Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Book: The Horsemen of Israel

If you don’t end up making it to the end of the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, you’ll miss a great review of what appears to be a terrific book. Ziony Zevit raves about The Horsemen of Israel: Horses and Chariots in Monarchic Israel (Ninth-Eighth Centuries B.C.E.), calling this doctoral dissertation by a horse lover a “page-turner” that may have a significant impact on our understanding of the subject. From the review:

imageAlthough recent scholarship tends to assume that there were few horses in ancient Israel and that chariotry was relatively insignificant, Cantrell concludes otherwise based on sophisticated inferences from Biblical as well as ancient Near Eastern texts and from an abundance of archaeological evidence. In Iron Age Israel, she argues, there were large numbers of horses.

Concerning those “storehouses” at Megiddo:

Cantrell convincingly argues that archaeological excavations at Megiddo uncovered a major equine complex with stables, an exercise area, watering troughs, hitching stalls, and an adjacent granary for feed.

The author’s background is relevant:

Cantrell has been a rider, trainer, breeder and importer of horses and has engaged in competitive barrel racing, jumping and dressage. Consequently, she approached her research with understanding and a large body of practical knowledge.

The entire review is online. Zevit has convinced me that this is a work I will enjoy reading. The book is published by Eisenbrauns and also available from Amazon.

Eisenbrauns also has recently published a work on Donkeys in the Biblical World. I’m looking forward to a book on those non-kosher mules that keep showing up with a king’s saddle.

Megiddo southern stables, tb032507596

Reconstructed stable at Megiddo

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