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January 2017 (121.1)

Field Report

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Excavations of the Egyptian New Kingdom fortress in Jaffa (Tel Yafo, ancient Yapu), on the southern side of Tel Aviv, were renewed by the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project from 2011 to 2014. This work is an outgrowth of the project’s reappraisal of Jacob Kaplan’s excavations in the Ramesses Gate area from 1955 to 1962. As the Egyptian fortress in Jaffa is the only one excavated in Canaan, its archaeological record provides a unique perspective on resistance to Egyptian rule from ca. 1460 to 1125 B.C.E., but especially during the second half of the 12th century B.C.E., when Jaffa was twice destroyed. Radiocarbon dates from these two destructions are presented, and it is suggested that they offer the clearest basis thus far for proposing ca. 1125 B.C.E. as a terminus post quem for the end of Egyptian rule in Canaan. The archaeological evidence, taken together with textual sources, yields a picture of local resistance to the Egyptian military presence in Jaffa likely originating in Canaanite centers located throughout the coastal plain.

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Excavations of the New Kingdom Fortress in Jaffa, 2011–2014: Traces of Resistance to Egyptian Rule in Canaan

By Aaron A. Burke, Martin Peilstöcker, Amy Karoll, George A. Pierce, Krister Kowalski, Nadia Ben-Marzouk, Jacob C. Damm, Andrew J. Danielson, Heidi D. Fessler, Brett Kaufman, Krystal V.L. Pierce, Felix Höflmayer, Brian N. Damiata, and Michael Dee

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 121, No. 1 (January 2017), pp. 85–133

DOI: 10.3764/aja.121.1.0085

© 2017 Archaeological Institute of America