fbpx

Philippe Bohstrom reports in Haaretz on the discovery of a large royal structure immediately adjacent to the Solomonic city gate.

A palatial building dating to the era of King Solomon 3000 years ago has been discovered in the royal city of Gezer, though there is no evidence which of the Israelite kings lived there, if any.
The monumental building dates to the 10th century BCE, the era associated with King Solomon, who is famed for bringing wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom of Israel and Judah. The American archaeological team also found a layer featuring Philistine pottery, lending credence to the biblical account of them living in the city until being vanquished by King David.
The complex features a large central courtyard, like contemporary palace-like buildings found throughout the southern Levant, including at Hatzor and Megiddo. Though there’s no telling who ruled from there, if anybody did, the edifice is significantly larger than the size of ordinary houses of the time, excavation co-director Prof. Steve Ortiz, representing the Tandy Museum of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary of Fort Worth, Texas, told Haaretz. Among the features not found in usual domestic structures is ashlar masonry – large rectangular-shaped monolithic hewn stones – in the corners of rooms, Ortiz said.
[…]
The main feature is two parallel long rooms, or courtyards, surrounded on all sides by various rooms, numbering at least 15. The palace has two entrances from the east and west. The entrance from the west also connects this building to the monumental six-chambered gate associated by most scholars with Solomon. This entrance is more robustly built than the rest of the building: The walls are constructed with two to three rows of stones wide, built of roughly dressed field stones somewhat smaller in size than those used in the rest of the building.

The article contains photos and more background about the historical importance of Gezer along with a little bit of the reasoning for dating this stratum to the 10th, and not 9th, century.

HT: Joseph Lauer

Gezer aerial from west, ws073114058b
Gezer from the west, showing area of palace excavations
Photo by Bill Schlegel
Share:

Archaeologists have been sifting debris discarded from illegal excavations on the Temple Mount for more than a decade now. Yesterday they announced the discovery of a seal dating to the 10th century BC. From a press release from the Temple Mount Sifting Project:

“The seal is the first of its kind to be found in Jerusalem,” stated Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “The dating of the seal corresponds to the historical period of the Jebusites and the conquest of Jerusalem by King David, as well as the construction of the Temple and the royal official compound by his son, King Solomon… What makes this discovery particularly significant is that it originated from upon the Temple Mount itself.”
The seal was discovered by Matvei Tcepliaev, a ten year old boy, visiting the Temple Mount Sifting Project from Russia, and was only recently deciphered by archeologists. Since the project’s inception in 2004, more than 170,000 volunteers from Israel and around the world have taken part in the sifting, representing an unprecedented phenomenon in the realm of archaeological research.
[…]
“The discovery of the seal testifies to the administrative activity which took place upon the Temple Mount during those times,” said Barkay. “All the parallel seals with similar stylistic designs have been found at sites in Israel, among them Tel Beit Shemesh, Tel Gezer, and Tel Rehov, and were dated to the 11th – 10th centuries BCE,” asserted Barkay.
“Upon the base of the seal appear the images of two animals, one on top of the other, perhaps representing a predator and its prey. Additionally, the seal is perforated, thus enabling one to hang it from a string,” said Barkay.
Aside from the seal, which was likely used to seal documents, hundreds of pottery sherds dating to the 10th century BCE have been discovered within the soil removed from the Temple Mount. Additionally, a rare arrowhead made of bronze and ascribed to the same period by its features, has been discovered.

The press release includes photos of the seal and other finds from the same period. The organization recently released a video which documents the success of the project in a bid to raise additional funds.

HT: Joseph Lauer

Sifting Temple Mount debris, tb110906723
The Temple Mount Sifting Project in 2006
Share:

For many years I have enjoyed taking students deep into the world of ancient Israel, exploring its land, its people, and its stories. One place that is always most rewarding is the era of Israel’s kings, for this terrain is little known and yet abounding with riches.

The chronology, however, can get people tied up real fast. That’s why I’m excited about a new
resource that maps everything out with clarity. The Regnal Chronology of the Kings of Judah and Israel: An Illustrated Guide puts every detail in its place, so with one glance you can figure out in any given year who is ruling, the king’s age and regnal year, and every extrabiblical synchronism. It truly puts everything at your fingertips.

chronology-900-850a-500

Chris McKinny has been developing this resource for many years while living, studying, and teaching in the Jerusalem area. Both the digital book and the e-poster reflect his passion for the subject, and they’re now available at an introductory price of $9.99 for the e-poster, $19.99 for the digital book (pdf), or $24.99 for both.

I encourage you to take a look. You can order it quickly and easily here. And we would appreciate it if you would tell friends, pastors, students, and teachers about it. This sort of resource is unique, and we believe there are many who will absolutely love it, if they know about it.

mckinny-poster500
Share:

For the short summary, check out Luke Chandler’s post. He includes a photo and discusses the biblical mentions of the name Ishbaal/Eshbaal.

The publication details are as follows:
Yosef Garfinkel, Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav and Saar Ganor, “The ʾIšbaʿal Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, pp. 217–33.

The article may be downloaded from academia.edu now (requires registration) or from JStor in the near future.

Here is the article’s abstract:

A new West Semitic inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa is presented. It was incised in Canaanite alphabetic script on a pottery storage jar before firing. Radiometric dating of the relevant layer has yielded a date of ca. 1020–980 B.C.E. The last few years have seen the publication of several new Semitic alphabetic inscriptions dated to the late 11th–10th centuries B.C.E. and originating at controlled excavations in Israel (Khirbet Qeiyafa, Beth Shemesh, Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi, and Jerusalem). The new inscription is an important addition to this corpus.

