Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1200BC Israelite lochem

Subjectlochem warrior tribesman
Culture: Hebrew/Israelite
Setting: settlement of Canaan ca.15th-13thc BC?


* Kelle 2007 p18-19 
"There is growing consensus today that Israel did not conquer the land of Canaan from the outside but emerged from the consolidation of various foreign and indigenous elements.  [...]
​    "Taken as a whole, the evidence that is available suggests that Israel and Judah originated in groups of villagers who came together for religious and political purposes in the hill country of Syria-Palestine around 1200.  Despite the H[ebrew]B[ible]/O[ld]T[estament]'s picture, their early existence probably differed little from the many similar small kingdoms emerging across the area, and simply represented yet another example of a wave of settlements going on at this time."

* Smith & Hoffman eds. 1989 p150-151 (Robert P. Carroll, "War" p147-170)
"The telling of this story [Israel's origins] reflects an ideology of 'total war' against a persistent enemy and belongs not only to the stories of Joshua's conquests (17:13), but also to a strand in the Bible of religious war.  Different strategies and tactics of war may be seen in the other desert stories, where Israel comes into conflict with neighboring states: the avoidance of war with Edom (Num. 20:14-21); the annihilation of Arad and the Negeb cities (Num. 21:14-30); the destruction of the Ammonites (Num. 21:3-35); and conflict with Moab involving the internationally famous 'seer,' Balaam (Num. 22-24).
​    "The conquest and settlement of Palestine by the Israelite tribes is told in very different ways by the books of Joshua and Judges.  Joshua presents an ideological myth of almost instant military conquest.  Beginning with the legendary circumambulation of Jericho thirteen times in seven days (including the sabbath!), and with trumpets blasting on the seventh day, Joshua lays hold of 'the whole land' (11:23) in a few chapters (6-11).
"A rather different perspective on the conquest of Palestine appears in the Book of Judges (epitomized in Judg. 1).  Throughout that book the tribes struggle, sometimes in vain, against their Canaanite opponents." ...

* Keller 1980 p168-169
"[T]he Biblical account of the occupation of the country [can be seen] as the condensed description of an extremely complicated and lengthy process which lasted for several centuries, but which the bible presents to us in compressed form concentrating it all on the person of Joshua.  In doing so, the Bible selects specific events and combines them to form a story in which the episodes do not always agree.  Some specialists even claim that an occupation, such as it is described in the Bible, never occurred and surprisingly this can be substantiated in the Bible.  After his first victories in the land of the Canaanites, Joshua assembled 'all Israel' by Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal which rise above the old town of Shechem now known as Nablus.  In connection with this event, the Bible expressly uses the words 'all Israel ... as well as the stranger, as he that was born among them' (Joshua 8:33).  How could that be the case?  Had not 'all Israel' only just arrived in the Promised Land?  What did this mention of those 'born among them' signify?  Many scholars are of the opinion that the subsequent influx of Israelites occurred in several waves.  That might be the explanation -- when the newcomers arrived, the others were already there."

* Keller 1980 p162-164 (describing archaeology on the Battle of Jericho)
"[T]he walls of Jericho had to be rebuilt during the Bronze Age no less than seventeen times.  The walls were repeatedly destroyed either by earthquakes or by erosion.  Perhaps this weakness of the walls of Jericho found expression in the Bible account of how the children of Israel, in order to conquer Jericho, merely had to shout their war cry when the priests blew the trumpets.  The middle Bronze Age city dated from the time of the Hyksos and came to an end at the same time as they, around 1550 B.C.  Thereafter Jericho remained uninhabited for about a century and a half.  It is only about the year 1400 B.C., as shown by pottery, objects found in graves and the few late Bronze Age remains of dwellings on the eastern slope of the hill, that people began to settle there once more.  This late Bronze Age town, of whose existence we have only such sparse evidence, was again deserted by its inhabitants, however, around 1325 B.C.  Did they become victims of conquerors of some kind who were subsequently absorbed in the melting-pot of 'Israel' and whose conquests were ultimately incorporated in the Biblical account of the settlement of the land?  For if it is the case that Israelites until the time of the occupation, i.e., about the middle or towards the end of the 13th century B.C., they did not need to conquer the city for they found it uninhabited!"

* Sivertsen 2009 pxiv-xv
"[N]o one has been able to point to any direct textual or archaeological evidence for the historical veracity of the stories in Exodus and Numbers.  No archaeological traces can be attributed to the early Israelites in Canaan before the early Iron Age (after 1200 B.C.E.), and there is no evidence of a distinct population of early Israelites in Egypt.  The area west of the Jordan River reveals an archaeological picture quite at odds with the biblical accounts of the Israelite journey to the Promised Land, and there is little or no evidence of the Conquest, as it is described in the book of Joshua, in the archaeological record of the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.E.) Canaan.  In short, in ways large and small, the biblical story of the Exodus, the sojourn in the wilderness, and the conquest of Canaan does not agree with the archaeological picture that has emerged in the past forty-five years."The Exodus, if it has any historical reality, must have occurred no later than the thirteenth century B.C.E., for toward the end of that century the famous stela of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah mentions an entity 'Israel' already in existence in Canaan."

