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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

"Walled Up to Heaven": The Evolution of Middle Bronze Age Fortification Strategies in the Levant
Burke, Aaron A.

Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2008 pp. xx + 362. $59.50

Series Information
Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant, 4


Description: As the first comprehensive study of fortification systems and defensive strategies in the Levant during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1900 to 1500 B.C.E.), Walled up to Heaven is an indispensable contribution to the study of this period and of early warfare in the ancient Near East. Although archaeologists and ancient historians alike have discussed a variety of theories regarding the origin and cultural significance of the construction of earthen ramparts during the Middle Bronze Age, only this work addresses these questions in detail. In a tour de force, Burke traces the diachronic evolution and geographic distribution of the architectural features and settlement strategies connected with the emergence of Middle Bronze Age defenses in the Levant. By synthesizing historical and archaeological data from Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as the Levant, he reveals the interconnectedness of the Near Eastern world during the first half of the second millennium to an extent not recently considered. The result is a detailed employment of cognitive, social, and dirt archaeology to reconstruct the political, social, military, and cultural implications of the construction of monumental defenses and the development of defensive networks during the period of Amorite hegemony in the Levant.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel, Archaeology

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Review by Friedrich Schipper
Published 2/2/2009
Citation: Friedrich Schipper, review of Aaron A. Burke, "Walled Up to Heaven": The Evolution of Middle Bronze Age Fortification Strategies in the Levant, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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