Since Yadin’s excavation at Hazor in the 1950’s, Stratum IA (=XIII) has constituted an archaeological conundrum. The meager remains from this stratum, which were damaged because of their proximity to the surface level, represented a settlement phase that was much sparser than its predecessors and attested to the different character of the city in its last period of existence before the violent destruction in the 13th century BCE.
An analysis of the remains that were revealed in the Lower City and its relation to this layer in Yadin’s excavations, together with a discussion about the architectural remains from the end of the Late Bronze Age that were uncovered within the framework of the renewed excavations on the tell (under the direction of Amnon Ben-Tor) provide a basis for a new discussion about the nature of the last phase of the Canaanite settlement at Hazor. The new interpretation emphasizes long term social processes that occurred in the Canaanite city that are reflected in the material artifacts of Hazor in the different phases of the Late Bronze Age. The last phase of the city’s existence and the factors that may have been responsible for its destruction are discussed as part of these processes and not as a separate event.