An investigation into the current debate on the archaeology and historicity of the united monarchy of ancient Israel

Thomas, Zachary (2014) An investigation into the current debate on the archaeology and historicity of the united monarchy of ancient Israel. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

Full text not available from this repository.


This thesis examines the debate concerning the archaeological and historical investigation of ancient Israel's United Monarchy, the kingdom of the great Biblical figures David and Solomon, portrayed in the Bible as a period of royal wealth, national development, and military might. This debate is primarily concerned with the question of exactly how historical the United Monarchy was, and in particular whether or not the image of it provided in the Bible, in particular in the books of Samuel and Kings, can be read and understood as a reliable historical account of that period. The focus of this debate for some time has revolved around the controversial Low Chronology, an archaeological dating scheme proposed by Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein in the mid-1990's that downdated archaeological strata throughout Israel that had previously been assigned to the United Monarchy to several decades later using several strands of evidence. Many of these strata included grand public and defensive architecture, and three important sites that are specifically mentioned together in the Biblical record as having been built by Solomon even had almost identical designs for their city gates. Therefore the downdating of these important strata appeared to strip the United Monarchy period of any indications of the kind of state described in the Bible. It was argued therefore that its description was written hundreds of years later to reimagine the United Monarchy as an a historical Golden Age. Several scholars, however, assailed the Low Chronology, its argument and implications. Therefore the original contribution to knowledge of this thesis is a thorough examination of the archaeological and textual-historical arguments and evidence used by both those who have argued for and against the historicity of the United Monarchy that reaches a conclusion as to which of these approaches is currently the best fit for creating a balanced historical reconstruction of the United Monarchy and its time.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 10:11
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:56

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.