Tel Qudadi (Tell esh-Shuna) is located on the northern bank of the mouth of the Yarkon River. A preliminary trial excavation was conducted at the site in September 1937 under the direction of P.L.O. Guy, followed by extensive excavations that were carried out in the winter of 1937-1938, on behalf of the Hebrew University, headed by E.L. Sukenik and S. Yeivin, with the participation of N. Avigad.
Two impressive Iron Age fortresses were revealed in the excavations. The researchers dated the first fortress to the 10th – 9th centuries BCE, whereas the second fortress, in their opinion, existed from the latter part of the 9th century until 732 BCE, when it was destroyed as result of the military campaign by Tiglath-Pileser III.
Despite the fact the excavations were conducted some seventy years ago, its findings were never published. Considering the importance of the site to the history of the Land of Israel during the Iron Age, and as a result of cooperation between the Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University, it was recently decided to publish the final excavation report. The study that was conducted until now by Oren Tal and Alexander Fantalkin of the Tel Aviv University has produced interesting results that are completely different than the insight gained by the excavators.
In contrast with the previous conclusions, the ceramic assemblage indicates that the site was not established before the end of the 8th century BCE. The ceramic and other evidence that will be discussed in the lecture have made it possible to determine that the two fortresses existed, one after the other, during the Neo-Assyrian period. We believe it is reasonable to assume the Tel Qudadi fortress was one of a series of Assyrian fortresses that was built along the coast of the Land of Israel (some of which were erected on the mouths of the rivers) from the end of the 8th century and during the first half of the 7th century BCE. The implications of this proposal will be discussed extensively in the lecture.