Archaeological Data and Extra-Biblical Sources Dan is situated in the far north of Israel, about 40 km north of Lake Galilee, at the foot of Mt Hermon. This ancient town has been identied with Tell el-Qadi,1 and its original name was Laish. It is this name that is mentioned in Egyptian documents of the 18th Dynasty, in letters from Mari and in the list of towns conquered by Thutmose III.2 In the Hellenistic era, this place, lying next to Caesarea Philippi, was given a new name: Antiochia. The oldest settlement in the tell is linked to the Neolithic era, but its true history begins in the Early Bronze Age. There was a large and wealthy town here in the third millennium BCE. In the Middle Bronze Age a fortied town arose there whose outlines are visible to this day. Settlement in Dan-Laish lasted uninterruptedly throughout the Bronze Age. In strata dated from the twelfth century BCE, despite the lack of any signs of destruction, there are noticeable changes in the material culture of the town; these changes took place with the arrival of the Danites.3 The development of urban-style construction can be dated from that time. Further phases of the town’s construction and the reinforcement of its fortications occurred during the tenth and ninth centuries BCE. In strata from the ninth century there are the remains of cult installations (bamah) with a stone altar and traces of ashes. Despite the Assyrian invasion, the town developed without hindrance until the time of the Babylonian captivity. Unfortunately, little is known about the town during the Babylonian 1. A. Biran (ed.), Dan I: A Chronicle of the Excavations, the Pottery Neolithic, the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age Tombs, Jerusalem, 1996; idem (ed.), Dan II: A Chronicle of the Excavations and the Late Bronze Age “Mycenaean” Tomb, Jerusalem, 2002. 2. A. Biran, ABD, s.v. “Dan (place).” 3. Ibid.