Discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa (#2)

Let’s move into the realm of weapons.

Khirbet Qeiyafa was a fortified settlement on a hostile border (Philistia and Judah), so we expect to find evidence of weapons during the excavation. A few sling stones have been unearthed at the site, like this one and this one.

Here is a well-preserved bronze axe head that was found towards the end of the 2010 season.

A bronze axe head from the Iron IIa period, discovered around a cultic building at Khirbet Qeiyafa in 2010.

It was discovered around a “cultic” (religious) building. Was this axe intended for military action or for something related to a religious ritual, such as cutting wood or butchering animals? Notice the ash in front of the axe head. What was the source of it? Something obviously burned in this spot. Is the ash residue from the handle or from some other source? Maybe we’ll have more information when the official excavation report is published.

The axe head was a bit heavy to hold in spite of its small size. (For scale, observe the boot print at the top right of the photo.)

We also found a couple of arrowheads in an adjacent building.  (Sorry, I don’t have those photos.) Both arrowheads came to rest pointing the same way, indicating they were fired from the direction of the Elah valley to the south. This is evidence of an assault on the city from that direction.

A couple of Iron Age arrowheads were found in this square. Both had been fired from the direction of the valley of Elah, visible in the background. An assault on this city came from that direction and possibly destroyed the site.

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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, General Archaeology, Khirbet Qeiyafa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa (#2)

  1. Pingback: Report on Khirbet Qeiyafa — the Elah Fortress | Ferrell's Travel Blog

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