We’ve begun the final season of work at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Here are some photos with brief descriptions of what’s going on.
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.
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.
(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.)
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?
-Coordinates or Google Earth screenshot, please?
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.
Hah, last year when they were testing area W, we renamed it area: “Waaay down there”. I hope they got you a closer dirt pile this time.
How exciting! I’ll be watching for more blog updates 🙂
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.
This area might explain Dagan’s Iron IIb-c finds. http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_143131374.pdf
And let’s not forget to link to Dagan’s original article- http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_143131548.pdf
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.
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.