Dating isreali coins
To the southwest is Egypt, to the northeast Mesopotamia.The location and geographical characteristics of the narrow Levant made the area a battleground among the powerful entities that surrounded it.
In The Bible Unearthed (2001), Finkelstein and Silberman summarised recent studies.The coastal plain of the southern Levant, broad in the south and narrowing to the north, is backed in its southernmost portion by a zone of foothills, the Shfela; like the plain this narrows as it goes northwards, ending in the promontory of Mount Carmel.East of the plain and the Shfela is a mountainous ridge, the "hill country of Judah" in the south, the "hill country of Ephraim" north of that, then Galilee and Mount Lebanon.Instead, it seemed to be a revolution in lifestyle.In the formerly sparsely populated highlands from the Judean hills in the south to the hills of Samaria in the north, far from the Canaanite cities that were in the process of collapse and disintegration, about two-hundred fifty hilltop communities suddenly sprang up. From then on, over a period of hundreds of years until after the return of the exiles from Babylon, the Israelites and other tribes gradually absorbed the Canaanites.At this time Israel was apparently engaged in a three-way contest with Damascus and Tyre for control of the Jezreel Valley and Galilee in the north, and with Moab, Ammon and Damascus in the east for control of Gilead; the Mesha Stele (c.
830), left by a king of Moab, celebrates his success in throwing off the oppression of the "House of Omri" (i.e., Israel).
With the installation of client kingdoms under the Herodian dynasty, the Province of Judea was wracked by civil disturbances which culminated in the First Jewish–Roman War, the destruction of the Temple, the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity.
The eastern Mediterranean seaboard – the Levant – stretches 400 miles north to south from the Taurus Mountains to the Sinai Peninsula, and 70 to 100 miles east to west between the sea and the Arabian Desert.
Israel's southern neighbor, the Kingdom of Judah, emerged in the 8th or 9th century BCE and enjoyed a period of prosperity as a client state of first the Neo-Assyrian Empire and then the Neo-Babylonian Empire before a revolt against the latter led to its destruction in 586 BCE.
Following the fall of Babylon to the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE, some Judean exiles returned to Jerusalem, inaugurating the formative period in the development of a distinctive Judahite identity in the province of Yehud Medinata.
They described how, up until 1967, the Israelite heartland in the highlands of western Palestine was virtually an archaeological terra incognita.