Early Israelite Period
The political spectrum in the region led to the formation of several cultural units: The Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah, Philistia, the Phoenician coast, and the Kingdoms of Transjordan. During this period, there was an increase in urban settlements, and the culture was of a new, local type. The rich, varied archaeological finds give proof of international links. This period abounds in documentary material testifying to the widespread knowledge, among the Israelite population, of reading and writing, even by those who were not scribes - an unusual phenomenon in the ancient world. The period ends with the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. There was apparently no change in the material culture during the Babylonian period, which extended until the Persian period.
The settlement of the Israelite tribes was a long and complex process, taking place from the 13th to the 11th centuries BCE. Archaeological surveys reveal that the main penetration occurred in the northern part of the Jordan Valley with settlements in the vicinity of Shechem and Dothan. Only later did they spread southward to Ephraim and Judah and northward to the Galilee region.
Clay pots discovered at the settlement sites seem to be very ordinary in appearance and reflect a tribal society living in a village environment. Especially widespread are the large storage vessels of the 'collar-rim jar' type. Philistine pottery, which is of impressive design, allows us to follow the traces of Philistine settlements throughout the country and their assimilation into the local population. The Philistines are credited with introducing to the Land of Israel the technology for producing iron vessels.
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Philistine clay vessels: decorated bowl, stainer-spouted jug,
and horn shaped bottle
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