Aren Maeir reports on several recent and one upcoming archaeological meetings in Israel.
For the retirement of Amihai Mazar, Maeir provides summaries of eleven presentations, including one by Ronnie Reich in which he:
proposed a new dating for the so-called Hezekiah tunnel. Due to his dating of a feature which he claims is the origin of the tunnel to the late 9th/early 8th centuries (“the round pool”), he believes that the tunnel could only have been made at a time earlier than Hezekiah. If I may note, now that there is a suggestion to date this tunnel to after Hezekiah (as I mentioned here) and now this suggestion to before, I think a defense of poor Hezekiah is required…
Another presentation of note was that of Israel Finkelstein who
reviewed the long debate that Ami and Israel have had on the chronology of the Iron Age, and, bottom line, suggested that they have both now reached the point where they have almost met in the middle. Time will tell…
Another conference honored the memory of Hanan Eshel, and Maeir writes briefly on a few of the presentations. Ami Mazar presented a paper on seven 10th- and 9th-century inscriptions from his excavations at Tel Rehov. A paper by Shmuel Ahituv on the Kuntillet Ajrud inscriptions proposed that
the Asherah refers to an object and NOT to a female deity, partner of YHWH – as opposed to most scholars who have dealt with this topic.
Finally, Maeir provides information about the Annual Archaeological Conference in Israel, which will be held on April 14th at Bar-Ilan University.
Thank you, Prof. Maeir, for serving us so well with these reports.