Live Blog: Question Period on Qeiyafa

20 11 2008

Tom Levy stood up first: cautious with small number of radiocarbon dates, need more, we have 35 high precision dates from Edom dating to the 10th century.

Bill Dever: pottery the same as post philistia pre israelite level at Gezer, def early: is Finkelstein here or is he dead?

Gitin: If the site only lasts for 20 years how can you connect it with Shaaraim? Garfinkel: Perhaps data passed by writing?

Jeff Chadwick:  Any thought to dating to early-Solomonic period and destruction to Shishaq.  Garfinkel: dates to first half of 10th century based on olive pits in destruction level.  But perhaps.

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7 responses

20 11 2008
Jim

It must have been a remarkably short session.

21 11 2008
G.M. Grena

Owen, thank you so much for providing us a tangible link to the session, despite its “minimal” content noted by Jim (which I would think would delight him). I was surprised to read in your other post that Ganor is sticking with Azekah! Very interesting! It brings to mind his sincerity last year when he told me after the lecture that they had much more evidence for it being Azekah than what they presented to the public. The whole issue over “2 gates” is interesting too, since it sounds impressive, but as Todd Bolen noted (& too bad his name wasn’t given recognition by Prof. Garfinkel apparently), relatively little has been excavated, & many sites still await … most people had not heard of Kiafa/Qeiyafa until just last year, & nobody involved with the excavation had been looking for an extra gate until recently, & what if a 3rd gate is discovered there next year, or another site nearby is found having 2 the next year? Personally, I hope they find more inscribed ostraca than gates, but in any event, we’ll have to wait, & the possibilities will always remain. I hope you continue to have a fun & informative time at the conference!

21 11 2008
ochesnut

Well the question period was one of the longer ones, however I do wish Garfinkel would have provided some more information. Being an archaeology conference he did provide quality top plans, pottery drawings, and pictures of the ostracon and excavated areas, which are hard to describe in any helpful way.
George, I would say that the name suggestions were mentioned by Garfinkel as being previous possibilities. The archaeological evidence from Qeiyafa indicates that the site could not be Azekah. As for the gates, it is seemingly significant and its doubtful more will be found at the site as over 40% of the site has been exposed by weathering (including most of the perimeter wall).

25 11 2008
Asher

Even if they find a third gate- the two gates that were found- one to the east and the other to the south – would both be very prominent visible features to the traveler passing through the Elah valley ( It even makes sense there is a third gate toward Yarmut) enough to give the site (even if sat unused/in ruin) its name.

26 11 2008
ochesnut

Thanks for your comment Asher, although I think its highly unlikely they’ll find another gate (mainly due to over 40% of the wall already being exposed because of erosion and other factors) the prominence idea is a good one.

20 12 2008
Ditsharia

Much the interesting has found here

9 02 2009
barnea

Hello, I am a codirector of Foundation Stone who have undertaken to develop the Elah Fortress Project http://www.elahfortress.com. We were fascinated by the location and fortifications and the potential of the site long before the ostracon and second gate were found. Khirbet Qeiayafa is so chockfull of fascinating issues they have not all been properly discussed yet because the major highlights steal the show.

The positing of the site as Azeka could theoretically fit better with the biblical stor as it is across from Socho and one can envision the Philistine camp better. A key problem is there are no remains from the Assyrian and Babylonian periods. The Assyrians claim they conquered Azeqa which towers like an eagle or similar phrase, which fits better with the current Tel Azeqa.
The notion was still entertained because sometime site names move, this is a 1.5 km away, and perhaps when he Philistine threat was lessened they were more confident to move the town to the edge. This means giving up on the system keeping watches on the ring of higher outer mountains around a city which Adam Zartal describes regarding early Jerusalem and Shomron of Israel.
As no other biblical city has been found with two gates, and thus despite Nadav Neeman’s recent point that the ending of the name Shaarayim does not have to be the plural, Prof Garfinkel is sure of it. It appears right after the neighboring cities in Joshua and in context of David in Chronicles. It does not mean David built this city- it means there was a central government operating at this time.
The ostracon indicates that at least among the elite there is written communication, and hence such a society would transmit information more accurately than an oral tradition society.
The ostracon was subjected to different kinds of cutting edge imaging processes, some used in the service of archaeology for the very first time, which have been very helpful in identifying letters which could not be see with the naked eye. This was under the stewardship of Dr. Greg Bearman. We are still at least a month or more away from hearing the initial interpretation from Dr. Misgav.

Stay tuned, please come visit, and come dig with us from June 22-August 7! Forms are available on Prof Garfinkel’s website at Hebrew University.

Yours

Barnea

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