For more than a decade the European Seminar in Historical Methodology has debated the history of ancient Israel (or Palestine or the Southern Levant, as some prefer). A number of different topics have been the focus of discussion and published collections, but several have centered on historical periods. The really seminal period--one of great debates over a number of different topics--is the four centuries between the Late Bronze II and Iron IIA, but it seemed appropriate to leave it toward the end of the various historical periods. It was also important to give a prominent place to archaeology, and the best way to do this seemed to be to have a special Seminar session devoted entirely to archaeology.
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