The date of the Stratum XV Triple-Temple Complex at Megiddo has been the subject of debate since it was first uncovered by the University of Chicago in the 1930s. Generally, an Early Bronze Age III date became the status quo interpretation, but several problems with this date are apparent. First, there was already significant EB III stratigraphy at the site, consisting of a well-planned palace, elite quarter, and temple complex. The construction of the Triple-Temple complex completely put this EB III palatial phase out of commission. Therefore, if an EB III date for the temples is preferred, this infers that a completely new urban plan was envisioned within that period – a phenomenon not seen elsewhere for EB III palatial centers. Second, it leaves a significant architectural gap at the site during the EB IV/Intermediate Bronze Age, a period for which Megiddo produced a significant amount of material culture. The solution presented itself when the Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition discovered a cache of Egyptianized pottery below the temple complex. Originally thought to have come from underlying EB IB strata, ongoing excavation at the site and refinement of the stratigraphy of the cultic area led the present author to conclude that the pottery cache was a foundation deposit associated with the Stratum XV Triple-Temple Complex. The cache, fitting well, typologically, with Egyptian foundation deposits from the late Old Kingdom/First Intermediate Period, supports, in turn, an EB IV/IB date for the construction of the Megiddo Triple-Temple Complex. This paper returns to this issue to properly place the architecture of the Triple-Temple Complex into its Northern Levantine EB IV world as temples in antis and to consider Northern Levantine and Egyptian contacts from the unique perspective of Megiddo.
Megiddo; Early Bronze Age; Byblos; Intermediate Bronze Age
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