The website for the Elah Fortress (aka Khirbet Qeiyafa) just got a makeover. Besides the new look, it includes:
- Photos of the partially-reconstructed western gate.
- A nice summary of the geography and history of the site, especially as it pertains to Israel and Philistia during the early 10th-century B.C. (David’s reign in the Bible).
- A list of suggested identifications for the site, including evidence for the project leaders’ conclusion that it is the biblical city of Sha’araim.
- A high-res version of the 4-minute promotional video for the excavation.
- Photo galleries of the site and excavation, including the large ostracon (inscribed pottery shard) discovered last summer.
- The Ostracon Game – “If you’ve been tracking the Sha’arayim Ostracon, we have a surprise for you! Watch this page as we reveal letters from the Ostracon and invite you to participate in interpreting the text, together with epigrapher Dr. Hagai Misgav… (target date – July 15, 2009).”
The ostracon is believed to be the earliest Hebrew inscription discovered to date. Whatever its content, it is significant.
I’ve posted previously on the Elah Fortress and the historical significance of the ostracon. You can review them here.
On a side note, I plan to join the second half of this summer’s excavation in mid-July. It will be good to meet Prof. Yossi Garfinkel, Barnea Selavan, David Willner, and the rest of the staff. I also look forward to getting my hands dirty at the ancient Elah Fortress.