About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period - Recent Research and Approaches from Archaeology, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - Benedikt Hensel

About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period - Recent Research and Approaches from Archaeology, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - Benedikt Hensel

6. Dry Climate During the Early Persian Period and Its Impact on the Establishment of Idumea

About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period - Recent Research and Approaches from Archaeology, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - Benedikt Hensel

Dafna Langgut [+-]
Tel Aviv University
Dafna Langgut is Head of the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Ancient Environments and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Langgut specializes in the study of past vegetation and climate based on the identification of botanical remains (pollen and wood-charcoal remains). Through this discipline, she considers the past relationship between humans and the environment—for example, human dispersal out of Africa and the beginning of agriculture. Langgut’s research also involves the identification of plant remains from archaeological contexts. Her studies address issues such as fruit-tree cultivation, diet, plant usage, plant migration, and ancient gardens.
Oded Lipschits [+-]
Tel Aviv University
Oded Lipschits is a Professor of Jewish History, the Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology and the Head of Ancient Israel Studies in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University. He is the Incumbent of the Austria Chair of the Archaeology of the Land of Israel in the Biblical Period, and the Director of the Lautenschlaeger Azekah Expedition and the Ramat Rahel Excavations.

Description

In the fourth and third centuries BCE, the province of Idumea included all the areas of the Beersheba-Arad Valley, the southern Shephelah and the southern Judean hill country; the majority population in the region was Idumean and Arab. The borders of Yehud had contracted and most of the Judahite population was concentrated around Jerusalem. Explanations for these historical, geopolitical, cultural, and demographic changes have been well-discussed by scholars. In “Dry Climate During the Early Persian Period and Its Impact on the Establishment of Idumea,” Daphna Langgut and Oded Lipschits provide a set of paleo-environmental data that sheds new light on this process. Palynological and sedimentological information show that during the late sixth through the mid-fifth centuries BCE (~ 520–450 BCE), dryer climate conditions were prevalent in the region. During the early Hellenistic period, wet climate conditions and intense olive horticulture characterized the region. Since in the steppe-marginal areas of the southern Levant even minor climatic variation can result in major environmental change, the main argument advanced by Langgut and Lipschits is that the dry conditions of the early Persian period caused a process of abandonment of most villages in the southern parts of the former kingdom of Judah, triggering nomadization by some elements of the local population and immigration to the core areas of the province of Yehud by others. After the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and the collapse of the southern settlement and military system, this process provoked a demographic vacuum in the southern lowlands (the Shephelah), the southern hill country and the Beersheba-Arad Valley that attracted the immigration of nomadic population. The gradual increase in moisture in the late-fifth and fourth centuries BCE probably reinforced a cultural progression by stabilizing the settlements that were highly dependent on water resources and local agriculture. The semi-nomadic elements could have easily settled in the area and quickly created the settlement alignment of the province of Idumea.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Langgut, Dafna; Lipschits, Oded. 6. Dry Climate During the Early Persian Period and Its Impact on the Establishment of Idumea. About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period - Recent Research and Approaches from Archaeology, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 151-176 May 2022. ISBN 9781800501331. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42823. Date accessed: 07 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42823. May 2022

Dublin Core Metadata