Zertal's hypothesis is that the site, which resembles late Bronze Age sites in Sardinia (Italy), is in fact a Sea Peoples site, namely the Shardana tribe, a seafaring culture from the 12th century, as the architecture of the site is similar to Nuraghe sites in Sardinia. Zertal dates the site to 1160–1150 BCE, which conforms with the alleged date of the Sea Peoples' incursion to Israel, and the Biblical conflict between Sisera and Barak ben Avinoam (Judges 4-5). Zertal suggest that the site may have been the city of Harosheth Haggoyim, mentioned in Judges 4:2 as Sisera's place of residence. A chariot linchpin found at the site gives further weight to the claim that the site may have been an official residence.
Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein claims that Zertal erred in his dating of the site by a magnitude of 100 years. By synchronizing ceramic typologies and Radiocarbon dating with other early Iron Age sites in Israel, Finkelstein assesses the dating to be around 100 years later than Zertal 
^Finkelstein, I. and Piasetzky, E. 2007. Radiocarbon Dating and Philistine Chronology with an Addendum on el-Ahwat. Ägypten und Levante: Internationale Zeitschrift für ägyptische archäologie und deren nachbargebeite Vol. 17.