Jun 24, 2010

The formation of the Israelites

To those who were in the Canaanite class, thanks for sending me back to check on my comments about the Iron Age being responsible for cisterns and creating terraces. 

Although a huge number of cisterns were required, along with clearing the wilderness and creating the terraces in the settlement in the hills of Palestine in the time of Joshua (about 1200 BCE), the evidence that iron tools made this possible is thin.   What is certain that there was a huge amount of physical labor involved in the settlement, in creating the irrigation systems and the vineyards etc.  Carol Meyers says "The role of the Israelites as inventors of technology is a moot point.  What stands out is the presumably unprecedented and widespread use of cisterns in the pioneer period [time of Joshua circa 1200 BCE].... The number of implements made of iron in proportion to bronze does not rise significantly in the Iron I period.  Whether iron or bronze tools, the physical effort involved was sustantial."  Discovering Eve, pg 55.   See also the PBS Nova series "The Secrets of the Bible." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/

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