The Buqeica Plateau of the Judean Desert in the Southern Levant During the Seventh to Early Sixth Centuries BCE: Iron Age Run-off Farmland or a Pastoralist Rangeland?

Shimon Gibson*, Rafael Lewis, Joan Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Previous archaeological studies of Iron Age IIC/III settlements in the Buqei'a plateau, situated in the north-eastern part of the Judean Desert, suggest they were operated as permanent paramilitary farming establishments with their primary subsistence based on run-off farming in the alluvial soils of nearby tributary wadis. Using a landscape archaeology approach and data from archives, an alternative interpretation is presented in this paper, identifying the Buqei'a plateau as a rangeland for the grazing of livestock (sheep/goats), with the bounded alluvial lands next to the settlements serving as green pasturage. This allows for a different model for understanding the Iron Age inhabitants as specialized transhumant pastoralists.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication “And in Length of Days Understanding” (Job 12:12)
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond in Honor of Thomas E. Levy
EditorsErez Ben-Yosef, Ian Jones
PublisherSPRINGER
Pages839–897
Number of pages88
ISBN (Electronic)9783031273308
ISBN (Print)9783031273292
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameInterdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
PublisherSpringer
ISSN (Print)1568-2722
ISSN (Electronic)2730-6984

Keywords

  • Judean Desert
  • Buqei'a
  • Iron Age
  • Pastoralism

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