HT: Joseph Lauer

UPDATE (6/20): Luke Chandler has posted a follow-up, focusing on the word before Ishbaal.

qeiyafa-ishbaal
Central part of the inscription
Photo by Tal Rogovski
Share:

John Beck is a guest on Our Daily Bread: Exploring the Land of the Story: Unlocking Biblical Geography. Beck’s Discovery House Bible Atlas has just been released. Beck is interviewed about his atlas on the Good Book Blog.

The Museum of the Bible is hosting a series of lectures in Oklahoma City twice a month through July. The final event is a first-century meal.

Here’s an impressive collection of photographs of medieval stained glass illustrating the Bible.

The Palestine Exploration Fund shares some photos of field books that belonged to Charles Wilson.

There’s a new website for the Sardis Expedition.

The Israel Post has issued a stamp featuring the Cyrus Cylinder.

Juan Manuel Tebes has a lengthy summary of the debate over David and Solomon on the ASOR Blog.

Gabriel Barkay will be lecturing in Kentucky on April 30.

Hershel Shanks is on The Book and the Spade discussing the 2015 excavation season.

HT: Steven Anderson, Agade, Charles Savelle

Share:
Heidelberg Colloquium on the Subject of Aram and Israel: Cultural Interaction, Political Borders and Construction of Identity during the Early Iron Age (12th–8th Centuries BCE)

IWH Symposium, September 1-4, 2014

IWH Hauptstrasse 242, Heidelberg

Organisation: Prof. Manfred Oeming, Dr. Omer Sergi, Dr. Izaak de Hulster


Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

14:00-14:30: Introduction

14:00-14:10: Peter Comba, Manfred Oeming, Greetings

14:10-14:30: Omer Sergi and Izaak de Hulster, Historical Outline for Aram and Israel


First Session: Jordan Valley between Aram and Israel: Archaeological Perspectives
Chair: Izaak de Hulster

14:30-15:15: Amihai Mazar, Looking for Aramaean Impact in the Beth-Shean Valley in Light of the Excavations at Tel Beth Shean and Tel Rehov

15:15-16:00: Stefan Münger, Who, When, and Why–Investigating Cultural Footprints at Early Iron Age Tel Kinrot

16:30-17:15: Nava Panitz-Cohen, Aram-Maacah? Aramaeans and Israelites on the Border: Excavations at Tel Abil al-Qameh (Abel Beth Maacah) in Northern Israel

17:15-18:00: Yifat Thareani, Enemy at the Gates? The Archaeological Visibility of the Aramaeans at Dan

18:00-18:30: Discussion

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Second Session: Aspects of Material Culture between Aram and Israel
Chair: Omer Sergi

9:00-9:45: Izaak de Hulster, The Aram–Israel Border Zone: Two Comparative Iconographic Case Studies

9:45-10:30: Benjamin Sass, Aram and Israel during the Early Iron Age (12th-8th Centuries BCE): The Alphabet

11:00-11:45: Assaf Kleiman, Dating the Aramaean Campaigns to the Southern Levant: A Gradual Process of Destructions?

11:45-12:30: Aren Maeir, The Aramaean Involvement in the Southern Levant: Case Studies for Identifying the Archaeological Evidence

12:30-13:00: Discussion


Third Session: Aramaean Identity in Changing Cultural Contexts
Chair: Jan Christian Gertz

14:30-15:15: Christoph Uehlinger, What are We Looking for when dealing with ‘Identity’ and the ‘Construction of Identity’ in Levantine Societies of the Iron Age? (with an Excursus on the Bethsaida Stela)

15:15-16:00: Guy Bunnens, Tradition, Innovation and Cultural Borders in Aramaean Syria

16:30-17:15: Stefania Mazzoni, Identity and Multiculturality in the Northern Levant of the 9th-7th century B.C. with a Case Study on Tell Afis

17:15-18:00: Herbert Niehr, The Power of Language:, Language Situation and Language Politics in Sam’ al

18:00-18:30: Discussion

Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

Fourth Session: The Border Zone between Aram and Israel: Historical Reflections
Chair: Juha Pakkala

9:00-9:45: Israel Finkelstein, Aram and Israel: Some Cultural and Historical Reflections

9:45-10:30: Erhard Blum, The ‘Borders’ between Israel and Aram-Damascus in the 9th-8th Centuries BCE according to Biblical and Epigraphical Sources

11:00-11:45: Omer Sergi, Gilead between Aram and Israel: Some Historical and Historiographical Considerations

11:45-12:30: Jutta Häser, Tell Zira’a in the Iron Age

12:30-13:00: Discussion


Fifth Session: Historical Memory of Aram in Israel’s Bible
Chair: Dorothea Erbele-Küster

14:30-15:15: Manfred Oeming, “And the King of Aram was at War with Israel”– The Construction of the Aramaean as an Enemy in the Elisha Cycle 2 King 2-13.

15:15-16:00: Matthias Köckert, Jacob Cycle and the Aramaean Identity of Israel

16:30-17:15: Angelika Berlejung, Family Ties: Constructed Memories about Aram and the Aramaeans in the Old Testament – “God’s People Network”

17:15-18:00: Nili Wazana, “My Father was a Wandering Aramaean”: The Implications for Israelite Identity

18:00-18:30: Discussion

Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014

Concluding Session: Israel among the Aramaeans
Chair: Manfred Oeming

9:00-10:30: Concluding discussion

The Colloquium is supported by: Heidelberg University, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The program is available in pdf format here.

Another topic that seems relevant to this conference: Textual Witnesses to the Aramean Oppression of Israel in the Late Ninth Century. And another: Archaeological Evidence for the Aramean Route to Philistine Gath. I’ve written on both in my dissertation.

HT: Jack Sasson

Tel Chinnereth from north, tb102702025
Tell Chinnereth (Tel Kinrot) and the Sea of Galilee
Photo from volume 1
Share: