BAR 23:02, Mar/Apr 1997
Maresha Through the Years
Iron Age II (1000586 B.C.E.)
Israelites settle in Maresha. Excavations in the upper city reveal walls and fortifications from the eighth to sixth century B.C.E. The population starts to dig caves.
Exilic Period (586539 B.C.E.)
The Edomites expand into southern Judah, which comes to be known as Idumea. The Jewish population of the site is probably assimilated by the Edomites.
Persian Period (539332 B.C.E.)
Maresha becomes the most important center and the capital of Idumea. Upper city excavations reveal walls from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. Phoenicians from Sidon, on the Lebanese coast, settle in Maresha in the fourth century B.C.E.
Hellenistic Period (332112 B.C.E.)
Alexander the Great conquers Judea in 332 B.C.E.; Greeks settle in Maresha and fortify the upper city. As the population increases to between 6,000 and 10,000, the Greeks build a partially walled lower city with an extensive warren of caves.