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Book: About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period

Chapter: 5. Edom in Judah: Identity and Social Entanglement in the Late Iron Age Negev

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42822


The section opens with the essay “Edom in Judah: Identity and Social Entanglement in the Late Iron Age Negev” by Andrew J. Danielson. Danielson explores the Negev as a cultural “transition zone” already in the late Iron Age. Archaeological excavations of the northeastern Negev from the eighth to early sixth centuries BCE have revealed a significant amount of “Edomite” material culture within a region purportedly controlled by the kingdom of Judah. This material culture was previously interpreted as the result of an Edomite invasion in the early sixth century BCE; however, recent studies have begun to demonstrate both the longevity of Edomite material culture in the northeastern Negev and the degree to which its users were integrated into the social fabric of the region. Building on these observations, Danielson’s essay explores the nature of cross-cultural interaction between southern Transjordan and the northeastern Negev through contextual analyses of socially sensitive elements of the archaeological material culture record. Three case studies examine 1) culinary practices as identified through ceramic traditions, 2) religious practices, and 3) naming traditions and sociolinguistics as recognizable through the inscriptional record. Ultimately, these case studies examine the complexities of a sustained, multi-generational context of social entanglement between diverse communities in the northeastern Negev and demonstrate the inherent integration of Edom within the northeastern Negev region of southern Judah during the late Iron Age.

Chapter Contributors

  • Andrew J. Danielson ( - ajdanielson)