Khirbat Iskandar Back to the key sites map

Suzanne Richard,Marta D’Andrea

Khirbat Iskandar is an archaeological project sponsored by Gannon University in Erie, PA,USA, along with an international consortium of institutions. Excavations at the site spanthe years 1981-1987 and 1994-present. The site is important since its occupation range covers the entire Early Bronze Age (EBA) from ca. 3600-2000 BCE. This pivotal era witnessed the rise and fall of the first cities (urbanism) in Jordan and the southern

Levant generally, probably to be connected with (proto-) Canaanites. It is particularly the EB III urban and EB IV rural periods for which the site is most famous, given the significant cultural continuity between the two, as seen at the transition (ca. 2500 BC).The transition shows that the people of Khirbat Iskandar (unlike at many other sites) were quite resilient in surviving climate change and other factors related to the end of urbanism. They recovered, rebuilt, and renewed “urban-like” features at the site, e.g.,fortifications, a gate, monumental architecture, a cultic area, a public complex including a storeroom, and possible temple that included numerous miniatures, buried food offerings, and a range of associated features. Khirbat Iskandar is a type site for the EB IV period. Ultimately, it was abandoned around 2000 BCE and never reoccupied.