The slow pace of recent blogging here is going to be reduced further in the next few weeks. This morning I finished a project I’ve been working on for years, and that puts me in a good position ahead of summer travels. I’ll have more later on the project (whose intended audience is you if you read this blog), but for now I’ll suggest some excavation blogs that might be of interest this summer.
If something exciting comes up, I may miss it but you won’t.
At the top of the list is the Tell es-Safi/Gath weblog. Aren Maeir is not only running the show, but he posts very regularly on the latest discoveries and progress at the dig. For instance, his entry today is entitled “Update for 16/7/09 – another temple????” and he writes:
Cynthia’s team is also on top of the 9th cent. destruction level, but more importantly, they appear to have began to uncover a large building that is situated just below the 9th cent. building in which we found the interesting collection of cultic items two years ago. This building has so far revealed to very large pillar bases and some very nice brick work. Although it is a bit early to say, this might very well be a large public building, and perhaps, who knows, a temple. Time will tell….
Elsewhere, you can read daily updates excavations along the coast of Israel (somebody got smart and figured that you’re going to recruit more volunteers if you’re near the beach!): in the south, the Ashkelon excavations and in the north, the Tel Kabri dig.
A couple of volunteers at the Gezer excavation discuss their travels more than the excavation, especially since they’ve been sworn to secrecy. Apparently a four-room house was among the discoveries.
A personal account of excavation at Tall Dhiban is coming to a close.
Blogs that may be resurrected in the future include the Elah Fortress (Khirbet Qeiyafa/Shaaraim) blog and the Tel Dan blog.
If I missed an interesting one, let us know in the comments.
2 thoughts on “Summer Excavation Blogs”
I suggest that people interested in the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavation consider the following information relating to the Philistines:
I am not an archaeologist or professional scholar; however, I have frequently studied ancient history and archaeology and evidence related to ideas of Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) since 1991. I believe that some of the main ideas in Velikovsky’s ‘Ages in Chaos’, ‘Oedipus and Akhnaton’, ‘Ramses II and His Time’, and ‘Peoples of the Sea’ are correct or probably correct. Acceptance of these ideas would require revising the dates of the Hyksos period in Egypt and of 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Dynasty and other pharaohs by three to eight centuries. One of these ideas is the idea that the Pereset in the reliefs of Ramses III at Medinet Habu were not Philistines, but Persians.
There are many reasons supporting Velikovsky’s conclusion that the reliefs of Medinet Habu are about events of the fourth century BC, not the twelfth; and that the reliefs show soldiers of the Persian empire and Greek mercenaries, not “Sea Peoples” of the 12th century BC. Ramses III would be identified with the fourth century BCE Egyptian king Nectanebo I (Nectanebis) who defended Egypt against an invasion by sea and by land by Persian soldiers and Greek mercenaries in approximately 374-373 BCE. However the Egyptian ‘r’ could be pronounced as an ‘l’, and the Pereset have often been referred to as Peleset by archaeologists who have assumed that they were Philistines. I think that the identification of the Pereset with the Philistines has been a huge mistake.
I do not dispute that the Philistines may have come from some other land, perhaps in the Aegean region, at some time in the latter half of the second millenium BC. However, I seriously doubt that there was a destructive mass migration of “Sea Peoples” that swept around the eastern Mediterranean and invaded Egypt in the early 12th century BC. Interested readers can read of the idea that the Pereset in the reliefs of Medinet Habu were Persians, not Philistines, in Velikovsky’s ‘Peoples of the Sea’, and at the below internet address. Books supporting some ideas of Velikovsky on revising Egyptian chronology include ‘Empire of Thebes: Ages in Chaos Revisited’ (2006) by Emmet Sweeney and ‘Unwrapping the Pharaohs’ (2006) by John Ashton and David Down. David Down is a field archaeologist and editor of the Australian magazine ‘Archaeological Diggings’.
It is interesting that there was a satrapy of the Persian empire whose name meant ‘Those of the Sea’. When Ramses III referred to his enemies as Those of the Sea (literally ‘those of the deep green’), he seems to have been referring to enemies whose leadership (e.g., the satrap/general Pharnabazus) had come from the area of the satrapy in Anatolia called Those of the Sea (‘Tyaiy Drayahya’ in Persian). This appears to be what Ramses III meant by ‘Those of the Sea’ – not hordes of mysterious “Sea Peoples” in the 12th century BC.
In case the internet address that I provided above is not fully visible on screen, I am mentioning here that it ends in the word 'headgear':
The above is an interesting webpage, in part because it allows viewers to visually compare two types of Pereset (Medinet Habu) headgear to two types of headgear in Persian art.