TAP excavations on the Tayinat Citadel.
(Photograph by Tim Harrison)
Science Daily is reporting that an archaeological team from the University of Toronto has discovered a temple in Turkey that sheds light on the transition between the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. According to the report, the temple was built in the 10th/9th-centuries B.C., the same time Solomon was ruling in Jerusalem.
According to the report, the discovery by the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) “casts doubt upon the traditional view that the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive.” The following is an excerpt from the article published by Science Daily:
Ancient sources — such as the Homeric epics and the Hebrew Bible — depict an era of widespread famine, ethnic conflict and population movement, most famously including the migrations of the Sea Peoples (or biblical Philistines) and the Israelites. This is thought to have precipitated a prolonged Dark Age marked by cultural decline and ethnic strife during the early centuries of the Iron Age. But recent discoveries — including the Tayinat excavations — have revealed that some ruling dynasties survived the collapse of the great Bronze Age powers.
“Our ongoing excavations have not only begun to uncover extensive remains from this Dark Age, but the emerging archaeological picture suggests that during this period Tayinat was the capital of a powerful kingdom, the ‘Land of Palastin’,” says Timothy Harrison, professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Toronto and the director of the project. “Intriguingly, the early Iron Age settlement at Tayinat shows evidence of strong cultural connections, if not the direct presence of foreign settlers, from the Aegean world, the traditional homeland of the Sea Peoples.”
The statement, “that during this period Tayinat was the capital of a powerful kingdom, the ‘Land of Palastin,’” is very intriguing because it confirms the presence of the Sea Peoples, especially the Philistines, in Asia Minor a few centuries after they entered the land of Canaan.
The report also says that the archaeological team from the University of Toronto will focus their excavation in 2009 (which begins on July 1) on the temple’s inner sanctuary, “the ‘holy of holies.”
It is hoped that this year’s excavation will shed light on Tayinat and the presence of the “Palastin” in that region.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary