A sling stone find at Khirbet Qeiyafa

Grady Persell, who is traveling with me, found a sling stone at Khirbet Qeiyafa this past Thursday.

Grady Persell holding a sling stone he found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. It was discovered in the casemate city wall. Photo by Luke Chandler.

Many who see sling stones are surprised at their large size. Perhaps some children's songs and stories about David lead us to regard them as much smaller. Sling stones were weapons of war, capable of killing opponents from a distance. Imagine this stone flying toward your head at 60 or 70 miles per hour. Quite nasty. Photo by Luke Chandler.

This is not the first sling stone found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Several were found earlier this season and several were also found last year. Still, to find a sling stone where David fought Goliath is always nice!

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
This entry was posted in 2010 Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, Biblical Archaeology, Khirbet Qeiyafa and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A sling stone find at Khirbet Qeiyafa

  1. Timothy Chandler says:

    Is Paque wearing a HEADDRESS!!!!

    • lukechandler says:

      He would call it a simple, effective Middle Eastern method of keeping the sun off one’s neck. No doubt he’ll enjoy expounding on that with you once he returns home.

  2. Pingback: Discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa (#2) | Luke Chandler's Blog

  3. Jimmy Stewart says:

    But how do you know that is a sling stone compared to other stones?

  4. jpvdgiessen says:

    The question from Jimmy is very interesting, any ideas?

    • lukechandler says:

      I apparently forgot to get back to this one! Must have stepped away for a moment on a busy day and forgotten to respond.

      Any archaeological site in Israel has an abundance of rocks in all sizes. A sling stone is quickly recognizable by its remarkably smooth, spherical shape. It is clearly manmade, especially when compared with other stones. Other types of worked stones such as loom weights and whetting stones are easy to identify in the field, even for first-timers. Sling stones needed to be smooth and balanced to fly straight. A rough surface or an uneven shape “wobbles” the trajectory, limiting the slinger’s range and accuracy. Armies produced large quantities of stones that were soft enough to reshape yet dense enough to avoid shattering on impact. (Shattering disperses the stone’s kinetic energy, greatly reducing its wounding/killing power.)

      In the biblical account in 1 Samuel 17, David did not have time to work a stone into perfect shape. He found the best ones he could in a creek full of water-smoothed stones. Clearly, at least one of those stones was up to the job.

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