Destruction layers are one of the outstanding phenomena in archaeological finds, particularly in the multi-strata tells of the Near East and the Levantine coast. However, every destruction layer, despite the predominance and the great wealth of finds it offers the archaeologist and the illusion it is a “frozen” moment in time, cannot be severed from the settlement strata that preceded it and those that followed it. The discussion about destruction layers, which must be as detailed and exact as possible, cannot be separated from their stratigraphic and chronological context, and any analysis and interpretation of such a stratum also requires more extensive treatment of the site itself and the adjacent sites.

In order to make the discussion of destruction layers meaningful terms that have a more theoretical value should be proposed that will make possible a comparison and analogy between different geographic and chronological contexts. Therefore, it will be possible to expand and deepen the scope of the interpretation and the wealth of possible explanations for the phenomenon, as well as (and especially) in the absence of direct historical evidence that is likely to aid in this interpretation. Such a term which I propose adopting in the context of the violent destruction of Canaanite Hazor is the appearance of “crisis architecture”, which precedes and heralds the final destruction of the city. In this lecture, I will briefly present the term and its archaeological manifestation in Hazor and I will attempt to examine its possible contribution to the discussion of the destruction layers at other sites.