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Understanding the History of Ancient Israel$
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H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264010

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.001.0001

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The History of Ancient Israel: What Directions Should we Take?

The History of Ancient Israel: What Directions Should we Take?

Chapter:
(p.24) (p.25) 3 The History of Ancient Israel: What Directions Should we Take?
Source:
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel
Author(s):

HANS M. BARSTAD

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.003.0003

There can be little doubt about the enormous importance of the work of Fernand Braudel and the French Annales tradition for the academic study of history. Together with its many ramifications, the Annales ‘school’ constitutes what is known today as the (French) ‘New History’. In France, the scientific nature of history was never really doubted. History formed (as it does today) a part of the social sciences. For this reason, Braudel stressed the necessity of using empirical data, often quantifiable, to be able to identify the structures underlying social and cultural phenomena. Later, this was referred to as histoire sérielle. The reason why Annales should be considered in some detail in the present context is that some biblical researchers have claimed that the Braudel heritage may be useful for the study of the history of ancient Israel. Knowledge of climate, biology, geography, population movements, and economic trends in Palestine during the Iron Age is relevant to the student of the history of ancient Israel.

Keywords:   Fernand Braudel, France, Annales, ancient Israel, history, social sciences, Palestine, Iron Age

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