During the Middle Bronze Age (MB) II period (ca. 1750-1600 B.C.), Tel Kabri, located in the western Galilee, Israel, was the center of a thriving polity with economic and cultural connections to Egypt, Cyprus, and the Aegean. While Kabri and some neighboring sites have been partially excavated, the rise and fall of the polity has not been clearly understood. We present evidence from the Kabri Archaeological Project (KAP) to reconstruct shifting settlement patterns, demography, and aspects of trade in the Kabri hinterland from MB I to Late Bronze Age (LB) I. We argue that Kabri, in the northern part of the Acco plain, follows a different developmental trajectory than does the site of Acco and its hinterland in the southern part of the plain. Acco was urbanized early in MB I and developed a mature hinterland that persisted throughout MB II and into LB I. Kabri did not begin to bloom until late in the MB I period. Its rapid rise during MB II was accompanied by the abandonment of village sites far from the center of the polity and the fortification of nearby settlements. These efforts to consolidate power and to maintain the flow of goods into the center did not last long, and the polity of Kabri soon collapsed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas