Scholarship on the east Mediterranean Early Iron Age has been marked by emphasis on the role of large-scale movement in socio-cultural change and by the frequent use of migration-related terminology. The evident richness of interregional contacts and movements in the Latest Bronze Age east Mediterranean world has encouraged a view of long-distance movement as a regular practice by this time, and thus as a potential response to disruption. Movement was a prominent feature in the traditions recounted, and for good reason. Both the archaeo-logical and the wider textual evidence leave little doubt that there were important movements, in new modes and with major impacts, during the Iron Age – particularly at the Bronze Age to Iron Age transition and in the later Iron Age/early Archaic. The appearance of alphabetic writing occurred in the context of increased movement volume and of a new emphasis on ethnicity construction.