The site identified as the most eroded site in Israel is Tell Jemmeh, located on the bank of the Nahal Besor about 7 miles (12 km) due south of the city of Gaza. The site was identified as biblical Gerar by W. J. Phythian-Adams and Sir Flinders Petrie. Benjamin Mazar’s suggestion that Tell Jemmeh is Yurza is now commonly accepted. Yurza is mentioned in Egyptian and Assyrian texts but not in the Bible. The source of the quotation is the “Jemmeh, Tell” article by the late Gus W. Van Beek in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, volume 3, page 677.

We had a number of good responses in the comments yesterday, all of which show that there are many severely eroded tells in Israel. The correct answer was given by Dr. Carl Rasmussen, but if you’re feeling bad that you lost out, you can take comfort in the fact that you lost to someone who has written one of the best Bible atlases!

Tell Jemmeh side washed out by Nahal Besor, tb050701352
Tell Jemmeh, showing erosion caused by the Nahal Besor.
Photo from the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands,
volume 5
About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.


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