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Still Waters

Why a Canaanite palace was abandoned, solved

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Still Waters

IN THE 18TH century B.C., a Canaanite palace at Tel Kabri, in what is today northern Israel, was a sight to behold. The enormous building—at 65,000 square feet it was larger than a modern shopping mall—was replete with wall paintings, a fancy banquet hall, and storage rooms packed with more than a hundred enormous jars of spiced wine.

Then, at some point during that century, the palace was suddenly abandoned and left vacant for almost a millennium.

Some 3,700 years later, beginning in 2009, archaeologists digging up the palace were stumped. This beautiful and important building obviously had served as a political center for Canaanites in the region. And it had been renovated shortly before it fell into disuse. So why did its inhabitants flee?



Earthquake damage as a catalyst to abandonment of a Middle Bronze Age settlement: Tel Kabri, Israel



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