An illuminating social history of ancient Israel, "Chieftains of the Highland Clans" offers an unusually thorough and original reconstruction of Israelite society prior to the rise of the monarchy around 1000 B.C. Using the latest archaeological research and anthropological theories, Robert Miller presents an intriguing picture of what life was like in early Israel.
Ethnographic evidence from diverse cultures suggests the "complex chiefdom" model as the most appropriate for the archaeology of twelfth- and eleventh-century highland Palestine. This model details the economic and political realities of prestate societies with ascribed rank and hierarchical political control. As he applies and fine-tunes the complex chiefdom model, Miller illustrates areas of potential correspondence and contradiction between his reconstruction and the biblical text. Students of archaeology, Palestine, and the Hebrew Bible will not want to miss Miller's fresh and fascinating conclusions about the sociopolitical nature of early Israel.