early urban formations, economies and institutions, he currently heads the Tel Bet Yerah excavations near the Sea of Galilee and is co-founder of Emek Shaveh – a non-profit organization that monitors the political role of archaeology in Jerusalem and beyond.
– Winner, 2020 G. Ernest Wright Award, American Schools of Oriental Research
"[...] It is the geographic characteristics of this region that shaped the Levant and its cultures, creating a uniquely Levantine idiom. Its diverse landscapes, microregions and climates, and lack of unifying geographic features tended to suppress the ability to accumulate great amounts of surplus or wealth (which, in turn, would have required the development of large bureaucracies). These tendencies also encouraged exploitation of the region by imperial powers. The result is the resilience, creativity, and flexibility to adapt to new situations as narrated in Greenberg's masterly, nuanced, and engaging account of the Bronze Age Levant."
– Ann E. Killibrew, Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies