The genesis of moab: A proposal

Israel Finkelstein, Oded Lipschits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose that an early Moabite territorial entity emerged south of Wadi Mujib (the biblical Arnon) in the late Iron I - the late 11th and 10th centuries BC. A chain of fortresses protected Khirbet Balu a-the hub of this polity-on the north and east. The Balu a Stele may be associated with this polity. We further propose that the prime-mover behind the rise of the south Moabite territorial entity was the trade of copper from the Wadi Faynan area south of the Dead Sea. Its abandonment in the late 10th century BC may have been the result of the campaign of Sheshonq I in the south and the diversion of at least part of the Arabah copper flow to the west, in the direction of the Mediterranean coast and Egypt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Balua
  • Copper
  • Iron Age
  • Jordan
  • Khirbet en-Nahas
  • Mesha
  • Moab
  • Omrides
  • Sheshonq I
  • State formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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