When Loess Is More
For thousands of years, a strong wind that starts in Italy has swept talcum-like, grayish-brown loess soil into Israel from North Africa. Pottery made with loess is exceptionally delicate. During the reign of Assyrian king Essarhaddon around 669 BC, people made loess pottery so fine that it was called palaceware.
Assyrian king Essarhaddon used Tel Jemmeh as a supply base from the Mediterranean during his campaign to conquer Egypt. Tel Jemmeh, near the Mediterranean Sea, is a hill 29 m (95 ft) high, nearly half of which is accumulated archaeological debris (right). The site was settled continuously between 1800 and 300 BC and is a transition zone between the Mediterranean coast and the Negev desert.