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Sivertsen 2009 p118
"Late Bronze Age texts contain many reports of Habiru or 'Apiru in Canaan and elsewhere.  ... [T]he term probably included the Israelites but was not limited to them.  During this period the term 'Apiru developed a more negative meaning than it had had in the Middle Bronze Age.  It now referred to bands of uprooted people who came down from the highlands into the lowland areas of Canaan and caused trouble for some local rulers and acted as mercenaries for others.  Jephthah the Gileadite (Judges 11) was a typical 'Apiru of the Late Bronze Age.  The son of a prostitute, Jephthah was forced by his legitimate brothers to flee Gilead.  He became the head of an outlaw band, but when Ammonites attacked from the area of today's Ammon, Jordan, the people of Gilead asked Jephthah and his band to defend them.  After he beat the Ammonites Jephthah fought with the Ephraimites (Judges 12), although they were, like himself, fellow Israelites.
    "The most interesting reference to the 'Apiru appears in the early fourteenth century B.C.E. Amarna correspondence from Egypt.  These clay tablets, found in the royal city of the pharaoh Akhenaten, include many letters sent by Canaanite rulers to the Egyptian court.  These rulers often complain to their Egyptian overlord about raiding Habiru and plead for contingents of Egyptian archers to help defend against these marauders.  In one of them, the ruler of Shechem is accused of being in league with the 'Apiru.  Another letter from another Canaanite leader accuses the ruler of Sechem [sic] of being an 'Apiru himself.  Several generations later the 'Apiru were still active around Shechem, much as the Israelites are reported to have been during the time of Abimelech (Judges 9)."

* Dougherty, Haskew, Jestice, & Rice 2008 p39 caption
"The forces fielded by the Israelites (and many other nations of the time) were simply tribesmen who turned up with whatever weapons and equipment they possessed.  A few men had swords or helmets, but most were armed with the most basic gear: a spear and shield.  Nore were these well-drilled spearmen fighting in a phalanx-like formation.  They were bound by kinship, loyalty to their tribe or to friends who fought alongside them, and by the charisma of their leaders."


* Schwartz 1990 p150
"The spears and javelins used by the Israelites when they entered Canaan had wooden shafts and metal points.  Warriors used the spear for thrusting, while the smaller, lighter-weight javelin could also be thrown."


* Sivertsen 2009 p146
"The men of 'Israel' depicted in the Karnak reliefs are dressed like other Canaanites in long gowns; the shasu wear kilts."

* Russell 1983 p40
"The major difference from the costume lines already seen as basic to the various civilizations of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley is that Hebrew costume has the large, enveloping draperies still found among the desert peoples of ArabiaMorocco, and Algeria.  This use of full, flowing garments protects the head and body from the fierce heat of the sun and the penetration of blowing sands.
    "In early periods the loincloth was frequently the sole garment; later it was merely an undergarment."


* Schwartz 1990 p150
"Early swords were generally short, straight, double edged, and used for stabbing in hand-to-hand combat.  Judges 3:16 (TLB) describes Ehud's dagger: 'Before he went on this journey he made himself a double-edged dagger eighteen inches long and hid it in his clothing, strapped against his right thigh.'
    "During the Israelite conquest of the Promised Land [CONTRA Kelle 2007 p18-19], a sickle-shaped sword became common, for it could be easily swung from the chariot.  But by the time David fought Goliath, the long sword, introduced to the area by the Sea Peoples, would have been in the Philistines' hands."

​* Burton 1884 p184
"We gather from the Hebrew writings that the Sword was originally of copper: hence the allusion to its brightness and its glittering: this would be followed by bronze, and lastly by iron, ground upon the whetstone (Deut. xxxii.41).  It was not of flint; the 'sharp knives' alluded to in Joshua (v.2), were mere silex-flakes like the Egyptian.  The Sword was used by foot-soldiers and horsemen, the latter adding to the 'light Sword' a 'glittering spear' (Nahum iii.3).  The 'Chereb' was not a large or heavy weapon, and we may safely assume that its forms were those of the Egyptian hieroglyphs.  The weight of Goliath's Sword is unfortunately not given (I Sam. xvii.45), like that of his spear and his armour; nor are we told anything about the blade which David refused because he had not proved it (ibid. 39).  But the ease with which the son of Jesse drew out of the sheath thereof and used the Philistine's 'Chereb,' suggests a normal size and weight (ibid. 51 and xxi.9).  It was much admired, for the victor said, 'There is none like that' (I Sam. xxi.9).  From the same chapter and verse we learn that the blade was 'wrapped up in a cloth,' still an Eastern practice, 'behind the ephod' or priest's robe.  And the fact of a man falling upon his Sword (I Sam. xxxi.4, 5) shows that the blade was stiff, short, and straight, like the Egyptian leaf-blade.  Ehud the Benjamite, when about to murder Eglon, King of Moab (Jud. iii.16), 'made a two-edged Sword-dagger of a cubit length' (or eighteen inches), apparently without a sheath.  The frequent mention of the double-edged Sword (or straight cut-and-thrust?) suggests that there were also single-edged blades, back-Swords or, perhaps, falchions.  It is hard to understand why Meyrick tells us that the Jews wore the Sword 'suspended in front, in the Asiatic style.'  Ehud (ibid. 16, 21) girt his weapon under his raiment upon his right thigh, and drew it with his left hand.  Again, we read, 'Gird thy sword upon thy thigh' (Ps. xlv.3); and as Joab proceeded to assassinate Amasa (2 Sam. xx.8), the 'garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.'  The allusions to the oppressing Sword (Jer. xlvi.16; l.25) recall the Assyrian emblem of the Sword and the Dove, which are both figured in one image.  Perhaps we must so understand the Egyptian Ritual of the Dead: 'I came forth as his child from his Sword.'  Apparently the Chereb was worn, as by the civilised Greeks and Romans, only on emergencies and not, like the chivalry of Europe, habitually in peaceful towns."