The 2013 Khirbet Qeiyafa Excavation – Day #1

We’ve begun the final season of work at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Here are some photos with brief descriptions of what’s going on.

Prof. Yossi Garfinkel giving an overview of the site. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

Prof. Yossi Garfinkel giving an overview of the site to the dig volunteers. This group consists of people from their teens to their 60′s. For most of the group, this is their first experience at an archaeological dig. A few of the college students are Archaeology, Anthropology, or Religious Studies majors, but there are also students studying Music (a French Horn player!) and Nursing, among other things. We have educators, a CPA, and even a career chemist who tried it for the first time last summer and got hooked. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

My work square for this week is down the hill a bit from the ancient city. It’s some kind of building that so far dates to around the time of King Josiah in the 7th century BC. This is around 300 years later than the city above. It has some big, heavy stones in the outer walls. Was it a military watchtower? Was it built on top of an older structure? Was it destroyed violently or simply abandoned? What kinds of things are buried inside? Those are some of the questions we’re looking to answer over the next few days.

My work area this week. We're actually digging to the right (east) of this photo. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

My work area this week. We’re actually digging to the right (east) of this photo at the moment. Once we’ve clarified the architecture, we’ll have a better idea of what this may be. Uncovering objects on the floor level will no doubt be helpful. What are we going to find here? (Photo by Luke Chandler)

We started our work just to the right of the above photo. Those large rocks you see on the right side are actually inside the building. We found the last outer wall almost immediately, as you can see below. Once this new area reaches the depth of the rest of the building, we should be close to the floor level and (hopefully) start finding the good stuff.

l (Photo by Luke Chandler)

Our work area. You can see the wall we are uncovering. It sits just below the current ground level, which means nothing has probably been built here since this tower/house was destroyed, probably more than 2,600 years ago. We’ll find out more as we go down.  (Photo by Luke Chandler)

A dig volunteer examining an AD 1st century Jewish coin found on the first day of excavations. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

A dig volunteer examining an AD 1st century Jewish coin found on the first day of excavations. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

(Something’s buggy with the connection here. If the photo below does not appear on your screen, click the space and a nice version should appear for your viewing pleasure.)

The coin from the Jewish revolt against Rome. These kinds of coins were stamped with the year of the war in which they were minted. This one looks to be from either the second or third year of the war - either AD 67 or 68. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

A coin from the Jewish revolt against Rome. These kinds of coins were stamped with the year of the war in which they were minted. This one looks to be from either the second or third year of the war – either AD 67 or 68. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

Up on the hill, two groups are finishing up areas from last year. One, Area F, is a building with pillars and a paved floor. This means it’s likely a public building of some kind. It has at least a couple of levels separated by hundreds of years. We’ll know more in a few weeks. The other work zone, Area A, is part of the central fortress from 3,000 years ago. Maybe there’s something really nice inside such an important building.

By the way, my square is Area W. We’re outside the city, which throws off our neat little alphabetic sequence. (We’ve worked areas A, B, C, D, E, F… and W!)

Next year we will begin a new excavation at Lachish, one of the premier archaeological sites in the Bible Lands. If you are interested in being a part of that, start planning now for the possibility. Begin saving some money and plan for a trip around late June or mid-July. The exact dates of next year’s trip are not yet known but they will likely fall within that time frame. Are you wishing you were here digging excavating experiencing the biblical past right now?

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About lukechandler

I live in Temple Terrace, Florida, with my lovely wife Melanie and our four children. I am a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ in Temple Terrace, Florida, and hold an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History. I'm active in English and Spanish language gospel work and in archaeological excavations in Israel. You can join one of my tours to Europe or the Bible Lands. Learn more at my tour website: www.LukeChandlerTours.com.
This entry was posted in 2013 Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, General Archaeology, Israel, Khirbet Qeiyafa, Lachish, New Discoveries and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The 2013 Khirbet Qeiyafa Excavation – Day #1

  1. pithom says:

    My work square for this week is down the hill a bit from the ancient city.

    -Coordinates or Google Earth screenshot, please?

  2. lukechandler says:

    The wi-fi here is not making things easy for apps like Google Earth. Area W is maybe 70 or 80 meters SW of the city, just south of the dirt road leading up to the site.

  3. Meredith Broadwell says:

    How exciting! I’ll be watching for more blog updates :)

  4. leafmold2 says:

    Wow thanks for keeping everything fresh. I know it’s quite a commitment to make posts after such long, strenuous days. Interesting that sue F is one of the areas with continued excavation. I am for sure praying for the peace of all Israel considering recent event in the south and golan.

  5. pithom says:

    This area might explain Dagan’s Iron IIb-c finds. http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_143131374.pdf

  6. pithom says:

    And let’s not forget to link to Dagan’s original article- http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_143131548.pdf

  7. lukechandler says:

    Area W cannot be the source of Dagan’s Iron IIb-c claims. In his article, Dagan claims the Iron IIb-c sherds comprised the majority of finds on the summit (70-71). Six years of excavation in that area have uncovered no Iron IIb-c vessels. The pottery assemblage has been published or presented several times and no one has identified pottery from the -b or -c periods.
    Dagan’s survey of the western slopes down to the stone wall includes the vicinity of Area W. He mentions the area producing Iron II sherds but is not specific on the phase (71). As it currently stands, Area W is a small, solitary structure that has produced a small amount of Iron II-c pottery. From Dagan’s article, Area W is not in the correct area (the city on the summit), and does not include nearly enough pottery to explain his ceramic conclusions.

  8. lukechandler says:

    Correction on the location: I was jet-lagged the first excavation day and reckoning was a little off. Area W is more like ca. 150 meters out and downhill from the city wall.

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