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Sakan, Tell es-

By Pierre de MiroschedjiMoain Sadeq

INTRODUCTION

Located on the northern bank of Naḥal Besor (Wadi ‘Azza), about 5 km south of Gaza City and only 500 m north of Tell el-‘Ajjul, Tell es-Sakan is an artificial mound covering 12–20 a. and rising more than 10 m above the Coastal Plain. Entirely covered by a dune, the site remained undetected despite careful survey of the area in previous decades. It was discovered by chance in 1998 during construction work on a residential complex. Deep foundation trenches dug by large machinery for the construction of high-rise buildings revealed several layers of exceptionally well-preserved mud-brick architecture, together with an abundance of archaeological material dating exclusively to the Early Bronze Age, between c. 3300 and 2300 BCE. Tell es-Sakan is the only settlement of this period presently known in the Gaza Strip. Located on the southwestern border of Canaan, near a ford on the road leading to Egypt, the site offers a unique opportunity to examine the interaction between Egypt and Palestine during the fourth and third millennia BCE.

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