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El-Ahwat - Samaria Israel 10.8.jpg
Ahwat is located in Israel
Shown within Israel
Location Israel
Region Samaria
Coordinates 32°29′14″N 35°05′38″E / 32.487149°N 35.093808°E / 32.487149; 35.093808
Periods Bronze Age, Iron Age
Site notes
Archaeologists Adam Zertal
Aerial view of Al - Ahwat and excavation areas with view of wall surrounding the city

El-Ahwat is an archaeological site in the Manasseh region of Israel, located 10 miles east of Caesarea in northwestern Samaria near Katzir. The site was discovered in November 1992 during a survey by archaeologist Adam Zertal.[1] It is considered to be the location of the northwesternmost settlement of the ancient Israelites in the region. The settlement has been dated back to the Bronze and Iron Ages.

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.[2] A chariot linchpin found at the site gives further weight to the claim that the site may have been an official residence.[3]

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 [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ahwat Homepage
  2. ^ Jerusalem Post: Long time archaeological riddle solved (July 2, 2010)
  3. ^ University of Haifa press release
  4. ^ 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.