Biblical Archaeology Review 43:4, July/August 2017

The Four-Room House

Ancient Israel's Major Architectural Achievement

By Hershel Shanks

Are so-called four-room houses an infallible sign of Israelites’ presence just because many have been found at sites identified as Israelite? If you think they are, how do you avoid the pitfall of circular argumentation, which is implied in this reasoning? Hershel Shanks argues that we might need to look for other historical evidence before we draw conclusions of ethnicity from the floor plans of early Iron Age houses in Biblical lands.

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