New book on questions re: Khirbet Qeiyafa and ancient Judah

There is a new book on the debates surrounding Khirbet Qeiyafa, a recently excavated city dating to the time of King David. The quantity and quality of the finds from Kh. Qeiyafa have reignited discussion over the political, religious, and societal development of ancient Judah in the time of the earliest biblical kings.

The book is titled Debating Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in Judah from the Time of King David. Two excavation reports on the Qeiyafa excavations have already been published with more to come. The authors intend this new book to serve as “a comprehensive interim report” on discussions that have arisen over the findings.

Order your copy here. Details and contents are below.

Debating Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in Judah from the Time of King David by Yosef Garfinkel, Igor Kreimerman and Peter Zilberg. © 2016.

Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 269 pages and 95 figures.
17.8 x 25.4 cm,   hard cover,  ISBN 978-965-221-106-4

Synopsis: The fieldwork at Khirbet Qeiyafa lasted seven seasons, from 2007 to 2013. This book, written at the end of the excavation phase, summarizes the main results, supplies answers to various issues concerning the site that have been raised over the last few years, and presents a comprehensive interim report. The authors use this opportunity to discuss various methodological issues that relate to archaeology and the biblical tradition, and how to combine the two.

Price: $40  ($30 IES members)  + $20 airmail postage.
To order contact:

Contents of the book
List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1. Archaeological Field Work
1.2. Dating the Site
1.3. Analysis of Finds
1.4. Publication of Archaeological Data
1.5. Historical Archaeology

Part I: Khirbet Qeiyafa in Context

Chapter 2. The Current State of Research: Scientific Paradigms Concerning King David
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Scientific Paradigms of King David

Chapter 3. The Archaeology of Khirbet Qeiyafa
3.1. The Site and its History of Research
3.2. The Iron Age City
3.3. The Construction of the Iron Age City
3.4. Radiometric Dating of the Iron Age City
3.5. The Pottery Assemblage
3.6. Metal and Stone Tools
3.7. Exchange Networks
3.8. Scarabs, Seals and Other Small Finds
3.9. Inscriptions
3.10. Animal Bones
3.11. Cultic Activities
3.12. Destruction and Abandonment
3.13. Summary

Part II: Methodological Considerations

Chapter 4. What is a Scientific Explanation?

Chapter 5. The Bible and Archaeology: Methodological Remarks
5.1. Walking on the Path of Biblical Archaeology: Some Remarks on the History of Research
5.2. Use and Misuse of Biblical Traditions in Archaeology

Part III: Debating Khirbet Qeiyafa

Chapter 6. The Debate on the Stratigraphy
6.1. The City Wall
6.2. The Two Gates
6.3. The Later Peripheral Wall on the East

Chapter 7. The Debate on Relative Chronology
7.1. How Should Transitional Periods be Defined?
7.2. The Pottery Assemblage
7.3. Methodological Considerations

Chapter 8. The Debate on Absolute Chronology
8.1. The Iron Age Chronology Debate
8.2. Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Absolute Chronology
8.3. The Methodological Problems of the Low Chronology

Chapter 9. The Debate on Writing and Language (Peter Zilberg)
9.1. The Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon
9.2. The Debate on the Ostracon’s Language
9.3. The ʾIšbaʿal Inscription

Chapter 10. The Debate on Ethnic and Political Affiliation
10.1. Methodological Aspects of Ethnic and Political Identifications
10.2. The Philistine Hypothesis
10.3. The Canaanite Hypothesis
10.4. The Israelite or Judahite Hypothesis

Chapter 11. The Debate on the Ancient Name of Khirbet Qeiyafa
11.1. How Can Ancient Names be Reconstructed?
11.2. The Case Study of Khirbet Qeiyafa

Chapter 12. The Debate on the Historical Context: The “Kingdom of Saul”

Part IV: The Contribution of Khirbet Qeiyafa to Iron Age Archaeology and History

Chapter 13. Khirbet Qeiyafa and the Archaeology of the Tenth Century BCE
13.1. Daily Material Culture
13.2. Iron Age Chronology
13.3. The Tripartite Division of Iron Age IIA
13.4. Surveys and Reconstructed Settlement Patterns
13.5. Urbanization Processes
13.6. Royal Architecture
13.7. Trade
13.8. Writing
13.9. The Three Cultic Rooms
13.10. The Absence of Figurines
13.11. Was Judah a State in the Late Eleventh/Early Tenth Centuries BCE?

Chapter 14. The Biblical Tradition, Khirbet Qeiyafa and King David
14.1. Prehistory, Protohistory and History in Biblical Traditions: History Starts with David
14.2. Did David Kill Goliath near Khirbet Qeiyafa?
14.3. The Judean City at Khirbet Qeiyafa
14.4. United Kingdom or Kingdom of Judah?
14.5. Central Place Theory and the Early Kingdom of Judah
14.6. The Historical King David
14.7. Architecture and Power in the Early Kingdom of Judah
14.8. Concluding Remarks


Cover of the new book. (Courtesy of the Israel Exploration Society)

Cover of the “Debating Khirbet Qeiyafa” volume. (Courtesy of the Israel Exploration Society)


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 with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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