This post is in response to a comment left by Michael Grisanti on my post from January 12th. That entry featured some excellent aerial photographs of Khirbet Qeiyafa at the end of the 2011 dig season, particularly of Area C along the southern portion of the site.
Michael asked where the Qeiyafa ostracon was discovered. It was found in the 2008 dig season in a room near the Area B gate, on the western side of the site facing Tel Azekah.
The ostracon was excavated in the morning of July 15, 2008. It came from a level dated to Iron IIA, around the early 10th century B.C. When the ink inscription was recognized that afternoon arrangements were immediately made to transport the ostracon to the Hebrew University’s lab in Jerusalem for cleaning and analysis. Dr. Haggai Misgav, the epigrapher who first analyzed the inscription, determined it to be Hebrew written in what he initially called a “Proto-Canaanite” script. A number of letters are fully faded, making translation very difficult. (Here are posts dating back to the ostracon’s discovery, a short video of an initial analysis, Misgav’s initial translation, and an alternative translation that depends heavily on reconstructed letters.) Scholars are still divided on the translation of the inscription.
For some reason I do not have a good close-up photo of the actual room. Hopefully the photos I’ve posted here will help anyone visiting the site to identify where the ostracon was discovered.